Pierre Poilievre, Bitcoin, And Opting Out Of Intelligence
On The Plague Infecting Canadian Conservatism
“When did Canadian conservatism become so nasty?”
Ask some people that question, and you’ll get the answer that conservatism has always been a nasty ideology, with their preferred restrictions on the freedoms of those people – women and gays, mostly – who they didn’t view as one of them, but even still, it was an ideology that at least feigned towards giving a shit about those who they disagreed with. It used to be an ideology that was dominated by a difference in how you can accomplish shared goals – be it around economics, social progress, whatever. It was about whether private business or government intervention is the best form of wealth generation, it was about whether or not governments or private groups – churches, charities, and communities – had the best solutions to poverty and anti-social behaviours. It was about the same set of goals, but fundamentally different ways of getting there. Now? It’s an ideology of hate.
Pierre Poilievre’s campaign started by calling Jean Charest a Liberal for the crime of having joined the only federalist political party in Quebec, and trying to stop this country from exploding, and the way they say it is with the same vitriol a white racist would use a racial slur against a Black kid. “Jean Charest is a Liberal” is supposed to be this disqualifying statement, because he’s not one of us, he’s one of those people. When did being a Liberal (or liberal) become a fucking crime, punishable by death in conservative circles? When did the party of “we all have to come together and stop dividing people” (when discussing vaccination status) become the party of “fuck the libs”?
Oh wait, I know, it’s obvious – when the ideology became so fucking stupid.
If you bought Bitcoin on the day Pierre Poilievre called it a way to “opt out of inflation”, your investment would literally be worth 1/3rd less right now than it did the day Skippy said it. I’m not reflexively anti-crypto – I know many people who own cryptocurrencies and I generally root for crypto to go up so these people can make more money – but I am against politicians saying stupid shit, which Skippy’s quote clearly is.
My contempt for modern conservatism is not a statement about the people who vote for Conservative parties (there are smart Conservative voters and dumb as fuck Liberal voters), but exist in conservative spaces for long enough and all this shit is just really fucking stupid. From the crypto stuff to the convoy leaders trying to enact a new government with the Senate and the Trudeau is a traitor stuff, it’s all just mind-numbingly stupid.
Paul Wells, whose work I love, tried to make the case that Skippy is talking like a firebreather to make room for him to moderate, because his right flank is sufficiently mollified that when the election campaigns start, he can win over moderates. Basically, the argument went that Skippy going full guns blazing in his rhetoric against the Bank Of Canada while only proposing a boring audit and a ban on a Bank-specific cryptocurrency, Skippy is playing chess.
Wells has always had a lot of time for Poilievre as an intellectual, in my view too much, but I read that column and basically went, “it’s Wells, I at least have to keep an open mind that he might be right.” Wells has earned that from me, because he’s decidedly not stupid. Is he always right? Of course not. But he’s not stupid, and I gave that argument the room the status of its author deserved. And then Pierre Poilievre put out this statement on Sunday.
This isn’t 3D chess Skippy’s playing, this is plainly unhinged bullshit. The party that calls everyone who disagrees snowflakes really has found a champion who will throw a shitfit because David Dodge made news on CTV’s Question Period, in what I have to think is the first time any Canadian Sunday show has ever made news. He just got in his feelings and wrote this nonsense statement, and in the process obliterated the idea that he’s gonna try a moderate pivot later – or the idea that if he tried one it would, in any way, shape, or form fucking work.
Look at last week’s Conservative leadership debate and you’ll see what I mean when I call conservatism a stupid ideology right now – what were the moments that stood out? Everyone saying they’ll defund the CBC, French Jeb! Bush yelling at Skippy for having Justin Trudeau’s position on Bill 21 (Quebec’s racist ban on religious imagery), and Pierre v Leslyn Lewis on whether Skippy supported the truckers enough. How is this a party or a movement set to accomplish the sum of jack and shit if they do win, putting aside all the issues about how they will win without, you know, ideas or brains?
It's a party and a movement where the smart minds lost the argument and have retreated off the field, with reasonable conservatives like James Moore and (I cannot believe she still qualifies) Christine Elliott having given up entirely. What the fuck do you even do about this party and this movement when the deep thinker of the race is a wanker whose brilliant financial advice would have you losing a third of your value in six fucking weeks?
It's a busted ideology and a party infected by more than just bad opinions but stupidity at its core. To save Canadian conservatism, you first have to be willing to have an honest conversation about its main ill. It’s not the pro-lifers or the social conservatives or the fact that the debate last week was impolite and loud.
Conservatism’s real ill in Canada is that it’s so fucking stupid. And until they fix that, they’re done for.