Jordan Peterson speaks with Pierre Polièvre in long-form interview to discuss Canada and the future
Hard-nosed Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson sits down with Pierre Poilièvre virtually for a 90 minute discussion on all things politics.
Watch the full interview here…
Salient Quotes and Talking Points
Poilièvre on his past (2:49)
Poilièvre on how he was drawn to conservatism and the free market system (7:58)
“What we’re actually debating is not who is more compassionate. There’s no evidence people on the socialist left are especially generous with their own money. Sure they like to spend other people’s money.
But what you see really with socialism is … Animal Farm playing itself over and over again … the pigs didn’t say they wanted to take the house so they could be more comfortable and spoiled. They said they were doing it to make everyone equal and to remove the oppression. But when they actually took the house basically they became the new masters and served themselves.
And that’s what actually happens in socialism. It doesn’t eliminate hierarchy”.
“As I studied what actually happens in socialist models it became very clear that the rhetoric about economic equality never actually came to pass. It was used as a tool to mobilise the masses. But ultimately the outcome was to concentrate power more in the hands of the political elite”.
Poilièvre on the success of scandinavian countries and their comparison to the socialist leaning canada (13:33)
“25% of Norway’s economy is oil .. that’s really tough to grapple with if you’re a modern socialist”. He also notes that the free market in Sweden is thriving especially in the public services and that when a Danish leader was to give a speech at Harvard he had to clarify that his country was not socialist.
Poilièvre added that he doesn’t see the Scandinavian countries as “state commanded economies like we’re seeing Trudeau attempt to adopt here in Canada … I do believe that you can provide a solid social safety net at the same time as having a powerful free market economy that generates the wealth to fund that safety net”
Peterson on Poilièvre’s rally attendance and media treatment (20:42)
“You’ve got a lot of people coming out to your rallies… and you’ve been attacked fairly viciously I would say by the press for the nature of the despicable people that you are attracting, you know, otherwise known as Canadians”.
Poilièvre on his rally attendance AND HOUSING (21:50)
“I don’t think the political class in this country appreciates how much suffering there is in Canada right now … the political class has had a wonderful two years. They have an unbelievable amount of power and a tremendous amount of comfort. Their homes have gone up by 50% in value and their stock portfolios, up until recently, have been inflated and so they’re sort of lookin down at the working class saying well you’ve never had it so good”.
“If you didn’t have a home before 2019 likelihood is you’ll never own one unless and until there is a major reduction in housing prices. And so you’ve got this whole generation of people, young people, who have concluded that they’ll never be able to afford a home … ”
“So people come to my rallies and they’re looking for an explanation about why things are the way they are and looking for some hope on how we might make them better. The situation doesn’t make sense to people .. and so they see me actually explaining why this is happening and then offering solutions and they say to me that i’m actually giving them a sense of hope. That’s the #1 word I hear from people when they come up to me in the line. They say we feel like we have hope again. So that’s what’s bringing people out”.
Poilièvre on his political purpose (29:16)
“To have a fullfiling political carreer you actually have to have a purpose and I do. My purpose is very simple. I want to put people back in charge of their own lives. I don’t want the state to run people’s lives anymore. I want them to be masters of their own destiny”.
Poilièvre on what’s wrong with canada (31:19)
“we’re basically seeing a transfer of wealth from the have nots to the have yachts … we have fewer houses per capita in the G7 even though we have the most land to build on. So, what I’m proposing in both cases … stop printing money, start building houses”.
“The government is now pushing new censorship laws on the internet and I promise very clearly I’m going to get rid of all those laws and restore freedom of expression on the internet. So really what I see is the need to remove governmental gatekeepers to restore our freedom, let people take back control of their lives”.
Poilièvre on canada’s economic past and future (36:50)
Poilièvre argues that the Conservatives past record is actually pretty good. He pledges to remove barriers to approving and building new energy projects such as having to write a sociological report defining what the project will do for gender relations solidifying trust that investors will be able to do so with confidence here.
He notes that we should be mining lithium, which is abundant here, but instead we are importing it from China who burns coal so “ironically, we’re just inducing pollution in other countries when we buy electric cars (there)”.
