Cryptocurrency, inflation and populism: Pierre Poilievre’s “dangerous game”

I’m here to buy my shawarma in bitcoinshe says proudly, alongside the restaurant owner. He presses the screen with his left thumb. There it’s done!he exclaims, to the applause of the crowd.

The one who aspires to become leader of the Conservative Party wants to make Canada the international capital of bitcoin. A way, according to him, to fight against monetary inflation.

We will give people the freedom, the LI-BER-TY to choose their own currencyproclaims Pierre Poilievre, without the Bank of Canada being able to intervene to print money and devalue the currency.

Pierre Poilievre blames the Bank of Canada for the inflation that is hitting the country, and claims that by investing their money in cryptocurrency, Canadians will be able to counter the effects of the rising cost of living.

The report by Christian Noël

Photo: YouTube (Mediterranean Cuisine Tahini)

It’s a message he repeats in his rallies and on YouTube channels specializing in cryptocurrencies. While smoking shisha with his host (New window). Or by chatting with a host whose speech sometimes flirts with conspiracy theories (New window).

A dangerous game

Bitcoin volatility is sometimes inexplicablesays Simon Dermarkar, professor at HEC Montreal. It is therefore not a stable value to protect his savings, he adds.

Broader Bitcoin Adoption Doesn’t Mean It Will Become the Ultimate Inflation Fightersupports Simon Dermarkar.

Bitcoin is a digital currency whose value fluctuates like a stock market. Cryptocurrency is not controlled by any central bank and transactions are difficult to trace. It is therefore prized on the black market and by organized crime.

In this sense, the speech of Pierre Poilievre, who denigrates the Bank of Canada and who favors cryptocurrency to the detriment of the Canadian dollar, is a dangerous gameaccording to Geneviève Tellier, professor of political science at the University of Ottawa.

It is undermining confidence in financial and banking institutions and in the Canadian dollar.

So why is a former minister under Stephen Harper promoting bitcoin in his political speech?

It appeals to people who currently feel left behind, especially in economic terms, people whose standard of living hasn’t really increased in recent years.believes Ms. Tellier.

A banner displayed behind a truck, which reads: “Pierre Polievre for Prime Minister” (in English).

Pierre Poilievre did not hide his sympathy, even his support, for the demonstrators who camped for several weeks in front of the parliament in Ottawa this winter.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Christian Noel

A populist, anti-elite and anti-establishment message, which notably echoes the frustrations expressed by the truckers who converged on Ottawa this winter. Moreover, the organizers of the convoy were promoting bitcoin to collect donations, without interference from the government.

Nevertheless, the Conservative candidate’s speech on cryptocurrency is received positively in some circles.

A breath of fresh air

Simon Guindon invests in the stock market in his spare time. Pierre Poilievre’s message challenges him.

He reminds me more of a human than a politician, he is open to discussion, innovation and taking risks with bitcoin. Like mehe adds.

Simon Guindon also praises the virtues of cryptocurrency. It gives control to the individual and not to the government and the banksaccording to him.

The objective of Pierre Poilievre’s speech on bitcoin is also strategic, to build up sympathizers in the leadership race.

It’s a hook, a hooksays conservative strategist Rudy Husny. There are many voters who often do not feel challenged by political discourse.

With a targeted topic like [la cryptomonnaie]we reach a fairly closed circle. We join future members who are quite motivated by a subject that appeals to them. »

A quote from Rudy Husny, conservative strategist

By joining a new pool of voters, it makes it possible to fill up with members to which the other candidates would not have access, a bit like Andrew Scheer did with dairy producers or Erin O’Toole with the owners of fire arms.

Simon Guindon follows the course of bitcoin on his computer.

Simon Guindon likes the style of Pierre Poilievre.

Photo: Radio-Canada

In the eyes of Simon Guindon, Pierre Poilievre’s message is a wind of freshness.

However, in 2015, he voted for Justin Trudeau. I was for legalizing marijuana, he says, because it was proactive and innovative.

This time, the discourse on bitcoin attracts him for the same reasons.

By next week I’m going to be a conservative member, just so I can give my vote to Pierrereveals Mr. Guindon.

Pierre Poilievre therefore attracts supporters of bitcoin, but, for the moment, his campaign does not accept donations in cryptocurrency.

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