“Realpolitik” is a German term originally coined by the politician Ludwig von Rochau in 1853.
Today, while deviating from its original meaning, the term has come to encompass the practice of a sort of unscrupulous political realism interested in power and practical considerations.
I’m not saying that there truly aren’t Liberal members who are beholden to higher ideals beyond being reelected. In fact, I could point to several MPs who have been ejected out of the party for that very reason, and most of you can guess who I am talking about.
To me, it’s clear as daylight that the Liberals are not interested in ideological purity when two of the party’s most principled MPs, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, are ejected from the caucus.
The truth is, throughout history Liberals have been the party of sell-outs. Liberal Party leaders have skittered across the political spectrum with the sole interest of casting the widest web to secure votes, and Justin Trudeau is by no means of a different breed.
Friendship with Donald Trump
Let’s be real, Trudeau’s posturing against US President Donald Trump is about as intimidating as a feathered peacock. There’s a lot of flair, but very little substance.
The reality is that shortly after Trump’s ascendancy into the White House, Trudeau’s own staff took cues from not only the President himself but from his former Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon.
According to a New Yorker article, Bannon even described himself as a “friend” of Trudeau’s former Principal Secretary, Gerald Butts. But the connection doesn’t end there. Katie Telford, Bannon’s Canadian counterpart also allegedly serves as a go-between for Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and the Prime Minister.
Even when it comes to the NAFTA renegotiation, despite the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland’s self-congratulatory back-patting the trade deal was considered a net-loss for Canada’s economic well-being.
Although the Prime Minister sold-out on his promise to protect the dairy lobby when push came to shove, steel and aluminum tariffs still stand.
Continuing Harper’s hawkish military interventions
Trudeau’s government hasn’t only continued Harper’s approach to military intervention world-wide, they’ve actually accelerated it and have gone further than Harper even dared to.
Originally it was Harper who extended non-lethal military aid to the Ukrainian government to aid in its ongoing civil war against Russian-backed separatists.
At one point during his tenure, Harper flirted with the idea of providing the Ukrainians with weapons but the plan never came to fruition after push back from human rights groups.
Where Harper failed, Chrystia Freeland succeeded…
Under Trudeau’s government the Ukrainians now not only have access to military training and support from Canada, but we’re also selling them firearms, including Canadian-made .50 caliber sniper rifles.
Similarly, while the Liberals blasted the Harper Conservatives for a lack of an exit-strategy in Iraq when the federal government considered extending Canada’s mission in the ISIS-plagued country by six months, Trudeau recently upped the ante and extended the mission nearly two years.
Reversal on the border problem
There is probably no greater turnabout on perceived Liberal principals than the federal government’s recent approach to the border crisis.
Earlier this week it was revealed that the Liberals included a new change to the Refugee Protection Act which would bar asylum applicants from making claims in Canada if they already have an application in another country.
Initially, Justin Trudeau’s policy on the illegal US-Canada border crossings was encapsulated by the PM’s 2015 “Welcome to Canada” tweet. For a while after that, his government simply turned a blind eye to the situation.
Furthermore, his Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen called any and all attempts to solve the border situation xenophobic and racist, even going so far as suggesting that the Conservatives had a “half-baked” plan to militarize the border, when in reality they hoped to close the Safe Third Country Agreement loopholes which are at the root of the problem.
Now, while his government underhandedly adopted the Conservative solution and is pursuing talks with US officials to fix the border, Hussen is defending the Liberal’s proposed solution to prevent “asylum shopping”.
If that’s not a total and complete abandonment of former principles, then I don’t know what is.