Today's discussion:

Is Poilievre as anti-business as he seems?

Prioritizing the interests of a small elite is part of how our country got into this mess. But casual watchers should not mistake Poilievre’s distaste for corporate Canada’s trendier priorities with a fundamental discomfort with free market capitalism. In fact, it’s the opposite. For Poilievre, fiscal conservatism and economic populism aren’t incompatible, they’re a match made in heaven.

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Paul Attics

The term should be ‘fiscal responsibility’, not ‘fiscal conservatism’, as the practical track record of Federal and Provincial governments has little correlation with ideology, except perhaps in the rhetoric.

12th March 2024 at 7:45 am

An excellent Article and assessment by Ms. Roth. Although economic theory is a complicated area and economists tend (at least try) to keep it that way, ordinary folk (those who physically work hard and get grease on their hands) tend to view economics in terms of how big their pay cheque is vis-a-vis how much does it cost to survive. They ponder: can they afford to feed and cloth their family? can they afford to purchase a home? can they afford a new car? can they afford an annual family vacation? can they afford to provide recreational programs for their kids? Pierre Poilievre is a Politician who wishes to be the next Prime Minister of Canada. No matter what his views on the economy or the GNP or all the other economic factors that drive the Nation one way or the other, he has to first get elected. Whether the rich and entitled like it or not, in any form of democracy those with grease on their hands still get to cast a ballot and decide who shall govern them. Their is no question but that, once elected, economic success will be one of, if not the main determinant of how long a prime Minister holds that title. Finding the “perfect balance” of freeing the entrepreneur to work their success formula while concurrently ensuring that the Worker who contributes significantly to that success formula gets a share of the profits that sufficiently advances their “lot in life” is the political “manna from Heaven” . Poilievre is a “down to earth” Politician who understands both sides of that political equation. He will be the next Prime Minister. Let’s hope he gets it right!

12th March 2024 at 10:15 am
Michael F

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”
John Kenneth Galbraith

12th March 2024 at 11:46 am
Joseph Ingram

Ginny Roth, when did you stop using the economics you might have studied in college? Freidman’s thories, which you apparently proudly quote, have been empirically discredited and largely tossed into the dust bin of economic history. And why are you celebrating the anger of a Poilievre whose prose, like Trumps’, is “elegiac, evangelizing, and blusterous, delivered with the self assurance of a college sophomore thinking himself conversant with all of human history”. Both men certainly are disrupters with – to quote FDR – their feet firmly planted in the air. Hopefully yours are not there yet!

12th March 2024 at 8:05 am
Kim Morton

At the end of the Day it is people that vote, not corporations. Poilievre is right to chase the blue collar vote. For far too long, this has been the domain of the left, which hasn’t represented the working class in over three decades. Put bluntly, the private sector work force and their employers have more in common with each other than either has with left wing parties controlled by environmentalist and socialist activists.

12th March 2024 at 11:35 am
Michael F

I’m willing to bet Poilievre has been to as many $2000 a plate private fundraisers in the mansions of the nation’s ultra wealthy as he has shop floors and union halls. Who actually believes this working man schtick? Jenni Byrne, one of his inner circle and a top advisor, owns a lobbying firm in Ontario and lobbies on behalf of Loblaws.

12th March 2024 at 11:44 am

Continue to slag the man if you will, Michael, but I’ll bet you’d be hard-pressed to find any history of Pierre Poilievre having stayed at any “ultra wealthy” mansion or some $9,300 a night resort for the holidays – at no charge to him, no less.

That Mr. Poilievre’s message resonates with Canadian workers speaks volumes. So much so that his political rivals and detractors like you appear to be pulling out all the stops trying to protect a shrinking turf you’ve all taken for granted and asumed they’ll always be there for you.

The times they are a-changin’, Michael.

12th March 2024 at 1:53 pm
Michael F

Please do tell me if anything I said is a fabrication. Is Jenni Wells not a lobbyist and an advisor to Poilievre? Just last week he was at another private fundraiser in Forest Hill Toronto. He speaks a good though, that’s for sure. Out of both sides of his mouth. He lives in a mansion on our dime.

12th March 2024 at 6:36 pm

I’m skeptical that stagnating real wages are the primary thing driving people’s experience of the economy. Even high-income young people (and other renters) are seeing larger and larger of shares of their money go to housing, and there’s no realistic amount of wage growth that would have let incomes keep up. GDP growth has even been quite a bad indicator of how non-homeowners experience the economy given how much economic growth has been tied up in increasing the main cost of living. Canada’s real GDP per capita peaked in early 2022, which was hardly a time period when renters felt they were doing well. Go ask anyone under 35 or so if they think their standard of living has been stagnant!

There’s also an increasing sense that the status quo system of income redistribution is regressive in a world where ‘low-income’ homeowners are often much more financially comfortable than middle-income renters and wealth is as important as income. People feel like they get less and less of the benefit of their work. Relying on growth as a get-out-of-jail-free card on spending pressures don’t solve that. Growth is important, but growing the pie doesn’t solve the question about who eats last either. The populist line that working people are not seeing their work pay off is onto something. Poilievre may not be anti-growth or anti-business, but I don’t think he’s fumbling the ball by not making it the main rhetorical focus.

12th March 2024 at 10:34 am
Kevin Gallagher

Sounds like wishful thinking. Other than the following statement, was there anything in the article that provides any indication that this is how he will govern?

Poilievre may campaign like an economic populist, but when it comes down to it, he’ll govern like a modern fiscal conservative.

12th March 2024 at 10:32 am
A. Chezzi

Poilievre’s so called anti business rhetoric is just that rhetoric. Con are never anti business. All his talk about getting rid of gate keepers makes for good theater.

12th March 2024 at 8:37 am

Just more of the same yapping for attention loaded with the stories he makes up every day.

12th March 2024 at 2:33 pm