03.03.2015 07:59 AM

Dear Liberals: This is what you owe Justin Trudeau

[This is an update of a previous entry. It’s needed.]

Dear Liberals:

In the past couple years, whenever Justin Trudeau has made a bad joke or an ill-considered remark – about Ukrainian protestors, about Chinese dictatorships, about the Boston bombings and root causes, about “whipping out” CF-18s, and so on – folks will weigh in on this web site. The majority of commenters will pop by and say: enough with the bad jokes, Justin. Or think twice before you speak. That sort of thing.

But not all commenters are like that. Some will fanatically defend what Trudeau has said, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I won’t name names, but to those commenters, I again say: you are starting to resemble the Conbots you used to (rightly) condemn. You have fallen in love with the meat, as I sometimes indelicately put it, and that is a bad, bad thing.

Here’s what you owe Justin Trudeau, or any politician you work for/with: YOUR JUDGMENT. You owe them your view, honestly and clearly expressed. Not ass-kissing bullshit.

You want to know one of the principal reasons Conservatives turned off many Canadians? Because they treated every bit of dissent as treason. Because they never tolerated any disagreement, no matter how reasonably expressed. Because, intellectually, they recalled lemmings.

Don’t be a lemming: tell the truth. And when your leader screws up – and they all do, sooner or later – tell him or her the truth.

Don’t kiss their ass.




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    Derek Pearce says:

    Well put. Slavish devotion usually leads to “what the hell went wrong?” rather than victory. The last thing the Liberals need is to hear a left-of-centre version of Al in Cranbrook singing nothing but praises day in day out.

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      wsam says:

      I like Al in Cranbrooke.

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    Jeff P says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Speaking truth to power is the only way to keep leadership on the right track.

    Canadians are big enough to support a leader who is fallible. In fact I am betting that they would prefer that kind of leader.

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      Ridiculosity says:

      Bingo. At the end of the day that is going to be the single thing that decides this election.

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      Bill says:

      That’s right. Just like Canadians prefer doctors, tax accountants, plumbers, electricians, car mechanics……. who are fallible. Give your head a shake.

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    Lynn says:

    Words to live by in many situations. Are the powers that be around Justin paying attention to the dissenters, or using the ears covered, we don’t hear you stance?

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      Warren says:

      Who knows. Who cares.

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    Joe says:

    Unfortunately every political party has its ‘bale of hay’ voters. Voters who would vote for a bale of hay if it was nominated by that voter’s choice for political party.

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    Brendan Denovan says:

    We live in a 24/7 news cycle with recorders always on. Leaders need to own their gaffs today more than ever – or stay off camera altogether as Harper has done.

    That said, the “gotcha” use of things said out of context, the use of unflattering images, the use of smear and innuendo do need to be defended against. Only one party is doing those things and by extension, belittling our politics.

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    Will Gibson says:

    Very well said, Warren. I don’t always agree with you but this is spot on.

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    Old SteveH says:

    This is well stated, no argument there. But why all the focus on Justin, Stephen, etc? This is very American – focussing in a celebrity style on party leaders.
    Warren you are an influential person, you have the ability to reach out to a wide audience. Can you kindly inform them that ideology is what they should be voting for, not personalities?
    I think another principal reason the Harper Conservatives have turned off Canadians is that they are way too far to the right. Their ideology is mismatched with Canadians expectations of their government.
    We live in a complex world and the conservative mindset is usually to simplify and often oversimplify the issues, passing laws which resemble proclamations from the right. Hence their disinterest in public discourse and debate.
    They know in their narrow world what they think is right and if you disagree you’re on the outside, a dissident. Recall Vic Toews stupid and wrong headed remark about being either with the government or the child molesters. and now C51 with many other examples in between. Your point about dissent as treason.

    What the Trudeau Liberals are promising to do is bring debate, discourse, input back to government, as it should be. Once the election is over the winning party becomes the government more than they are a party. That is what has served Canadians well and what needs to be restored. Never in my lifetime has a government remained so partisan and politically charged as the Harper conservatives.

