The Liberals want to change the rules in the House of Commons. They want to limit Justin Trudeau's required appearances in the House to once a week. That's the way the Brits do it. But, Lawrence Martin writes, that won't wash here:
The optics on accountability are dreadful. That the Liberals were perceived to be intent on proceeding unilaterally on this and other changes to parliamentary procedure had critics in high dudgeon.
Trying to defend the initiative was Liberal House Leader Bardish Chagger. She was beaten up, as she often is. It’s hardly her fault. She’s a greenhorn, a 36-year-old rookie MP who inexplicably was handed a job that requires more seasoning than practically any other post in government.
The stench that arises with the abuse of power is growing stronger:
The Liberal gambit comes off as just the latest in a long line of heavy-handed conduct. Broken promises, underhanded efforts to limit parliamentary debate, elbowgate, cash for access fundraisers, secrecy over the Aga Khan trip, so-called open nominations in ridings, and so on.Given all the negative blowback, one would have thought that Mr. Trudeau would have been particularly sensitive to doing anything that smacked of anti-democratic arrogance again. Not so.
Martin recognizes Trudeau's unique talents:
Give him his due. He is more accessible, candid and forthright than other prime ministers and no one should underestimate his impact. In short order, he completely resurrected the Liberal Party. In short order, 18 months in office, he has refashioned Canada’s global image. We’ve gone from being seen as uptight on the right under Mr. Harper to an open and forward-looking society that much of the world looks up to under Mr. Trudeau. Doubters need only read the laudatory assessments in the foreignmedia.
Nonetheless, if Canadians get the idea that it's all gone to Justin's head, they'll send him to the showers in the next election.