With weeks to go Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre seems to be a shoo-in for the Conservative Party leadership race.
The sarcastic MP started off as the front runner, drawing large crowds for his speaking engagements across Canada. While some of those folks were just curious, the effect of large cheering crowds is not lost on the membership.
After three unsuccessful leadership hopefuls, members of the Conservative Party are desperate in the search for a white knight —someone who can dethrone Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Poilievre is popular among party faithful largely because of his gift for spewing out memorable labels and name calling that gets under Trudeau’s skin.
Unfortunately the name calling didn’t stop at the Liberals. His leadership campaign uses sarcastic attacks on his opponents. Is this how he will unite a party divided by social issues, among others?
There is an old saying: “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
Conservatives ought to heed that adage. This candidate is bringing American-style say-whatever-sounds-good-to-voters politics to Canada. Do we want or need that form of nonsense?
The Ottawa MP speaks French fluently with experience as a cabinet minister in the Harper government.
He does have some baggage that non-Conservative voters may find distasteful.
Poilievre believes that international co-operation in the form of organizations like the United Nations is some sort of conspiracy to create a world socialist government.
The conspiracy movement forgets the purpose of the United Nations, formed after the Second World War, is to keep nations around the globe talking and settling their disputes peacefully.
The development of various UN agencies from the Food and Agriculture Organizations to UNSECO came about as countries saw the need for international co-operation and assistance.
His promise to fire the Bank of Canada governor for not dealing with inflation fast enough poses a threat to the independence of that central bank from political interference.
And his promise to have the central bank move into crypto-currency is outlandish. Crypto-currency is a form of monopoly money favoured by criminals and tax dodgers to avoid scrutiny.
The next Conservative leader needs to move the voter needle about seven percentage points from the centre to the right.
Political history has a long line of bright, smart-mouthed leaders who won power but failed miserably once in office because they had no real plan for the newfound position.
Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was a great speaker, also sharp at repartee. But he squandered the biggest Parliamentary majority in history, unable to reign in his cabinet.
Being glib with a poisonous tongue is no guarantee of an ability to run government or to unite the divisions and regions within Canada.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.