Wednesday, October 28, 2015

There's Hard Work Ahead


For Justin Trudeau, the hard part is about to begin. Richard Gwyn reminds his readers that Trudeau's father came in with hope and optimism, but by 1972 things had become unstuck:

For Trudeau the First, though, it all came unstuck in the next election, of 1972. Only Quebecers’ instinctual, almost automatic, support for one of their own kept him in office, and this by a mere two elected MPs.
Success, this is to say, is impermanent in Canadian politics, not least so because few voters any longer feel strong loyalties to any party, fewer here, quite possibly, than do any others in the world.

Which is to say that the way Trudeau goes about things is just as important as what he goes about. Unfortunately, Stephen Harper may be gone, but Harperism isn't:

While Canadians wanted Prime Minister Stephen Harper out, writes Ensight principal Jason Lietaer, “the Conservative party itself was not seen as a spent force.” Rather, voters supported its key policy of “balanced budgets.”

Lawrence Martin has a few suggestions about how Trudeau can accomplish "real change:"

A sure way for him to change politics would be to depoliticize the environment. The Conservatives were pilloried for running a permanent campaign. Mr. Trudeau won’t have to face the electorate for another four years. If he is smart, he won’t look at his standing in the opinion polls for the first three. If he is preoccupied with what’s good for the public as opposed to the party, it will pay off.

To diminish patronage and channel bipartisanship, Mr. Trudeau needs to resurrect the good idea that Mr. Harper had – and subsequently discarded – of an independent public appointments commission.

Mr. Harper brought the West in. The new-generation leader needs to find a way to bring the youth in. A minister of youth or a youth secretariat of some kind might help.

To open information flows, the integrity of the access-to-information system needs be restored. A tough-minded journalist (I nominate the CBC’s Neil Macdonald) would be a good choice to run it.

There's a lot of work to do. And it will be hard work. 


zoombats said...

I think the most important thing for Mr. Trudeau is to be seen, heard and be available to everyone, supporters and critics alike. The main problem with the past government was their arrogance. People want to be involved in their country and their government. They want to be taken seriously no matter how simple their questions and thoughts may be perceived by their elected officials. I know it seems a simple concept but making oneself available enhances accountability and shows people that they matter. Limiting the media to five questions and vetting those around you does not create support as much as it creates contempt, loathing and apathy. I have the feeling that more people would approach Mr. Trudeau with encouragement than those who always hoped to meet Harper with a considerably different message.

Owen Gray said...

I heartily concur, zoombats. During the campaign Trudeau showed that he liked meeting people and that he could deal with critics in the crowd. The worst thing he could do would be to follow Harper's template for dealing with people.

ron wilton said...

The 'youth' already are in.

If the frequency with which my teenage granddaughters and their gadget plagued friends are looking at online pics of Justin in his various poses is any indication, he will have a virtual army of first time voters on his side when the next election rolls around.

The other parties should be very afraid.

Owen Gray said...

The Conservatives in particular worked very hard to keep the young out, ron. My own children tell me they want a voice in what happens in this country.

lungta said...

harper didn't deal with canadians
he threw crap on our heads
and then declared us the unwashed masses
whatever form the conservatives gravitate to
harpers lead from behind with muzzles and cattleprods style
won't get much traction ever again
on the other hand
getting paid and never having to think or envision the consequences
just dance on que
did appeal to a bunch of them

Toby said...

Trudeau's behaviour must confuse Conservatives who have been beaten into submission by Harper. Conservatives seem to think that it's an act and that they should have acted nicely too. What they don't understand is that Trudeau actually likes people.

Owen Gray said...

That's a critical insight, Toby. What is remarkable about Stephen Harper is that, despite his lack of people skills, he managed to attain the highest office in the land.

Owen Gray said...

What's sad, lungta, is that some people confused Harper's approach to governing with leadership

Raven Corvoid said...

"Success, this is to say, is impermanent in Canadian politics, not least so because few voters any longer feel strong loyalties to any party, fewer here, quite possibly, than do any others in the world."

True in most instances? No! Look at how many still voted Harper? Almost the same. All the dirt & crap was out there for everyone to see. Difference this time around the silent majority finally found their voice and said no way Hose A. Problem being of course Trudeau and Mulcair backed by the MSM refused denied and obliterated the opportunity to rub his face in it. So we did collectively instead. So now its analogy time. A lawyer told me a lawyer only joke once long long ago :>

"How come Lawyers can swim in Shark infested waters and never be bitten?" I don't know? Then the lawyer would slap his knee and reply "Professional courtesy!" :> I think I saw allot of that during this 'shark tank' election. The revolving door cons out lib's in NDP sidelined :> tomorrow will it really be different? Dubious :> Same film different reel. :>

Trudeau to some is identical to Walt's Prince Charming same chin and hair:>

Owen Gray said...

We've been through a tough ten years, Raven. So cynicism comes naturally. But I'm willing to see what happens. Occasionally -- if only occasionally -- some people do the right thing.

Raven Corvoid said...

All I know is Trudeau mania is a welcome respite over harper maniac :> I believe he will definitively be more of a statesman and can begin to repair Canada's image abroad. Pulling the military men and women out of the middle east was to me a stride forward. He promised to address climate change huge sigh of relief and treat First Nations on a nation to nation basis thereby recognizing their sovereignty. I hope he is principled enough to follow through.

So far there is four riding recounts involving four seat but won't make a difference in balance of power.


Ontario Quebec and Edmonton:


Owen Gray said...

From what I read, Raven, his first task may be getting Stephen Harper to officially resign.

Dana said...

I wonder if Johnston has the spine to actually demand that Harper resign or if he'll turtle and let a Constitutional crisis happen.

Raven Corvoid said...

Well maybe not I think his first task may be removing Harper's gallery dedicated to himself exclusively in pictures. Remember after he stole his first election?

If I was Trudeau I would remove them pronto than to make Harper miserable hang pictures exclusively of his dad :>

Owen Gray said...

The room with the portraits was truly creepy, Raven -- a sign that our prime minister was a dangerous man.

Owen Gray said...

An interesting question, Dana. We may get the opportunity to take the measure of the man.

Anonymous said...

Canadians soundly rejected Ignatieff in 2011, and rightly so, but they returned to the Liberal fold under Trudeau this time, and rightly so again. I think the first 6 months will be the measure of the man. Not that I'm expecting those to be his best 6 months - hardly. But it will set the tone for his term, a tone that will be difficult to reset. So here's hoping he gets it right.

Raven Corvoid said...

Deranged man you mean? :> Just askin <: ah the other ravens are askin me what do you think really? And should we trust Owen? I said ya he is 'good to go' Is that like Harper they asked? Naw i says I see a character I'd rather have for PM in him:>

Run in the next election fly and be free Owen and help out right now we have selfish um I can't say the rest I'd be banned :> But no reason what so ever you are not a qualifier, I would move to your riding just to vote you in :>

Take that from my beak :>

Owen Gray said...

My impression is that most Canadians are hoping he gets it right, Anon.