Trudeau or Scheer - I don't know which one is worse. Do you?
Something I have found to be as certain as death and taxes, is that no matter how much faith you have in a government you elect, it’s just a matter of time before it disappoints you.
In the last federal election campaign, a volunteer for PC candidate Keith Ashfield came to my door. I told her I respect Keith immensely, but simply cannot vote for him because it would be a vote for Stephen Harper. She sighed and said, “yeah, I’m hearing that a lot.” Of that, I have absolutely no doubt.
The results of the last federal election suggests I wasn’t alone in hoping we had seen the last of Harper.
So, as a country we tossed him out and went with Justin Trudeau. Harper had set the bar so low, that pretty much all the new guy had to do was show that he wasn’t petty or divisive like his predecessor, and would keep his promises, and he’d do OK.
For me, strike one came when he broke his promise that his election would be the last one under the first-past-the-post system. Seems though that once he seen that it worked for him, keeping his word became secondary.
Strike two was his imposing a restriction that groups applying for summer student funding had to be on the same page as him ideologically. I had long been critical of Harper’s ideologically driven agenda, so saw it as no better behaviour just because it was coming from the left.
And now SNC Lavalin. If what is alleged is true, it’s outrageous. And the government’s behaviour since the Globe and Mail first reported this scandal, right up to Gerald Butts resignation, sure makes them appear guilty.
Then there is the arrogance and veiled threats with which Dominic LeBlanc responded to Premier Higgs pulling the plug on the Francophonie games. I know of nobody except the desperately and irrationally partisan who disagreed with Higgs doing that, but still, LeBlanc was put out.
So, yes, the Trudeau Liberals sunny ways seem to have clouded over.
Scandals don’t often kill governments, but the culmination of real and perceived sins can. Too early to say of course how this may play out in the fall election, but it might make it up for grabs.
On the other side we have Andrew Scheer, or “Harper with a smile” as some see him. At this point I would count myself in this camp. Unless I am missing something, what I see is a man who is pandering to the anti-immigrant segment of the party. Related, one of his senior communications people, Hamish Marshall, is a former corporate director with Ezra Levant’s racist organization and website The Rebel. There is something to the adage “you are judged by the company you keep”. And for good measure, climate change doesn’t even seem to be on his radar.
Nor does he seem to care about social issues. People concerned with homelessness were encouraged because Trudeau introduced a national housing strategy with the rollout of funds to provide affordable housing about to begin in the spring. It is a ten year strategy with a target of providing affordable housing to more than half a million vulnerable Canadians. Although a longer time line than many would hope, it is nevertheless substantial. Funding for affordable housing is something Harper had axed, making the homelessness situation considerably worse. One wonders if a Scheer election would result in another step backwards on this issue.
The bottom line here is that both leaders have proven they leave a lot to be desired.
Trudeau’s arrogance and maybe corruption. Sheer’s pandering with nary a Red Tory left to provide a social conscience to his party. God, this is all so depressing. The only positive thing is that we aren’t the United States. But that is far too low a measure to provide even the slightest of comfort.
Ah well, at least we have legal weed.
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Headline Photo: Ali Tawfig