, 06.22.2022 10:25 AM

My latest: what if I’m wrong about PPC Pierre?

So, Pierre Poilievre.

This space has been somewhat critical of him, you might say. Just a bit.

His peddling of World Economic Forum conspiracy theories. His pimping for Bitcoin, which is in a freefall. His unprecedented libels targeting his Conservative Party leadership opponents. His deranged winged monkey supporters, who are just as bad as the #TruAnon cult.

And, of course, his unholy alliance with anti-vax, anti-science convoy lawbreakers.

All of that rankles. All of that is maddening. Why? Because Justin Trudeau is the worst prime minister in a generation, that’s why. Because, if we are to be rid of the serial arrogance and the casual corruption of the Trudeau regime, only the Conservative Party can defeat him.

The New Democrats can’t, and won’t. They are in an Axis of Weasels (TM), coalition government with Trudeau. If anyone is going to do it, it is the Conservatives.

But the Conservative grassroots seems intent on electing Poilievre as their leader — a leader who, in a general election, seems unelectable. Who is against everything, and for nothing, and will arguably turn voters off in droves. Who is inarguably a bit of a jerk.

But. But, but, but. If I learned one thing in law school, it is always to ask one question: What if I’m wrong?

What if Poilievre can defy conventional wisdom, and win the country? What if his negatives can be transformed into positives?

Let’s look at the top five.

1. The economy. Poilievre has appalled official Ottawa — and bewildered Bay Street — with his attacks on the Bank of Canada, and his promotion of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He’s been ridiculed for both. But what if Poilievre is onto something? What if the Bank of Canada’s rate hikes and fiscal policies push the country into a deep recession? That doesn’t seem impossible, now. If and when that happens, Poilievre will look like a prophet, not a kook.

2. Trump-style politics. This writer worked for Hillary Clinton in three different states in 2016. Along with everyone else on that campaign — along with everybody inside the beltway in Washington — I thought it was impossible that a foul-mouthed, perpetually angry adolescent like Donald Trump could be elected president. Um, no. Poilievre has adopted the same style of comms — always angry, always negative. A lot of us thought that approach would never work for Trump. (Well, it did.) When voters are angry, being an angry candidate is not such a bad idea.

3. Wacky policy. Take my word for it: The Liberal Party War Room has been positively salivating at the prospect of facing off against Poilievre, and forcing him to defend the assorted conspiracy theories with which he has become associated. That’s until Abacus Data, an extremely Liberal-friendly polling firm, came up with some survey results a few days ago that shocked everyone: “Millions believe in conspiracy theories in Canada.” Wrote Abacus: “44% (the equivalent of 13 million adults) believe ‘big events like wars, recessions and the outcomes of elections are controlled by small groups of people working in secret against us’…” And: “37% (or 11 million) think ‘there is a group of people in this country who are trying to replace native-born Canadians with immigrants who agree with their political views’…” That’s ugly stuff, and it’s crazy. But it would appear Poilievre — as cynical as it is — may know exactly what he’s doing.

4. A divided house. Patrick Brown, who has run an impressive and underestimated campaign, has said that he would not serve in a Poilievre-led caucus. Jean Charest is highly likely to do likewise. Poilievre’s my-way-or-the-doorway approach is unusual (and always self-defeating) in Canadian politics. But what if Poilievre is right — and Right? What if “Red Toryism” is finally an oxymoron, and a new Conservative Party is needed?

5. Governments defeat themselves. Justin Trudeau beat Stephen Harper in 2015. He beat Andrew Scheer in 2019. He beat Erin O’Toole in 2021. With each election, his share of the popular vote has grown ever-smaller. Trudeau is now more of a liability to the Liberal Party than an asset. And there is no obvious successor waiting in the wings. What if Poilievre simply needs to maintain a pulse, and let the Liberals finally defeat themselves? It’s not a crazy strategy.

There you go: Five reasons why Pierre Poilievre may be on the right track. Five so-called negatives that may in fact be positive.

I still think he’s the wrong choice. I still think he’s wrong for the country.

But what if — just if — I’m wrong?

— Warren Kinsella ran Jean Chretien and Dalton McGuinty’s winning war rooms


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Right wingers vote but so do centrists and moderates, especially if they don’t like a right-wing tilted leader.

