Musings —09.22.2015 07:54 AM—
- Based on the evidence, the answer just might be yes. And it’s been going on for a while, too.
- Go back almost a year ago, when the Liberal leader angered many (me included) with his adamant refusal to combat ISIS. It was opposed by the likes of Lloyd Axworthy, Bob Rae and Gen. Romeo Dallaire – and, in the view of lesser Grit mortals like me, it was reckless. ISIS was the most significant genocidal threat the planet had seen in a long time – and, per the axiom, silence/indifference was complicity. But Trudeau had staked out a position that was clearly designed to attract New Democrat wafflers. Even when he started to fall from his first-place perch in the polls, Trudeau stuck to his (non-lethal) guns on ISIS.
- It might have worked, too, but for C-51. Anything that Trudeau achieved with his ISIS stance was lost with his approve-of-C51-before-even-reading-it position. Many in the Liberal Party (but not me) were angry that he had decided to criminalize the promotion of terror, just as his father had rightly criminalized the promotion of hatred and genocide. As the year began, Liberals felt dizzy: Trudeau had jerked them to the Left (with his ISIS position) and then to the Right (with his C-51 position). It was policy whiplash.
- Since then, since C-51, Trudeau hasn’t changed course. He’s gripped the steering wheel, and aimed the Liberal ship to the Left – and he hasn’t wavered. He sought to place himself to the Left of Thomas Mulcair – and, as of this week, I think he’s done it.
- Take a look at the evidence. He’s the guy who favours big deficits, not Mulcair. He’s the guy who wants to balloon infrastructure spending. He’s the guy who wants to accept a historic number of Syrian refugees. He’s the guy who daily rails against millionaires, not Mulcair. He’s the guy who actually says that the democratic socialists favour “austerity,” and he doesn’t. He’s the guy who, this week, announced that he would scrap the purchase of F-35 fighter jets, not Mulcair. And on and on.
- There can’t be any debate that Trudeau now leads the New New Democrats. What’s unclear is his motive. One, it could be that he has calculated that there are more gettable New Democrat voters than so-called Blue Grits, and he’s sacrificed the support of the latter for the former. Two, it could be that he’s positioning himself for a Peterson-style minority government, with NDP support (and maybe even participation) assured. Three, it could be that he really and truly believes it is the right thing to do, his upbringing notwithstanding.
- Can it work? Well, look what I found doing a Google search for you this morning. It worked before for another Trudeau. Maybe it will again for this one. From the Lewiston Daily Sun, February 19, 1980: