A focus on the cost-of-living and an embrace of innovation in both communication and finances will have significant appeal for many young people in this country.
It is generally taken as a given that the Liberals/NDP do well among young people, while the Conservatives don’t.
A big youth turnout is usually seen as a negative for Conservatives.
This usually feeds into the strategies of the parties, with the CPC making minimal effort to appeal to young people, while the Liberals & NDP invest a large amount of time and political resources to appealing to the youngest voters.
But what if this wasn’t the case?
What if the Liberals & NDP saw their support among young people drop dramatically, while the Conservatives gained those votes?
Well, the result could be dramatic.
Two ways to ‘expand the base’
We often hear pundits say the Conservative Party needs to ‘expand their base.’ That is usually followed by a claim that they need to become more like the Liberal Party, and that expanding the base means being less ‘Conservative.’
The theory is that by doing so the CPC will be able to get voters to switch, giving them a net two-vote swing with every person they get to change their mind (your opponent loses a vote and you gain one).
The problem with this theory is that it rests upon a shaky foundation.
First, it assumes that you don’t lose any Conservative support by becoming more Liberal.
Second, it assumes that current Liberal voters will be swayed by a slightly different version of what they are already getting.
And third, it assumes that another party won’t be willing to fill the ideological space vacated by a dramatic move to the ‘centre.’
As we saw in the 2021 election, those assumptions were all proven wrong, and the theory didn’t work out in practice.
However, there is another way to win people over from your opponent:
Do a better job of offering Conservative ideas that address their real concerns.
It sounds simple, but the CPC has often struggled to do this.
When young people talk about the rising cost-of-living, the Liberals and NDP jump around to offer big-government promises that will ostensibly have a direct impact, while the Conservatives attempt to offer watered-down versions of those ideas.
For young Canadians who look at the political political parties and see little distinction between them, it’s understandable that they stuck with the status quo or tuned out entirely.
This is why Pierre Poilievre’s approach is interesting.
Poilievre is addressing the biggest concerns of young Canadians, and is doing so in a way that is fully in line with Conservative principles.
Poilievre was talking about the rising cost-of-living and the surge of home prices long before most other politicians were doing so.
And he was making the link between Liberal big-government spending policies/central bank money printing and how prices have gone up.
He linked the Conservative principle of fiscal responsibility to the issue rising prices, noting that a more fiscally responsible government would mean less incentive for the Bank of Canada to print money, and this would strengthen the value of our currency, helping to reduce inflation and make life more affordable.
Many young Canadians, and many Canadians for that matter, likely hadn’t heard that kind of argument being made before, and it has helped to expand the realm of political debate and policy thinking in this country.
As governments continue to devalue our money, the human instinct to protect and preserve wealth hasn’t gone away.
It is merely updated in a rapidly-changing world.
The rise of cryptocurrency, in particular Bitcoin, and its embrace among young people demonstrates that people are waking up to how governments are robbing us of our wealth through inflation.
Embracing Bitcoin (which is highly compatible with the principles of individual freedom and limited government), is a way for Conservatives to show they are attuned to the modern world.
As you can see in the video below, Pierre Poilievre is making himself the candidate most closely associated with cryptocurrency:
“Conservative leadership candidate @PierrePoilievre buys chicken shawarma from @TheRealTahinis using bitcoin Lightning Network. Transaction cost was one satoshi, which the consumer covers. This was the first bitcoin purchase at Tahini’s.”
Conservative leadership candidate @PierrePoilievre buys chicken shawarma from @TheRealTahinis using bitcoin Lightning Network. Transaction cost was one satoshi, which the consumer covers. This was the first bitcoin purchase at Tahini’s. pic.twitter.com/T5hVlY4fy0
— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) March 28, 2022
The visual significance of Poilievre using Bitcoin to pay for a meal at a Shawarma restaurant is notable.
Poilievre is around young Canadians, supporting entrepreneurs, and embracing a new technology.
It’s the kind of image that can make the Conservatives look like the party of the present and the future.
And most importantly, it’s not just a photo-op. Poilievre has been talking about cryptocurrency for a while now, and he has long been speaking about the need for people to have protection from governments devaluing our money. Thus, the image is consistent with the principles being espoused.
Ancient principles applied to a new era
The relationship between generations is often cast as adversarial, and that’s especially the case in politics.
However, a more holistic approach recognizes that old principles have relevance when applied in creative ways to modern problems.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency may be relatively new, but the idea of sound money is ancient.
The problems facing young Canadians today may have recent causes, but they are similar to previous crises brought about by out-of-control spending and power-obsessed politicians.
In an era of big-government, surging inflation, and meddlesome politicians who restrict growth and innovation and are harming the prospects of young people, Canada needs a Conservative Party that adheres to the ancient wisdom of sound money and fiscal responsibility, while being able to communicate and apply those principles to the world as it is today.
Pierre Poilievre’s campaign demonstrates the ability to do so.
That’s why the establishment media and the Liberals are already trying to politically attack his campaign.
They recognize that Poilievre has the potential of dramatically changing politics in this country by turning the CPC into the best choice for young Canadians. That could shift hundreds of thousands, if not millions of votes, and could shift the political perspective of an entire generation.
Photo – Andrew Lawton (Twitter)