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Hackett: Support for Poilievre keeps growing

I’ve been finding it difficult these days not to watch what Pierre Poilievre is doing and acknowledge the support he’s captured in our country.

I’ve been finding it difficult these days not to watch what Pierre Poilievre is doing and acknowledge the support he’s captured in our country.

On the heels of the Conservative Party of Canada convention last week, in which by most accounts Poilievre put on a masterclass performance, the party is cruising in the polls.

Abacus Data put out polling Thursday, 41 per cent of committed voters would vote Conservative with the Liberals at 26 per cent, the NDP at 18 per cent and the Greens at 4 per cent. That 41 per cent is up from 34 per cent in June. The Liberals have steadily declined from 31 per cent to 26 over the last several months.

Young people, between the ages of 18-29 are voting for the conservatives 37 per cent of the time.

Poll aggregator 338 Canada suggests the Tories have a nine-point lead nationwide over the Liberals.

I watched Poilievre’s speech from the convention and a number of things stuck out.

One phrase, in particular, caught my ears.

“We can turn the hurt into hope,” he said in a clever turn of phrase near the end of his speech.

Before I get into that, he also took cheap shots at the prime minister himself and the liberal cabinet, called the liberals “snowflakes” and claimed the Liberals were “deleting our past,” which they aren’t.

His pettiness plays well because it’s easy to take shots at a sinking ship. Of course, people in the audience are going to eat it up, they paid to see him speak after all. There’s no crashing and burning at a party convention, no matter how bad the speech is.

He played the hits and the crowd, and frankly much of Canada ate it up. Trudeau hates Canada–he’s ruined Canada and only I can fix it.

And all that plays well because Poilievre is offering hope right now when no other politician in Canada is.

As the official opposition, he can. He doesn’t need to present policy positions or fix anything that is broken right now. The only thing he needs to do is offer hope of a better world, a better future with him at the helm.

He represents change and after eight-plus years of too many people feeling underserved by the current federal government, the waves of change have grown more into a tsunami.

And Canadians and Albertans are responding in waves to Poilievre’s enthusiasm. Polls have the conservatives well out in front of the Liberals and it makes sense for two reasons in particular.

For a government that has been in power for over eight years, it’s tough to offer hope and they also don’t get much benefit of the doubt anymore either. Nor should they.

And affordability. The Liberals have been facing an affordability crisis for a little over a year and have done very little for the middle class to address it. They keep making empty promises about things that may or may not fix it.

As ministers argue about big-picture items like foreign interference, the everyday Canadian is worried about how they will afford their next grocery bill, mortgage or car payment.

Regular people don’t always understand the nuances of inflation or federal debt, but they understand the simplicity of the price of groceries rising nine per cent year over year or how much more it takes to fill their car up with gas.

Poilievre hammered this point home time and time again during the speech: “(Canadians) no longer have to give up the things that they take for granted– affordable homes and food”.

There’s also careful middle between the dystopian world that some politicians like to paint and what Canada’s current reality is.

Canada has real problems, that a serious politician needs to provide answers as to how they are going to be fixed. I don’t think our society as we know it is on the brink of collapse, after all like I indicated just a few weeks ago, Canada’s quality of life is still among the top five countries in the world.

With that said, there isn’t a lot of hope that the current government, which has been watching this current problem unfold with little in the way of solutions for at least a year, needs to do more to convince Canadians they are the ones that should lead us out of this.

It’s not an easy task.

We are still two years away or more from an election, which I would say is the biggest hurdle Poilievre has to overcome.

How does he keep this high-energy, Justin Trudeau attack mode campaign up for 700 days? He is immensely popular right now because Canadians are frustrated and they feel like their basic concerns aren’t being heard.

Bring it home and common sense are the two catchphrases Poilievre is using. And who doesn’t want common sense in government? Is anyone really going to argue for less common sense from our politicians?

As for the bring it home part, that one might take a while. He can’t really bring anything home until an election is called, which most political scientists agree won’t be for two years. That’s a long trip home.

If we were six months out from an election, with the momentum that Poilievre has, it wouldn’t even be close.

His support will only grow with every day of inaction by the liberal government to help drag Canadians out of this affordability and housing crisis.

It feels like Justin Trudeau and the Federal Liberals aren’t listening anymore, they’re coasting on the coattails of their last victory and trying to ride out a storm that they have the ability to manage. They just aren’t.

It was one of their biggest strengths and promises when they rose to power but you can only make so many promises without delivering before Canadians start to waver– until they start to look elsewhere for another leader to support.

Canadians on the political left and right really aren’t that different– the chasm is nowhere near the size of the difference between the Republicans and Democrats in the United States.

There are so many middle-ground Canadians who just want sensible, fiscally and socially responsible government. And you can bet those people, who supported Trudeau in the last election are watching and wondering if Pierre Poilievre might be the right person to support that next election. Whenever that comes.

Byron Hackett is the Managing Editor of the Red Deer Advocate and a Regional Editor for Black Press Media.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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