In Canada, the pushback grows
Until the truckers' Freedom Convoy, I had almost given up on my fellow Canadians growing a spine. Until then, it seemed to me that Canadians were too complacent, too trusting of authority, too go-along-to-get along, and way too cherishing of that warm and fuzzy feeling in the chest that comes from self-identifying as "liberal." Canadians are known for being nice, and indeed as a whole they are nice, but unfortunately, sometimes they're too nice for their own good. No one, to the best of my knowledge, has ever gotten rid of a tyranny by being nice. And the Trudeau regime has gotten increasingly tyrannical as long as it has been in power. It has swung a wrecking ball through Canada's culture and economy, with swings of ever-increasing amplitude, while Canadians have maintained that stiff upper lip that they inherited from the British while being buried in the rubble.
Then came the Freedom Convoy, and though it was eventually brutally crushed by phalanxes of Robocops without badges, and mounted police that trampled little old ladies under the hooves of horses, it did its job — the job of waking up a slumbering nation that was sleepwalking to its ruin. The truly peaceful demonstration had been crushed, but the thoughts and feelings of the nation began to change course. Although early on in the protest, the majority of Canadians were against it, after it was over, they began to change their minds, and in the end, the majority of Canadians decided that they rather liked what the truckers' protest really was about: the restoration of freedom to a nation that had somehow allowed it to begin to slip through its fingers.
Last Saturday, at the convention of the Conservative Party of Canada, which was held to announce the winner of a lengthy leadership race, something happened that brought home to me the Canadian hunger for freedom in a way that I never expected, and in a way that I have never heard of happening anywhere else before. It wasn't just that a new leader was elected, but that the idea that he stood for, freedom, stood out as being even more important than the man himself. After so many years of the cult of Trudeau, where the man himself became more important than what he stood for, and where what he stood for was stupidity, incompetence, scandal, and corruption at every turn, it was amazing that, for a change, not only was a really good man elected as leader of the only party that can beat the Liberals and their NDP socialist enablers, but that his great idea, the idea of freedom, which he had resuscitated in Canadian political discourse, ended up upstaging even him at the moment of his triumph.
Let me describe Pierre Poilievre, the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, before I describe this amazing moment. For one thing, he, more than any other Conservative, has been the fiercest, most persistent, and most dogged critic of Justin Trudeau's Liberals, confronting them relentlessly at every turn. But he is no ideologue. He is all about common sense. I think the most important thing about him as a leader is that he is authentic, a self-made man whose strength derives from his work to make himself what he is today. He was an orphan, given up for adoption by a teenage mother and raised by a couple of schoolteachers. He is well educated, but not Ivy League–style, and sharp as a tack. Though the Liberals have tried to do so, they have never to my knowledge managed to catch him on the back foot. Bespectacled and somewhat diminutive in stature, he nevertheless roars like a lion — not literally, in a theatrical way, but by the power of his words of persuasion.
His wife, Anaida, is in her own way just as admirable as he. She is a Venezuelan immigrant who came to Canada — legally, of course — with her family with almost nothing. Her father had made a living in Venezuela by selling vegetables off the back of a pickup truck, and after they landed in Canada, the family all pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. She is beautiful and in her own right a powerful speaker. At the convention, she delivered a terrific speech introducing her husband, Pierre.
And now comes the amazing part that I never anticipated and will remember for the rest of my life. Throughout the evening, the tension had been building before the announcement of the winner. The leadership race had been fought hard, and its outcome was not certain — with ranked-ballot voting, it never is. Finally, the announcement of Pierre as the new leader was made, and the audience rose up, roaring, just as one might expect — but they did not stand up bellowing his name, as one might also have expected and as I have seen happen at so many political conventions. It wasn't Pierre, Pierre that they shouted in unison, but freedom, freedom! And that went on and on, because that is what it's all about.
The Canadian truckers' Freedom Convoy has had a huge impact all over the world and is being imitated in different ways in different parts of the world — notably in Holland in the form of the Farmers' Convoy. Let's hope that the election of freedom, as embodied by Pierre Poilievre, to the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, will likewise spread like wildfire to other parts of the world.
Max Dublin is a writer living in Toronto. He is the author of Futurehype: The Tyranny of Prophecy and a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Image via Pxhere.