When I think of Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, an old Star-Kist tuna commercial pops into my head. The one that tells Charlie, “Sorry Charlie we want tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste”. Trudeau keeps saying things and doing things that make him look good. The problem is that his looking good is doing very little when it comes to making the lives of the average Canadian, economically, environmentally, or socially better.
Many Canadians found it entertaining when women gushed over what they saw as Justin Trudeau’s physical good looks and charm. Canadians felt important and included when he said that he cared and valued what we thought. Canadians, felt they could trust Justin Trudeau, because he walked among them, talked directly to them and promised them “Sunny Ways”. Justin Trudeau, looked and sounded so good after ten years of Stephen Harper.
- was distant and unapproachable;
- did not seem to value, or want the opinions of anyone who had opinions that did not promote, or support his agenda: governing Canada like it was a dictatorship rather than a democracy;
- appeared to be uncomfortable when in direct contact with ordinary Canadians, or in public settings. dictatorship style of governance.
After over a year of broken campaign promises, many Canadians are beginning to think Justin Trudeau is all talk and no walk.
There seem to be many reasons for what appears to be his inability to get things done, such as:
- he seems not to understand, or appreciate the mechanics of Canadian politics;
- appears to be naïve, talking of sunny ways and ignoring the complexities and intricacies of dealing effectively with opposition parties, arm’s-length government agencies, and the senate, in order to get its agenda accomplished.
Justin Trudeau made several mistakes before the campaign, during the campaign and after winning the election that have put the Liberal Party at disadvantage when it comes to governing, even though they have a majority government.
Before the campaign: Justin Trudeau’s biggest mistake was to make the Liberal appointed senators independent, without getting the Conservatives to do the same. The decision to do so looked good, but put his party at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to getting bills through the Senate.
The unofficial campaign: Justin Trudeau’s unofficial campaign started shortly after he became the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Trudeau’s inability to open his mouth without putting his foot in it, forced him to take to the road and sell himself and his party as the more accessible, empathetic, inclusive, democratic party. Trudeau did a great job of convincing the majority of Canadians that the Liberal Party of Canada was the political party that would guarantee that all Canadians would get a voice, and guaranteed that would not only be heard, but what was heard would be transformed into meaningful action. The problem is that he had promised himself and his party to be all things to all people. This is an impossible task. This mistake set himself, his party to look like hypocrites and lying just to get votes.
The official campaign: Justin Trudeau painted himself and his party into a corner by stating that his party saying that he would not do whatever it took to get accomplished the things that he promised Canadians he would do for them.
It will be slow going for the Trudeau government as they try to get legislation passed, because:
- once Liberal Senators now independent can no longer be counted on to vote along party lines;
- the opposition party’s belief that they were elected to vote against every motion, or bill that the government puts forward;
- of the promise, not use the power of the majority government that Canadians gave him.
Unfortunately, the Liberals are in a self-inflicted no win situation. They will either look bad when they finally try to use their majority to get legislation passed, or be considered ineffective as a government if they stick to their campaign promise and do not get their legislation passed.
Justin Trudeau sold himself as:
- a feminist;
- an environmentalist;
- a leader who wanted a better relationship with First Nations;
- a leader that guaranteed democratic reform, starting with the end of first past the post elections.
Listed below are some of the reasons that I feel that all the above things that Justin Trudeau sold himself as during the campaign have since the election been proved to be false. Justin Trudeau:
- promised to be a “global leader” on climate change. After the election was won, Federal Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna, only six days on the job, while in Paris preparing for the United Nations climate-change summit gave the green light for Montreal to dump billions of liters of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River so the city can make critical repairs to its waste-water system. (a billion liters of raw sewage into the river a day for five days.);
- promoted himself as a feminist. After the election agreed to a joint initiative to empower women with American President Donald Trump, who is a self-admitted violator of women,(In 2017, this seems like giving a convicted sex offender, community service in a women shelter instead of going to jail.);
- promised to repeal parts of the controversial Bill C-24, which gave Ottawa the power to strip Canadian citizenship from dual nationals. After the election, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, made it her priority to clean up Canada’s Criminal Code by stripping so-called “zombie laws” from the books instead;
- promised to create a new relationship with Indigenous nations. After the election he okayed two controversial pipeline projects despite the vigorous objection of many of the First Nations communities who are in the direct path of the projects…causing a spokesperson for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation to call the Prime Minister a “serial liar”.
- Promised democratic reform. On June 16 2015 while campaigning Justin Trudeau said,”We are committed to ensuring that the 2015 election will be the last federal election using first-past-the-post” On Dec. 4, 2015 , his Throne speech pledges to boot first-past-the-post. Justin Trudeau abandoned this campaign promise. Feb. 1, 2017 Justin Trudeau bails on promise to change Canada’s voting system;
- promised to legalize marijuana in part so young adults would stop getting criminal records for simple procession of recreational pot. After the election was won, he introduced legislation to let adults possess 30 grams of marijuana in public, while at the same time ordering the police to “enforce the law” and criminally charge illegal marijuana dispensaries and those who use marijuana recreationally. The Prime Minister said,”Until the new law is enacted some time in 2017, the current prohibition stands.” “So, I don’t know how much clearer we can be that we’re not legalizing marijuana to please recreational users.”
The people of Canada were promised a voice in their governance, meaningful action, and transparency in exchange for their vote. We were promised sunny ways, but all that I have seen so far is broken promises and his admission that on most issues he has no idea what Canadians want, and on the issues he feels he knows what we want, he has no clue on how to give it to us.
Canada and Canadians need and deserve more out of their Prime Minister, then a self-promoting, camera hog, who cannot help thrusting himself in front of a camera for a photo opt at every available opportunity, like he did when he:
- took to the stage to give a speech at a Canadian play on Broadway, written by Canadians to honor and remember Canada and Canadian’s willingness to help others in time of crisis;
- made a cameo appearance in the opening skit of the Juno Awards.
Sorry Justin, Canadians need a Prime Minister that does good things for them, rather than looks good for them!