EDITORIAL – What do the Poilievre Conservatives actually stand for?

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

WHAT IS A CONSERVATIVE with a capital ‘C’ these days?

Is it the one personified by Pierre Poilievre during the campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada?

That’s the one filled with internal dissension, the one that was about championing Bitcoin, lending a sympathetic ear to trucker convoys, banning government leaders from the World Economic Forum, defunding the CBC, firing the Bank of Canada governor and blocking COVID mandates.

The one in which competitors — especially his main rival Jean Charest — were mercilessly attacked.

Or, is it the one reflected in Poilievre’s victory speech after he was chosen as the party’s new leader? The one in which he ignored all the stuff about Bitcoin and defunding the national broadcaster and firing people, and instead lavishly praised Charest, as well as the other “fine candidates”?

The one about putting food on the table, lowering taxes, fighting climate change, making life more affordable, fixing the healthcare system.

It may go down as one of the most hypocritical speeches of all time. To be sure, Poilievre’s intentions were clear — to paint the Conservative party as united and worthy of becoming the next government.

And to paint the Liberals as incompetent, as when he cleverly said Canadians want a government that at least knows how to run a passport office.

There was certainly some familiar Conservative rhetoric of old in the speech, such as promoting development, getting rid of what he called “dirty dictator oil” and increasing our own production, and bringing in responsible fiscal policies.

But beware. Lines such as “We will restore Canada’s promise” sound a little too much like making the country great again. And when he talks about “local-government gatekeepers” being responsible for the housing crisis, he points the finger directly at City Hall.

Canadians can be forgiven for their confusion over what the party is about. Will the real Conservative party please stand up?

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – What do the Poilievre Conservatives actually stand for?

  1. I think they stand for “freedom” and their hate, for government, the Bank of Canada and the “debt”…the harbinger of a new version of the “dark ages”.

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