On a sunny afternoon in September, some of my friends and I were gathered around my laptop.
We were were all sitting around, enjoying a couple of beverages, and watching YouTube compilations.
The topics of the videos varied a bit, but they all centered around politics.
It definitely started out with the typical “Ben Shapiro DESTROYS SNOWFLAKES and DISMANTLES THEIR REALITY until they have NO WILL TO LIVE” type of videos, but eventually drifted into topics that actually concerned us.
We got around to watching some clips of Dr. Jordan Peterson, who had just appeared on another fairly interesting episode of the Joe Rogan Experience. From there, the YouTube suggestions became more and more related to our country, the Great White North
I’ve never been overly interested in Canadian politics. I'm not completely sure why, considering I have lived my entire life in Canada.
It doesn’t have the same gravity, theatrics, and drama that our neighbours to the south have in their day to day politics.
Our politicians are fairly tame. Generally, they are run of the mill, and don’t tend to be overly captivating characters.
In a way, it’s sort of like the CFL compared to the NFL.
Living in Montreal, I am represented nationally by the Alouettes. They play a 20 minute walk away from where I live. Their highlights play on TSN every night that they play. Yet, I could not name you one player for the Alouettes. Is Johnny Football still there? That was sort of cool.
The NFL though, is a different story.
Growing up in Windsor, Ontario, I was a 20-minute drive away from the home stadium of the Detroit Lions.
The NFL was always much more appealing. It felt like more was on the line.
The theatrics, the hits, the plays, and the gravity of it all seemed much more grandiose, and to be blunt, much more important.
Canadian politics affect me directly. But like the CFL, it will always seem like a sub-system of the much larger American political system. I understand if you totally disagree with everything I’ve just said, by the way
Our YouTube rabbit hole continued until we reached some highlights of question period in the House of Commons. Question period (or “question time” as it is called in the U.K.,) is my favorite form of political discourse, both here and across the pond.
There’s something innately entertaining about seeing your political party go head to head against your political opponents. It’s almost like a team sport, but instead, it’s based around real issues, with both sides talking smack about each other.
As we sat there watching a video of Andrew Scheer and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchange words in a verbal spat, my good friend next to me said something about Scheer that I have not been able to erase from my mind, and that I still think every time I watch him speak
“He sort of comes off as a used car salesman.”
That’s all I needed to hear, and my friend was sadly spot-on.
Right in that moment, I could practically envision Scheer in a checkered-plaid suit, ready to sell me a 2004 Malibu, ensuring me that it runs like new and telling me that it was once driven by Jarome Iginla, for whatever reason.
Part of the reason may be that Scheer doesn’t really speak with much conviction about, well, anything.
He isn’t the conservative superman that many, included myself, wanted.
He’s sort of in the middle on a lot of right of centre topics, and it shows when he speaks. Essentially, a right of centre centrist.
It really is no wonder why someone like Maxime Bernier can come along and garner so much attention.
Bernier, the ex-conservative party member who ran against Scheer in 2017 for the Conservative leadership (and only lost by a couple points) has been hyper vocal against Scheer and the direction that he has taken the PC party.
“I have come to realize over the past year that this party is too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed,” said Bernier in a statement in which he announced that he was quitting the party.
But if Scheer is the used car salesman, People’s Party founder Maxime Bernier is the quintessential con-man.
Bernier is the answers man. He claims to have to solutions to our problems and speaks with real conviction, as if his ideas are his own. It’s appealing, but it’s wise to tread lightly around these types of candidates.
The con-man, short for “confidence man,” as we all know, is someone who uses “confidence tricks” to sell us on something after they have gained our confidence and trust. A hustler of sorts, selling us on fantastical, sexy ideas that appeal to our needs.
It actually reminds me of that fever dream I had where Kevin O’Leary tried to run for the Conservative Party leadership and people somehow took him seriously. He seemingly had all the answers, and played strongly on how capable he was, even going so far as to say that he was bilingual in “English and Business,” all the while not speaking a lick of French.
In what was basically a “I’m-more-conservative-than-you” power move, Bernier’s departure from the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to start his own party shows a type of gusto that is hyper appealing to those looking for an actual small government minded political party, something that many could say the PCs have strayed from.
Voters on the right will need to consider many moving parts in this coming election. With the rise of the populist leader taking place in countries across the globe, Canada has their own. He’s slick, smart, and charming.
Deciding between a used car salesman and a con-man will be a tough decision for right of centre voters. We need to consider the future of the country, though, and must realize that a Trudeau re-election could be detrimental to Canada in potentially irreparable ways.
To stop beating around the bush, Bernier is not going to win and is only going to take away votes from Scheer, potentially damaging his odds at beating PM Trudeau in this year’s election.
It’s unfortunate, but look at it this way: Would you rather work with a used car salesman, or a con-man? Both are better than working with a drama teacher, but which is less risky?
It's time to pick our poison. At least with the used car salesman, you walk away with a car.