Thursday, May 12, 2022

About That Conservative Leadership Campaign

It would seem that the leading contender for the helm of the federal Conservatives, Pierre Poilievre, brings neither credit nor credibility to his party.

H/t de Adder

Bruce Arthur writes about the divisive tactics of this strange man, tactics that seem in many ways reminiscent of the nonsense that goes on in the U.S., where Joe Biden is blamed for inflation, ignoring the fact that it is a worldwide problem caused by a variety of external factors.

The Bank of Canada is a target thanks to the rise of inflation, which is largely due to the war in Ukraine and oil prices, house prices, China and COVID, and maybe some profiteering. People notice pocketbook economics.

In response to this thorny global financial challenge, Poilievre blames domestic spending and Bank bond-buying to support government deficit spending — he has always been against the pandemic financial supports to Canadians — and pitches … Bitcoin?

That would be the same Bitcoin that is down 50 per cent since November.   

His attacks on the Bank of Canada are similarly reckless. He wants the Bank to focus on keeping inflation as low as possible, while knowingly pushing lines of attack that could undermine its ability to do so. Expectations of inflation affect wage expectations, which affect prices, and if the market doesn’t think the Bank of Canada is serious about bringing down inflation, inflation doesn’t slow.

Maybe Poilievre truly doesn’t understand that. More likely, he just doesn’t care.

And his seemingly nonsensical advocacy for crytocurrencies has a sinister implication.

 Jessica Marin Davis is the president of Insight Threat Intelligence, a former senior strategist in Canadian intelligence, and the author of a book on international terrorist financing. She points out that of the money sent to the Ottawa convoy, the vast majority of the million or so via crowdfunding sites was frozen, leaving approximately $30,000. But over $830,000 came in via cryptocurrency.

Davis says, “it's super useful for money laundering, and it's super useful for other forms of illicit financing, and it's somewhat useful for terrorist financing. And I would say it's somewhat useful for other forms, like financing criminal mischief, as we saw in the convoy.”

Really, the simplest throughline to Poilievre’s bit is that if your goal is to hammer freedom to an audience that found wearing masks was an imposition, that vaccines were a conspiracy rather than a collective victory, and that are angry or confused by what’s happening with the world, then Bitcoin is just another aspirational buzzword that signifies the world doesn’t have to work the way you’re told it does. Poilievre has been pumping conspiratorial theories about gatekeepers for much of the pandemic; He’s still doing it. He’ll say just about anything, and that opens the door to all kinds of conspiracies, all kinds of anger, all kinds of extremism. 

Such is the sad state of politics today, powered by people who gleefully exploit and exacerbate societal divisions to feed their own power-seeking venality.

Definitely not the Canada I grew up in, and not the Canada I want to exist after I am gone.

 P.S. For a primer on the real nature and risks of crytocurrencies, click here.



  1. The state of politics in Canada is indeed sad. I would suggest that our prime minister though is the one who embodies your suggestion "people who gleefully exploit and exacerbate societal divisions to feed their own power-seeking venality". He continues to segregate anyone who opposes his views, many times referring to discrediting their points of view by stating that they are racist, bigoted, or fringe.

    1. Anon, there is no shortage of participants whose plays for power do more harm than good. It seems the nature of politics today.