So, three things caught my eye on this day after the election:
- First, an old friend of mine quipped, on a military social media site, something like: “This was the most expensive cabinet shuffle in Canadians history;”
- Then, someone else quipped, also on social media, about the recently revealed AUKUS tripartite agreement that “Canada isn’t at the tale; it”s not in the room; Canada’s not even in the same postal code as the great liberal democracies;” and
- Finally, Robyn Urback, in a very good piece in the Globe and Mail, said that ” … had a candidate at any point in the campaign demonstrated a willingness to adopt an unpopular position for the greater good (on Quebec’s Bill 21, for example) or a swiftness in decision-making when the situation demanded … or a readiness to engage honestly with complex and laden issues (such as firearms regulations or pipeline politics), it would have demonstrated a capacity for leadership …” But, she said, and I agree, that none did. I expected nothing more from Prime M insider Trudeau but I did expect better from and I am disappointed in Mr O’Toole.
I think the “most expensive cabinet shuffle in Canadians history” is about the best analysis of the past five weeks that I have seen. It is the one-step sideways part of my post-election reflection. We, we as represented by our lawfully elected government-of-the-day, wasted $600 Million on what amounts to being a confirmation of the status quo, as many media analysts predicted it would be.
The voters saved Justin Trudeau the need to expend energy of thinking up a new and even less important cabinet post for Maryam Monsef and he’s probably grateful that her remarks about her Taliban “brothers” can be, largely, forgotten. The prime minister had big enough coat-talks to help elect a diverse enough mob of men and women so that his chief-of-staff, the very able Katie Telford, can craft a cabinet that puts a token on every significant voting block in Canada.
The business of AUKUS is more troubling, for me. I’m still trying to figure out why almost every journalist in Canada who could get within shouting distance of Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t pepper him, day and night, with question after question after question about why Canada has been kicked out of the most important of all the allied councils and how the PM plans to get us back at the table. But, of course, no one did. I guess I understand that since the overwhelming majority of Canadians ~ the readers, listeners and viewers who the journalists serve ~ don’t care then assignment editors and reporters focused on things in which most people are interested.
But, make no mistake. What President Biden and Prime Ministers Johnson and Morrison did was far, Far, FAR more consequential than anything and, indeed, everything that Justin Trudeau, Erin O’Toole, Jagmeet Singh, Yves-François Blanchet, Maxime Bernier and Annmarie Paul have done over the past six years. They reshaped the top-tier of the Western Alliance by kicking Canada out. That’s a HUGE step back for Canada and the responsibility ~ the blame ~ rests entirely on the shoulders of Prime Minister Justin. Trudeau … and on the shoulders of the shadowy (and very rich) people who pull his strings.
The second even bigger step backwards is the one Ms Urback mentioned. Not one of the leaders of any of the parties failed to acquiesce to the government of Québec’s odious Bill-21. I can understand that Messers Trudeau, Singh, Blanchet, Bernier and Ms Paul may all believe that Québec has some sort of right to discriminate against Canadian citizens on the basis of of their religious beliefs. I am confident that Canadian courts will, sooner or later, disabuse all of the illiberal ‘leaders’ of that nonsense. No one can be a liberal and fail to oppose Bill 21.
Since Canada is, still, I hope, a liberal-democracy with equal rights for all then I must remain confident that Chief Justice Wagner and his colleagues in th Supreme Court will strike down Bill-21. Now, Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh, Yves-François Blanchet and Maxime Bernier make no claims of being liberal (I’m not sure about Ms Paul) but Erin O’Toole does … but by going along to get along all he proved that he is a weak man.
The response, by all leaders, including Mr O’Toole, to a question posed by debate moderator Shachi Kurl to Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet during the Sept. 9 debate on the issue of Bill-21 was disgraceful. It was a good, legitimate question and it deserved an answer. That it didn’t get one and that so-called ‘leaders’ then attacked the question, itself, says that Canada as taken a significant step away from liberal values.
So, there we have it: Canada spent six weeks and six-hundred million dollars to accomplish … nothing, except to take one rater harmless step sideways and two big steps backwards which ave made us a weaker, poorer, and less liberal country. Are we proud of ourselves?