Sunday, August 17, 2014

On permanent campaigners

Plenty of people have pointed out other pieces of Paul Wells' interview with Justin Trudeau. But one exchange seems particularly telling in defining Trudeau's perception of leadership and politics:

Q: What do you have to get done when Parliament comes back?

A: Continue to do what we’re doing, which is build the team, build the plan. Draw in great, credible candidates from across the country and put together a set of solutions and policies that are going to give this country a better government.

Q: So the campaign’s already begun?

A: I think the way politics is done these days—certainly, if you look at the attack ads that started the day after I won the leadership—yeah, the campaign started a long time ago.
In other words...

Faced with a direct and simple question, Trudeau can't name a single thing he wants to accomplish in Parliament, whether in terms of policies which can be pursued now or areas where the Cons should be held to account. Instead, when asked specifically about the fall session of Parliament, his answer is that he intends to keep ignoring how Canada is actually being governed today in order to work exclusively on next year's election campaign.

And Trudeau also doesn't have any interest in changing the absolute worst practices the Cons have inflicted on Canadian politics. Instead, somebody supposedly pitching a transformation from Harper's modus operandi is nonetheless fully prepared to allow him to dictate "how politics is done these days" - and match him in treating politics as a game where the only question is who wins the prize of holding government power.

All of which seems to confirm that Trudeau is offering no difference at all from Harper's contempt for democratic institutions, nor his cynical and self-serving view of the role of leaders. And we'd best recognize how Trudeau plans to offer more of the same with a red backdrop before anybody falls into the trap of handing him power based on the promise of change.


  1. Trudeau is a Canadian edition of clueless.

  2. I think you have nailed the essence of Justin Trudeau but what irks me the most is that many are so willing to blindly follow him down that path all in the name of ridding us of Harper. We should aspire to more.

  3. Anonymous11:00 p.m.

    .. and this, in a nutshell, is why the Cons will win the next election.

    Petty bickering and vote-splitting and witless arguing among yourselves; while the nation becomes, just like Stevie promised his corporate backers a long time ago, "unrecognizable".

    Listen, you people have already blown the most important election of your lives.

    When the chips were down, and it really, REALLY mattered, you blew your vote into a million, worthless, useless little pieces; and allowed the worst government in this country's history to grab absolute power.

    And you will do it again.

    1. Actually, the point of the post is that Trudeau seems entirely happy with how Harper has made Canada unrecognizable to progressives. And some of us have enough foresight to recognize that replacing Harper *with more of the same* will only perpetuate the damage.

      As for the question of whose blinkered strategy led to the Cons' majority, there was an opposition party which spent the last election campaign telling Canadians to reject the opportunity to replace Harper solely in order to save its brand. And it wasn't the NDP:

  4. Hold your nose and make an X. (Something like that) Where did that saying originate. I imagine some guy in a basement hunched over a drafting table.