The results of the Canadian general election are now graven in stone and Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has been given a decisive majority. Canadians have opted for change without stopping to consider that change is by no means an unalloyed good. The “hope and change” that Obama promised the American people has led the country into an abyss of debt, racial conflict, open-border chaos, destructive initiatives like global warming legislation, alliances with genocidal enemies, alienation of political friends, and a state of international weakness that would be risible were it not so devastating. America allowed itself to be seduced by a charismatic interloper with spotty credentials, a pro-Muslim bias, hard-left sympathies, and no accomplishments worth mentioning.
It appears that Canada has followed suit, electing an aureate nonentity whose CV would in any sane society have generated howls of laughter or stunned disbelief. “Spectacularly unqualified,” as a PJM commenter posted, Trudeau studied environmental geography at McGill University and engineering at the Université de Montréal—but failed to complete degrees in either discipline. Among his other triumphs, which apparently earned the confidence of the electorate, Trudeau was a snow board instructor, a camp counselor, a white water rafting instructor, and a substitute drama teacher. Even a farcical billet like community organizing would have been more impressive.
Trudeau’s record on the long campaign trail and since his election is no less demoralizing. Having said in an interview that he could understand the movement for Quebec separation from Canada under the politics of Stephen Harper, total bilge given Harper’s recognition of Quebec as “a nation within a united Canada” (much like the status of Bavaria in modern Germany), he was shortly forced to walk back his gaffe. His reaching out to the problematic but vote-rich Muslim constituencies is equally depressing: unvetted Muslim immigration, including 25,000 “Syrian” migrants by Christmas, and the welcoming of niqab-garbed candidates for citizenship. The Supreme Court of Canada has conspired with Trudeau’s Liberals and against Stephen Harper’s Conservatives by allowing Pakistani immigrant Zunera Ishaq to swear the oath of citizenship wearing a mask, thus setting a dismal precedent. Information has just surfaced that Ishaq is a member of the notorious terrorist group Jamaat-e-Islami, but this will not ruffle Trudeau’s elaborate hair-do.
The burlesque continues. Trudeau, whom Al Jazeera calls “Canada’s agent for change,” objected to the word “barbaric” in a citizenship study guide describing certain unsavory Muslim practices like honor killings (once again having to walk back a blunder in a transparent attempt at damage control); engaged in a closed-door colloquy at an Islamic mosque in Regina and was photographed, swathed in a white garments, praying at yet another mosque; explained the Boston Marathon bombing as essentially our fault: “There is no question,” he pontificated, “that this happened because of someone who feels completely excluded, someone who feels completely at war with innocence, at war with society”; vowed to revoke Bill C-24 which provided for the stripping of Canadian citizenship from dual citizens convicted of terrorism, and to weaken the anti-terrorist Bill C-51; and will end Canada’s military involvement in the mission against ISIS. Israel, too, will once more face Liberal disapproval and lose one of its few friends at the United Nations. Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau, producer of pro-Palestinian, pro-Iranian and anti-Israel “documentaries,” figured as a political advisor in his brother’s electoral campaign. No accident there.
As if this were not enough, Justin expressed a hankering for Chinese-style autocratic government and the economic efficiency of “basic dictatorship,” which calls to mind the Trudeau family love affair with Fidel Castro. An environmental purist, he has bought into the global warming deception and is set to cancel the Northern Gateway Pipeline essential to Canada’s prosperity and especially western Canada’s bottom line. He is, in short, Canada’s Obama, and the nation, like the U.S., will rue the day it put so reckless and inept a driver behind the wheel of national policy. All we need do is wait upon the sequel of his tenure to bring home the fiasco we have wrought: more spending, more debt, more taxes, more unemployment, more crony climatism, more socialism, and more Muslims—infallible recipes for cultural decay and national insolvency.
Stephen Harper may have been a flawed prime minister who did not take sufficient advantage of the majority administration he enjoyed. In my estimation, he left much to be delivered. He did reduce the budget of the left-wing propaganda network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), by 10%, but should have had the courage to engineer its privatization, as Brian Lilley argued in his fact-packed CBC Exposed. (The description of the book’s contents is accurate: “From reporting driven by vendettas to outright biases against conservatives, gun owners, Israel and any other group that doesn’t fit their vision of Canada, CBC Exposed is a call to action to rein in this broadcasting giant.”) Harper might have taken a more determined stand against Canada’s so-called Human Rights Commissions, politically correct, Soviet-style shadow courts favorable to grievance mongers, Muslims and Social Justice Warriors, that do not admit countervailing evidence, and that rarely if ever lose a case. When I consulted Harper on the issue, he argued that he had no jurisdiction in provincial matters. To his credit, he brought pressure to bear on the national tribunal, which managed to defuse its malign influence, but the anti-democratic provincial bodies continue to flourish. He refused to touch the abortion debate. His mode of governing was too authoritarian for many.
But Harper has been vilified past any conception of good sense and common decency. Pre-election signs and placards attacked “Harperman” for his “crimes”—whatever these might have been. More surprisingly, conservatives, too, have denounced the Conservative Party for utterly trivial or tendentious reasons. Pundit John Robeson, for example, declared he could not vote for the Conservatives owing to their “unprincipled cynicism” in pledging to make a home renovation tax credit permanent—a very minor affair—which I and others like me would certainly have appreciated. Self-published author Fred Litwin, who calls himself a conservative, found he could not vote his party, reckoning that it had exploited “the niqab issue to energize a faction of the Conservative activist base…causing deep divisions in Canada about Muslims” and for spreading “the vilest of lies …about Syrian refugees generally.” Such claptrap almost defies belief.
