Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Time Will Tell

                                     THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Pierre Trudeau's ghost haunted Roy Thomson Hall last night. Stephen Harper has been doing battle with that ghost since he entered public life. And, last night, Tom Mulcair tried to call it from the grave. Michael Harris writes:

Several times during this entertainment, Mulcair linked Bill C-51 to the invocation of the War Measures Act. As Tommy Douglas had stood against the War Measures Act in 1970, Mulcair’s NDP was now standing up against Bill C-51 — unlike Justin Trudeau, he insisted.

The Liberal leader stole Harper’s family values turf by standing up for his famous father, who died exactly 15 years ago yesterday. Justin defended Pierre Trudeau from the attacks of the two other leaders with whom he shared the stage. He talked about his pride in being the son of such a man as Canada’s most famous prime minister — a stark contrast to the image of Pierre Trudeau offered by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.  “Fifteen years ago tonight he passed away," Justin reminded his audience, "and he wouldn’t want us fighting battles of the past.” 

Even committed Harperite Tasha Kheiriddin admitted that Trudeau won the night:

But even if you disagree vehemently with his positions, you couldn’t deny that he delivered them with conviction. Throughout the night, he clearly articulated Liberal policies, defended them passionately, threw in some good zingers (describing Stephen Harper’s northern strategy as “all sled, no dogs”) and, most importantly, didn’t trip up. And so, Trudeau won last night’s debate.

Perhaps, Harris suggests, that's because Trudeau -- who was supposed to be not ready for prime time -- is a better politician than either Harper or Mulcair:

It started with the arrival of his bus at the place Toronto’s mucky mucks gather to celebrate culture. While both the other leaders pulled up at the main entrance and quickly disappeared inside, Trudeau’s bus stopped 50 meters from the venerable front doors.

A cavalcade of acolytes poured out, Justin following closely behind. It had the feel of a heavyweight boxer making his way to the ring for the main event minus the hoodie and the shadow boxing. Sort of like Mick Jagger taking to the stage at the El Mocambo in another era. A rock star in the age of the rock star.

Trudeau waded into the crowd of supporters standing behind the ropes on the sidewalk with that big bear embrace that excites royal photographers. The money shot. The guy with the royal jelly embracing the great unwashed. Democracy.

Time will tell.


22 comments:

Lorne said...

I watched most of last night's debate, Owen, and as with the earlier one on leadership, one thing is undeniable: Justin comes across very clearly as a man of passion; somehow I doubt that is just a persona adopted for public consumption.

Owen Gray said...

I have to admit that I've been pleasantly surprised by Justin, Lorne. Clearly, he's not just an empty suit.

Anonymous said...

I think, men or women, there is a moment when the gloves come off. I think I would like Elizabeth May as Prime Minister. I am okay with Justin or Mulcair. I think those three love Canada . . . flawed as we are.

I remain curious about Canadians who think Harper is the . . . solution? What was the problem?

Owen Gray said...

May understands that Harper doesn't want her there, Anon. She always points out that he's, basically, a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Dare I say it - having suffered it the first time in person - Trudeaumania?

That's Kory's nightmare isn't it?

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that's absolutely true, Anon. No one has ever accused Harper of possessing charisma.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Harper, beaten by the son of the man he has an irrational pathological hatred for? The man Pierre Trudeau, he hates the most in the world, beaten by his son Justine Trudeau?The fact that Harper and Mulcair are trashing Pierre Trudeau 15 yrs after his death, indicates to me that they both, but especially Harper are still threatened by him. People respond to Justins charisma, because it's genuine. No one can fake that. Harper and his CONs have been trying to make his charisma out to be an indication of his being shallow. They're trying to minimize it, but it's not working. People are also starting to realize that Justin does have credibility and substance. Combine that with his charisma and my guess is that the Harper team are very worried.

Scotian said...

I think something we all need to remember about last night as well is that no one had any notes, they were all required to think on their feet on some fairly dense subject material, exactly the format everyone was presuming would finally show Trudeau for the empty suit puppet walking teleprompter he has been characterized as. That however was NOT what we got last night, even the detractors are forced to acknowledge Trudeau more than held his own, and THAT goes to undercut the "just not ready" meme in a MAJOR way. Mulcair's line about not being able to stand up to Putin I rather doubt had anywhere near the impact to offset what I just mentioned, and I rather doubt outside of those already predisposed to dislike Trudeau it carried and weight.

