Andrew Lawton On 'Pierre Poilievre: A Political Life'


Ahead of Andrew Lawton's much-anticipated book launch, Pierre Poilievre: A Political Life, now available TODAY on Amazon and at Indigo bookstores, NCC Director Alexander Brown joined the press tour for the sure-to-be best-seller.

And to mark today's exciting release, and to support a long-time friend of the National Citizens Coalition, we wanted to offer you an insight into the author's process, and a glimpse into what he's learned about the man currently on pace to be Canada's next prime minister.

If you're able, we encourage supporters to grab their copies today, and to consider joining the book tour (details below).

Congratulations, Andrew!

Your debut novel, The Freedom Convoy: The Inside Story of Three Weeks that Shook the World, hit shelves not two years ago. What inspired jumping right back into the world of authorship?

Andrew Lawton: Becoming an author had been a long-time goal of mine before I wrote The Freedom Convoy. I had tried writing a couple of books before then but for various reasons never saw those projects through to completion. Writing my book about the convoy proved I was capable of doing it, so in that sense it was easier writing another book. That said, I needed a topic I was confident I could do justice – and also one where I felt there was something to say. Pierre Poilievre is a fascinating political figure, and in many respects still an unknown to Canadians, so I was keen to jump into writing a biography of him.

How much access did you receive from the man himself?

Technically none. Pierre Poilievre didn't agree to an interview for the book. It was unfortunate, but I don't think it harmed the project. That said, many in his inner circle, including his chief adviser Jenni Byrne, did speak to me. While it wasn't an authorized biography at all, his office provided a level of cooperation, which I was grateful for. Many of the people from his past are still very much a part of his present. They have a great deal of loyalty to him, which means many of those I reached out to for interviews ran my request up the flag pole to get a green light before speaking.

Without spoiling too much of your efforts, what's something that might surprise people about Pierre Poilievre the man, and Pierre Poilievre the political leader?

On a lighter note, his sense of humour stood out from stories others shared about him. Practical jokes played on staff and colleagues might seem uncharacteristic, but were fun to hear about. On a serious note, I was surprised by how insular he is. Politics is an inherently outgoing game – you have to win votes, address crowds, etc. But he's a very private and contemplative person.

I've watched the man work a room before, and wait behind to take thousands of photos from seemingly unprecedented crowds. It's impressive. Why do you think he connects so well to his audience?

He's always been a tremendous retail politician. Going back to winning a hotly contested Conservative nomination at twenty-four in 2004, Poilievre shored-up votes one at a time. While he's accustomed to working crowds of thousands now, I think he derives far more of a benefit through those one-on-one interactions in the photo lines, which have become a mainstay at his events. One aspect I explore in the book is how much, if at all, these interactions weigh on him.

Some people are just happy to meet him and get a photo – others bring their desperation to him and bare their soul as they look to him as their saviour. That's a heck of a burden. While I didn't get the opportunity to put it to him directly, the sense I got from those around him is that it does, in fact, motivate him. People clearly see in him someone genuine.

I believe a fair critique of Poilievre is that he's a career politician. In your research and writing, did you uncover anything that would allay the concerns of some folks who don't completely trust that?

This is one question I'd have loved to ask him in an interview: he once wrote in an essay about the importance of term limits. He vowed to serve no more than two terms, yet here he is in his seventh and will be seeking an eighth in the next election. I think there's tremendous value in developing a skill set and body of work in the private sector and bringing that expertise into politics. This is why "career politician" has always been a derisive term.

At the same time, there’s something very helpful about his career in that it's provided a more comprehensive record of how he approaches politics, which is a useful indicator (though not a guarantee) of how he's likely to govern if he wins the next election.

So when can we expect Justin Trudeau: A Political Death?

I'm firmly in the October 2025 camp for the next election. Jagmeet Singh hasn't qualified for his pension yet, and both Singh and Trudeau know that they're out as leaders after the next election. There's little incentive for either to go early. Unless, of course, poll numbers shift for some reason in the next year and Trudeau sees an opportunity to catch the Tories off guard.

Pierre Poilievre: A Political Life is out today on Amazon, in Indigo bookstores, and is also available directly through Sutherland House.

You’re invited to join Andrew on his book tour! Consider joining Andrew at events in Calgary (May 29), Toronto (May 30), or Ottawa (June 5), thanks to sponsorship from the Modern Miracle Network and the Canada Strong and Free Network. Details and tickets (which are limited) are available here.