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      westcoastjim says:

      You held your nose and supported Andrew Scheer? A man so stupid he couldn’t base an insurance broker exam??? A man so incompetent that he stole from the Conservative Party??? Wow. Just wow. Maybe you should elect to never ever vote again. Everyone would thank you.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:


        I think when someone says “supported” they generally mean did not oppose the leader once he or she was elected leader. That’s how I see it, not necessarily meaning that they supported that person in the actual leadership race.

        I wonder how many have buyer’s remorse after supporting Scheer and/or Bernier in that race.

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    PJH says:

    I held my nose and supported Andrew Scheer. I even made peace with Erin O’Toole after he fibbed his way to victory, beating a far more talented and electable leadership candidate, who had the ability to unite the party.
    The CPoC is probably going down the road of supporting the Refoorm favourite(lets not mince words, because that’s who PP is)….but I’ll be damned if I will be one of them.
    The late great John Crosbie, before he was duped like so many of us, thundered at one of the last Federal Progressive Conservative Conventions I attended: “Just say NO to the Reform undertakers!”….I wish we and he had heeded that refrain…..
    The election of PP as leader of the CPoC will mean Liberal govt’s ad infinitum.
    PP plays well to the choir….the RoC….not so much.
    PP will be ballot box poison. Elect him at our peril, fellow Conservatives.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      I see this preordained outcome of a PP win as an opportunity. Pierre can be the next Nixon — or the next Trump. Pivot he must or it all goes down in flames in the general. He knows that so time will tell.

      Naturally, if Pierre doesn’t, he’ll win the battle hands down and then blow the war. I await his decision post September 10th. It will either make me happy, laugh or cry. No matter which way it goes, he gets to wear it. It can’t be blamed on Byrne if it goes sour as the buck stops with PP. He knows that too.

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      Pedant says:

      18-45 year olds will come in droves to vote for the Poilievre Conservatives, especially the men.

      The question is whether Trudeau’s army of 75-year old rich white women (the Liberal base) can outvote them.

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        westcoastjim says:

        Why do you think that 18-45 year old men are idiots? Most of the. Will know that Pierre’s bitcoin plan would bankrupt them. I think that 18-45 year old men are far smarter then you obviously do.

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          Pedant says:

          Good tactic there, calling Conservatives supporters stupid. I thought the Liberal base of elderly women would be a bit wiser as their advanced age would suggest.

          Pierre doesn’t have a “bitcoin plan”. He rightly thinks blockchain is revolutionary technology and it would be good for Canada to get a piece of this burgeoning industry. What a terrible idea for Canada to actually have industries beyond Boomers selling houses to each other.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:


        This comment amuses me. As is often their want for so many men, they will be busy measuring their rhetorical penises against each other, in hopes of having the biggest one on voting days while suburban women will be almost entirely focused on taking PP’s measure and voting accordingly. Colour me highly skeptical as to the percentages of men who will actually show up at the polls.

        If Poilièvre gets suburban women, he wins. That’s reality. Even Jenni can confirm that.

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    Peter Williams says:

    “The idea that this government – that any government – would use this act of mass murder to gain support for their gun policy is completely unacceptable.” Jagmeet Singh.

    But of course Mr Singh will continue to support this ‘unacceptable’ government.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      The NDP would save us all a lot of time if they simply went forward and serially licked this Prime Minister’s ass…they have managed to become way beyond pathetic and useless. At least this PM is now in good company when it comes to unfit, ineffectual, clueless empty suits. Just add Jagmeet to the Liberal list. The NDP deserves to lose every seat they have in the next election for propping up this poor excuse for a prime minister.

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        Gilbert says:

        Brilliant comment. I completely agree.

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    western view says:

    I am not any seasoned War Room veteran but Mr. Kinsella is underestimating the seething anger at the street level for this inept Liberal Government. And Canadians are reminded of it every time they fill their car with gas, stare in disbelief at the grocery store ticket or watch the cocky, never give a straight answer Prime Minister on the TV news.
    For ordinary Canadians, the Poilievre story isn’t Bitcoins or firing the BOC Chair it’s about a human being in Ottawa that SEES THE HURT in families and pledges to do something about it.

