This movie features a bad actor…

THE PRIME MINISTER INSISTS he must save Canada.

The very spectre of the new Conservative leader deposing Trudeau (the younger) is not part of the Liberal script for how-things-ought-to-be. Committing himself to run for a 4th term, the Prime Minister, surrounded by fellow travellers taking their leave in New Brunswick, intoned he must and will rescue Canadians from Pierre Poilievre should the Conservatives take over his perch in parliament!

Hmmm…

Didn’t Donald Trump proclaim something similar after the last U.S. election?

IT’S ALL AN ACT

Captain Canada

If there’s a pattern to Justin Trudeau’s behaviour over the years it’s this: He likes to be centre stage and doesn’t take kindly to other actors in the room (ask Jody Wilson Raybould about his proclivity).

He’s vain. And quite full of himself. A constant campaigner.

Hmmmmm…. Boris Johnson?

How’d that movie turn out?

If you get the sense that Mr. Trudeau feels entitled to his current role, and sticks to a script that got him there, it would explain why he is tone deaf to current events—an escalating war in Ukraine, a global energy crisis, looming food shortages around the world, threats to the sovereignty of Canada’s North (with NATO’s head honcho paying a special visit to say as much). 

Sticking to the script

Drunk on hubris and platitudes, Justin Trudeau bemoans the lack of civility in politics these days. While it’s fine & proper for him to throw stones at ‘deplorables’ (according to the Liberal playbook), when these so-called incorrigibles toss them back, this is somehow not cricket.

Going on and on and on as he does about stuff that seems quaint if not out of touch with the current realpolitik in the world is dangerous. And his team should know better and provide him with a new script to act upon.

FATHER KNOWS BEST

Justin Trudeau’s pop was one smart cookie. He went for a walk in the snow before vacating the prime minister’s office. A clever move, yes. However, Justin being Justin, it appears he wants to eclipse daddy’s time as king, errrr… prime minister.

Okay—we’re being a bit dramatic, eh. But it’s a plausible script device, right? And we bet it’s in Justin Trudeau’s head to perform such a role.

Meantime: the new Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is telling Canadians to pick a side:

Truckers or Trudeau.

Poverty or prosperity.

Dog whistle teeshirts are nothing new in Canadian politics. Trudeau is also quite fond of slogans, such as Canada is “a post-nation nation-state,” (whatever that means) and other babble written off as “because it’s 2015.”

ANOTHER CAUTIONARY TALE

Speaking of ‘progressive’ politics: The Green Party in Canada has imploded, yet again. The president of the Green Party quit, in a huff over the confusing use of party pronouns (yes!). Last year, internal Green bickering about the proper politics of Palestine led to the ouster of the party leader. Connect the dots: this is an organization not fit to lead Canadians anywhere useful.

Not straying too far from home turf, we have the curious case of Danielle Smith, Alberta’s premier-in-waiting. The UCP candidate for big boss is peddling Quebec style sovereignty-association as the be all and end all to Alberta’s relationship with the crown in Ottawa (that’s the real King, not Trudeau).

If you haven’t watched The Canada Game show, so far, here’s a quick refresh of what’s happened in previous episodes:

In the 1950s, television—a new medium that showed Quebecers a world they scarcely thought existed—disrupted the authority of the Roman Catholic Church & Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis (who ran the province like a personal fiefdom). The Quiet Revolution, better known provincially as Revolution Tranquille pulled the trigger on entitled officialdom, and thereafter, the public well-informed and armed with a collective aspiration insisted on being maitre chez nous (master of your own house). Albertans shouldn’t ignore—or pretend away—how this social movement became radicalized.

The peaceful aspiration for a more independent Quebec was co-opted by a separatist guerrilla group, Front de libération du Québec (FLQ). It began with isolated bits of anarchy in Montreal: mailboxes exploding and fists in the air; a riot over NHL hockey superstar Maurice Richard’s suspension was also instructive.

Then things got real serious, real fast. People got killed.

KABOOM

The October Crisis of 1970 and the kidnapping of Pierre Laporte (Quebec’s Labour Minister) and James Cross (a British diplomat) forced the hand of the federal government led by Pierre Elliot Trudeau. The prime minister decisively invoked the War Measures Act—a first for our country during peacetime.  [His son, Justin, invoked the modernized version, renamed the Emergencies Act, to shut down the trucker convoy in 2022]

And don’t forget. All of this happened in Quebec in a time before the internet and the ability of social media to amplify emotions & intoxicate a crowd to do unpleasant things (more on incitement in our next blog post). 

If the patterns hold, and Danielle Smith (another actor on the political stage), continues to advance her vision of sovereignty-association for Alberta, we should anticipate more anarchy in the near future.  Impatient and agitated citizens have been prepped to take things into their own hands. Politicians will require the strength of character and level-headedness to calm pissed-off people.  

