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The Liberal Party of Canada has long been dogged by cries of arrogance and entitlement.

Most of these complaints are dead on point. The way in which Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau have dealt with the media over the ongoing troubles with the Department of Finance epitomize how quickly the Liberals have returned to their arrogant ways of the past. The arrogance of the two is enough that they each get their own column on the matter.

The Media Don’t Like Condescension

On Monday, Morneau and Trudeau appeared at a press conference to outline the changes they have made to try and salvage their proposed changes to the small business tax regime in Canada. Reporters wanted to ask Morneau questions about revelations that he had not placed his personal wealth in a blind trust. Trudeau would not let reporters ask Morneau a question. Trudeau’s response to the media was equal parts childishness and arrogance:

“You have to ask the question of me first, because you get the chance to talk to the prime minister.”

The media really does not like being told how to do their jobs. Given the revelations about Morneau’s personal assets, it was entirely reasonable for the press to want to ask him questions on the matter. Morneau viewed Trudeau’s response to the media as a learning opportunity. The lesson Morneau learned from Trudeau appears to be to speak to the media as arrogantly as possible.
Morneau held a press conference on Friday to deal with the growing controversy about his personal holdings in Morneau Shepell and the fact that he doesn’t currently have a blind trust set up. Morneau reached a Trudeauesque level of arrogance with this statement:
“The process we have in our country isn’t that I report to journalists on my personal situation; it’s that I report to the Ethics Commissioner,”
Ultimately Morneau is responsible to the Canadian people. Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson has disputed Morneau’s characterization of their interaction on the issue of setting up a blind trust. Perhaps Morneau shouldn’t continue to cite Dawson in trying to defend his actions. The undeniable arrogance of Morneau’s statement is symbolic of the shift turn in the fortunes of Trudeau’s government.

The Honeymoon Crashes to an End

After a seeming two-year honeymoon the Trudeau Liberals are floundering and seriously in trouble. As Matt Gurney said:
this government is too young to be accumulating screw ups at this rate. It seems, I wrote, much older than its two years.

Change elections occur when a government has accumulated enough screw-ups that the people are ready for a change. A few months ago it appeared that Trudeau might be able to outdo his father and win consecutive majority governments.

Then it appeared that Morneau might hurt Trudeau enough to hold the Liberals to a minority in 2019. Now it is reasonable to ask if the Liberals are acting like a party that deserves to be re-elected at all. Bill Morneau should lose his job as Finance Minister.

The manner in which Justin Trudeau manages his troubled Finance Minister will determine if Trudeau keeps his job as Prime Minister in the election scheduled for two years from yesterday.

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