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      westcoastjim says:

      I read this and think “is the Canadian electorate as fund entry uninformed as western view”? And when I look at the idiots that support Pierre I think “maybe so”. Is anyone in Canada as stupid as Western View to think that Canada controls the price of gas? I doubt it. But maybe so. Is anyone on Canada so incredibly stupid to think that Canada controls the cost of food?? Again I doubt it but apparently Western View is so dim that he thinks so. And anyone who doesn’t think that Pierre isn’t about his asinine bitcoins policy and his grossly uninformed BOC policies obviously doesn’t give a shit about the country.

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        Pedant says:

        If your pitch to young and working class voters is that government is incapable of doing anything to meaningfully improve their lives, I’m not sure that’s a winning strategy.

        I notice you left out housing. I suppose you’re going to blame Putin for the Trudeau housing crisis that began almost as soon as he took office and spiked immigration without ensuring that housing affordability could be maintained amidst the increased demand?

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        western view says:

        Oh wow.
        Comments like yours point out a widening gulf between the attitudes of Canadians and our ability to have constructive dialogue to solve problems.

        Government exists to serve the people. I watch and read the news every day as do everyone else who posts comments. Can anyone, with a straight face make a case that Justin Trudeau and his Government has any empathy for the declining standard of living that working Canadians are experiencing? If so, please point it out because the official talking points are to blame everyone else for inflationary pressures.

        Let’s refocus on gasoline and food pricing. The Minister of Natural Resources Minister stated yesterday that there would be no rollback or pause of any federal fuel or carbon taxes at this time. In fact he said it would be irresponsible. Canadians can connect dots, and to gloss over the inflationary pressures of fuel taxes on rising gas prices is a big ask for commuting workers who are suddenly using a big chunk of their paycheque just to show up at a job site. (And in the meantime, many federal workers are still working from home.)
        Let’s move along to food pricing. The federal taxes on energy have already been discussed, but it’s important to understand that those taxes impact everything that uses and needs oil, gasoline and natural gas to get food into a consumers hands. The skyrocketing price of natural gas hit the fertilizer industry last fall, long before the invasion of Ukraine. And the federal government is reaping the tax windfall all through the supply chain.
        The Liberal Government is not 100% responsible for all the inflationary pressures, but the continuing infusion of borrowed money into the economy and failing to rein in spending is a contributing factor. As is deliberate tax policy toward the oil and gas industry.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      One wonders how many of those people will actually vote. Hopefully, most of them.

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      Robert White says:

      Poilievre does not strike me as benevolent or empathic towards the plight of poor Canadians. He is an elite overpaid politician that has made a career out of making empty promises to the Conservative base so that he could get re-elected YoY.

      Poilievre jumped on the populist bandwagon of the Republican Party miscreants that hang on every word of the Orange bastard menace.

      When I’m elected mayor of Ottawa I’m going to pass orders in council to bar the Orange bastard from our nation’s capital.

      That ought to fix their collective wagons.

      P.S. I’m in the axis of weasels for the next election.


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      PJH says:

      Maybe so, but most Ontarians, Quebecers, Maritimers and some Wet Coasters look at this shit, and say: “Nah, well stick with the devil we know”…..https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/deepest-apologies-central-alberta-rodeo-organizers-shocked-by-parade-float-1.5963703

      These are PP’s and Mad Max’s people….

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    EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    Mr Poilievre’s advantage will be that if he wins the leadership, he should have at least two years to get ready for the next election. As long as he act reasonably and keeps the fringe elements of the party in line, most people won’t remember the current craziness. To be successful, IMHO all he has to do is go out in front of the public and show them he isn’t Justin. I can’t conceive of the baggage that will have accumulated over the next couple of years from the current train wreck we have in Ottawa. All he has to do is keep his powder dry. I suspect his opponents will do the rest.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Glad I’m not a Liberal strategist: Nanos will make them almost shit in their pants — they have to ask themselves if they should go earlier rather than later. They want to go before the nuclear bomb of political damage ultimately explodes. Is that in months, or only in years from now? Will they get it right? Hopefully and probably not.

