July 16th, 2013

How to get promoted into a Harper cabinet: – The sordid saga of Pierre Poilievre

“Nigel Wright did an exceptionally honourable thing.” – Pierre Poilievre, CBC Power and Politics, 15/05/2013

Last session, a number of Conservative MPs stood up and spoke out against Stephen Harper’s iron rule over his caucus. One even resigned from Harper’s caucus over the Conservatives’ lack of accountability.

But Pierre Poilievre was not among the dissidents. While others were saying no to the PMO’s dishonest attacks on the opposition, Mr. Poilievre was standing up and repeating the worst of what Harper’s dirty attack squad could come up with.

And now, Pierre Poilievre’s appointment as minister of state for Democratic Reform shows the rest of caucus exactly what it takes to get ahead in Conservative Ottawa. Forget about competence or working with other parties – to become a minister for Stephen Harper, you must leave the truth behind and embrace mean-spirited attacks.

A record of gaffes and low-ball attacks

Elected in 2004, Poilievre first made a name for himself for attacks he made during a parliamentary committee, [the video is here] and offensive gestures in the House of Commons, earning him a combative reputation.

In 2008, Poilievre was in hot water again for offensive comments directed toward residential school abuse victims. During a local radio interview, he criticized funding to the survivors, saying “Are we really getting value for all of this money?” and questioning the work ethic of First Nations people.

In 2010, he again demonstrated his poor judgement and aggressive nature when he became impatient at a security gate on Parliament Hill and opened it himself – before the RCMP officer could even see who was in the vehicle.

Since 2011, Poilievre has become the Conservatives’ ‘go to’ parliamentarian, whenever Conservatives are under fire for another scandal, for creating a diversion during Question Period with made-up personal attacks or divisive comment.

A disrespectful approach that has earned widespread criticism

“He sounds ridiculous…” – Susan Sherring (Ottawa Sun, 18/05/2013),

“He’s doing devastating damage to the Conservative brand”– Bruce Anderson is categorical: (At Issue, CBC, 13/05/06).

For Stephen Harper, making a mockery of Question Period with outrageous attacks earns you a promotion to cabinet! And with his regular attacks on Elections Canada, Mr. Harper even made him the minister for Democratic Reform.

Canadians deserve better

Canadians deserve ministers who work for them, not for their party.

Ministers willing to work with all Canadians, not just those who agree with them. Ministers who are respectful and competent, not hyper-partisan pit bulls who specialize in mean-spirited, unfounded attacks.