Justin Trudeau's Pyhrric Victory
The reward for calling a completely unnecessary election is the status quo. The penalty may be far greater.
I have long maintained to anyone who will listen (a list that grows shorter by the day) that we are living in the Golden Age of Bullshit.
This conviction is reinforced each time certain political figures open their mouths in an attempt to convince me that the reality I see in front of me is actually something quite different. Exhibit “A” from this week: The hardest working woman in political lying, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki.
Psaki wheeled out her particular brand of bullpshit in response to a reporter asking why it was that foreign nationals legally travelling by air were required to show proof of vaccination status, while foreign nationals entering the country illegally by land were not.
“They are not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time,” Psaki pstated, “I don’t think it’s the same thing. It’s not the same thing.”
Hmm. So, Jen, allow me to sum this up. You’re saying that someone from Haiti is spending their life savings and undertaking a perilous journey of thousands of miles in order to visit Disneyland, grab some souvenirs, and head home? That’s gotta be confusing to a French businessman coming to New York for a week of meetings. Apparently, he’s the one seeking a better life. Gotcha. Maybe you ought to “circle back” on that one.
In a similar vein, allow me to put forward Exhibit “B”: Justin Trudeau’s victory speech last night, after spending 610 million dollars of borrowed money for an election that changed exactly nothing. Trudeau’s Liberals went into the election with a minority, forcing them to work mostly with the pliable socialists of the NDP. The carefree days of his majority from 2015-2019 were a happy memory, one he clearly was willing to risk public health (there’s a pandemic on, apparently) and a sizeable chunk of national treasure (the most expensive election in Canadian history) to recapture.
The result? Almost exactly the same seat distribution he got in 2019. Nothing of any consequence was achieved, except that the mutual suspicion of the regions has only deepened, and the fringe People’s Party of Canada has gained ground, ensuring a growing partisan divide in the years to come, with increased Western alienation. Worth it? Today, I overhead even avowed Liberals grumbling about the whole pointless exercise. Only Justin Trudeau could alienate his own base for no reason.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe summed it up best. “The most pointless election in Canadian history.”
But none of that was apparent last night in Montreal. He did “win,” after all. And he clearly felt, or wished to project, that he had accomplished something, though by any objective standard, he hadn’t.
Trudeau proclaimed that “Canadians are sending us back to work with a clear mandate.”
Oh, really? A clear mandate, Justin, if you wanted to grab a dictionary, would be a majority government, something you might have gotten if you hadn’t shot yourself in the foot with ethical scandals, dress-up escapades, budget blowing, and rank hypocrisy. But you didn’t get that, did you? You barely moved the meter. In fact, it’s looking like Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives won the popular vote tally again, repeating their performance in 2019. Less than a third of voters picked “Team Trudeau,” so that’s not really much of a mandate, is it?
Yes, by the rules of the first-past-the-post system Trudeau promised to abolish in 2015 before his pollsters whispered in his ear, he won. I’m not going to whine about a “Stolen Election” here. I’m not wearing a MAGA hat. The Liberals’ support was more widely spread across the country, particularly in the critical conurbations of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. He won, alright. But what exactly did he win?
Sometimes, we win by losing. Other times, we lose by winning.
In the 1979 general election, Trudeau’s father lost to the Progressive Conservatives under Joe Clark. Clark won, but he also lost, having to govern the economic mess of a divided country Trudeau had left him.
Pierre Trudeau had sown the whirlwind, and poor hapless Joe Clark reaped it. Less than a year later, Pierre returned to power with a majority and a spring in his step. Such is the luck of Team Trudeau.
This time, Trudeau “won.” But perhaps, in the long term, he has actually lost. For this time, the calamity ahead will not be borne by a hapless Conservative, but by the architect of the calamity himself: Justin Trudeau.
There’s a great, understated scene in the German film Downfall. In April 1945, with the Soviets surrounding Berlin, Minister for Armaments Albert Speer tells his boss Adolf Hitler that he must be in Berlin for the downfall of the Third Reich.
“You must be there when the curtain falls.” Speer tells Hitler.
Probably about the only good thing that can be said about Hitler (besides the fact that he liked animals) is that he didn’t shy away from this responsibility. Ultimately, he tasted the death and destruction he had wreaked on the world and his own people. He was there when the curtain fell.
Calm down, Trudeauites. I’m not comparing Hitler and your idol, except in one particular. A leader who gambles with his country’s future must be there when the bets are called.
