This is an opinion piece by Jesse Willms, a Canadian Bitcoin journalist.
In a stunning victory, Pierre Poilievre received 68% of the first voting points to become the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, becoming the first outspoken Bitcoiner to do so.
“The victory not only exceeded the wildest expectations of the Poilievre campaign, but – with the notable exception of the 2013 leadership race that elected Justin Trudeau to lead the Liberal Party – it ranks as the one of the most significant leadership victories of any major party in Canadian history,” noted the National Post.
It was only a day after being elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada that Poilievre suffered his first attack from the current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. Likely referring to Poilievre’s support for Bitcoin as “irresponsible,” Trudeau tweeted:
“We have endeavored to work with all parliamentarians over the years, and we will continue to do so. But we will also speak out against dubious and irresponsible economic ideas, because Canadians deserve responsible leadership. Telling people they can get out of inflation by investing in cryptocurrencies is not responsible leadership.
What happens now?
While it’s clear there’s a no-holds-barred, flipping, dragging fight between Poilievre and Trudeau, the exact timing is unclear.
Prime Minister Trudeau is undoubtedly receiving plenty of advice on when to head to the polls. If he chooses to do so as soon as possible — by exercising his power to call a federal election before the Oct. 4, 2025 deadline, under the Canada Elections Act — the flood of scandals that followed him could end. faster. And if the vote comes sooner rather than later, Trudeau could avoid having to face a judicial inquiry into his use of the Emergencies Act to control what turned out to be a peaceful protest.
It’s generally considered best for incumbents to call elections when the economy recovers and inflation declines, but these trends can be difficult to predict. Anyway, the The Liberals have an agreement with the socialist NDP for help with any votes of no confidence through the spring of 2025, if they need to use it.
Trudeau may decide to wait to call an election because he may believe that Canadians may be tired of Poilievre and his MPs.
No matter when the vote is called, in my opinion the winner will likely be Poilievre.
Why Poilievre will win, sooner or later
- A winning strategy: operate by principles, not by querying data
“Canadian federal politics is not always a race to the center, but it usually is,” noted the national newspaper The Globe And Mail. “Mr. Poilievre became a leader by unashamedly aiming for anything other than a moderate middle ground. Unlike his predecessor Erin O’Toole, he gave every sign that he intended to continue residency.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the majority of Canadians are moderate and middle voters, so it makes sense for political parties to aim for the middle. All parties believe it makes strategic sense to get as close to the political center as possible, and therefore to match opinion poll data.
With his resounding victory, Poilievre ignored the polling data and simply went with an agenda, which includes embracing bitcoin, which he believes in, giving voters something to aspire to.
- The Courage to Promote Bitcoin is Considered Leadership
Poilievre campaigned for freedom from government, but also for free money – that people should be free to invest and use bitcoin has been his stance.
The six-month campaign schedule – from March to September – coincided with a drop in the price of bitcoin which opponents used to portray Poilievre as irresponsible (in a televised debate, a leadership rival accused him of deceiving vulnerable elderly people who stood losing money because of his advice).
Against the advice of party members, Poilievre, to his credit, never gave up, despite jabs from conservatives who felt they could easily win without complicating things with bitcoin, especially in the current bear market. (Even the most dedicated bitcoiner might say, “Well, maybe now isn’t the time or the place.”)
He refused to dither and it may have earned him the respect of potential voters who think they might disagree with him, but at least he is sticking to his guns.
- Support for young people
Conservative Party organizers were more than surprised by the thousands of young people who registered and voted for Poilievre.
Canadian politics, like in many countries, is usually reserved for retirees who have plenty of free time and this is the last place you would expect to find crowds of young people.
A source close to the Poilievre campaign remains surprised that Poilievre’s social media engagement has translated into real-world interactions, especially with a younger age group.
Polls in recent months have shown young voters increasingly abandoning Liberals for Conservatives for the first time, even before Poilievre became Conservative leader.
“I think we’re only scratching the surface…how his ability to access young people ultimately contributed to his victory,” said Michael Solberg, a partner at Canadian public relations firm New West Public Affairs, according to the National Post. “His digital media game is stronger than even the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada, with all their resources and money.”
- Accident of birth and culture
Canadian federal politics is complicated by the fact that many votes come from French speakers living in Quebec, which means that it is not impossible, but unlikely, that a unilingual candidate could win in that province.
Although he grew up in Alberta, Poilievre, with a francophone name, is fluent in French, almost a requirement to win a national vote in Canada.
Although he is not from Quebec, Poilievre won the majority of votes in Quebec and is likely to win big in any future election.
- Hostility toward the Liberal Party grows
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Liberal Party could regain its lead in the polls. Even without the acrimony over the truck convoy and questions over the use of the Emergencies Act, the upcoming campaign will be Trudeau’s fourth in a row.
“The next campaign will certainly be Trudeau’s last. History suggests it will be an uphill battle. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the last incumbent prime minister to serve a fourth consecutive term” (in 1917), one observer said.
- Socialist NDP losing support
The NDP is generally seen as the party of the working class, but the fundraising suggests a shift in support among some working Canadians.
According to some observers, by reaching an agreement with Trudeau to keep the government in power until 2025, the leader of the NDP has sealed his fate and probably that of his party in any future vote.
- The East/West divide reduces electoral support, is evenly distributed
Alienation from central Canada has increased in the western provinces of Canada, particularly in Alberta, which has its own political party running for independence from Canada.
Due to Poilievre’s support for the truck convoy and the perception that Trudeau’s Liberals are an Eastern Canadian party, there was likely more Western Canadian interest in the recent campaign than usual. .
Voters across the West have shown near-unprecedented interest in the recent vote and that will likely continue in the next federal election.
In politics as in life, the obvious strategy is not necessarily the winning one.
By taking the high road instead of the middle of the road and running on what he believes in, Poilievre is upending the normality of Canadian politics.
How will this affect the outcome of the upcoming federal election?
In my opinion, it would be safe to stake your bitcoin on Poilievre.
This is a guest post by Jesse Willms. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.