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From the moment he announced his bid for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada last February, Pierre Poilievre’s path to power has been clear. He would run on a platform of uncompromising conservatism, sew up his party’s far-right flank, and prevent the sort of leakage of votes to the People’s Party that cost Erin O’Toole the 2021 election.

And for just over a year there, it looked like it was working. That is until an ultra-right member of the European Parliament named Christine Anderson showed up in Canada and blew everything up.

Anderson, for those who don’t know her, is a member of Alternative für Deutschland, a populist German political party that opposes immigration, talks about the “Islamization” of Europe, and occasionally downplays or diminishes the country’s Nazi past. She made waves last year when she gave a speech trashing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to the European Parliament that went viral in Canadian right-wing circles.

That made her a minor celebrity and could explain why she was greeted so warmly by a trio of Conservative MPs (including former leadership candidate and shadow minister of infrastructure Leslyn Lewis). The three MPs who happily posed for a photo with her, Poilievre suggested, were “unaware” of her “vile” views.

Still, their actions forced Poilievre to denounce Anderson’s visit on Friday. “Frankly, it would be better if Anderson never visited Canada in the first place. She and her racist, hateful views are not welcome here,” he said in a written statement.

There are a number of problems here for Poilievre. First, as to the notion that his caucus mates were blithely unaware of their guest’s views, there are only two possible options here: they’re lazy, or they’re lying. Neither is a particularly good look, especially when we’re talking about someone who’s hardly an unknown entity to Canadian conservatives.

Her “What What Would Christine Anderson Do” tour is sponsored by “Canadians for Truth,” the same organization that promotes events by anti-vaccine activists like Jamie Sale and Theo Fleury. Upon her arrival, she was embraced by the same people who starred in last year’s Freedom Convoy, from protest leader Tamara Lich to lawyers Keith Wilson and Eva Chipiuk. Anderson even met with, and struck a pose beside, members of the neo-Nazi group Diagolon.

You can almost feel Poilievre breaking out in a cold sweat right now given how hard he’s worked over the last little while to put as much distance between himself and this cast of characters. His uncharacteristic silence during the Public Order Emergency Commission last fall and the release of its report last week were a stark contrast to the support he showed the convoy in its earlier days, whether that was bringing coffee and doughnuts to truckers or marching proudly alongside an anti-vaccine veteran who had appeared on the Diagolon leader’s podcast a month earlier.

This version of himself was one he clearly wanted to leave in the past. And now, thanks to Anderson’s visit to Canada and the backlash generated by his MPs and their decision to meet with her, he’s being dragged back there. If he refuses to kick those three MPs out of his caucus, he’ll look like he’s soft on the sort of hate that Anderson is peddling — and help write the Liberal Party’s attack ads in the next election for them. But if he does give them the boot, he risks handing Maxime Bernier a ready-made parliamentary caucus, along with an argument for why the former PPC supporters who may have reluctantly decided to embrace Poilievre should return to the fold.

Pierre Poilievre surged ahead in the polls by bringing PPC voters — and convoy supporters — back into the fold. Now, thanks to a visit from a far-right European politician, his coalition might be about to fall apart. @maxfawcett writes

This was always the biggest risk with Poilievre’s strategy, and in some respects, it was only a matter of time before this grenade went off. Now that it has, he has to make a familiar choice: does he bet his party’s future on the far-right voters and their values and risk alienating moderates in key swing ridings, or cut them loose and try to win over disaffected blue Liberals and red Tories who are souring on Trudeau and his team?

The convoy, which arrived in Ottawa last year looking to overthrow the government, has already succeeded in taking out two police chiefs and O’Toole. If Poilievre isn’t careful, they may inadvertently end his career, too.

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only if ctv, cbc, global want to talk about it on and on and on and on……. I’m betting they just make it disappear from news, like dear leader ford’s inviting card-carrying nazis to his bbqs, bcs ya know, theyre just folks, and he’s just a noce guy

Will the real Pierre Poilievre Please Stand Up? Ooops, I guess they all have. Choose your favourite avatar.

Hehehe.....couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
This seems pretty stupid but also confirms that the right wing generally has become a collection of such people with their common "suite of stupidity." It also seems that they really do imagine themselves to be the "silent majority" instead of that "extreme fringe minority" that Trudeau accurately described, and was then inexplicably criticized for.
Although this woman is an idiot, I would also like to see a lot less of Islam anywhere near government, along with all the different flavours of Christianity, particularly Catholicism. Note that Leslyn Lewis is first and foremost identified by her religion,
On Fareed Zakaria's GPS yesterday he showed an "Atlas of Impunity" for the world, rating countries from worst to best and THE worst was the most religious-- Afghanistan. The best, as usual, were the Scandinavian countries, Finland topping the list.
Peter McKay said it best in the context of the conservative party, "religion is a stinking albatross around our necks." Except it's true for all government everywhere.

Excellent article
I wish that All Political Parties would tell us, in plain words, their vision for our country.
1. Are they in for or against eradicating poverty? Why? How?
2.Do they envision equality of opportunity for every child in Canada?
3. Do they envision EVERYONE having access to a good and warm place to live?
4. Do they envision a country where everyone has equal access to quality health care?

or not?