And if that doesn’t happen anytime soon… tick, tick, tick…

This column is the consensus opinion of the writers Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to BEYOND POLARITY — scroll down on your phone or tablet, or look to the right in the panel beside this post. Enter your email to FOLLOW, a wheel spins, hamsters get fed.


8 thoughts on “This movie features a bad actor…

    1. Yo, Tim. Don chiming in. Did you actually _read_ what was written? READ slower — slower than slow if necessary. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Now aren’t you a bit ashamed?

  1. Really quite entertaining, Donna, how you connect the two Pierres, Justin, Danielle Smith, the Quite Revolution, Duplessis, The Quebec Crisis (I spent a small bit of time there in those days – different place!), Rocket Richard, the Green Party craziness, etc. All in all, an entertaining series – no, a vast collection – of non sequiturs.

    I do not say that there are no relationships but, please, please, you are getting as silly as some of the conspiracy theorists who claim because two people both breathe and both have legs, they share the same ideology. Quite honestly, you are absolutely better than this. I would be very interested in a (much?) longer version of this screed (I apologize for that word, but …) that worked at putting your theme(s) in greater detail.

    1. Ken — here’s a nifty word to add to your ‘better than this’ vocabulary: hermeneutic — sense making — pattern recognition. Since you’re not up to speed on what’s wot in Canada these days, let me be helpful: Canadians are angry — very angry — polls say as much. From your comment, it suggests you’re unable to spot the Waldos of Canadian discontent — a non-sequitur by your account — reminiscent of a naive Alberta Party member, I recently spoke with (few as they are). Closing your eyes to the OBVIOUS hoping it will all just go away. It won’t. Think of our column as a forecast of the social & political perils ahead. Winter is coming…

      1. ” Canadians are angry — very angry — polls say as much”

        Don, a link to one of those polls would be interesting to see. We have certainly seen evidence of very angry Canadians in the past 12 months, but are the number of angry Canadians anywhere near a majority?

        Media outlets have, unfortunately, discovered that anger sells, and as a result they have a financial incentive to instill anger, whether it is justified or not. Once angered, people donate to their media source and/or buy subscriptions. Unscrupulous media outlets found financial success denying climate change, and it emboldened them to deny Covid mitigating measures. Then, when the mitigating measures prevented Covid from overwhelming our health system, they used that success to argue they weren’t necessary in the first place.

        We are in an ecological position where we are living beyond our means, and things we have enjoyed for the past several decades must be scaled back if this planet is to remain inhabitable. This is, of course, disappointing, but it must be done. Inciting anger does nothing to help the situation.

  2. Don, thank you for your thoughtful and entertaining reply – replay?

    I am always up to improving my vocabulary; indeed, that is an important reason for me to read Conrad Black: entertainment, sometimes agreement, sometimes disagreement and always with a dictionary at hand.

    I absolutely agree, Canadians are angry and I believe that they have much about which to be angry; one can simply read the letters to the editor or the new equivalent, comments on on-line stories.

    Quite frankly, I don’t hold much with polls as I always worry about the questions that allowed the conclusions to be reached. About the only polls that I believe (somewhat) are those that say, “in the upcoming election [a soon to be upcoming or the question is meaningless] / leadership race, etc. will you vote for A, or B, or C, etc.” After that, I don’t really buy in to polls, and even then …

    All I was trying to do (in my own bumbling way) was to a) praise Donna for her excellent writing (as normal, to be sure), b) express a surprise at the various juxtapositional combinations and, very importantly c) note my desire for these justapositional combinations [I seem to like that phrase] to be explored in more detail.

    Oh, and yes, the Alberta party. I don’t wish to be cruel but in our climate (political to be certain) can you not describe ALL AP members as naive? It seems to be that the AP is neither fish nor fowl – an old expression, that – and wishes to not offend either the fish or the fowl and simply allows parking a vote with no intention of forming any opinion other than, “Well, at least I’m not one of Those!” Whichever Those being referred to, of course.

  3. Don, thank you for the reference.

    I had seen the article in passing when looking at the NP earlier today but had not yet read it. I can say only that I am unsurprised; dismayed and angry [oh, yeah, that emotion again] but unsurprised.

    This article certainly brings one to believe so much of what we have heard about only the “correct” narrative being allowed in ever so many settings. The right wing McCarthyism of the fifties and sixties was wrong and the left wing McCarthyism of today is wrong. The only solace that I can find is that the pendulum will ultimately swing back and this nonsense will ultimately [that ever so long time period, once more] be eliminated. The only question is whether peoplekind [I know, a deliberate poke in the eye to the fool] will learn and I greatly doubt that such learning would last more than a few decades. At most.

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