Had Erin O’Toole won yesterday, he might have faced that fate. Voters rarely remember who caused problems, only those who were in the wheelhouse when the waves capsized the ship. Now, however, Trudeau will, it is almost certain, be there when the reckoning comes, in three particular areas.
One: The nation is more divided than it has been since 1980.
As one writer said last week: Canada isn’t so much a nation state as it is a collection of regions, all out to grab as much as they can. To be fair to Trudeau, he didn’t create this problem. He inherited it, and it’s one that has its roots in Confederation and the Seven Years’ War before that.
But, like his father, Trudeau hasn’t done anything to make the problem better; in fact, he’s exacerbated it. He’s played up to Quebec’s always grating to the rest of Canada’s ambitions, promising ever more largesse and alienating the province’s English-language minority. He’s denied or failed to support the West’s energy sector, reinforcing the sense that Canadians west of Thunder Bay don’t matter. His gun-control policies, completely unrelated to the illegal guns used in 90% of violent crimes, have alienated rural Canadians.
Add to these traditional divides, a couple of new ones. In response to the discovery of unmarked graves in residential school grounds, where Aboriginal children were once forced to attend and subjected to abuse, Trudeau has supported flags across the nation staying at half-staff “Until First Nations people are prepared for them to be raised.” I can tell you for a fact that I have seen one hell of a lot of Maple Leafs being flown at full staff, where they weren’t before. Trudeau seems to be suggesting that the nation as a whole should hang its head in shame, and keep that head down, more-or-less permanently. It must not occur to him, or perhaps he doesn’t care, what kind of resentment and racial animosity that must be breeding. But it’s an acceptable substitute for him for any kind of meaningful solutions to Aboriginal problems, like the lack of potable water on reserves, or the demotion of the highest-ranking Aboriginal cabinet member ever for her daring to point out to him that he was asking her to break the law.
With Justin, substance always takes a back seat to symbolism.
And the COVID pandemic has added one more wedge issue to the pile. During the campaign, Justin was heckled, quite rudely, and even pelted with gravel. While I certainly don’t agree with this asinine behaviour, especially since I think it garnered him some “poor Justin” sympathy votes, I believe there is a certain amount of just desserts here.
At the start of the pandemic, the Trudeau government placed a ludicrous amount of faith in the pronouncements of a regime that had already locked up two Canadians on spurious charges. The main concern seemed to be not being racist. Masks were no good, and a travel ban was pointless. COVID wasn’t transmissible person-to-person anyway.
Then, it all blew up, and Team Trudeau got serious. Sort of. They wasted precious time collaborating with one particular country on a vaccine, you know, that country that locks up Canadians for no reason? Surprise, surprise, China pulled the rug out from under us, and we had to scramble to make up for lost time. Trudeau’s wife got COVID while hobnobbing with liberal celebrities in London, and when Justin came back from the G-7 Summit, there was no sketchy quarantine hotel with bad food for him. No, there was a suite at the Chateau Laurier, definitely the swankiest hotel I’ve ever stayed in.
It was a PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY, we were told. No picnics or family gatherings! But flights from India and China? Meh. Odd, though, how the required daily public briefings from Public Health Canada dried up when the election was called. No news is good news, I guess, when there’s an election to be won.
There’s a good portion of the anti-vaxx, anti-mask crowd who are loons, plain and simple. But I’d be willing to bet that there’s a fair number of people at those rallies who don’t appreciate Trudeau’s lese-majesty and constant goal-post changing.
I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that Canada is not more divided than it ever has been, on a number of fronts, since 1980, the year of the first Quebec Independence referendum, and Trudeau Senior’s National Energy Policy.
If anyone can divide a country, a Trudeau can. That’s a whirlwind he may have to reap very soon.
Two: The world security order has been upended. Trudeau has no plan to protect Canada.
Conspicuously absent from the campaign was any mention of national security issues. This is not unusual in Canada, however, as we suffer from a kind of American isolationism, convinced that our oceans, though easily crossed by fleets, ICBMs, and viruses, computer and otherwise, will somehow always protect us.
But the issue remains, for those who are paying attention. Justin Trudeau does not appear to be one of those people.
He has put off, indefinitely it seems, any replacement of our ageing fighter fleet. His supposed attempt to replace our rusting surface fleet has degenerated into the usual Quebec/Maritimes make work project, and will likely come to fruition sometime in mid-century, by which time the ships will likely be obsolete. Our army seems mainly to be focused on gender-equality now.
