Some people are convinced that Justin Trudeau will pay a price for his less than sunny behaviour in the House last week. Tom Walkom isn't so sure. Canadians, he writes, like to have "chippy" prime ministers:
Trudeau broke all the rules Wednesday when he marched across the Commons floor, grabbed Conservative whip Gord Brown by the arm and hustled him to his seat, all in order to get a projected vote underway.In the melee, the prime minister also inadvertently elbowed Quebec New Democrat MP Ruth-Ellen Brousseau in the chest.New Democrats standing nearby said Trudeau used a vulgar synonym for fornication as he urged MPs to get out of his way.
But this kind of behaviour isn't new to prime ministers:
Voters often like it when a prime minister gets tough or rude. Jean Chrétien suffered no political penalty when, as prime minister, he grabbed a peaceful protester by the throat and forced him to the ground.Pierre Trudeau, in what became known as the fuddle-duddle incident, famously told opposition MPs to fornicate with themselves. Voters elected his Liberals to government three more times after that.
Was it polite behaviour? Certainly not. It showed that Trudeau can be impetuous and far from sunny. More importantly, his actions caused proceedings to ground to a halt. But Trudeau apologized more than once. Other than his apology for residential schools, when was the last time you heard Stephen Harper apologize?
Will he pay? We'll see.