Walk away, Justin Trudeau. Canada’s love affair with you is over


Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  hallux  •  10 months ago  •  4 comments

By:   Andrew Mitrovica - Al Jazeera

Walk away, Justin Trudeau. Canada’s love affair with you is over
From climate change to foreign affairs, Trudeau has betrayed promises. The sad part? His alternative could be worse.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

One way or another, all love affairs end – often badly. At least in politics.

In 2015, when he  became   prime minister with a robust majority at age 43, Justin Trudeau was feted as the reincarnation of former United States President John F Kennedy – young, vibrant and charismatic.

Much of the smitten international press, particularly the starry-eyed New York Times, swooned,  praising   the Trudeau-helmed government as “emerging as a moral leader of the free world”.

Heady stuff for a big, “boring” and largely anonymous country that yearns for attention and approval.

Lots of Canadians were smitten too. Trudeau was the “progressive” antidote to a spent Conservative administration that seemed to revel in its callousness – led for nearly a decade by the definition of the dour bureaucrat, Stephen Harper.

But Trudeau is discovering, like every other prime minister, that, given the inexorable cycle of politics, governments – Liberal or Conservative – have a natural life expectancy.

Trudeau is entering his eighth year in office. The predictable, tell-tale signs of atrophy are apparent, except, of course, to devoted partisans.

Enthusiasm has waned. Fractures have emerged. Scandal – real or manufactured – has begun to dominate the public discourse. Familiarity has bred hubris and contempt. Fatigue has become synonymous with the “brand”. Popularity has turned to animus. Change now seems almost inevitable.

In reply, Trudeau has dipped into the same, futile gambits meant to arrest his steep slide in the once reassuring  polls   and persuade Canadians that there is life and fight in him and his restive colleagues yet.

So Trudeau   shuffled   his bulging cabinet, expelling the corrosive underachievers and promoting ambitious and, no doubt, grateful backbenchers primed to prove to the wounded prime minister that they have the right mettle.

Yet beyond the fleeting notice of Ottawa’s incestuous, insular orbit of career pundits and columnists, the new arrangements have had no impact on Trudeau’s quickly listing fortunes.

Instead, worry – which, I suspect, has tipped lately into fear – among Liberal members of parliament has triggered  leaks  bemoaning the prime minister’s surprising listlessness in the face of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre’s typically rabid rhetorical onslaught aimed not only at questioning Trudeau’s empathy for “struggling” Canadians but, shamefully, his loyalty to the country he serves.

Faithful readers of this column know full well of my  antipathy  towards the jejune Trudeau. The idea that a stunt-prone dauphin was intent, like Kennedy, to buck stubborn convention and pursue a transformative agenda as prime minister was a silly mirage.

Just like Kennedy, Trudeau has been, save for a bit of performative tinkering around the edges, a staunch advocate for and defender of the economic and foreign policy establishment and status quo.

A supposed “champion” of climate “action”, Trudeau   bought   a floundering oil pipeline for 4.5 billion Canadian dollars ($3.3bn). A supposed “champion” of human rights and the rules-based international “order”, Trudeau offers diplomatic cover and   comfort   to an apartheid regime in Israel and tried, with a little help from his insurrectionist-friendly friends in Brazil, to   install  a malleable marionette in Venezuela.

A supposed “champion” of the plight of hurting “ordinary” Canadians, Trudeau has allowed predatory corporate monopolies to continue to reap extraordinary earnings while the divide between the uber wealthy and the other, much less fortunate 99 percent, mushrooms.

Trudeau was confronted recently by an anxious caucus preoccupied by the disturbing prospect of losing power and their jobs. A chastised Trudeau emerged from the party’s please-do-something-to-save-our-vulnerable-skins “retreat” to announce that he would summon the CEOs of   grocery chains   to a meeting in the capital and issue the following ultimatum: Cut prices, or I may – somehow, someway – put a small, momentary dent in your obscene profits.

It was Trudeau Jr’s limp, belated variation of the famous  admonition   proffered in 1970 by his dad, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau: “Just watch me.”

Stirring stuff.

In Trudeau’s simplistic calculus, the solution to the systemic inequities not only tolerated, but entrenched by a do-as-you’re-told succession of Liberal and Conservative prime ministers is a stern lecture by a teacher-turned-prime minister delivered in the principal’s office.

Yes, that should do it.

If anyone requires any more evidence of Trudeau’s unserious nature and that his “revitalised” cabinet had promptly run out of what could be charitably described as “ideas” to address the onerous financial burdens too many Canadians endure every day, I am at a loss.

