My latest: ten reasons to give political thanks

The election is over, Thanksgiving is over.

What better time, then, to give thanks about what happened, and what didn’t, in the 2021 federal general election?

And, yes, sure: Justin Trudeau isn’t now in a job for which he is suited, like cleaning leaves out of gutters. He’s still prime minister, and that’s nothing to be grateful for, if you ask me (and you did).

But we still have things to be thankful for, electorally speaking. Here’s 10:

1) The Conservatives didn’t falsely allege they won the election. The Tories could’ve done what Donald Trump did, and does. They could’ve pointed to the fact (because it is a fact) that they won a bigger share of the popular vote than the Trudeau Liberals. They could’ve kvetched and complained that only 20% — TWENTY PER CENT — of eligible voters voted for Trudeau. But they didn’t. Kudos. 

2) Canadians got to know who would govern them within hours, not days.Remember the U.S. presidential election, which had all the hallmarks of a three-ring circus, without any of the fun? It went on for day after interminable day, with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jon King standing in front of their infernal magic board thing, trying to keep viewers viewing. Canada? We got the results hours after polls closed, and then we got to change the channel to Netflix. Yay! 

3) The losers conceded. Tory boss Erin O’Toole accepted the results with grace. So did the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh. Everyone was restrained and modest — well, maybe not Justin Trudeau, because he’s never restrained or modest. But it was all very civilized. Good. 

4) No one made false claims about mail-in votes or ballots. None of them did. In the United States, post-vote, Republican sore losers were to be seen everywhere. They endlessly made baseless claims about election fraud. In Canada, precisely no one did that, mainly because the system worked. Merci. 

5) No one called journalists “enemies of the people.” Trump, as despicable and dishonest as he is, built a flourishing career on calling every legitimate critic a purveyor of “fake news.” He was always on a war footing with the Fourth Estate. Up here in Canada, none of the politicians particularly like those of us in the news and commentary business, but they understand we have a job to do. Bonus. 

6) No one cooked up crazy and/or illegal schemes to overturn the election result. Trump did — up to and including urging his crazier followers to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. In Canada, we had a few recounts in the tighter races, but the law provides for that. We Canadians just shrugged and carried on. Very Canadian. Very good. 

7) Similarly, nobody called for the imposition of Martial Law. Sure, we’d like impose a better hockey team on Toronto, and better coffee at Tim’s, and better weather in February, but Martial Law? Isn’t that a law firm on Bay Street? Possibly. 

8) No one sacked Parliament Hill.Sightseers took selfies out front. Tour buses cruised by. And construction workers continued working on fixing up the Parliamentary precinct, which is taking more time than the construction of the pyramids. But no one ran around in Centre Block, wearing horns, makeup and a bearskin hat. Phew. 

9) No one chanted “stop the steal.”Because there was no “steal.” Not one of the political parties actually won anything — they all got precisely what they had before the unnecessary, unwanted election was called by a craven Justin Trudeau. But not one of them claimed that victory had been “stolen” from them. Victory! 

10) Our elections aren’t perfect. Our government isn’t perfect. Our politicians, God knows, aren’t perfect. But we’ve still got a pretty good country — and, election-wise, we look a lot wiser than the Americans, with their whackadoodle system of picking winners. 

So, give thanks, Canada. It could be worse.

Down South, it usually is.

— Warren Kinsella was Jean Chretien’s Special Assistant

Your favorite season. Yeah, I know.

My latest: shove your apology, Trudeau

Sorry, but Justin Trudeau likes apologies. He does.

He makes them all the time. Everyone has noticed. The BBC even published a story about The Apologist-In-Chief, asking: “Does Justin Trudeau apologise too much?”

Their answer: Yes, probably. (And, yes, they spelled “apologize” in the Brit way, naturally, with an “s” and not a “z.” Apologies.)

Here’s a partial list of Justin’s apologies. It’s partial, because we literally do not have enough room to publish all of the details about the Liberal leader’s apologies. We’re a tabloid, not an encyclopedia. (Sorry.)

— When Trudeau and his family were caught with their snout deep in the WE Charity trough, Trudeau apologized. “I made a mistake in not recusing myself immediately from the discussions given our family’s history and I’m sincerely sorry about not having done that.”

— When Trudeau and his family were caught with their well-appointed beaks in another trough — the Aga Khan’s lobbyist trough — he was again super contrite for not getting permission from the ethics czar first. “I’m sorry I didn’t, and in the future I will be clearing all my family vacations with the commissioner.”

— When Trudeau and his family were caught lying on the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation — lying about where they were, lying about what they were doing, and lying about where they were doing it (an $18-million oceanfront mansion owned by the wife of one of the alleged tax avoiders identified on the Paradise Papers this week, according to the Journal de Montreal) — he again issued another post facto Act of Contrition: “Travelling on September 30th was a mistake, and I regret it.” He didn’t utter the word “apologize,” notably, but he claimed to have done so in a call with an Indigenous leader: “I apologized for not being there with her and her community for (Truth and Reconciliation) day.”

Do you see the oily, serpentine thread that weaves through all of Trudeau’s dewey-eyed, butter-wouldn’t-melt apologies? Yes: They all involve his family. You know: his multimillionaire family, who rarely seem to resist the temptation to plunder the treasury, or someone else’s bank account. About which Prime Minister Penitential then apologizes — always after getting caught. Never before.

But like we say: Justin Trudeau loves apologies. They turn him on. There was his apology for the Komagata Maru incident, wherein a ship full of mostly Sikhs were turned away from Canada about 100 years ago. Then there was the one he made for elbowing NDP MP Ruth-Ellen Brosseau in her chest during a nasty debate in the House of Commons in 2016.

Then there was the one he made for residential school survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador in November 2017. Four days later, he made another one to LGBT people for what he called “state-sponsored, systematic oppression.”

He apologized to the Tsilhqot’in First Nation for the killings of their chiefs in 1864. In that same year, 2018, he apologized because his Liberal predecessor, Mackenzie King, turned away 900 Jews on the MS St. Louis in 1939, most of whom would go on to be murdered in Nazi death camps.

And so on, and so on. Apologies followed to the Inuit, to the Poundmaker Cree Nation, and on and on. And now, because he made the first Truth and Reconciliation Day a farce, a bad memory.

Here’s the best response to your fetish for apologies that are never, ever, ever accompanied by changes in your behaviour, Justin Trudeau. It comes from Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald.

“Hollow apologies will no longer be accepted,” Archibald said. “As national chief, on behalf of all First Nations, I expect concrete action and changed behaviours.”

There you go, Justin Trudeau: Take your apologies and shove them.


— Warren Kinsella was a federal Ministerial Representative to dozens of First Nations across Canada from 2003 to 2015