CHARBONNEAU – Pierre Poilievre’s new voodoo economics


PIERRE POILIEVRE has gripped the Conservative Party in a way that no other Conservative leader has since Stephen Harper.

But if he wants to seize power of the government of Canada, he better get real about economics.

His love of cryptocurrency denies the fact that they are not viable currencies and are a dubious investment. There’s his threat to make central bankers walk the plank. His clever “Just-inflation” slogan is just too cute.

His vague grip on economics smacks of U.S. president Reagan’s supply-side economics. Reagan’s “trickle down” theory was bogus. In response to a prolonged period of economic stagflation Reagan called for widespread tax cuts, the deregulation of domestic markets, lower government spending, and a tightening of the money supply to combat inflation.

Reagan believed that the savings generated by companies from corporate tax cuts would trickle down to the rest of the economy, spurring growth. He also assumed that companies would eventually pay more taxes, boosting the government’s coffers. Get real.

Before becoming president, George H.W. Bush derided Reagan’s economic delusions as “voodoo economics.”

Even when Poilievre sticks to the traditional Conservative line of reducing inflation and the budget deficit, he’s out to lunch.

It’s pretty hard to argue that the Bank of Canada is pursuing a policy that ignores inflation. In the past six months, it has raised its key interest rate five times, by a total of three full percentage points. Poilievre hasn’t noticed, or prefers not to notice, that the Bank of Canada is perusing one of the most aggressive efforts to quell inflation in the bank’s history.

Poilievre wants to tighten the money supply too. He argues that the Bank of Canada is “printing money” through quantitative easing. That claim is so yesterday.

While the central bank’s balance sheet swelled by an astounding $450-billion in the first year of the pandemic, since then the balance sheet has shrunk by more than $140 billion. Our existing central bankers are doing precisely what Mr. Poilievre prescribes.

The new Conservative leader wants to dump the governor of the Bank of Canada. In other words, he wants to politicize the very institution that should remain at arm’s length from elected governments. He wants to copy the disastrous effect that politicizing government institutions has had in the U.S.

“Meanwhile, the fiscal deficit has also gone into full-speed reverse,” says business reporter David Parkinson, “helped by a combination of a rapid economic recovery, tax windfalls from strong commodity prices and soaring corporate profits, and inflation (which, it turns out, does have some positive uses) provided an enormous $47-billion improvement over the same period a year earlier (Sept. 19 Globe and Mail).”

Gross domestic product, which is a measure of total economic activity including inflation, is on pace to come in about $300 billion higher than the government assumed this year.

The Bank of Canada is doing a good job of fighting inflation and reducing the deficit, something Poilievre seems unaware of.

Poilievre’s populist appeal has propelled him into an enviable position of having won the leadership of the Conservative Party. But he’s going to have to move beyond his new Voodoo economics to form the next government.

David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at

About Mel Rothenburger (9510 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.

2 Comments on CHARBONNEAU – Pierre Poilievre’s new voodoo economics

  1. On a “leap and bounce” type thinking with some audacity we can trace the popularity of PP to the (great) failure of our education system? Not so much for PP himself but “oh so much” for his supporters.
    Just asking for friend, BTW.

  2. I agree, and knowing the economic reality this year, I’ve been fairly flummoxed by Poilievre’s comments and statements. ALL of them are either proposing an economic fix that is already happening, a mic friendly populous agenda item that stirs his convoy attending edge vote, or a reinterpretation of an economic truth that makes his lack of basic understanding of economics … look … or at least sound … good.

    Honestly … I definitely expect him to do nothing but double down on all of these harebrained approaches as the next election season draws closer, and focus entirely on programming his masses into being able to repeat his soundbites ad nausium.

    Fence sitting and left leaning potential Conservative voters need to pay attention and ask themselves if this is the intellect that they want as PM.

    Interestingly with the Reagan bit, I find it interesting that in the years after his passing, more and more info … literally books … have come out that paint Reagan as actually an anti-intellectual doofus who was lead by the collar by the party minions, another president who refused to read anything.

    The only real difference between him and trump (besides having a fairly honest disposition and being socially appropriate, Reagan was also smart enough not to just lie), he was a supremely capable performer, and made not actually knowing or understanding anything he signed onto ok because he sounded so damn good announcing it.

    Unlike trump, he had redeeming qualities,
    but that said … apparently … they were more alike than not.
    Who knew.

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