Populists, Meet Me At Camera Three

Let’s take a moment to talk about Kellie Leitch’s terrible, terrible video promoting…wibble.

You only need watch to the one minute mark, or so, to get what I’m talking about.

I know something about committing god-awful abominations to film. When I was in high school, I worked on three shitty movies. My magnum opus, which I wrote, shot, directed, and edited, was called Wack Bandit. It was a time-travel, future-noir detective story that was also, somehow, supposed to be a comedy.

Right, right, I know what you’re thinking: Adam, this sounds like the worst thing ever. It was.

Wack Bandit was an utterly self-indulgent hot mess, made worse by the fact that I was coming off my Robert Heinlein phase and was sliding deep into my Orson Welles/cinephile/nobody likes me so I’m going to come up with a way to feel better than all of you bastards-phase. My movie was filled with reductive libertarian thought, utter self-importance, and just a soupcon of sexual frustration. These three traits that have, at one point or another, also been associated with the Conservative Party of Canada, the Reform Party, or the Progressive Conservative Party.

Contrary to what an accolade seeking teenage-Adam thought, making a good movie is a team effort. The more hats one person tries to wear, the more their efforts typically end up hurting the final product. The same praxis applies to government. Modern Westminster democracy requires collaboration between MPs, their staff, and the government bureaucracy. Unless you get a government where the PMO calls the shots and the PM whips every single vote, no matter how low the stakes *cough…Harper…cough.*

Let’s also assume that how a politician delivers a message is of equal import to the words, themselves. Given a promotional film that stinks of writer-editor-director-cinematographer-auteur Kellie Leitch, is there any reason to believe she will take a more team-focused approach to government? If she can’t disengage from a Kubrickian need to control everything amid an attempt at pandering to her base on the internet (a place where the stakes are relatively low) why should we believe she’d change if named party leader?

And bearing in mind that I want these words to do more than collect backslaps from people who agree with me, let this post end with an honest appeal to the genuine populists (racists and white supremacists can fuck off) who think Prime Minister Leitch sounds like a good idea. If populism is about representing the ordinary people, and we ordinary people are constantly having to play by the rules, colour within the lines, work with people we can’t stand, and live with very little actual power, is it a populist move to elect a woman who’s given a preliminary indication that she will do everything she can to concentrate all the power within her own person? Because there’s no way madam Leitch’s video would look the way it does if she had listened to a director or editor with any power of veto over her final product. Shouldn’t populism recognize the limits of the individual, and look to a more democratic approach to getting from A to B? If you’re a genuine populist, then you probably have a sense of empathy, as your politics are rooted in caring for the downtrodden; look at Kellie Leitch, and ask yourself if you truly think she shares those values.

Perhaps you see something I can’t.

1 Response

  1. Matt Leaver

    The conservative standpoint in Canada has been proven by Harpers lengthy term to not care about playing nice with others and controlling the agenda. Why would Leitch or any other leader for the conservative race act any differently?

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