All posts for the day March 24th, 2018

During the Canadian Federal election of 2015 I remember passing through an intersection in my car. As I glided past the stop sign I noticed that somebody had added a crooked sticker beneath the word ‘stop’. All the sticker said, in bold letters, was a single name: Harper. This mantra, “STOP HARPER” (and thru proxy his Conservatives), was the refrain that defined the election that year. I recall thinking later that the word was literally on the street, that it seemed inevitable that the Conservatives would lose, and lose big.

It therefore came as no surprise to me when the Liberals, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, claimed 39.5% of the vote and “picked up 148 seats, easily the biggest numerical increase for a Canadian party since Confederation”. [1] Harper was effectively “STOPPED”, and his period in office, dating back to 2006, was suddenly finished. Youthful Trudeau had won the 42nd Canadian Federal Election and went on to become the new Prime Minister of Canada.

Many attempted to explain the upset, and every news agency postulated what had gone wrong for Harper. Some said it was because Harper was seen to be ‘against democracy’, with a steady stream of scandals (such as the ‘Robocalls’ incident), and actions that put into question their parties’ integrity.

Others said it was Harper’s disdain for the media, citing the fact that he seldom granted interviews or exposed himself to situations likely to grant news agencies the upper hand or make him look foolish. Perhaps he was right to avoid random, unscripted or ‘open’ question periods. I personally will always remember Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s early appearances on ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes’, especially those featuring Marg Delahunty. Boy, did he ever look like a stuffed shirt most of the time. Harper thereby began giving interviews “on the condition that the questions were restricted to one topic, such as the historic importance of D-Day. This meant that he could get valuable media exposure without having to handle queries on such embarrassing topics as the Senate expenses scandal.” [2]

But I believe that the real reason was much simpler than those suggested by the pundits and the political theorists. The real reason (coupled with the fact that Harper came across as a bored, dispassionate and uncomfortable most of the time), was that the opposition brought in a celebrity just in time for the election. And, ignoring the fact that it was prostitution politics at its worst, they chose someone who behaved like a cosmopolitan metrosexual. Female voters breathed a collective sigh. Young voters finally had someone to whom they could relate.

The name Trudeau had immediate associations for most people, conjuring images of the plaid suit wearing, sharp-tongued, exceptionally intelligent Bolshevik, Pierre Trudeau. Regardless of the fact that Pierre had arguably done astonishingly bad things to Canada and her economy while acting as Prime Minister, the name had a flashy connotation and a certain celebrity mystique attached to it. Trudeau, most agree, was a shaker and a mover, a radical who got things done, for better or for worse.

And Justin Trudeau, with his coiffed hair and devilish good looks, played the role of a celebrity very nicely. Indeed, one could say that young Trudeau, “who taught math, French, humanities and (most importantly) drama between 1999 and 2001 at Vancouver’s West Point Grey Private School” [3] was the perfect choice.

I recall seeing a Justin Trudeau commercial during the election campaign entitled “Real Change Now”. It featured him speaking before thousands of people at Liberal rally, delivering a movingly passionate speech about uniting Canada and replacing fear (of others) with hope. This speech, I recall, more than anything else, made it clear to me that Justin Trudeau was destined to win. Despite having no political experience, something often criticized when describing Trump, he played the part with perfect dexterity and deftness. Click To Watch People swooned when he was elected, like teenage girls at a boy band concert.

And so, we got what we deserved: a performer, not a leader, an actor, not a Prime Minister. Since this is what so many people voted for, Canadians (mostly young and female) were quite happy to indulge in his flamboyance and pretend that his antics were like episodic installments of a favourite sitcom. The selfies, his soft and cozy socialism and over-the-top feminism, the showboating, the hugs for newly immigrated Syrians, the goofy print socks… all of it was not just tolerated, but applauded. We as a nation could smile and chuckle ad infinitum as he wandered into people’s campgrounds shirtless [4] for photo ops with wedding parties or paraded with the homosexuals wearing a pink shirt and temporary rainbow maple leaf tattoo on his face. [5]

As with actors, Canadians also seemed infinitely willing to tolerate and forget his endless stockpile of stupid gaffes. Comments about the “budget balancing itself” [6], statements about how ISIS fighters can be “an extraordinarily powerful voice” in Canada [7], the incident in which he forgot that Alberta was a province during a Canada 150 speech [8]. There was the time he said that he wanted Canadians to “Stay angry”, that “all must pay” for Omar Khadr being awarded $10.5 million in reparations for his terrible Guantanamo torment. [9]. And let’s not forget his pledge to “Grow the economy from the heart outwards”. [10] As a writer for RWN, I winced at each increasingly dumb exclamation. I have been constantly revolted by just how much nonsense the Canadian public can absorb while still celebrating Trudeau.

Yet everyone hates a bad actor, and that’s just what Justin has become.  Trudeau’s most recent word usage gaffe has painfully illustrated to even the most ardent Trudeau enthusiast that the man is a politically correct turd. He hit bottom for many when he corrected a woman’s usage of the word ‘mankind’ during a Q & A session saying, “we like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind” in early February. [11] Although he later declared that this was spoken in jest, many people took the incident at face value for what it was, namely, a government representative mandating which politically correct pronouns a citizen should use in free speech. Some felt that this was creating a dangerous precedent, and began to glimpse the kind of statist ideals Trudeau was promoting.

And then came the infamous week-long trip to India, what came to be labelled as a ‘total disaster’, and a ‘cosplay-riddled embarrassment’ from February 17th – 23rd. An actor’s choices of attire can be oh-so important to his performance. Trudeau, our ever-chic Prime Minister and his family, donned traditional Indian costumes for the journey (as he had similarly many times in the past), despite the fact that nobody in India wears such gaudy attire anymore. Many regarded our fearless leader’s clothing choices as cultural appropriation, a cheap gimmick to help sway the Canadian Indian voter base, or, as playing dress-up on yet another tax paid vacation. Strutting and fretting (and sometimes even dancing) his time upon the stage, our Prime Minister’s actions were in fact, more farcical theatrics than leadership once more.

The Prime Minister made every blunder possible during this dubiously work-related family vacation, the worst involving Jaspal Atwal, “a Canadian national of Indian heritage, who in 1987 was sentenced to 20 years in a Canadian court for his part in the attempted murder of a visiting Indian state minister.” [12] An invitation was extended to the man, but then later withdrawn when the “error” came to light. To make matters worse, outlets then turned up photographs featuring Atwal standing with Sophie Trudeau, Justin’s wife, at a reception held in Mumbai. Our Prime Minister and his family, it seems, likes to keep with terrorists, dictators, and communist leaders: from Omar Khadr to Fidel Castro to Xi Jinping.

It’s time to face facts and admit that we as a Nation have elected a clown to lead us, a vacuous sock puppet controlled by socialist bureaucrat handlers. We have made a grave mistake, far graver than the American’s perceived ‘struggle’ with Donald Trump (as propagated and endorsed by CNN.) Let us pray that Canada’s love affair with Justin Trudeau is wearing off and that during the next election, in 2019, we as a nation can avoid the temptation to vote for a talking hairdo instead of a leader. I dearly hope to see ‘STOP TRUDEAU’ street signs appear (complete with a caricature of Trudeau’s face, looking suitably asinine beneath the word STOP.) For God’s sake Canada, we may not get a second chance to salvage our country’s pride, her economy and what is left of her dwindling sovereign inhabitants.

Do something.