    You have to laugh a little at the polls right now, with LPC about 2 or 3 points ahead of the CPC. In October we will see. I think the CPC will be wiped off the map aka post Brian Mulroney.
    It quite hilarious how hard core right wingers detest JT, routinely casting ad hominem attacks and missing the entire point of why the CPC is going to lose. A liberal formed government will do just fine, as they have done many times before, and will be prudent fiscal and economic managers, just what the Harper conservatives falsely claim is their domain.

    Conservative rule is no longer appropriate in Canada, they have isolated and distanced themselves, and need to find a way to come towards the center if they want to continue to influence the future of this great country.

    Have a great day

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      Matt says:

      1) Trudeau is encouraging discussion and debate? Like telling Liberal candidates to agree with him on abortion of they can’t run for the party?

      2) Most polls coming out now have the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals, or the two statistically tied. Just five months ago those same polls had the Liberals ahead by as much as 15 points.

      Trudeau promised a new kind of politics. What he has shown however is he is just qa bad, if not worse than those he claims to be different from. Promising open nominations, the interfering REPEATEDLY in the process. His “believe what I do or you can’t run” edict. Accepting floor crosser Adams with open arms. His sudden reversal on his stance on ISIS – being against the bombing mission, then announcing support for the anti-terrorism bill before it was even tabled and now reports this week the Liberals may support a mission extension. Why? Does he now truly believe it’s the right course? No. It’s because Liberal poll numbers have plummeted since the voted against military action

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        Old SteveH says:

        One should never be too quick to take military action. The worst failing of the Obama administration has been its failure to bring the instigators of the 2003 Iraq war to justice. We all know it was wrong, we all know it was based on falsified evidence of WMD. The consequence of failing to prosecute is that nutbar right wingers out there feel justified in their extremist views and emboldened to do more of same. We should not support any leader whether red, orange or blue who wants to jump in with both feet and put our men and women in uniform in harms way without careful deliberation, due process and simply taking time to make the right decision.

        So these are specifics. Perhaps you missed my point about ideology? That’s what we need to vote on in October.


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    Biff says:

    Thank you Warren, this has to be said, as a dose of reality, and not echo chamber kowtowing, is what’s badly needed right now.
    I started to get very nervous a few years back when JT responded to questions (in a Macleans interview) about his ideas, beliefs or positions with the phrase, “…my personal brand is…”
    Sent chills down my spine as it sounded so over coached. What JT needs is to trade in his speaking points for a clue.

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    Matt says:

    Most probably are afraid they will be shunned by Trudeau’s backroom boy henchmen if they are critical of the Chosen One.

    Were you not on the receiving end of a thinly veild “threat”, basically warning you to stay away from the convention last year or “you will be sorry” after you wrote a piece in the Sun critical of Trudeau?

    Didn’t they go so far as to call Olivia Chow to warn her against working with you?

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    “What the Trudeau Liberals are promising to do is bring debate, discourse, input back to government, as it should be.”

    How I wish you were right, but unfortunately, actions speak louder than words. And this is before getting elected. Usually once elected there is even less debate, discourse, input, because there is too much governing to be done.

    Harper should be the opponent. But Trudeau and his Court have made fellow Liberals their opponents. First, Liberal senators, then those with opposing views on abortion, then calling Liberal’s as “traitors” who do not follow their line against ISIS. Next, I am sensing a no discussion, quick, Made in My Court view on assisted suicide.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I think you would agree that it’s all about branding. That’s what sticks. Rule 1 is to never let them define you (à la Martin, Dion and Ignatieff).

    Rule 2 is if they do brand you, counterattack immediately and keep it up until you outbrand their branding campaign. In short, I am “X” and here’s who I am.

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    wsam says:

    The Conservatives are trying to drag the centre rightward to them.

    Stephen Harper being up in the polls and Trudeau losing his aura of invincebility could actually be good for the Liberals at this moment as it will make people realize Canada stands to get four more years of the Harper Conservatives and therefore collapse NDP support in favour of the Liberals. In that scenario, Trudeau’s win could be then considered Wynesque. The Harperites are trying to paint Trudeau as an unacceptable option which is what all the leadership stuff is about. I do not think they see the NDP as having an chance of winning even a Parliamentary minority.

