Keep the seatbelt fastened — Turbulence is not over yet
The last election has showcased the worst set of political leaders in modern Canadian history. In the end, it was the Liberal brand that made the difference and Justin Trudeau was spared the humiliation that many predicted, and which he deserved.
However, the return to government might be a problem for the Liberals. This means that they cannot start the search for a new and more effective leader, and they are stuck with the Trudeau who, unless some unforeseeable changes develop, has proven to be an empty shell with no depth.
As soon as possible, Canada must deal with some serious and pressing issues and our country needs more than a weak minority government lead by a lightweight leader without a strong mandate and no clear program to implement.
Conversely, the Conservatives and the NDP have another kick at the can in the search for a new and more effective leaders to face the flaky Trudeau in the next election. If the NDP and the Conservatives engage in a new leadership race, Trudeau’s minority government will not be challenged. In the short term this is good for Trudeau but not so for the country.
Canada must deal with some pressing social issues like immigration and the relationship with the Aboriginals; not to mention the need to address the problems with Western Canada, problems that are of social but, most importantly, economic in nature.
A weak minority government must deal with huge economic issues. The deficit is already a problem and, if keeping the promises in politics is not a serious matter, the need to keep some of them made during the campaign will make it worse.
By the way, I did not mention the SNC-Lavalin. . .
However, if the domestic political background looks bleak for Trudeau, the situation is much worse internationally. After his 2015 victory, Trudeau was a beacon of hope and admiration around the World. His (fake) openness was more appreciated at the time when the newly elected president of United States, Donald Trump, was demonized and feared. In comparison, he looked like the perfect leader to save the world from the rampant populism.
I was in New York after his victory in 2015. From taxi-drivers to the hotel clerks, all were expressing admiration for our Canadian Prime Minister. “Why couldn’t we have someone like him in the U.S. instead of someone like Trump.”
Not anymore. I spoke lately with many people in different parts of Europe and most of them couldn’t hold back a denigrator smile before asking some embarrassing questions about our prime minister.
Someone pointed out to me last week that a Trudeau victory in the federal election would have weaken the image of Canada around the world. The point expressed was that, “he is not taken seriously anymore.”
And this is a huge economic problem at the time when our government must mend the relationship with the most powerful economies in the world.
We have serious problems with India, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and have lost our moral edge against Trump’s United States.
To deal with these national and international issues, Canada needs a strong government, a strong leader and, most importantly, a clear and strong vision. I don’t see any of them around Ottawa.
The only strength for Mr. Trudeau might come, as usual, from the weakness of his Canadian political opponents.
The Conservatives might find a way to damage themselves with the usual internal bickering instead of using this opportunity to rebuild the party from the ground up, while the NDP is still trying to find a reason to justify its existence using their creativity to find a new leader.
Of course, everything will change if Andrew Sheer and Jagmeet Singh have no intention of resigning. In this case the only way out for them to avoid the obvious internal pressure to move aside is to force as soon as possible another election.
Basically, keep your seatbelt fastened, turbulence is not over.