In an item in today’s National Post, John Ivison wonders about the turmoil in the new Liberal government. He asks himself if it’s because “ministerial offices are crammed with “kids” who used to work at Queen’s Park, old friends hired by former McGuinty-era Liberals, Gerald Butts, now Trudeau’s principal secretary in Ottawa, and Katie Telford, his chief of staff;” or, perhaps, it is due to the fact that “behind the curtain, things are not quite as fabulous as the Liberals would have you believe … [and] … policy is moving at the pace of coastal erosion and the blame for that is being placed on the slow appointment of staff. The loss of two chiefs in the first months in power has not helped matters.”
While both things are partially true, Mr Ivison gets to the real issue a bit later; it is that: “The Trudeau Liberals have been much more adept at selling their message than implementing it.” There’s a reason for that. Put simply, we don’t have a Liberal government; what we have is a Liberal campaign office installed in the Langevin Block.
Butts-Trudeau-Telford are a formidable campaign machine. And that’s all they really want to do in Ottawa: campaign for Kathleen Wynne in 2016/17/18 and for more of Justin Trudeau in 2017/18/19.
We’re going to be getting another load of this …
… propelled along by a good deal of this …
Campaigning is easy, almost second nature for Butts-Trudeau-Telford; it’s easy to make promises and to fling someone else’s money at problems. Governing is much, much harder, eventually one must make choices, even <shudder> unpopular choices ~ and that’s anathema to campaigners. So, for now your Canadian government is focused, mainly, on trying to get Ontario Premier Wynne re-elected ~ a task that, right now, is beginning to look pretty difficult, which explains why it is the top priority task for the Langevin Block. Those “kids” in the PMO are pretty smart, very savvy campaign professionals and they are less worried about glacially slow policy development than they are in putting some much needed lipstick on the Ontario Liberal Party’s pig. But it’s not impossible and the Laurentian Elites are fully supportive, or will be as soon as Bombardier’s bailout is complete … however it is done. The polling I have seen indicates that the prime minister is, still, very popular, as is the Liberal brand in Canada. Canadians remain more than willing to give Justin Trudeau the benefit of the doubt. The only problem is the need to burnish Premier Wynne’s credentials and reputation, and it may well be that will be the focus of the March 2016 federal budget: spending that will help Ontario.
Meanwhile other problems, foreign and domestic, in the economic, social and security domains, are allowed to fester and grow worse because the campaign team …
…doesn’t really want to govern. It’s too hard and it’s a low priority task.
Congratulations, Canada! Almost 40% of the almost 70% of us who bothered to vote, selected Team Trudeau, and now we’ve all got them.
We, all Canadians, need to tell prime Minister Trudeau that it is time to stop campaigning and try governing … if he knows how.