We should also be producing and refining more oil here. “We have the 3rd biggest supply of oil on planet earth but were importing 130,000 barrels of overseas oil every day, the solution to which is so obvious. Right next door to the St. John port where we bring in the oil, St. Johns Newfoundland is capable of adding another 400,000 barrels of Canadian production. We could approve that production and just ban overseas oil from Canada altogether. And that would mean that the dollars wouldn’t be leaving our country for overseas dictatorships but would stay here paying Canadian wages instead”.
Natural Gas should be another target because it is abundant here and requires cooling to a liquid for transport which is somewhat less expensive in Canada. “… and yet we haven’t succeeded in building a single major liquifaction facility in Canada despite the fact that in 2015 there were about 18 proposed projects. So if we could approve those projects we could be bringing 100’s of billions of dollars of opportunity to our people, particularily our first nations people. But it takes getting those regulatory gate keepers out of the way to let it happen”.
Poilièvre on media hate in general (47:58)
Peterson on the CBC (50:20)
“I’m not very fond of the CBC especially as it’s managed itself over the last decade, let’s say. I used to watch it a lot when I was a kid. I used to listen to CBC radio a lot too and I thought it was a reasonably credible and reliable purveyor of information. But I think those days are long gone”.
Poilièvre on the cbc and media outlet subsidies (51:37)
“They think their job is to hold the people accountable to the government rather than the government accountable to the people … (I want to) restore the freedom of the press in this country again by getting the state out of it … there are countless other journalistic organisations that support themselves through subscriptions, sponsorship, advertising and other means. And I think that’s what we need to do with CBC. If they genuinely have an audience then they can go and get support from their audience”.
Poilièvre on Trudeau (57:47)
“So I think he is an egomaniac and I think everything he does comes back to his egomania. Even his political ideology… It never comes back to serving an individual objective other than to make him more powerful or his legacy more grand”. “His ideology is always about creating a pretext in order to justify the state garnering more control over every aspect of your life, how you raise your kids, how your business functions, what you see and say on the internet. He believes the state has to be everywhere always but that because as King Louis would say ‘L’état c’est moi’, the state is him.”
Peterson on Trudeau (1:00:04)
“My sense of Trudeau, Initially I was very upset with his decision to run for Prime Minister because I thought, well, you don’t know anything and you’re attractive and you can behave well in public and you have a charming façade but you don’t know anything in any real sense and there’s no indication that you do. You’re not particularly educated and you’re not particularly accomplished and this is actually a hard job. But worse than that, the only reason you have vaguest possibility of succeeding is because you have the same last name as your father, and then he ran … I still saw it as a manifestation of a really profound narcism. I think a reasonable person would have said ‘I’m not prepared for this, certainly not yet and I’m not the man that there needs to be in this position”.
Poilièvre on the Singh and NDP (1:05:49)
“The NDP has abandoned the working class. They’ve become another party of the elite institutional aristocracy that they represent. Those with big salaries doing managerial work, many of whom have been able to work from home with fully protected salaries and incomes for the last 2 years, which is fine, I don’t begrudge anyone for having had that good fortune. But certainly, if you are such a person, then you shouldn’t be judging those who are protesting because they’ve lost everything over the last 2 years. And you would think that the NDP would have actually stood for the downtrodden but that is not what they really believe … what they really care about is a powerful state and anyone who threatens the state is the enemy. And that’s what we saw with Jagmeet Singh. You saw a group of people who were independently raising their voices for their freedom and he said we can’t have that. I’m going to join with Trudeau and call them a bunch of horrible names. And that’s what he did which is exactly the opposite of what you’re supposed to do if you really care about working class people”.
Poilièvre on the convoy (1:12:15)
“I think it’s possible to hold individually accountable bad actors without painting every single person with the same brush. If you went to any protest that had 9 or 10 thousand people you will find bad actors but that doesn’t mean that all 9 or 10 thousand are themselves bad actors”.