Trudeau’s insipid response to widespread hardship goes some way towards explaining the undeniable exhaustion that personifies a flailing government whose best-before date expired after the last federal elections in 2021 when the Liberals, out of squalid parochial interests, reached for another majority and failed.

Trudeau should have followed his father’s sensible lead and taken a contemplative  walk   in the snow and realised that his time was up and the baton ought to be passed.

Still, I don’t begrudge Trudeau the understandable toll that governing during a raging, disorienting pandemic and the sad demise of a long marriage must have taken on mind and body.

And spurred on by the addicted-to-rage provocateur Poilievre, Trudeau has been assaulted – there is no other word for it – by a torrent of bile by a travelling mob of vulgar, flag-waving, conspiracy-infected MAGA wannabes who, like their crass standard bearer, ditched civility for profanity ages ago.

Trudeau intends, it appears, to contest the next federal elections, slated for some time in 2025. He hopes, I gather, that time, combined with a stumble or two by a surging Poilievre will reverse his depressing political fortunes.

In the meantime, Trudeau and Poilievre will try to persuade Canadians that they stand with the beleaguered “everyman” and “everywoman”.

It is a familiar pantomime. Poilievre feigns concern for the working woman and man. If elected, this slick, anti-reason, anti-science, anti-union charlatan will, in quick and happy course, abandon the people he claims, with a cloying valedictorian’s earnestness, to hold dear to his calcified bosom.

Poilievre is a younger, slightly more fluent facsimile of Ontario’s Conservative premier, Doug Ford, who verified his “faux” populist credentials by recanting on a cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die promise to protect thousands of acres of prized farmland and forest from voracious developers.

Ford’s obedient minions  sold  the public land in secret deals to six hand-picked, chummy real estate investors who stand to pocket billions while the “buck-a-beer” premier insists he did not know about the sweetheart deals struck at chichi dinners.

Poilievre will follow the same cynical playbook because that’s what “fiscal” Conservatives do in the fanatical pursuit of “privatisation”: enrich the rich at the expense of the distracted “everywoman” and “everyman”.

Soon enough, Canadians will be asked to choose between two vacuous, pedestrian politicians.


jrDiscussion - desc
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    10 months ago

"Soon enough, Canadians will be asked to choose between two vacuous, pedestrian politicians."

There is also a third, a certain Jagmeet Singh of uncertain socialist tendencies who's busy miming Waldo.

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2  Trout Giggles    10 months ago

I admit I know very little of Canadian politics, but this column is insightful and gives a clear view of what's wrong with Canada. Actually there's nothing wrong with Canada or Canadians. They fell in love with the wrong guy (but he sure is cute!)

Professor Principal
3  Kavika     10 months ago

Sounds like the divorce is final.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4  Buzz of the Orient    10 months ago

I realized that the author was a biased piece of shit when I got to his calling Israel an apartheid state - it may have become an ultra-religious state, but how do you explain the fact that Arabs are mayors of Israeli towns, have political parties in the government, serve as soldiers in the IDF, are doctors and nurses and administrators in Israeli hospitals over which they have total control during Jewish High Holidays (a fact I witnessed with my own eyes), and serve as a judge in the Israeli Supreme Court.  The author, IMO, is an anti-Semite and I put no credence on anything he happens to write.  

The occasion on which Justin's father said "Just watch me", was when a reporter asked him while he was on his way into Parliament to announce what Canada was going to do about the Quebecois uprising and murder of a British diplomat.  The reporter asked him if he was going to declare Military Rule in Canada, to which Trudeau replied "Just watch me." and that is exactly what Pierre Elliott Trudeau did - a little more serious matter than grocery prices. 

Pierre Elliott Trudeau was in my opinion the best Prime Minister Canada ever had and I still think that to be correct.  Besides being brilliant he had excellent taste, something I learned when he hit on my daughter when we were all at a cocktail party in Montreal   His son has not and will never fill his shoes. 

If the author, through his condemnation of everyone and everything is accurate about Poilievre I'm going to have to study up about what the New Democratic Party is all about these days.  I knew about it back when my brother ran for a provincial position (but lost to a Conservative) in the 1960s, and when a Rhodes Scholar for whom I had a lot of respect, who sat directly behind me at the Blue Jay games, headed the Provincial government, but many years have since passed and I haven't followed the NDP's record. 

But no matter where I am in this world, and wherever I have been, I was and is and will always be a loyal Canadian and will NEVER give up my Canadian passport, even if the pages curl (an inside bit of info about the new Canadian passports not known by most).


Who is online


35 visitors