Smoky River Express
In most major countries, there is an absence of strong, inspired leadership, giving rise to relentless conflict and deep fissures in the body politic.
Here in Canada, we have a government leader with a new-age messiah complex, whose mission, it appears, is to be guru and spirit guide to an ever-growing grievance lobby, rather than prime minister to all Canadians.
Trudeau likes being in charge, but he doesn’t like running the store. Instead of doing a little heavy lifting and dealing with the often mundane but necessary affairs of the country, he prefers to be out front, glad-handing the customers, or traipsing off to play to his international fans.
Now, since his embarrassing, ill-conceived magical mystery tour of India, preceded by his embarrassing “people-kind,” nonsense in Manitoba, his fan base is diminishing and that includes the foreign media, which unreservedly fawned over him a short while ago.
One might think there is enough said about his trip to India and that it is time to move on. But it really is mind boggling that Trudeau so poorly judged the response to the spectacle he created. Many Canadians are still incredulous as to how this could happen and that no one in the prime minister’s entourage had enough influence to rein in his lurid exhibitionism.
Along with being less than welcomed by the Indian government, the trip also created some bad karma for the Liberal party here in Canada.
An Ipsos poll at the beginning of March had the Liberals behind the Conservatives, something that hasn’t happen since the Liberals were elected.
Ipsos placed the Conservatives at 38 per cent and the Liberals at 33, which is significant and Ipsos wasn’t alone, as other polls also identified a decline in the Liberals’ fortunes.
Because Trudeau was largely responsible for the Liberals’ popularity, their decline in popularity also rests with him and his frat boy antics. However, while his star has waned, the popularity of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has remained static. A far greater number of Canadians still favour Trudeau as leader over Scheer or Singh.
Since becoming leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh has remained something of an apparition, known primarily for his sartorial flare. With great fanfare, Singh let Canadians know that he got married, and apparently, for now, he has settled down to a life of domestic bliss and political obscurity.
Andrew Scheer is fashioned from the same plank of wood as Stephen Harper and has just as few moving parts. It would take a miracle for either one of these party leaders to capture the interest of Canadians. Singh appears ethereal and flighty, while Scheer seems opaque and inert.
The prime minister has nothing to fear from the leaders of the other two parties unless he keeps tempting fate with ridiculous behaviour and gaudy pageantry.
To regain the ground he and his party have lost, Trudeau should stop the excessive glad-handing and selfies, quit pandering to fulltime professional victim groups and every other self-centred, craven wonder in the easily offended community.
Instead, Trudeau needs to get behind the counter to take care of the business of governing and start looking out for the interests of Canadians with genuine concerns and pressing needs.