Monday, March 23, 2015

The Moment Of Truth


Justin Trudeau's moment of truth is about to arrive. The Harperities have decided to extend and expand the mission in Iraq. Trudeau opposed the original mission. But, since then, he has supported Stephen Harper's Bill C-51. Michael Harris writes:

Justin Trudeau lent his party’s support to Bill C-51, a bill that former prime ministers, Supreme Court justices, the Canadian Bar Association and hundreds of experts have denounced as dangerous, unnecessary, and unconstitutional unless it gets key amendments with respect to more oversight.

His father would have been up in arms:

Trudeau has jumped on the fear bandwagon, despite the fact that C-51 will allow Canada’s largely unaccountable spy agency, CSIS, to carry out its operations ignoring the Charter of Rights. The Charter was his father’s crowning political achievement. Pierre Trudeau would never have supported the criminalization of dissent.

Despite his claim that he does not want to hand Stephen Harper a weapon to use against him,Trudeau the Younger -- unlike Tom Mulcair -- is on the wrong side of history. Will Trudeau also choose to be on the wrong side of the Iraq mission?

His moment of truth is quickly approaching.


Lorne said...

I will be very surprised, given his position on C-51, Owen, if Trudeau doesn't support this mission extension. For him to explain away his support as not wanting to hand Harper a weapon is both disingenuous and craven. People with real integrity do not so easily fold.

Owen Gray said...

He has the model of his father refusing to leave and "hide in the closet" at a St. Jean Baptiste parade which got violent, Lorne.

Let's see if that model left an impression on him.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

When he supported bill C-51, I was greatly disturbed Owen, but if he supports the expansion of the war, he will have lost my vote and I don't think I'll be alone.

Owen Gray said...

If he supports the Iraq mission, Pam, I suspect he'll lose the next election.

Dana said...

Lorne, people with real integrity no longer enter politics I'm afraid. We should really stop looking for them. All that accomplishes is more disillusionment and we've got more than enough as it is.

I wasn't completely dismayed by JT's announcement. One, because I recognized that it wasn't really 'his' announcement. It was the LPC brain trust trying to do a Clintoneaque triangulation - results yet to be confirmed. Two, there actually are a lot of frightened people in the country who really do think Harper will protect them - they vote for him time and again if you hadn't noticed - and they have to be convinced to change their vote - results yet to be confirmed. Three, it would indeed have given Harper ammunition.

What does the word "fold" mean in the context of a majority government anyway.

However, I still see another Harper majority. The LPC and the NDP will lay into one another with great gusto and Harper and his flying monkeys will hang from the rafters and cheer them on.

As is already happening.

Anonymous said...

Ya Owen Pam and Lorne who is Justin really? He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth as they used to say. Never had a need to work one day in his short life. He flip flops allot check out this link:

Which is partially based on this man's work:

Can we really trust Justin? Thomas and Elizabeth may be our best hope. Remember Obama promising change that never happened? Remember Harper promising change that never happened? Now Justin is promising change that won't possibly happen. He is running on the Trudeau mania of his father's legacy but we do not know where he stands or who he really is. Word to the wise don't trust him...

Mogs Moglio

Owen Gray said...

I confess that I keep hoping Justin will show some of his father's character and not just his charisma, Mogs.

So far, I've seen charisma but not character.

Anonymous said...

Yo Owen a link that speaks to that very subject and look at his picture ouch:


thwap said...

The Liberals used to sign-on for extension after extension in Afghanistan. After getting us there in the first place.

It's not an aberration that Michael Ignatieff thought the party was a good fit.

The psycho at "Eugene Forsey Liberal" had some incoherent theory about how it was all the NDP's fault, but I can't be bothered trying to figure it out.

The Mound of Sound said...

Junior is the product of his handlers. That's the antithesis of his father. PET presented Canadians with very well reasoned vision. He could make policy and defend it. Remember his very Jesuit motto: "reason over passion"?

When you compare father and son by their pre-political careers, it's as though they're from different planets. Anyone ever exposed to PET's writings in Cite Libre or his other activities would find very little of the father in the son.

Look at the people the father ran with - Pelletier, Levesque, Lalonde, Marchand, that was a real crew. Remember their battles against Duplessis.

It's only by forgetting the greatness of Trudeau and the people and events that helped shape him that you can see any glimmer of substance in Junior.

Owen Gray said...

Father and son are two different people, Mound. There are those who claim that Pierre was merely a dilettante in his youth. But,even then, there were deep waters underneath.

Owen Gray said...

The Liberals are where they are because they made some bad leadership choices in the past, thwap.

They can no longer afford those kinds of mistakes.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Mogs. I'm sure there are quite a few people who share the same opinion.

Scotian said...

Sorry, I'm with Dana on this one. For Harper to lose Trudeau must peel off the center right voters the Libs used to be able to regularly get onside. Harper has locked them up over the last few elections, especially the last one with Ignatief driving them away in droves. As important as the left flank is in trying to prevent a fratricide it is at least as important to reach the voters Dana is talking about, and that is why the C51 decision was what it was.

