Wednesday 15 May 2013

Justin Trudeau crowdsources leadership

Really? Tuck in your shirt! Buy a belt!
Justin Trudeau has been fundraising on vague promises to the middle class, while echoing the Obama formula of hope and hard work. In the political sphere, hard work gets results when a leader’s role and vision is clearly defined, which in turn can make hope seem reasonable. Sadly, the problem faced by the Liberal Party is that Justin Trudeau is not interested in leadership, as can be exemplified by his recent “speak up and be heard” campaign, in which Canadians are supposed to submit a question on “middle-class concerns”.

The man is a millionaire; he’s paid $157,731 a year and, apparently, wants folks to sign up to do his job for him.

Justin Trudeau’s calculation appears to be that Canadians won’t care if he is a competent leader or not. In fact, his new-found support, when you scratch the surface, isn’t support at all. Instead, his legion of followers fall into one or a combination of two camps: the “he will have good advisers" camp and the “he’s better than Harper" camp. Which is to say, these alleged supporters would presumably vote for any well-meaning person with enough cash to hire a crew of politically savvy anti-Harperites. This time around, it just happens to be an oleaginous dude named Justin Trudeau.

However, the assumption that Trudeau would do less harm than Harper is dangerous. So far, there isn’t much evidence that his policies would be that different, and plenty of evidence that he’s a sloppy neo-con with no new ideas. He’s keen on pipelines, and thinks it’s fine to blow hundreds of millions of dollars on an unelected, corrupt, and unproductive Senate. Presumably, he won’t pander to Israel, and isn’t afraid of science. Well, that’s something, but not much. Creepy

The juvenile anti-Trudeau ad put out by the Harperites, and Trudeau’s sophomoric response, would leave any reasonably-minded Canadian despairing at the state of leadership in Canada. The NDP’s Thomas Mulcair has kept to the sidelines, a wise choice, particularly given his exposure to his party’s cynical Quebec policy. Mulcair may be an opportunist, but on a good day he’s a bad-ass. For now, he’s trying to be low key and statesman-like (the leader of her majesty’s official opposition!) and we get to watch Creepy and Creepy go after one another.

Why is Justin Trudeau creepy? Well, for starters he makes weird flip camera videos with his shirt untucked, slurring his words. Was that halting voice really his best take? But most importantly, he is creepy because he is not what he seems, and is getting a free ride before he inevitably backtracks on his promises.

And why is Stephen Harper creepy? This blog only expects so much of your attention. So let’s just go to the recent examples. He gets his political hacks to solicit birthday greetings for himself, and then asks his followers to send his wife a mother’s day card.

The Conservatives are now mired in a burgeoning scandal related to corruption in the Senate, their dishonest claims of “reform” as hollow as ever. Meanwhile, the Liberals are surging, having picked up a seat in Newfoundland and Labrador, and pulling off a surprise majority in British Columbia’s provincial election.

At present, the man who refuses to lead is topping the polls to be Canada’s next leader. His populism is well calculated, and might just work, though in La politica’s opinion he may be peaking too soon. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Think about it. 

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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1 comment:

  1. It's time for change because too many suffer because of politics and greed!