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    John Breen says:

    You’re discounting the possibility that Liberal support will collapse in favour of the NDP. Because that’s what happened last election, remember? So assuming it can’t happen again is pretty dumb.

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      Reality.Bites says:

      Thomas Mulcair is no Jack Layton and even if he were, he hasn’t put in the time and fought the elections that Jack did prior to becoming opposition leader. I can’t see Trudeau failing so badly as to end up with an NDP opposition, let alone an NDP government.

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      Derek Pearce says:

      That was a special case and in Quebec only. Cannot be repeated nationally and likely not to be to the same extent as before within Quebec.

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    Greg Vezina says:

    Obviously the yellow dog democracts of the north are still very much alive. Yellow Dog Democrats was a political term applied to voters in the Southern United States who voted solely for candidates who represented the Democratic Party. The term originated in the late 19th century. These voters would allegedly “vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican”.[1][2] The term is now more generally applied to refer to any Democrat who will vote a straight party ticket under any circumstances. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_dog_Democrat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_dog_Democrat

    Whereas in the US South where this started, they no longer exist. The Yellow Dog, a voter who would sooner cast a ballot for a scruffy canine than a Republican, once roamed the American South, virtually shutting Republicans out of elected office in the century after the Civil War. But that run of electoral victories has come firmly to a close. Voters across the country are beginning to associate their local candidates with their respective national parties, making barren the hunting grounds Yellow Dogs once found fertile. http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/on-the-trail/death-of-the-yellow-dog-democrat-20110825

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    Jnap says:

    i have quoted before my Dad’s old Celtic saying that “Ya dinna pick eyes out of a bad potato”. That means, for you youngsters who have never peeled potatoes, that only a basically good potato is worth trimming and peeling. That means that if a party leader is worth criticising, he must have some good points too. Otherwise why bother?
    I hope that the teams around both Mulcair and Trudeau know that constructive critics are very valuable to have. Both leaders must be personally secure to have lasted this long amidst the Harperite destructive mudslinging.
    I agree with WK that its their advisory teams that may need maturing. Changing opinions when more info becomes available is not a weakness, in my view. Listening to critics is part of that.

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    shawn hill says:

    well written and has caused me to re-evaluate my perception of yourself,sorry for any past offenses.

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    Dave says:

    Hi Warren

    Lately I’ve come to be one of your fans as I enjoy the Trudeau Bashing. One of our Cons best arguments to keep Steve and CPC is Justin. LPC had good option in people like Frank McKenna ,Michelle Simson , and more. Canada wants Joe Clark IMHO. The liberals had that and squandered it.

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    Andre Goulet says:

    Real quick observation about the Wynne win which I think gets lost in the hubris sometimes: the OLP won with 38% iof the vote on a 52% voter turnout. That sucks, and the Trudeau Liberals ought to be thinking bigger than what would have been an Ontario disaster without Hudak and Horwath’s eff ups. Liberal partisans: your candidate doesn’t have substance. We’ll see how that plays in a campaign.

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    Africon says:

    Re –
    “Ronald O’Dowd says: March 3, 2015 at 11:26 am
    Conservatives are here because they seek to confirm that all of our strategists are inept.”

    Ronald, unless you are a conservative yourself, would you know why any are here?

    Scott clearly missed entirely the main point that Warren was making and appears incapable of anything but supporting the party line which is really quite uninteresting and boring.

    As a conservative, I come here because I enjoy listening to differing points of view in order to better understand the issue or question of the day.
    I may not agree with some opinions and viewpoints but will always respect and value that we all still have the freedom to voice and hear those opinions – something that stupid, controlling partisans of every stripe want to do away with.

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    CSM says:

    Warren, you disappoint me. As we know, JT has not made any mistakes. You are simply not wise enough to recognize either the deep, well thought out, strategies in place or the tactics being used to advance those strategies.


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