Thursday, November 08, 2007

Conservatives Help Struggling Students!

The Conservatives have long said that they want to do their part to assist students in this country. This MP, the petulant Pierre Poilievre, seems to have kick-started this initiative.

Yes indeed kids, you'll get $1000.00 if your essay is good. Oh...and there is a slight catch. You'll only get the scholarship if you completely support my position and do my work for me. No biggie, just get all your friends to sign the petition so I can push my agenda.

Based on the students reaction, I don't think it's a hit, do you? In fact, I think the kids show a remarkable understanding of how the Con's work. Support us and we'll give you goodies...oppose us, you get nothing.

While this is hardly the stuff of outrage, particularly considering that the kids themselves see through it, I found one aspect quite interesting.

The lack of respect for independent thought is glaring. Coming from an MP who probably trains his fellow seat mates on how to put their own thoughts aside and support Harper at any cost, it is hardly surprising. It is telling though.

There is a show on CPAC called Beyond Politics. Catherine Clark hosts it. It's a 30 minute interview with an MP and her questions generally focus on the MP's life outside of politics, though the obvious crossover does occur. She does not probe deeply, in fact it's a bit fluffy, but it's a chance to see MP's in a slightly different light.

I've enjoyed most of the interviews I've seen. Yes even the interviews that focus on Cons and Dippers. I respect that have chosen to do what they do. The one that stuck out though was Poilievre. There is a cockiness there that is tough to miss. In my opinion, there is also a lack of depth. Put that down to age perhaps, but it cannot be ignored. When you lack depth, as we all do in our youth, you fail to measure the long term consequences of your actions. Strikingly, during the interview, he mentions the fact that his youth has often prompted media to portray him as a caricature of himself. Hmmm. Youth side, the concept gives one pause for thought, no?

He also suggests that his youth requires him to hold himself to a higher standard. Huh? Is there a politician out there, (outside of Day perhaps, Poilievre's mentor, btw), who is slimier than this guy? Who hits below the belt more than he does? Cowardly comes to mind and frankly I'd say he's delusional on this count. He also thinks the jeering and taunting during QP is just fine, because apparently we've been doing that for 400 years? He notes that he reads history with a passion. Perhaps he should re-visit Canadian history and when the House was established.

Anyway, in the end I think his lack of depth is showing big time with this initiative. Is there anything wrong with engaging youth in the political process? Of course not, I actually commend him for that. How he is going about it is wrong though.

If you're trying to engage kids, you respect their views. You don't go after them with a cookie cutter in your back pocket. I'm happy the students saw through him. It suggests he's already out of touch with those he thinks he connects to and needs to rethink.

Too bad they're too young to vote.

(For the record, there is more to be written about the Mulroney affair and Dion's Poverty stance but sometimes you just have to take a break and focus on the perimeter.)


Steve V said...

Is there a more annoying MP right now than Pierre Poilievre? He seems to be getting a lot more face time with the media lately, which is a good thing, because the guy comes across as a smug dweeb.

knb said...

Indeed Steve. The poster boy is the con's biggest risk.

They, nor he, see it though. It's fascinating really.

Dweeb is too tame I think, though it fits.

I won't say what comes to mind. The list is endless and I restrained myself.

Feel free though, lol.

Gayle said...

I am kind of confused about the petition. The Senate does not have the age of consent bill anymore, so why is he gathering signatures to encourage them to pass it?

knb said...

Beats me Gayle, except to say that Poilievre never met a camera or mike he didn't like.

Where is it exactly? The parliament website is down at the moment.

Gayle said...

It died when Harper prorogued. It has been reintroduced in the omnibus bill. By doing it this way it is Harper who is delaying the passage of this bill, not the liberals. Of course, he has been delaying this for months. The liberals offered to fast track it in March.

knb said...

Thanks Gayle. I thought as much.

I suppose in this case, Poilievre is just pushing his particular passion.

Oh let me just say it. He's being the partisan neophyte that he is. No more, no less.