Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Justin Trudeau Weighs in on Political Principles

With the Olympics now a memory Canada returns to our other national sport, politics. With the battle now rejoined it appears that the Liberal Party of Canada is pulling out the big guns to fire the opening salvos. It began with Iffy's op-ed piece in the Grope and Flail....the one he wrote during the gold medal game and is now followed by this stellar bit from the crown prince of the LPC. Justin Trudeau.

Justin awkwardly opens here:

Even though it makes my job as a member of the Official Opposition a little easier, I am genuinely disappointed that this Conservative government didn’t hold true to the principles that brought it to power.

And I’m not even talking about their abject failure to be fiscally responsible or their enthusiasm for patronage and pork. I’m referring to the basic premise of the old Reform Party, the call for a government that is open, accountable, and respectful of democratic values and the rights of its citizens.

Who would have thought that the brilliance that sprang from the loins of the great Pierre Elliot Trudeau would one day bemoan the passing of Preston Manning's Reform Party. Of course it gets better. Justin further elucidates:

Instead, over the past four years, Stephen Harper has carefully nurtured and encouraged a level of cynicism about politics and politicians heretofore unseen in Canada. Instead of championing the conservative principle of less government, he made people believe less in government.

Ummm....Justin....simple folk like myself don't believe in government intervention, so it follows that less is best. PM Harper did not create this belief in me, your dad did. Meanwhile JT further hacks his way through this piece:

He started by selling us policies that were simple and catchy, but had little real impact (think GST cuts instead of income-tax cuts, or $100 child-care cheques instead of actual child-care spaces). Add to that his propensity to launch vicious personal attacks on anyone – politician or citizen – with the temerity to disagree with them, and his tried and true Bush-era tactic of loudly repeating semi-truths and falsehoods often enough for them to take hold, and it’s no wonder that a weary populace has been turning away from the goings-on in Ottawa.

He becomes a scary them, followed by the obligatory Bush/Harper bash and closes with a wondering, wailing, warble about the tragedy of it all. Justin does manage to finish with a flourish though:

The fact that Stephen Harper didn't anticipate the strength of the prorogation outrage is proof that he overestimated the effectiveness of his campaign of induced cynicism. And, yet again, underestimated Canadians' faith in our democracy. Because for all the undeniable short-term partisan advantages of wedge issues, attack ads, and the politics of division, Canadians resist because we know that we deserve better.

We are a people of differences, in languages, religions, backgrounds, histories, cultures, and colours, but we are a people bound together by values that run deeper. We are open, compassionate, and generous. We seek justice, liberty, and opportunities for all. But above everything, we respect each other, and demand that respect in return.

And that’s why Stephen Harper’s strategies of secrecy, small-mindedness, and cynicism will ultimately fail, because simply put: Canadians will never trust a government that does not trust Canadians.

Listen up kid. My political cynicism began with your father. When you speak of wedge politics you seem to forget that dear dead dad perfected the game. When you speak of respect you fail to recognize that real respect is earned not demanded and when you speak of trust you obviously overlook the brown envelopes crammed with our money that found their way into LPC coffers.

Finally a couple of quotes from a well known, even revered, Canadian politician of yore:

“If I found in my own ranks that a certain number of guys wanted to cut my throat, I'd make sure that I cut their throats first.”


“Power only tires those who don't exercise it.”

Three guesses who's quoted.