Fallout (2)

The Trudeau elbowing has not, despite herculean Liberal efforts to “change the channel,” gone away and, in fact, it is getting global attention in the “big leagues,” too.

Why?

Because, as David McLaughlin said in the Globe and Mail, the real issue isn’t elbows or anything quite so exciting rather … “It is the mastery of the House, however, that is the underlying issue here. The Liberal government has proven itself an uneven, even callous, manager of House business and affairs since being elected. The Trudeau incident is actually the third acute manifestation in one week of their inability to shepherd the House to pass government business.” This is a young, inexperienced government with too many ministers in the front rank who were picked for “Sunny Ways” and a proving to be less than good managers or parliamentarians.

downloadThis will pass, as all things do, but it has taken the bloom of the rose, so to speak … and life will not be quite the same for the Trudeau government. As Ms Ellen said in The Guardian: “after the almost-blanket western dribbling over Trudeau, son of former PM, Pierre, and “hip” beacon of genial liberalism, hailed as a happy contrast to the repressive, divisive, socially stiff previous Conservative leader Stephen Harper. However, even before The Elbow Cometh, the honeymoon was over. The cult of Trudeau was becoming too dominant; there were too many cutesy photo-ops, too much style over substance, and not enough hard government graft, his oft-cited likability starting to grate. So far, so normal for a new leader – the celestial glow and heavenly choir were always going to depart at some point. Still, there’s no discounting the shock of seeing someone of Trudeau’s rank manhandling others to make them do his bidding faster.

Let us be clear, Ms Brosseau was not assaulted, the PM’s apology was, in my opinion, sufficient, if not especially gracious. Grabbing Mr Brown was both improper and, argiphyguably, an offence against House of Commons rules, but, again, an apology, however weak, is sufficient. What was wrong, what, I think, bothers so many, is the attitude that we saw: the sense of entitlement. The PM and some of his team think they are entitled to have their way in everything … they are a majority government, after all, and they can, eventually, even with all those pesky rules, do pretty much as they want, so why cannot they not have everything they want right now? It looked like a childish temper tantrum and that means that our Prime Minister looks, to the world, like an ill-manner, spoiled child. That’s the problem.

His agenda, with most of which too many people already find fault, is in danger because of his own lack of “bottom,” as the Brits call that indefinable but quite vital political leadership characteristic that e.g. Harold Macmilland and Harold Wilson had and e.g. Tony Blair didn’t and, it’s now clear, Justin Trudeau doesn’t.

But, it is time to end the talk about “elbowgate” and move on to the real issues:

  • The budget;
  • The defence review;
  • Aboriginal relations;
  • Pipelines; and, above all
  • Leadership.

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