Left wing and left-of-center commentators and dispirited NDP enthusiasts have gone somewhat incoherent in their critique of Justin Trudeau. Before the results of the elections, the two major critiques were--that he only has the brand name and no experience, and that he is surrounded by the old Paul Martin-Jean Chretien gang of neo-liberalist power brokers with a long list of scandals to their names and with continued umbilical chord relationship with the key financial, media and business houses in the country and abroad.
These are ofcourse, mostly true. But does experience come only from being in board rooms or lawyer's associations or trade unions or sitting as a backbencher in parliament ? Does experience come, as well, from just being militant single issue-to-single issue activists or being honorary members of a foaming-in-the-mouth Pierre Trudeau hate-club? Can experience and knowledge come from association and "upbringing" also?
Once the elections were over-- the gushy, very Canadian, longtimehadnofunsexiness-gen went hyperorgasmic--- distributing posterboypics of JT doing bhangra, in designer poses, bare chested with tattoos. Yes, WTF ! Indeed! It was such a nauseating spectacle. The flakiness of this overnight switchover from "no experience" to a heavy breathing Hendrix-like "Are you experienced-- like our PM? " morphosis requires a purgative clean out of this Canadian mindset. So, first he was an ignorant high school drama teacher with a Liberal-mafia pedigree and then he became a ---look how sexy we Canadians are -centrefold PM!
JT has a trayfull of doggydos on his lap, no doubt. From TPP, C24 and C51 to the pipeline projects and other poison intravenous drips administered to the Canadian body politique, by the CPC viper-crew..
Stephen Harper is not beyond any vile tactics, even now. He is a stumpy lowlife with a pitcrew in the deep recesses of a cult sous-sol. If you dont see large shredder vans outside his offices, right now, you should be surprised. Here is a man who spirited out 8 million dollars from the tax payers money straight to a John McCain-led ultra Republican crew south of the border, ostensibly to promote democracy in Ukraine.
But in certain areas JT's publicly stated positions are identical with Harper. On Israel and the occupation, on the so-called barbaric practices act and on some other issues. Whatever is left of the horrendously criminal state of Israel to salvage, no one is going to knock on that door...because there is a long shadow over the Western mind and favouring Palestinians would be immediately require being branded as anti-semitic. It is an unintelligent, trite, horrendously jejune concept to automatically defend Israel. But no one wants to go the opposite vein...and until then, absurdity and pedantic notions of "fair-mindedness" will triumph. Israel is digging its own grave. Everyday.
But JT has some pedigree and some association. And that is neither understood, nor appreciated by those who leap to easy conclusions. Sometimes, association matters. Yes, it is a kind of "pedigree." It is fashionable and also fawning, to like and hate his father, PT, for his "just watch me" episode. Very simply because he was arrogantly and offensively dictatorial at that time. Admittedly when you are in charge of a country and you have the potential of a haphazard and ill organized armed confrontation (not at all a revolution, insurrection or coup d'etat) in your hands, your first recourse should not typically be to violate all civil liberties and declare martial law, because that is what tin pot dictators do. And PT unfortunately took that recourse. I have known lots of progressives who were detained, incarcerated, hounded for no reason other than for dreaming of a better nation. And they were not all nationalists or independentists. But they did think, at that point, that Quebec was being brutalized by English Canada. So, lets put that aside, just for a few moments.
JT's brother is a quiet, activist filmmaker who tries to stay out of the limelight. He has attached himself to various environmental and progressive issues and has also opposed the blockade of Gaza. PT comes from a lineage of intellectualism, spawned in the portals of the London School of Economics and was also some kind of a half-baked union activist. In LSE his buddy was Michael Manley. Former PM of Jamaica. Manley also served in the RCAF. Manley did stuff in his country that very few post colonial leaders could even contemplate. Starting with major land reforms, minimum wages including domestic work, education subsidies, equal pay for women, subsidized meals and transportation for school chidren and finally a firm and clear appeal to the non-aligned world to not side "with US imperialism." Trudeau became close friends with Fidel Castro, Julius Nyerere, Cheddi Jagan and a few others, who knew inside out how global capital ravaged the world. No, they were not socialist. They were, at their best conscientious social reformists who knew deep down inside what Empire was all about. Even Eisenhower figured that out. There are people like that at many levels of political engagement. You can rip them apart, like you can Jimmy Carter--but in the end, those with a "left" view of the world should not also adopt a George Bush perspective of Us versus Them in all debates. Also, lets put it this way. JT has an intellectual burden, he must carry. And despite some flawed :"me too isms" like having "Israel's back" lets just watch him carefully. It is better to watch him closely, than watching stumpy old, blustering Mulcair...please.
An opposition to JT is a must. But dont make it a knee jerk response, until you see what he is able to achieve. I dont have hopes. But if ordinary people and new Canadians can get some respite, for a while, I am ok with that. I also dont think he was a plant, like Obama. If he brings in 25,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year, that would be a promising start. The only good thing we have achieved is that we have gotten rid of a vile bastard like Harper and also trashed Duceppe. Thats all. The rest is "wait and see."
Rana (a non-Liberal voter)