I would like each party to then explain to us precisely how their spending plans will achieve their vision.
It is unfortunate that all political parties have bought in to a belief that they have to lie to win government instead of saying what they believe - a lack of courage or an inclination to dishonesty.

No wonder political parties back off from electoral reform - like a ranked ballot that would enable our elected representatives to act in the best interest of their citizens rather than the best interests of their party and the lobbyists who own them.

New Zealand changed their electoral process to some version of a ranked ballot - a system that works for people, not for lobbyists.


Nope. Ranked ballot is in fact another way of counting ballots in a first-past-the-post system.
Australia's stuck in that system, and the only way for them to move forward on climate change measures seems to be electing independents. Independents here don't have a voice, unless they choose to "work with" one of the parties that have enough seats to maintain official party status.
What you want is a system of proportional representation. There are several ways one such could be constructed, but none of them amount to ranked ballots, and all of them (from what I can see) have some downside or other -- although nothing like the downsides that first-past-the-post systems have.
You can learn more at:
The folks there are very good at answering questions, or pointing you to the right section of their website to find the answers to particular questions.
Trudeau promised electoral reform, established a committee to look into the matter, then lied (through a mouthpiece in the form of a female rookie MP, he threw under the bus -- presumably because he's "a feminist") saying that the committee had been unable to reach any recommendations. He only wanted electoral reform if the form it took was ranked ballot, because it is a first-past-the-post system, and because under it, the Liberals would win majorities while being the first choice of an even smaller proportion of the electorate ... which seems to be not-so-good at arithmetic, logic, party "ownership" or some combination thereof).

What Australia did worked like a charm though, so whatever works....this IS ultimately a utilitarian exercise, truly the art of the possible.
But because those independents were all green (and mainly women weren't they?) they will act as free agents for important change like the NDP are currently doing here, wielding real power when we need it most, quietly and behind the scenes under the auspices of a "confidence and supply agreement." Clever and quiet is clearly the best way to handle a hysterical, reactionary right wing that takes the role of "opposition" to a whole other level like the drama queens they are, apoplectic over petty, mean-spirited things like drag queens doing storytimes.
As far as proportional representation goes, there is the current spectre of what's happening in Israel right now where extreme religious parties required to actually do anything as government are proposing to sideline rulings of the Supreme Court, a dangerous first, and something Israelis are right to be apoplectic about.
Trudeau probably decided to pass on that electoral change because closer attention to it showed how divisive it could be with so many choices, knowing that too many never works in reality, despite it being the ideal of the NDP and Greens (who really should just get together and be done with it.) We can't even handle either/or, especially at a time when it's become sort of uncouth to even follow politics, causing way too many to lapse into "bothsidesism," seeing that as the most comfortable position, both erudite and easy, relegating all parties and politicians to the same shady car salesman status when the cons are in fact the only ones that are like that, only much worse. This may be one of the most effective AND most damaging consequence of the new, braying con style.
Trudeau definitely hasn't been forthcoming enough, likes sparring with the conservatives too much, and prevaricates far too much, but him and the Liberals DO have a vision, and ARE continuing to accomplish things despite this uniquely difficult time of "polycrisis."

In what sense did what Australia did work like a charm? I don't follow Australian politics in detail, but I certainly follow it in broad outlines, and Australian politics sucks pretty bad. The latest government isn't as bad as various recent governments, but that's a low bar. A very, very low bar.

To be fair, the general awfulness of Australian politics is probably as much due to near-monopoly control of the media by Rupert Murdoch as it is from the electoral system. And I don't think ranked ballot is actually worse overall than FPTP such as we or the Brits have. But it ain't proportional, and it has not led to any kind of remarkable renaissance in Australian politics.

"there are only two possible options here: they’re lazy, or they’re lying"

"he’ll look like he’s soft on the sort of hate that Anderson is peddling — and help write the Liberal Party’s attack ads in the next election for them. But if he does give them the boot, he risks handing Maxime Bernier a ready-made parliamentary caucus"

He's hoist on his own petard: maybe his Momma never told him he's supposed to leave the dance with "the one that brung ya."

Frankly, he should kick'em out. Bernier's party didn't do so hot in the election.

Second the Bingo!!

And it's so nice to see someone quoting Shakespeare in their comment... should happen more often, here and everywhere else.

[Just in case anyone has a burning desire to know: a petard was made from gunpowder packed inside a box, or a bell-shape (or an actual bell), with one open side to focus the force of the explosion. Nowadays this is called a "shaped charge", but the principle is the same. The petard was used for smashing the locks on castle gates, among other things. But the highly-unpredictable fuse had to be ignited by a sapper (or maybe just some poor sap), who had a good chance of being blown skyward by the contrivance.]

Hence "hoist with his own petard", Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4.

Ahhh, thank you. Didn't know....

Is anyone surprised that today it is being reported that Anderson claims that she has spoken with Poilievere a couple of times before. Of course, the CPC is denying that report. But, if someone comes up with proof, or if it becomes obvious same by Poilievere dodging question on the topic, my follow up questions would be: why are you denying the facts? and why didn't you denounce her at that time instead of waiting for thereof your MP's to meet with her before you suddenly put on your righteous mask?