Is Justin Trudeau just a damp squib?

Andrew MacDougall, who was, many years ago, director of communications for then Prime Minister Stephen Harper and who now writes on current events for several Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 05.55.14journals, says, in Maclean’s magazine, that “Justin Trudeau has done Rolling Stone. He’s done Vogue. And now he’s (been) done (in) by Lisa Simpson … [on a recent episode of the (adult?) TV cartoon showThe Simpsons‘] … How far has the SNC-Lavalin scandal travelled? All the way to Springfield. Invited to Skype with the Prime Minister in the episode, Lisa asks Trudeau about SNC and then watches as he peacocks out the window of his office. From the “free world’s best hope” (Rolling Stone’s words) to punchline in a couple of years … [but, he says, maybe] … that’s just me being churlish. It probably doesn’t matter  … [but, again] … what if it does? … [perhaps] … Like the 526fc2f3eb1c0recent flare up at the Constance Bay, Ont., sandbag station, where the Prime Minister was berated by a local, the Simpsons episode is another sign of how Justin Trudeau’s greatest strength—being Justin Trudeau—has morphed into a weakness. The charisma that wowed the crowds in 2015 has all gone a bit Vegas. As in, the Elvis kind … [but, with sincere apologies to all the Elvis impersonators and game show hosts, everywhere, Mr MacDougall says] … it feels like everything the Liberals are doing these days smacks of trying too hard: giving millions to billionaires to combat climate change; giving a million to snag a seat on the Security Council; and the Prime Minister flogging climate rebates on his Twitter feed like a millenial Monty Hall.

Now, Andrew MacDougall says, and I agree, “Climate change is, of course, of prime importance. And Scheer really ought to have a plan by now. But he’s under no obligation to produce one until the campaign. More to the point, the Liberals probably have the climate vote banked; they need to diversify their offer if they’re going to shore up support … [but, the thing is that] … this Liberal government has been about a man as much as it has been about a program. The world loved D5KrBP2UEAA2o0ZCanada because its glorious leader stepped out of central casting to pick up the Obama baton. That’s why the thought of diversifying away from Trudeau the celebrity Prime Minister has never been contemplated. In Trudeau the leaderification of Canadian politics has reached its high water mark in form, if not substance. Live by the selfie, die by the selfie.

When Trudeau was in the midst of his long honeymoon,” Mr MacDougall concludes, “it was often said the next election was his to lose … [but] … It won’t only be the skeptics holding their breath. Ordinary Canadians can see the government’s engine has turned out to be a bright firework  … [a squib] … that can only be set off one time and is now in the process of fizzling out.

 

 

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