POILIèVRE on a journalist who confronted him about some bad actors within the convoy AND ASKED THAT HE TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUPPORTING THE CAUSE (1:14:40)
“Well let me ask you this, do you hold every single environmentalist personally responsible for the axe wielding terrorists who went to the Coastal Gas Link pipeline construction site and started trying to kill pipeline workers? Is every single person who has spoken out about pipelines to take personal responsibility for what those axe wielding terrorists did? Or are the axe wielders themselves personally responsible? … you can criticise a pipeline without taking personal responsibility for the violence of some ecoterrorist you’ve never even met.”
Poilièvre on the convoy continued (1:15:44)
“The media depiction was total nonsense. Every single member of parliament that condemned the truckers in the house of commons during the protest had to walk right through the trucker convoy … and not one of them were prevented from walking through. It was peaceful, it was most of the time sort of a jubilant type celebration and people came and went, they walked around on parliament hill. Members of parliament of all political stripes walked throught the protest everyday without incident. Yes, some businesses were inconvenienced and lost money and they should be compensated but by and large it was a peaceful protest by people who generally don’t get involved in political activisim .. why didn’t they go home after the first week? They had nowhere to go because the government had taken away their jobs. They weren’t allowed to go back to their jobs. You can image if Trudeau had just said were gonna lift the mandate on the truckers, they would have fired up their machines and hit the road to go back to work. But he took away their jobs, their livelihoods. No wonder they stayed there so long. And it was absolutely unscientific and malicious. Look, if anyone is gonna spread a virus it sure as hell is not the guy who is sitting alone by himself all day in a truck. So this was never about medical science it was about political science. It was about demonising a small minority for political gain and I’m proud of the fact people stood up and faught for their freedoms in that case”.
Poilièvre on the invocation of the emergencies act (1:19:48)
“You would think that it would be used in a case where there was a foreign invasion or a monstrous terrorist attack or something of that magnitude but we never did and then Trudeau did it for this protest. I think he was just angry that he personally was facing a political protest and didn’t want to face the political consequences of a democratic protest. He also wanted to be as malicious as possible to deter any similar protest so he actually seized bank accounts which caused a lot of people to have fear that if they ever donated to the wrong political cause that the state might freeze their account and shut them out of business. … fear is a powerful political tool and I think that’s what he was trying to invoke with the use of this act … I do think we need to craft changes to the act that will prevent it from being abused for political purposes like this again”.
Poilièvre’s Closing remarks (1:23:54)
“I think that were divided right now in Canada because of a deliberate strategy of divide and conquer. Governments that want to enhance their control, they have to turn citizens against each other. They have to make you afraid of your neighbour, your co-worker, your trucker, so you’ll turn to the state for protection against your fellow citizenry. And that’s the oldest trick in the book, divide and conquer.
Control is by its nature divisive because its a zero sum game. If one gets more control, another must have less. Freedom is quite the contrary. If your neighbour gets more freedom, you don’t get less freedom. The likelihood is you’ll get more as well.
So if your friend has more freedom of speech you’ll have freedom of speech. If the immigrant has the freedom to work as a doctor then you’ll have the freedom to have a doctor. If the local small businessman has the freedom to function without red tape then you’ll probably have the freedom to buy his products more affordably or your teenager might have the freedom to get a job with them. If the muslim or jew gets more religious freedom, then the Christian gets more religious freedom.
And that’s why freedom is a unifying principle. It brings people together because it allows each of them to be masters of their own destiny without taking anything from each other. We fight over control wheras we fight for freedom. That is the difference and I believe we can bind up a nations wounds by reinstating the ancient freedoms that we inherited from our ancestors.
So I really see my role as quite an unimportant one. I’m here simply restoring what already belonged to Canadians by virtue of their 800 year inheritance of English liberties going back to the Magna Carta. I’m just among the common people who are custodians of that freedom while we’re alive.
Edmund Burke said its a contract between the dead, the living and the yet to be born. And the living generation has the duty to pass on that inheritance. And that’s what I see myself doing is to rekindle that inheritance and pass it on to my kids so they can pass it on to their kids and I’ll fade away into the past one day but hopefully we’ll have secured the freedom that we inherited for many more generations to come.
That’s what I mean when I want to give people back control of their life in the present, it’s also to extend it into the future.
That’s my purpose. That’s why I’m running”.