“Sunny Ways” have been perhaps the best way to describe Justin Trudeau’s media engineered government for the better part of the last two years.
Yet it seems in the last few months, the shine has come off perfectly manicured public image.
Spectrum Wide Appeal
The description first appealed to Canadians across the political spectrum as for those who were turned off by Stephen Harper’s dour public persona Trudeau represented a happy face leading our country.
For those who feared Trudeau’s juvenile approach to his service as a member of parliament, and lack of any other relevant personal experience, the nickname was taken as a pejorative.
Sunny ways turn gloomy
After an interminably long honeymoon period, sunny ways turned gloomy in a hurry.
From a Globe and Mail editorial on his mishandling of the small business tax changes it is clear that Justin has proven adept at mastering the photo op.
From dressing as Han Solo from the Empire Strikes Back for Halloween to just happening to be caught by his official photographer jogging by a wedding in Vancouver. The favorable coverage then began to show how shallow Trudeau and his administration are. A primarily puff piece in Rolling Stone took an obvious jab at Trudeau:
“at times Trudeau and his young staff give off the aura of a well-meaning Netflix adaptation about a young, idealistic Canadian prime minister.”
That neatly summarizes the problem with Trudeau. He is the Hollywood ideal of what an actor playing the Prime Minister of Canada should be. Charming, photogenic and mindlessly progressive. Unfortunately for Canadians our government is not currently lead by someone who can make tough decisions in the interest of all Canadians.
The lack of substance is starting to show
The problem with the Trudeau government is it is much like the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. Once you pull back the curtain it is quickly apparent there is nothing much behind the glitzy front. Per the Globe and Mail piece on the fumbled small-business regime tax changes:
“the Trudeau Liberals seemed out-of-touch with hard-working farmers, doctors and others who incorporate as small businesses – many of whom, it learned to its surprise, are women. As with the broken promise to reform the voting system before the next election – another revealing episode – the PM’s veneer as the free world’s best hope was stripped away, exposing the rougher truths below.”
The rougher truth is there really isn’t much behind that veneer. Justin has had a pretty easy go of things in his political career.
Trudeau is the member of parliament for a riding, Papineau, that had elected Liberals for 53 of the 55 years prior to his election in 2008. He faced token opposition in winning 79% of the vote as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 2013. To his credit, Trudeau was able to perform credibly in the 2015 leadership debates against Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair.
The Canadian electorate was fatigued after a decade of Harper as Prime Minister and Mulcair seemed like replacing a socialist grump for a conservative grump.
Arrogance is the problem
Justin Trudeau’s answer when things aren’t going his way is to behave arrogantly. This tendency was on full display last week when Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau were presenting their come down on the small business tax changes. Reporters wanted to ask Morneau questions about his shady handling of his personal holdings.
Trudeau attempted to charm the media by telling them they had to ask him a question first. It was an odd exchange that illustrated Trudeau’s attempt to use arrogance to cover his lack of depth. If Trudeau continues to behave so petulantly he will certainly eliminate any chance of his prized second consecutive majority.