I would also point out that a lot of the worst criticism on the Iraq position last fall came from within Lib circles and elders, that Trudeau was acting contrary to Lib practice, and he took a lot of trouble for that on both flanks, so I tend to see that as a more principled choice than it seems many from either flank do. I do not know what he plans on next, I'm doing this weird thing called waiting and seeing first. Given the current electoral battlefield I can understand if a change happens, I won't like it, but I'll understand it.

Look everyone, I understand the appeal, the yearning for a principled stand before all else, believe it or not I feel it too. Unfortunately, when you have someone in power like a Harper who uses the tools he does to win at any and all costs, that can and has been all too often the road to defeat. I don't like that fear tends to win, but there is a lot about reality I dislike, and this is something I think a lot of the Trudeau detractors, especially the ones with the more progressive flavour to their make-up have got to face.

Trudeau is doing what he must to defeat the overall threat to our nation of Harperism, he is clearly not doing it because he really shares those values. Sure it is expediency driven, and not "principled", but which matters more, being principled and going down in defeat (which is a real risk clearly) or doing what must be done to make sure those responsible for the wholesale degradation of our way of life are removed form power? Which is the more moral, more principled choice? I'll chose getting rid of a Harper anyday.

I'll blame the source of the problem, not the one trying to get us away from it. Trudeau has a very tight and narrow rope to walk here, don't kid yourselves. The fact that he is playing expediency politics is an important recognition of just how bad things really have gotten. I would be a lot less supportive of this decision BTW if I didn't already see the NDP preparing to do their usual Lib Tory same old Story/only we can protect you/the Libs are the real enemy of all progressives campaign, not making Harper the first and most important target even after 9 years as PM. This also forces the need to focus on those votes I mentioned at the beginning that much more.

I am sick and tired of progressives in particular failing to see reality for what it is, ugly, disgusting, and a real mess. When you are in a deep hole the first rule is stop digging, wish the Dippers had understood that for the past decade, but not seeing it.

Owen Gray said...

I agree that the Dippers bear a lot of responsibility for the hole we're in, Scotian. And I agree that Justin doesn't have a lot of room to maneuver.

But, if he's seen as merely playing a cynical game, he'll lose votes, not gain them.

The Mound of Sound said...

Here's a question for Scotian. If today, Harper had Pierre Trudeau standing across the floor of the House, how well do you think he would fare?

I had plenty of opportunities to watch Trudeau in the house - in government and in opposition - and I'm convinced Harper would be left a pile of bleeding pulp.

To Scotian, reality demands capitulation. That's the starting point for political collapse. We haven't got another generation or two to claw our way back to progressivism. The clock is running out.

Scotian said...


To answer your question, horribly, but then I also think in his day there would have been far better truthful recollections of all Harper said and did prior to the great whitewash after 2004. I think PET is also one of the most capable politicians this nation ever coughed up, and that makes him a hard standard for ANYONE to live up to. I think PET would have prevented the rise of Harper to that office even if he had led as damaged a Lib party as Martin had, he was that capable a politician. I loved reading Hansard back in the 70s for his wit in the House.

As to the rest of your statement, for me the first job is removal of Harper, because before that happens NOTHING else improves. After that then you have at least the chance to make improvements and changes. Like you MoS I like Liz May and a lot of what she stands for and what the Greens are turning into, but I also see the truth of where we are at this current time, and the truth is Harper is so much worse than anything any of the other parties would do that removing him is truly an "at all costs" issue, and that no matter what you think of Trudeau he is still better by far if only for the wholesale destruction he wouldn't be doing!

What btw is the problem with believing that capitulating to reality is a bad thing? Part of my fury with modern politics is how objective reality has been all but ignored in favour of those who think that perception shapes all reality in politics therefore it shapes all reality period. I see that mindset as one of the main reasons we are where we are today. I'll capitulate to reality over that every day MoS, sorry. I may be someone that has spent a lifetime following politics in great detail but I am also the son of an engineer, and that left me with a bit of a bias towards reality as it is, not as I wish it were.

I'll work to change that reality to make it a better one, but I will not lose sight of what it is currently, and that is why I argue as I do. I hope that clarifies things for you.

Lorne said...

Just a brief comment here to say how much I have enjoyed the spirited exchange here, an exchange marked by real civility and respect. We may not always agree, but this kind of commentary stands in sharp distinction to the kind of tone set by the current regime in Ottawa.

Scotian said...


For myself, I am good with honest disagreement and even conflict, so long as I feel it is in good faith and/or dealing with factual realities/arguments rooted in them. My main problem with the modern conservative movement in NA in particular is that they stopped dealing in good faith a long time ago, which makes having such discourse and civil disagreement so difficult to impossible. I see MoS and I'm sure he sees me as an honest citizen with his own POV expressing it honestly and honourably. We have different views but neither one of us sees the other as an enemy, let alone an enemy to be destroyed. That is one of the biggest problems with ideologues and extremists, they cannot seem to grasp that just because someone disagrees with you, that doesn't make them an enemy, an opponent, sure, but that and enemy are NOT the same thing. If you cannot respect the diversity and good faith of your fellow citizens, you cannot have a healthy democratic system of government whatever your type IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Yo Lorne Yo but I believe we have to give allot of credit to Mr. Owen Gray for not allowing inflammatory comments on his blog.

Mogs Moglio

Owen Gray said...

It's about the quality of the comments, Mogs. They, after all, set the tone.