Derek Burney, a long time, diplomat (Ambassador to both South Korea and the USA), former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, corporate CEO and scholar, says, in an article in the National Post, that “The combination of a flimsy fiscal update and the erratic management of the COVID-19 pandemic raises questions about the competence of government in a crisis. Public trust should be ebbing on both challenges.“
His message is quite stark and simple: Team Trudeau ~ at the political and policy levels …
… consists, mainly, of a group of half-wits and tokens who serve an incompetent bungler who is guided by a handful of power-hungry ideologues, all in the service of the Laurentian Elites.
For example, he writes: “the fiscal update reads like an election platform providing a pastiche of many flavours intended to appeal to a galaxy of potential Liberal voters, outflanking the NDP on the left as was done successfully in 2015 … [but] … As a responsible financial forecast of what lies ahead, it beggars belief … [and] … On COVID-19, the cacophony of voices – scientific and political – in Canada accentuates a checkered, whack-a-mole response to the virus by governments, inspiring more confusion than trust in the debate, more fear, even hysteria, and shaking confidence with the public at large … [plus] … Despite a decade of extensive grants and funding mechanisms intended to boost innovation, Canada stands dismally 22nd in the world, one notch below Slovenia … [however, above it all] … An undercurrent of smug satisfaction prevails, nonetheless because, while we may not be coping well, we are doing better on the virus than our American neighbours.” That “smug satisfaction” is, I believe, a calculated, cynical bit of manipulation designed by the political tacticians and spoon-fed to a too-often lazy, compliant and uncritical media (not all of it, I hasten to point out, there are honourable exceptions that prove the rule) that, as I said before, acts like a pack of “well paid stenographers on the Trudeau PMO’s payroll.”
Amongst the remedies Ambassador Burney recommends are “a conservative approach to government spending … [and, echoing one of my hobby horses, looking at] … structural reforms for a [Health Care] system that is more than 50 years old and is wilting under the combined pressure of soaring demand and limited resources.“
There are, indeed, in my opinion, real, major “questions about the competence of [this] government … [and] … The public has reason to be skeptical.” There is barely a single file, from the Arctic through to zebra mussels in which I think this government performs at an acceptably competent level.
Most of us knew, five years ago, that the Conservative campaign was correct and Prime Minister Trudeau was “just not ready” but 39% of us voted for Liberal candidates anyway, because they (I wasn’t part of that 39%, I haven’t voted Liberal since the early 1960s) were tired of Stephen Harper’s cold, calculating incrementalism and his focus on balanced budgets. Thirty-nine percent of those of who voted wanted panache and a bit of colour and something “free,” and they were tired of (totally phoney) stories, planted by Liberal political tacticians in Liberal-friendly media outlets, that said Canada was a “climate dinosaur. By 2019 nearly one million of us had learned a lesson, and even though the total vote fell by a little over 1% the Liberal vote fell by over 6%.
I agreed, yesterday, that it will be difficult for Erin O’Toole to unseat a prime minister who is, still, inexplicably popular with more than just his base. Liberal support, despite everything, hangs in minority territory, but above the level at which it was in October of last year. It will be difficult but not impossible. For Canada’s sake the Conservative Party needs to win the next election but, given how some (not all) of the media love to misrepresent and misquote and even fabricate stories about Conservatives …
… it will be an uphill struggle. Anyone who thinks that there is not a strong anti-Conservative bias in a lot of Canadian media outlets doesn’t read very much.
But, bottom line: Erin O’Toole and his team are quite likely to provide Canada with a competent government. There is no reason for anyone to believe that Justin Trudeau and his team can, somehow, grow into the job if we just give them one mo chance. In the next election ~ and it is rumoured that Justin Trudeau wants one in the Spring ~ let’s get it right.