Sunday, April 28, 2013

Making The Mighty Nervous

Stephen Harper has greeted the new leader of the Liberal Party with mockery. It is the same response he had for both Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff. But don't be fooled, Paul Wells writes in Macleans. Justin Trudeau has got Harper rattled. Consider his attack on Trudeau at Margaret Thatcher's funeral:

All Harper had to do was zip up, and Trudeau’s comments would have stood alone for all to judge by their lights. He didn’t figure that out until after he had used a funeral to pick a fight. For the leader of a party that will be lucky indeed if it can simply stop losing seats, Trudeau has a knack for making his opponents do dumb things—simply, as far as I can see, by existing. In Quebec City, Trudeau paid a courtesy call on provincial party leaders. Jean-François Lisée, normally the brains of the Parti Québécois, convened a news conference to denounce Trudeau as a “young prince” who had summoned all three leaders like “vassals” to a single meeting. Problem: Trudeau had made no such request. Lisée wound up apologizing lamely on Twitter.

The Prime Minister has turned Justin's father into the bogeyman of Conservative politics. And his obsession with the father has brought about the rise of the son -- who Harper tries to dismiss as insubstantial.

But Wells warns that Trudeau knows how to aim his arrows at Mr. Harper's Achilles Heel:

Anger wrecks his judgment. He has that in common with Lisée. In my years in Ottawa I’ve seen other politicians who polarized debate so effortlessly they drove furious opponents to dumb mistakes. Jean Chrétien was one. Harper himself is another. Apparently young Trudeau has some of that too. It’s a handy attribute.


Edstock said...

10-4 that. Just wait, in another six months, Stevie'll start to panic, and then the wheels will really start to wobble.

Owen Gray said...

I hope you're right, Ed. So far he's been able to keep his own dissidents in line.

But there are a lot more Canadians with a lot more self-respect than the 10-12 rebels who recently fell into line.