That’s all the voters are looking for, really. They know that they are not going to get their way on every single policy decision.
So they all want just one thing from their political leaders: decisions. Clear, coherent, concise decisions.
This writer worked for a leader like that: Jean Chretien. He won three back-to-back majorities not because he was universally loved, or even that his priority was being universally loved.
He won every single election he contested over a 40-year political career because he knew how to make a decision. That’s it. Because that’s the job. It’s simple.
Al-Qaeda attacked America on 9/11, and Chretien did not hesitate. He made a decision. He said we would go with America to fight Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. We did.
Later, George W. Bush wanted to wage war against Saddam Hussein. Chretien told him to wait until he had proof of weapons of mass destruction. Bush wouldn’t wait. So, Chretien made another decision: we would not join the Americans in Iraq. For them, it turned out to be a quagmire.
Decisions. At a time of war, being able to make a decision – being able to stake out a clear position – is essential. Human lives depend on it.
So, on the eve of the anniversary of Chretien’s massive election victory, we were treated to the spectacle of a Liberal government that can’t make a decision. Our so-called Minister of Global Affairs called for “a humanitarian pause” in the fighting in Israel and Gaza.
On the very same day – the same day! – Canada’s Minister of National Defense (correctly) labeled Hamas a terrorist organization, and (properly) said that they must be destroyed.
Which is it? A humanitarian pause, or destroy them? What’s the decision, Trudeau Liberals?
The Trudeau Liberals are not alone in their apparent fondness for sucking and blowing at the same time, however. Here’s a sampling.
• Trudeau initially said Israel had a right to defend itself, “in accordance with international law.” A couple days later, several of his Liberal MPs openly contradicted him and issued a letter calling for a ceasefire. None have been disciplined.
• CBC, the Toronto Star and even the New York Times claimed that Israel had bombed a hospital in Gaza. It hadn’t. The hospital is still standing, and there were no 500 victims. But have the Star or CBC expressed regret for their decision to effectively blame Israel? No.
• The Ontario NDP stubbornly defended one of their own after she refused to back down from statements that many considered anti-Semitic. A few days later, they decided to kick her out of their caucus.
• Canada’s Ambassador to the the United Nations, Bob Rae, rightly and courageously called for Hamas to be destroyed. The hopeless and hapless Joly, meanwhile, instead called for a “de-escalation.” If 1,400 of your family and friends were raped, tortured and killed – if hundreds of them were kidnapped – would you be telling the victims to “de-escalate” and suck it up? Or would you favor pursuing and stopping the wrongdoers? You know the answer.
• António Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, properly condemned the brutal attacks of Hamas. Then, in virtually the same breath, he said that Hamas’ rampage “did not happen in a vacuum” – and added that the Palestinians have been subject to over 50 years of “suffocating occupation.” Get that? Condemn the bad guys – and then say the bad guys weren’t acting “in a vacuum.”
And so on and so on. It’s enough to make you ill. (Actually, it does.)
We are going through a dark and dangerous time. We are on the precipice of things getting worse before they get even worse.
At such a time, we need the sort of leadership Jean Chretien showed: clear and coherent and concise decisions. The ability to decide.
We’re not getting that.