Trudeau shone last night, in both style and substance, and clearly won the
"change" image game by a large margin. Mulcair let petty Tom out too much, and I suspect that is going to haunt him and the NDP onward.

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau did just fine last night, Scotian. The question is, "How many people saw the debate?"

Owen Gray said...

They should be worried, Pam. Their claim that "he's just not ready" is beginning to look pretty shallow.

Mogs Moglio said...

I can see this election has already been decided by forces other than the electorate but rather the mostly men and some women who are wealthy or tied to wealth thrown in. They control Canada's destiny.

My prediction based on the blueprint they achieved in the last BC provincial election is Harper wins, he may not take all necessarily he will most likely lead a minority government. Then a new leader with new blood appointed by Harper's overlords will take the reigns after the fact and pledge "a difference" nope just an illusion of a difference. Same corrupt party same corrupt demi-gods running it.

Trudeau will be hailed as 'Official Opposition Leader' they need him there. Mulcair will fall to third party status and the dustbin of Canada's political history. Don't believe me look at the Polls.

The 1% the CCCE and Hill +Knowlton have already made those choices for us.

I speak truth as an unattached observer. You have no idea what you are in for Syria is just the tip of the ice-berg. China is sending its Navy, Russia its Air-Force Navy and ground troops Canada the US Iran is there Turkey is there Israel very covertly but not for those that see is there. Saudi Arabia is there the list goes on Japan may go> what is this massive move of military building up to?

Harper's handlers make him commit although he is a clueless child as to what he is getting Canada involved in. He is just the big men's pawn And he will rise one more time...

Owen Gray said...

That's a pretty grim assessment, Mogs.

Mogs Moglio said...

I know my father 1914 - 2004 involved in WWII explained to me how he and his fellow compatriots knew WWII was an outcome of troop build ups along the then called 'frontiers' of France, Poland, Russia and Germany. Sure shoot I do not want to see that but it is there for all the world to see.

With the military build up of all involved would you not recognize a future war? But that fate is being decided as we speak. [not by us]

I long for the time when we could all be brothers and sisters and not feat our governments?

Will that come in our lifetimes?

I leave this answer to you as I have none...

Owen Gray said...

I have no answer either, Mogs.

zoombats said...

it's great to hear about who shone and who didn't. I still need to hear one point that must be dealt with. We know how Justin explained his reason for supporting Bill C-51 which was weak but how does he intend to change it. Let;s not forget that his stand on that bill was a pivotal shift in his popularity. I haven't forgotten and I'm still waiting.

Owen Gray said...

A lot of us are still waiting, zoombats. And we haven't forgotten.

Scotian said...

You know, I thought I recalled repeatedly hearing Trudeau saying what he would do once in power to change it, including oversight, adding sunset clauses to some of the more odious measures while removing others completely, so I find this particular complaint a bit puzzling. He's answered that, it is up to people to decide whether they believe him or not, but he has answered that, indeed was saying this even then when he was voting for this POS bill to begin with.

Owen Gray said...

Harper has purposely debased our politics, Scotian. It's become a completely cynical exercise. So every leader now faces the problem of credibility. Can you believe what he says?

Scotian said...

That's not the question that was being asked here, it was what he would do, and that is what he said he would do. That was my point, and the claim that Trudeau has been saying nothing about what he would do to C51 were he to form government is clearly factually false. As you said, one can debate how much you believe him, but that he hasn't put it out there? Nope.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Scotian. Trudeau has said from the beginning that he will make changes to the bill. But, because our politics has become so cynical, he faces a wall of disbelief.

Scotian said...

Again, fair enough, but that wasn't the point I was responding to, he clearly has said what he would do, and questioning whether he has and saying one is still waiting for him to come forward with such despite this factual reality is what bothered me enough to reply in the first place. I can easily accept people being questioning of his commitment, but that there never was one and claiming to be still waiting for Trudeau to say what he would do, no, that I could not simply ignore.

Anyway I think we have both wrung as much out of this exchange as there is to wring.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Scotian. Let's move on.