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!
Didn’t Donald Trump proclaim something similar after the last U.S. election?
IT’S ALL AN ACT
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).
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.
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.