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        EsterHazyWasALoser says:

        Didn’t the PM and Mr. Singh just agree to a solemn pledge to not have an election until 2025? To go to the polls early will just give the CPC another talking point about how insincere, opportunistic and cynical the Libs are. Not that they actually need more….

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    Doug says:

    I am in no way a PP supporter, but will give credit to him and his campaign team:

    1) They focus on real issues, mostly economic, not abstract ones, mostly social, that the Government of Canada actually stands a chance of impacting

    2) Fighting fire with fire. The author of “Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics” knows well that negative works. Too many CPC and Reform candidates fell victim to the Liberal hate machine without even trying to fight back. Going negative burns bridges but it brings out the voters. Some may call it Trumpian, but perhaps the better label would be Daveyian or Kinsellian

    3) Sure some of the policy is whacky, but trying to relate PP
    to conspiracy theorists is a leap, but why not as per 2 aboce

    4) PP has differentiated himself from the crowded field of alternatives. Getting noticed has been a challenge for every Conservative leader except for Mulroney. Ascribing Red Toryism to Patrick Brown is assigning substance where none exists. He is another vacuous frat bro like Trudeau, aided by power brokers in some ethnic enclaves instead of by false celebrity

    5) If governments defeat themselves, how did JT last 3 terms?

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      5) Even unpopular and incompetent governments can be returned when the alternative is judged by a concentration of voters as unpalatable. Happened with Scheer and O’Toole in all the right spots.

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    Pedant says:

    What peddling of World Economic Forum conspiracy theories? He was asked whether he is associated with the WEF and he answered no. He also stated that a Poilievre-led government would not take part in WEF activities, which is perfectly fine since the government of Canada is supposed to serve the Canadian people and not wealthy globalists in Switzerland.

    Charlie Angus has for years criticized the Davos crowd. Funny it wasn’t a conspiracy when he did it.

    Chrystia Freeland has a side gig on the WEF’s board of trustees, one of the only sitting government members on that board and certainly the most high-ranking. We’re not allowed to question whether she represents the Canadian people or Davos?

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:

      The WEF is all show and sorely short on common policy, that can realistically be imposed on nation-states. Harper went. Go, don’t go makes very little difference to me and probably a plurality of Canadians.

      As for Freeland, she does as she is told by the PMO. End of story.

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        The Doctor says:

        Nonsense. Everyone knows that when you attend the WEF, the Evil Globalists implant a secret microchip into your brain that makes you their Pawn For Life.

        Be Very Afraid.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Nanos has us five points up! Meanwhile, one incredible step forward and of course, we take two back…



    FFS…not again.

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    R. Marut says:

    Poilievre unlikely to exploit a mass shooting to interfere with the RCMP and promote his political agenda.

    Call me “far-right”, but I consider that a plus. Djathink?

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      The Doctor says:

      Polievre would shoot a puppy if he thought it would advance his political career. He’s a crass opportunist and phony. And I say that as someone who’s no fan of Selfie Boy.

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    WestGuy says:

    You’re making the same mistake that the media in the US made prior to 2016, to paint all supporters of a candidate with the same brush. It is entirely possible for people who don’t meet your interpretation of a PP supporter to be a PP supporter.
    Look at it this way.
    In the last election, the Liberals were lead by a person who wore blackface three times that he will admit to, found guilty of ethics violations twice, groped a female reporter, interfered with his own justice minister and that’s just off the top. He plays off one region against the other and is easily the most divisive PM this country has ever had. If the PC leader had done even one of those things Liberals and the CBC would have lost their fucking minds. But since it’s their guy doing it, well, it’s a nothingburger. Then there’s the whole politicization of the pandemic (“obey the science…unless it say something we don’t like”). It’s to the point where he could shoot someone in Times Square and still get elected and if that sounds familiar, it should. All of this – and much more – and they still got elected. Not only that they still got elected despite the other party receiving more votes and actively trying to be more centrist.
    So you can see where that anger and frustration might come from and how that might cause middle-ground people to consider voting for someone as “labelled” as PP. Maybe it’s not because they agree with everything he says but because he might be a refreshing shock to the system they see to be in dire need of a serious shocking.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Poilièvre is in the bush leagues right now “fighting” for a leadership that he’s already won for all practical purposes.

