OK. I tried to resist taking apart this ad that the party and its leader so proudly unveiled at the end of their Quebec City convention. I swear I did. I got very busy with Other Serious Writing and reading and parenting and I did something like 12 workouts since driving back from l’autre capitale nationale.
Didn’t work. I absolutely can’t not do this. So, dear reader, buckle up.
For comparison’s sake, you might want to check out this other doozie, from the 2011 federal election. This one was successful, because under the cheese and the corn (and Harper’s annoying voice) it did appeal to many people’s ideals about what the country means to them.
Here’s the text of the Poilievre video:
The most important job of any leader is to bring hope. Hope is what Canadians need now more than ever. Hope is something that you feel, but it’s hard to picture it. So let me paint a picture for you.
Of students laughing and walking down safe streets to class, the distant drumming of hammers driving nails through Canadian lumber and to yet another beautiful new Canadian home.
Shopkeepers, sweeping clean storefronts at the end of another day, waving to seniors heading home with a car full of groceries and change in their pockets. As daylight fades tonight, kids are heard pleading for 10 more minutes of street hockey before bed, and then quiet.
And the young couple sits on their front porch, soaking in the summer warmth, a Canadian flag hanging gently but proudly from the front of their house. With a cold drink in one hand and a paycheque and the other, they look into each other’s eyes in a way that can only say: the hard work paid off. The sacrifices were worth it. Because finally, we’re home.
First of all, I need to point out that Poilievre’s dramatic skills rival those of Justin Trudeau, and I don’t mean that in a good way. They both overplay and overact and they look at the camera like it owes them money and I cannot stand either’s speaking style. I’m in for a miserable few years, I know.
In Toy Story 3 we discover that Buzz Lightyear has a Spanish mode and when he’s in it he’s … very different. When I see a video with Poilievre or Trudeau in it (please, dear Universe, never allow them to record anything together), it’s like someone activated the Faux Sincerity mode. It’s just that Buzz acts better.
Second of all, no. It is not the most important job of a leader to bring hope. The most important job of a leader is to lead. Also his painting skills are shit.
Do you know what threatens the safety of university students these days? Anti-LGBTQ violence, like the guy (it’s always a guy) who stabbed three people in a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo in June, which has led many universities across the province to remove class information (subject, professor, location) from publicly available websites. The bigoted anti-LGBTQ crowd is predominantly supportive of Poilievre’s party, in case you needed me to remind you.
OK, the Canadian lumber bit is kind of cute but I assure you nobody likes the sound of hammers at 7 am. Ditto the kids who are magically quiet as soon as they’re in bed. It’s very cute. Also never happens. Mais passons.
I don’t know where Pierre Poilievre’s speechwriters live, or more to the point, when, but if you’ve seen an actual shopkeeper actually sweep in front of their actual shop anywhere in the country at any point since 1975 I want to know about it. Marty McFly might want to visit.
Then we get to people with change in their pocket, and the young couple whose idea of date night is to clutch their paycheque instead of having it deposited into their bank account.
I’m kidding. The couple’s idea of romance is to bask in the warmth of their gently swirling flag and congratulate themselves on their hard work. Anyone getting aroused yet? Wave so we can send you help.
The best zinger on all this belongs to the great Max Fawcett of National Observer who asked “what out-of-work Harlequin novelist did they get to write that ending?”