Whatever his faults (and being a Liberal can be one of them), Trudeau did not deserve to be attacked because of his family’s wealth and his upbringing
In Defense of Justin Trudeau
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For anyone who has any core political beliefs, either on the right or left of the spectrum, it is hard to defend the Liberal Party of Canada or Liberals. They essentially believe in everything and nothing, depending upon how the wind is blowing on a particular day. But here goes.
On Saturday, the Liberals held the third of five debates amongst the candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party that in the olden days meant an eventual move into 24 Sussex Drive. Unlike the two previous love-ins, this debate promised to be a real one after candidate and former astronaut Mark Garneau promised he would confront Justin Trudeau about his policies and vision for Canada.
Trudeau has not exactly become forthcoming on what he would do if he became Liberal leader and eventually, prime minister of Canada. Well, if he has certain concrete beliefs it would be political suicide if he revealed them. He’s the frontrunner. It is a standard political tactic for someone who is leading in a race to lie low and not reveal too much. If you are already number one, the only way you can go is down so it is much better to keep quiet and hope your fellow candidates self-destruct.
More importantly, Trudeau is a member of the Liberal Party, a party not known for coming out with policy ideas. For years they merely took ideas from the CCF/NDP and watered them down to make these socialist ideals more palatable to the mushy middle. During the early 1990s, when the Reform Party was making gains after a decade of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the Liberals stole ideas from Reform. Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Finance Minister Paul Martin made spending cuts only Republicans can dream about and Democrats could never fathom.
So Trudeau doesn’t need any specific ideas and won’t unless and until he becomes party leader and an election is on the horizon. Then he will be in favour of whatever policies he thinks will restore the Liberals to their rightful place in Canadian society—power.
Trudeau should not be criticized for not saying exactly what he believes or what he would do if in power because he’s playing the leadership race exactly right.
What was surprising in the debate was the attack on Trudeau by perennial leadership candidate, Martha Hall Findlay. Hall Findlay attacked the front runner because of his “privileged” background and said he could therefore not understand the middle class.
Hall Findlay obviously took a page from Barack Obama’s playbook. Attack the rich. They are evil. Because Trudeau inherited part of the fortune made by his paternal grandfather, he just simply cannot understand the middle class. So by the same token, he was born white so he cannot understand minorities. He’s a man so he cannot understand women. He is straight so he can’t understand gays. The list could go on and on. Hall Findlay’s attack was ridiculous and tacky and one reason why, if the Liberals gain power again, conservatives would be hard pressed to oppose a move to place an entertainment tax on people who listen to them speak.
Hall Findlay would be more comfortable going to the United States and dumping on the rich with Obama and the Dems. She never will because constitutionally, she could never become president and leadership seems to be the major goal in her life.
Although the NDP love to dump on Big Oil, Big Pharma and wealthy corporations, Canadian politicians by and large refrain from attacking individuals simply because they have money. This is probably why Hall Findlay finally apologized to Trudeau for attacking him because of his “privilege.” Her Obama style hate backfired.
What is really a shame is that Hall Findlay is lumped together with Garneau and Trudeau because she once had a seat in Parliament. It is true that most of the field, such as Deborah Coyne, whose big claim to fame is as Justin’s father’s baby momma, have never held elective office. But at least the boy of privilege and Garneau were able to hang on to their seats during the election that saw the Liberals fall to third place. Hall Findlay could not. The media is giving this loser way too much coverage.
Whatever his faults (and being a Liberal can be one of them), Trudeau did not deserve to be attacked because of his family’s wealth and his upbringing.