Apple of my eye
I am still struggling to make sense of the now infamous interview Pierre Poilievre recently gave near Kelowna, B.C., to a local journalist. You likely have seen portions of this interview that’s gone viral conducted while the Conservative leader chows on an apple. The surrounding orchard sets the scene. While we’re not in the Garden of Eden, there is a certain biblical tone.
In the beginning, as the journalist (let’s call him LJ for local journalist) flounders around trying to frame a question about Poilievre’s “populist path,” you can see the leader smirk and reply “What does that mean?” Right wing, left wing, says LJ. “I never really talk about left or right. I don’t really believe in that.” (Insert from me: “A total lie. He uses such words all the time.”)
Then LJ tries a new tack by declaring that PP is taking a page from Donald Trump’s book. A gotcha look crosses PP’s face and he blurts “What page? Give me the page!” (Insert from me: “LJ was speaking metaphorically.)
To be sure, LJ should have been better prepared, but I wonder, was this interview approved in advance and scheduled? It seems more likely that it was a chance encounter during PP’s orchard tour. That would explain LJ’s difficulty finding his footing. And why does that smirk keep appearing on PP’s lips. Surely a national party leader who gives countless interviews each week could cut some slack in the case of LJ who’s probably doing his first-ever interview with a national leader.
But no such favours just yet. LJ puts a question that he say reflects the attitude of a great many Canadians. PP won’t accept generalities, he wants specifics. “Like who? You’re asking the question. You must know somebody.”
Finally, in desperation, LJ asks, “Why should Canadians trust you with their votes?” PP seems to realize he’s had his fun and reverts to his usual self, saying, “Common sense. We’re going to make common sense common in this country.” (Insert from me: A campaign slogan it ain’t.)
What have we learned about PP? I think we’ve learned that PP is a bit thoughtless about other people’s feelings, that he likes to toy with those who might not have had his life experience, and that he has an ego bigger than all the apple orchards in the world. I voted for Justin Trudeau in 2015. I won’t be doing that again. After this haughty performance by Johnny Appleseed, I won’t be with him either. Next election I’ll be voting for the Green Party, no matter the colour of their apples.