Vote the Platform, Not the Man(ner)

The fact that he steered the country safely through the market crash of 2008, signed lucrative international trade deals, kept taxes down, reduced the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and provided the country with a balanced budget plainly counted for nothing. His emendation of citizenship protocols in an effort to check the spread of culturally barbaric practices, chiefly associated with Islam, counted against him. At the end of the day, he was simply unlikeable, he was “Harperman,” and he had to go.

Instead, Canadians fell in love with Justin Trudeau, easily the most unqualified prime ministerial candidate since Confederation (there have been many duds, eccentrics and charlatans, but Trudeau is in a category of his own). He was young, personable, wavy-haired, utterly innocuous and adroit at spouting platitudes. Women found him attractive, millennials recognized one of their own, and he embraced all the feel-good big-spending fads and sophistries of welfare socialism. In short, people found him immensely likeable, the polar opposite of the straitlaced, parsimonious Harper.

The consequences were not long in coming. Trudeau has been in office for half a year, more than enough time to engineer the rapid deterioration of a once-prosperous and relatively secure nation. He has brought in 25,000 “Syrians” and is aiming for many thousands more, all living off the public dole and no doubted salted with aspiring jihadists. He intends to build mosques (which he calls “religious centers”) on military bases and is re-accrediting Muslim terror-affiliated organizations that Harper defunded. He inherited Harper’s balanced budget and in just a few short months was busy at work racking up a $29.4 billion deficit. Not to worry, since Trudeau is on record saying that budgets balance themselves. Magic is afoot. All one need do is continue believing in the Ministry of Silly Walks and the nation will stride ever forward.

According to a March 18, 2016 Ipsos poll, 66 per cent of Canadians approve of his performance. A boilerplate article by Jake Horowitz for Policy.Mic represents the general attitude of appreciation. In his meeting with Barack Obama, Horowitz writes, “it was Trudeau's tone of optimism, and his embrace of a style of politics marked by positivity, inclusion and equality, that truly shined [sic] through. Practically everything about his values comes in stark contrast to what we've heard from Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has dominated the 2016 election cycle with divisiveness, anger and fear-mongering.”

Often commentators will seek to buttress their personal liking or disliking on the basis of presumed intellectual substance. Despite his success in business, his knowledge of practical economics and international finance, and his instinctive recognition of what is needed in a country beset by astronomical deficits, trade imbalances and catastrophic immigration problems, Trump is frequently dismissed as an ignoramus. “Trump doesn't read,” says David Goldman. “He brags about his own ignorance. Journalist Michael d'Antonio interviewed Trump at his New York home and told a German newspaper: ‘What I noticed immediately in my first visit was that there were no books… huge palace and not a single book.’”