Wars? Canadians don’t fight wars!
Focused as he has been on boutique leftist politics, celebrity, and luxury, Trudeau has failed to notice or appreciate the ground shifting under his feet. Canada is no longer welcome at the tables of the high and mighty. Our flirtation with China has caused suspicion within the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. The US, UK, and Australia have concluded a new defence agreement without us. Our nationals were turned away from the gates of Kabul Airport by US troops.
We’ve been international lightweights for a long time, to be sure. Pierre Trudeau started it off with his drastic cuts to the military in 1970. Of course, this was the man who avoided the overseas draft in WWII because he didn’t think it was “my fight.”
As the father, so the son. Trudeau’s disdain for the military is palpable. And it’s shared by many Canadians. Besides, the reasoning seems to go, if we really get in trouble, Uncle Sam will bail us out, right?
Look at what happened in Kabul. The US abandoned its own citizens in Afghanistan, for God’s sakes. Are we still going to count on them to defend us? Let’s remember that we never really got around to signing that pesky missile shield agreement with George W Bush, right? So, if we pick up an incoming missile, are we counting on Santa Claus to take it out?
China has noticed the retreat of the US, as has Russia and Iran. Russia and China have designs on the Arctic, and Iran shoots down an airliner full of Canadians with essentially zero consequences. Memo to Canadians: As Norm used to say in “Cheers,” it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and we’re wearing milk bone underwear.”
“Soft Power,” the gentle persuasion and cajoling so many Canadians believe in like a magic unicorn that shits out wishes, is bunk. China does not recognize it. There’s a reason there are two Canadians sitting in Chinese solitary confinement thanks to Canada’s enforcement of an American extradition warrant against a Huawei executive: They aren’t Americans.
Americans, despite Joe Biden’s feebleness and Mark Milley’s excessive helpfulness, still possess hard power. Enough to make Chairman Xi think twice about being a bully. Canada does not. So, when a Chinese battle fleet decides to cruise the Northwest Passage, what exactly is our plan? When they decide, “Nice underwater oil reserves, we’ll take them,” what will we do?
Canada’s neglect of its national security will have consequences, and they may well be realized on Trudeau’s watch.
Three: Hundreds of billions in dollars in debt will have serious economic consequences.
Justin famously said during the campaign that he wasn’t concerned with monetary policy; no, he was concerned about families.
How noble. Perhaps he, a man who has never had to worry about money, forgot that most Canadians very much do. Especially the ones supporting families.
Many Canadians, lacking an understanding of basic economics, thanks to our “what kind of a tree do you feel like” educational system, share this conceit. They’re quite happy to cash the cheques given out freely during the pandemic, forgetting of course that said cheques are in fact their own recycled tax dollars. The man who said “the budget will balance itself” long before COVID has not used the pandemic to read up on Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes, no, he has instead printed money with a largesse exceeding that of any wartime government.
Here’s the way it works: The more money you print, the less it’s worth. Period. If you want to see the end result of this sort of foolishness, look at Venezuela. Any questions?
Inflation, on a scale most Canadians have never seen, is coming, most likely in 2022. The price of everything will go up, all over the world, but most particularly in countries that have abandoned basic monetary policy in favour of the Drunken Sailor Model, like the US and Canada. Add to that the compounding effects on transport and production of carbon taxes, and “Brother, Can You Spare a Loonie” sounds like a good candidate for our next national anthem.
People needed help; I get it. I availed myself of some of it, too. But it was often given out with little or no safeguards, and many people collected it who didn’t need it. Draconian lockdown policies crippled the small businesses that create much of the employment and tax revenue in our country, and most others. This was all done by a government that was already going nuts long before the virus broke out of the Wuhan lab. Let’s remember that Trudeau had taken the balanced budget bequeathed to him by Harper, in the aftermath of a global financial crisis, no less, and squandered it well before COVID.
What goes up, must come down. And it will come down on Trudeau’s watch, not O’Toole’s, a fact which the Conservative leader should be thanking Jeebus for.
Justin Trudeau will be on stage when the curtain falls, when the cascade of crises he has either engendered or ignored for too long becomes a concatenation of disaster. That is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is a just dessert for one man.
Enjoy the champagne now, Justin. It’ll be off next year.