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GRAHAM – Pierre Poilievre and the celebration of Canadian diversity

By PIERCE GRAHAM
Guest Columnist

SOME THOUGHTS OFFERED, if gratuitously, on the political phenomenon known as Pierre Poilievre.

Like most westerners, I am accustomed to eastern domination of our national political scene, and, for the most part, have not been deeply offended by the products presented for national consideration.

Like most westerners, I have become accustomed to, and even enjoy, the regional varieties and emphases put forth for, or as, national concerns.The best the west has done was Harper, even though I did not vote for his party.

Historically, of course, the NDP, and its predecessor in Saskatchewan, the CCF, established the model for national health-care. And for decent working standards. Local power rose to national power, out of decent caring.

The recent appearance of Pierre Poilievre, however (or, is it howevre?), is a different matter. Being of a naturally sensitive character, I have been offended by his arrogance in proffering what I can only call simplistic and extreme pseudo-solutions to our historical problems of national unity.

So intense is my reaction to and rejection of Poilievre’s performance that I have succumbed to the ridicule of his name. Our present prime minister, as many are aware, has suffered the common indignity and insult of deliberate mis-spelling of his surname, inverting the R and the U to produce Turdeau. Ingenious, yes; offensive, yes.

So, let me progress with the opposition leader’s name, Pierre Poilievre: Pierre, the rock: Peter, basic, foundational, etc. It has also been used as a childish synonym for penis.

Poilievre? The best I can determine is that the components of the name mean something like poi: pea; and lievre: rabbit. So, in an attempt to rise to the insult level of Turdeau, I proffer the name of Peter Peabunny, or Peter Peahare. (Almost rhymes with Pierre; Pierre Peahare?) Unfortunately, ironically, the silliness of these names is matched by the silliness of Mr. Poilievre’s apparent national perceptions.

With his slick hair, never-smiling and bespectacled countenance, and the legendary warmth of a Charles Dickens accountant, he ridicules virtually everything the present government, and many past governments, have done, or have stood for.

He, like most Canadians, needs to be reminded that our present parliament is the most accurately representative of the Canadian people as could be imagined. We have a minority government for the fundamental but simple fact we are a nation of minorities.

As such, we require, and demand, a government of minorities, led by a minority leader who is devoid of standard notions of dominance usually associated with massive majority governments. Such is not in our nature or our history. We are a montage, a collection, a unified variety. Let us celebrate that fact not only on Canada Day, but in our government processes.

Unlike the unfortunate example south of the 49th parallel, we are not a nation of THIS or THAT: Democrat or Republican; winner or loser. The American government model, after all, is a sports model, built on win or lose. A tie, or a plurality, demands a share; but in America, there can be no other outcome. They even manage to alternate the majorities in the House and the Senate so as to paralyze government.

Canada, however, is fundamentally different from that. Our entire history, apart from too many decades of inherited dominance of the native peoples, has striven to be inclusive, accommodating, sharing, moderating, soothing the loser, even including the loser in government, when coalitions have been needed, as in war-time. The notion is presented in the title of the losing party: Her (His) Majesty’s Leader of the Loyal Opposition.

The success of our system may be seen in a contrast with the current American scene; frequent and fundamental rumblings of dissolution of the union, hints of regional rights to abandon the national charter, and so on. Stamping the foot in the failure to win, or even to cooperate. It is the essence of barely controlled intolerance and violence. In contrast, Canada celebrates its diversity….except in Parliament.

A minority government, like those often elected n Canada, is the most appropriate and most decently representative system for a nation with our vast regional, cultural, and economic variety. I hope our voters continue to remember and appreciate that fact.

Such a system even has room for a flamboyant Pierre Poilievre, should he ever rise above the level of loser, which he so bitterly personifies. My only recommendation for him? Learn to smile. Learn about Lester Pearson.

And my recommendation to Canadians? Enjoy your representative minority government. We deserve it. It really does represent our manifold variety. I salute diversity and inclusion. Pierre Poilievre does not exactly personify them.

Pierce Graham is a retired vice principal of NorKam secondary, a long-time English teacher, and a member of the Rube Band.

About Mel Rothenburger (9224 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

3 Comments on GRAHAM – Pierre Poilievre and the celebration of Canadian diversity

  1. Ken McClelland // October 12, 2022 at 10:04 AM // Reply

    Hi Pierce, long time since we’ve seen each other. Given our cultural and regional diversities, which are not in dispute, I am interested to hear your thoughts on different treatment of different provinces by the current minority government. In my estimation, they are anything but even-handed. Quebec is kind of the spoiled child of confederation, having more federal electoral seats per capita, and a disproportionate share of federal equalization payments. They also are not required to factor in Hydro Quebec income in the equalization payment calculation, whereas Alberta, for example, has to factor in O & G income. Quebec’s Bill 96 completely ignores bilingualism and other cultural and language distinctives, making Quebec a French-only province, and receives no significant objection from the Feds or mainstream media, while new Alberta premier Danielle Smith’s idea of an Alberta Sovereignty Act (a lot like Bill 96 re federal laws that we all have to obey) gets almost universally panned. This to me is not a good example of equal treatment in a diverse country, when one province is allowed to do as they please including unilaterally changing language laws and blocking nationally beneficial infrastructure, and another is basically told “you do this at your peril.” Under the Charter, we are guaranteed (theoretically) equal treatment regardless of who we are, not special treatment because of who we are, despite Quebec’s insistence on distinct society status. That should never have been allowed, as they take full advantage of that status regularly, but that ship has sailed, and is another conversation for another day. By the way, I like Quebec and the Quebecois people, and appreciate their culture. I am going there by choice next week for a vacation and work conference. This is not a rant against Quebec, but just use of current examples in the context of your column today. I support Poilievre, and am happy to take a wait and see, as he has been leader for a whole month now, while Justin Trudeau has had 7 years to make his mark on Canada, which he certainly has, unfortunately. Oh, and Poilievre grew up in Alberta, so he had two, maybe three strikes against him from the perspective of our Eastern “betters” and MSM right off the bat. Cheers.

    • I just wonder what your “beef” is Ken in regards to Trudeau and the Liberals. Because really unless one is homeless and addicted there is absolutely nothing to bitch about. Canadians never had it this good in my opinion. Even just a few decades ago even a prince couldn’t match the lifestyle and comforts of most present-day Canadians.

  2. Dave Monsees // October 12, 2022 at 5:33 AM // Reply

    I think this guy is very little more than a blo-hard. For him to support Trudeau and criticize, finally a breath of fresh air, is being a journalist out of touch of reality.

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