Then there is well-known columnist Andrew Coyne, who defends Harper against his literary accusers while condemning him for his manifold “sins,” which include shutting out the media and “virtually every other institution of democratic accountability.” Coyne does not seem to recognize that such “institutions” have become so profoundly compromised by leftist bias and anti-Conservative screechiness that they themselves are no longer democratically accountable.
Jonathan Kay, a former editor at the supposedly conservative oriented National Post and a respected columnist, saw no conflict of interest in acting as editorial assistant for Trudeau’s memoir Common Ground. It was “just a paycheque,” Kay explained in an article titled “The Justin Trudeau I Can’t Forget,” before going on to justify his involvement in the Trudeau project with subsequent insights into Trudeau’s “difference,” his having to deal with “maternal rejection” and the “emotional pain” of being “parched of mother’s milk.” What is there left to say after writing such tripe, but Kay soldiers on undaunted. Despite Little Lord Fauntleroy’s difficult childhood, we’re informed, “He’s someone who desperately wants to do the right thing.”
After having read some of Trudeau’s stump texts, I find it hard to believe he would be remotely capable of writing a book on his own steam, but be that as it may, I’m sure Kay’s editorial assistance, in whatever form it might have assumed, would have been welcomed. Kay, whose conservative colors remind me of Robeson’s and Litwin’s, reveals his allegiance in the conclusion to the article.”If election day ends with Justin Trudeau delivering a concession speech, it’ll be a hard thing for me to watch.” Kay’s puff job was, in my view, disgraceful, but very much in line with the conservative backsliding that further prejudiced Harper’s re-election prospects. For a more measured and principled account of Trudeau’s capacities, one can consult Paul Tuns’ The Dauphin, detailing the rise of a self-indulgent and pampered epigone plainly unfit for high office.
A pre-election exchange with an acquaintance of mine was typical of popular sentiment. Harper was non grata and unvoteable-for, but my acquaintance knew next to nothing about the party’s policies and platform. A responsible citizen does not vote personality (Harper) or looks (Trudeau); he or she votes policy. My interlocutor, a member of the musician/artistic community, may have anticipated the far larger government handouts he could expect from the Liberals.
Notwithstanding the smear campaign, Harper was on the whole a decent leader with sound moral instincts and, with a master’s degree in economics—a degree he actually completed—a leader with fiscal savvy. Let us review some of his legislative accomplishments. As blogger Jeremy Swanson points out (personal communication), the Conservative government got us through one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression. The government reduced the GST by two percentage points, a 30% reduction on a universal value-added tax. It introduced pension splitting for retirees, a boon for both husband and wife. It instituted tax free savings accounts, which benefits anyone willing to save. It negotiated a number of international trade deals which will stand us in good stead in years to come. And Harper stood four square in favor of Israel, a country threatened with extinction by the vast Islamic surround, and the only democracy in the Middle East. He has much to be proud of.
Trudeau, on the other hand, had little to go on but the Trudeau family name—his father, the flamboyant former PM Pierre Trudeau, was as close to a media celebrity as a Canadian politician could be, but bequeathed us a massive debt we are still paying off thirty years later. Justin could also ride on his youthful appearance and his wavy hair, befitting the appellation that journalist Ezra Levant bestowed upon him: Shiny Pony. Jen Gerson in the National Post notes how the international press, commenting on “his yummy body and ‘long flowing locks,’” has fallen for the Trudeau glamour, its “cringe-worthy copy…accompanied by shirtless photos” from the days he was shedding for a boxing match and a Ladies Night event. Gerson quotes The Independent’s Victoria Richards’ giddy fascination with Trudeau’s “long flowing locks [and] his pro-abortion, feminist, climate-changing supporting liberal credentials. But it was mostly the boxing shots. And the hair.” Gerson astutely concludes that such swooning transports expose “the hollowness of the left’s obsession with Trudeau” when the real issue is Trudeau’s pandering to his political class, his opportunistic adoption of all the fashionable causes of the day, and the $6.5 billion in cuts he will need to fulfill his promises.
Justin and Canada are a match made in ideological heaven. People want big government, subsidies for perceived marginal groups and progressivist organizations, and lots of social programs, at the cost of individual autonomy and entrepreneurial self-reliance—thus joining a ubiquitous trend that is gradually devitalizing the western world as it moves toward growing welfarism and entitlement largesse.
Many Canadians will wake up one day to learn they are living in the Socialist Republic of Canada in which many of the rights we have taken for granted will be abridged. We are already part way there. After all, this is a country whose Supreme Court has ruled that truth is no defense in cases where vulnerable groups or individuals feel subject to “hate speech”: “Truthful statements,” it has deposed, “can be presented in a manner that would meet the definition of hate speech, and not all truthful statements must be free from restriction.” The suppression of “truthful statements,” that is, the impairment of freedom of speech, is a toothing-stone in the socialist wall erected against the life of a democratic society. And, as previously mentioned, our misnamed Human Rights Commissions are in the business of quashing truth, evidence and legal defense in deference to socially approved grievance covens. Under the duplicitous rubrics of “diversity” and “equality,” we will find ourselves increasingly subject to judicial activism, collectivist legislation, exposure to libel claims (I speak from experience), regulatory intrusions, the erosion of traditional usages—in effect, the attack on liberty as we have come to know it, the dwindling of the individual’s scope for thought, expression and action. All this will be fine with Justin. For we have taken the classical liberal out of the contemporary Liberal.
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber famously referred to American voters as stupid; the Canadian electorate, which has now installed Trudeau in 24 Sussex Drive, is no different, its collective IQ hovering around the numerical designation of the residential address.