    Once he’s leader, it’s a new ball game and I’ll judge both his competence and strategic ability based on the strategy he uses in the general. If it’s constructed to win a majority, I will laud him for it. If it’s divisive and frankly PERCEIVED as at least somewhat off the wall, he will be flirting with a minority and possibly bleed to a loss if he and his team do not course correct in time. Maybe he can get his head around all of this. As for Byrne, she would quite deliberately pick a fight with Jesus Christ. Need I say more?

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    CPC: My Ballot.

    1. Jean Charest

    2. Scott Aitchison

    3. Pierre Poilièvre

    4. Leslyn Lewis

    5. Patrick Brown

    6. Roman Baber

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      Doug says:

      Mine would be:

      1) Scott Achison
      2) Jean Charest
      3) Pierroe Poilièvre
      4) Roman Baber
      5) Leslyn Lewis
      6) Patrick Brown

      I don’t really support any of them, but would take any of the first 3 over Trudeau

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    Paige says:

    CPC: My Ballot
    1. Leslyn Lewis
    2. Pierre Poilevre
    3.Scott Aitchison
    4.Roman Baber
    5. Jean Charest
    6. Patrick Brown

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      I put Leslyn second last time right behind MacKay. This time, I did not find she had much rocket power and with this being her second run, it somewhat dimmed her star in the CPC universe. Just saying.

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        Paige says:

        I don’t disagree. Just the best of a weak field. But.. we don’t need to be liberal light. So no Charest or Brown under any circumstances. Aitchison and Baber both seem earnest but don’t seem capable of making a connection. So we are left with Leslyn and Pierre. And not too surprising that based on that choice she is preferred. I was quite disappointed in her wanna be Kardashian makeover at the debate’ but everything is relative. It will be a much more entertaining election if CPC is led by a black immigrant female doctor rather than a lifer politico.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Got to tell ya that I’m positively seething with rage over Roe. Since men are basically almost all delusional about this being a woman’s health decision, period, then let only women decide in every state legislature chamber.

    That would bring a quick end to the 26 States either planning to outlaw abortion entirely or unduly restrict that right. Women let men steamroll ERA. Will they be as ineffectual at the federal level this time? I hope to hell not. SCOTUS is a national disgrace and its recent case law is laughable at best.

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      Doug says:

      Is it really a big deal? The various state governments are about to experience “be careful what you wish for”. They will have to deal with the consequences of bans, many of which will be unanticipated, and are ill prepared.

      Best case would be most of those states repealing the bans after a year or two because they can’t deal with consequences such as employers leaving the state, endless litigation etc.

      I actually view this as a potentially faborable event in that the wedgiest of wedge issues is no longer theoretical and will have to be dealt with democratically. Probably wishful thinking on my part, but maybe putting this to rest would allow government to focus on meaningful issues like inflation, poor productivity growth, war in Europe, instead of social issues.

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        The Doctor says:

        That’s a very thoughtful comment, you make some good points there. For the hardcore religious right, they of course love this. But for the more moderate Republicans, this could be a real nightmare for them. For decades they cynically loved having Roe as this political punching bag that they could raise money off of, secure in the knowledge that they would never have to deal with the messy business of a true non-Roe environment.

        It’s going to be the swing and purple states where this gets really interesting. And blue state Republicans are going to do a lot of uncomfortable squirming in front of microphones.

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          Ronald O'Dowd says:


          I see Doug’s point but in my book I want to know how minority women and particularly black women will be impacted and affected as regards the statistics for mother morbidity in “child birth.” Is the speculation about a rising death rate pure speculation? I seriously doubt that it is.

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    Gilbert says:

    Patrick Brown is at the bottom of my list. He must be the most unethical of all the candidates.

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      Doug says:

      Yeah I can’t see what he brings to the table at all. Sure he has shown the ability to manipulate ethnic power brokers to potentially deliver 905 votes, but that is a very risky strategy. Otherwise, he might as well be Trudeau: young girls thinks he is dreamy, wears nice suits, never says anything meaningful, no demonstrated leadership skills.

      Allegedly he is #moderate, so that will appeal to centrist voters in Ontario. I’m unconvinced.

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