John Ivison: Showing Erin O’Toole a path to victory


The only political communication to break through my self-imposed summer news blackout was an online ad by Pierre Poilievre that railed against price hikes on homes, food and gas. “Trudeau’s plan to borrow forever means inflation and bankruptcy,” the MP says in an effective walk-and-talk slot that ended with the curt message: “Pierre Poilievre: Fighting for You.” The scrappy MP for Carleton is not everyone’s cup of chamomile but for those who like that kind of thing, he is the kind of thing they like a lot. Poilievre has been elected handily in six successive elections, starting in 2004 when he first won on the “fighting for you” banner. Yet the most conspicuous thing about his pre-election ad was what it did not say — the name of his party and his leader. Poilievre is the most visible but not the only candidate keen to ensure that Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole’s name does not feature on their promotional material ahead of an election that looks likely to be called next Sunday. The leader is almost entirely absent from Poilievre’s Twitter feed. One interpretation is that the 42-year-old former cabinet minister is pre-positioning himself for a post-election leadership race.

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