Trudeaumania: Part Two?

How Canadians Voted for Change and Not Much Else

Michael Emmanuel

“Positive politics is back!” said Justin Trudeau, celebrating his majority government on Monday night. In a night that shocked and horrified self-assured Conservatives, and gave the middle-finger to Mulcair and his established opposition status, Trudeau’s liberals wiped the board with a clear message that Canadians are tired of “politics as usual.” By now you’ve probably seen the results and are aware of the decisive comeback of the Liberals in the Maritimes and Ontario, especially in the cities. But while many an honest conservative is tremoring at the threats to liberty and family emanating seductively from the young Dauphin’s sleek hair and boyish charm, now is not the time for reaction.

Now is not the time for biased reporting, partisan political rhetoric, and outraged cries. Now is the time for sober political analysis that gets us away from the politics and down to the cold hard facts on the ground that are out there for any honest person to assess. We don’t want a spin. We want the reality, because now that we’ve voted him in to office, we want to finally know who this guy actually is. Just like when Americans first voted in Obama, now that we’ve stuck it to the establishment, it’s time to ask ourselves: who is Justin Trudeau?

 The hard facts of the matter are that Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Eliot Trudeau, the heroic my way or the highway political legend of the 1970-80s. The original Trudeau saved Canada from the tyranny of capitalism, the illiberal British North America Act, and freed Canada from the yoke of British oppression by strong-arming the provinces into submission to the sovereignty of Ottawa. Pierre was Canada’s golden boy, a regular Sun King, who liberated us from federal involvement in the marriage bed by passing laws which have assured federal involvement in private sexual relations ever since.

 And just look where we are now. Today nobody has to fear the chains of marriage because divorce is fault free. We don’t have to worry about overpopulation, because in Canada, we don’t need to give birth anymore. Terrorism? Not a problem when a Trudeau’s manning ship. Just set aside your federally licensed freedom while the police take control of things — big brother’s looking out for you! Yes, Trudeaumania was truly a utopia. Canada skirted the lines between American Capitalism and Soviet Communism, offering a third way that looked a lot like Socialism. We pulled through alright, with maybe a few billion in debt, but with the assurance the welfare state was going to keep growing so no one would get left behind; except future generations.

Unfortunately for Canada, the years that followed were cantankerous at best. Somehow, as the 20th century faded into the 21st, both the Liberal Party and the disorganized rabble of Toryist and populist conservatives got into their heads that the debt had to be paid off and that trade was a good way of doing it. Didn’t they realize that “budgets will balance themselves?” Were they not aware that opening trade threatened Canadian businesses? Not to mention the environment. Somehow, Canadians were even bamboozled into voting in a Conservative government into power for nearly a decade. Fortunately, a tough take on crime, tax cuts for families, Harper’s uninspiring voice, and conservative opposition to the Niqab were a wakeup call. What’s more, the harsh tone of their attack ads and the divisiveness of their campaign confirmed to Canadians that the Conservatives are just uncaring.

Canadians were tired of the cutthroat politics issuing from both the Conservatives and the NDP. Those establishment politicians have simply lost touch with real Canadians. Canadians were tired of the same old, same old. It was time for change, real change, a fresh face in politics… in the form of “Canada’s natural governing party. 

Right from the start Trudeau eschewed with the politics. “I didn’t make history tonight, you did,” Trudeau quipped. “I am on stage tonight… because you put me here,” he added, brilliantly proving that elitist rhetoric would not characterize his administration. Trudeau reminded Canadians that they are scared about everything — their jobs, their communities, their families — and then followed up by observing that hope kept Canadians from choosing fear. Canadians want a government with “a vision and an agenda that is positive and ambitious and hopeful,” realized Trudeau, and he uniquely promised to bring it.

"National Showcase. La Présentation Nationale. Toronto, On. Apr 6, 2013. (Photo: Adam Scotti)." <i>Flickr</i>. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

"National Showcase. La Présentation Nationale. Toronto, On. Apr 6, 2013. (Photo: Adam Scotti)." <i>Flickr</i>. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

 What does this all mean? How is Trudeau going to change everything around? Who is he really? Nobody really knows. But it sounds great. And at least he’s not Harper.

 Considering the fact that most of Justin’s campaign was simply about promising change and not much else, all we know about him is that he has an agenda for change. Exactly what he thinks is unclear, although when we take a look at his father, we can imagine what it might look like. Trudeau’s leadership has proven that he’ll be authoritarian at least — what with his decision on the abortion vote, and Trudeau’s manhandling of local ridings despite his promises of “free elections.”

 Other than what probably amounts to a highly socialistic progressivist vision for Canada, and huge ambitions to “change things,” no one really knows what the Dauphin plans on doing. How far will Justin take this change? One can already hear him responding: “Just watch me!”