The Conservative Party Convention in Quebec City ended on Sept. 9. While these types of events serve to energize the party faithful, they also provide an important indication of where things stand for the party, leader, and political movement.
Based on media reports and personal accounts, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre had the confidence of many delegates. He also has strong support among the grassroots and political establishment, who both believe he’s heading in the right political direction.
It’s true that policy proposals and debates at party conventions can occasionally become prickly or controversial. Some policy discussions have fallen completely off the rails, too. Parties of the left and right have both had to deal with these situations. The federal Conservatives found themselves in the midst of a controversial discussion
about climate change during the 2021 convention, while the federal Liberals rejected
proposals related to balanced budgets and mandatory voting this May.
The Poilievre Conservatives largely avoided these pitfalls during several lively policy discussions. They comfortably passed
resolutions opposing a return to vaccine mandates and “life altering” medical or surgical interventions “to treat gender confusion or dysphoria” for underaged children. Several proposed changes, including more power for grassroots members in riding nominations and the party leader being mandated to adopt policy resolutions supported at party conventions, were dropped. Poilievre, like most party leaders, is under no obligation to implement any policy proposal passed at a convention.
Well-received speeches were given by former Conservative minister (and former Progressive Conservative leader) Peter MacKay, Lt.-Gen (ret.) Michel Maisonneuve, and British Lord Daniel Hannan at the convention. What most people were waiting for, of course, was the leader’s address.
Poilievre spoke for over an hour to a captivated audience. His oratorical skills have always been top flight. His ability to mix political messaging with real-life examples and events is equally superb. Having known him for decades, I can say with certainty that he’s evolved into one of the most compelling speakers in modern Canadian politics.
“Mr. Trudeau and I agree that things are broken,” he said
at one point, “we just disagree on what’s broken and who broke it. He thinks the people are the problem. Canadians know he is the problem. But we won’t let him divide us anymore. We won’t let him put our country and its people down to push himself up. Canadians are not small or angry—they are big, generous people. They deserve better than this. They no longer have to give up the things that we used to take for granted, affordable homes and foods, to pay for the incompetence and ego of one man. After eight years, Justin Trudeau is not worth the cost and he is not worth the country that we know and that we love.”
It’s also worth examining the speech of his wife, Anaida Poilievre. Once regarded as his secret political weapon, the Venezuelan-born ex-political staffer and entrepreneur is intelligent, highly driven, and understands the immigrant experience as well as anyone. She’s also become a formidable speaker in her own right. “Whenever I think we have it tough, I remember the extraordinary people that carry the country on their shoulders –the nurse, the waitress, the plumber, and yes, the trucker–who are suffering more,” she said.
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney, in particular, was impressed with what he had heard in both instances. “Pierre’s speech was probably the best convention speech I have ever witnessed,” he said, Source link