Friday, November 02, 2018

Michael Harris: Why Justin Trudeau Should Win The Election

It's been three tough years. Demolishing Stephen Harper's grim legacy took longer, and was probably harder than Justin Trudeau had imagined.

And no prime minister has ever been attacked as viciously as he has, by the Cons and their media stooges.

But with less than a year to go before the next election, even some of his strongest critics are now finally asking themselves the obvious question:

If not him WHO?

And even the grumpy old Trudeau basher Michael Harris now admits that the election is Trudeau's to win or lose, for three main reasons. 

One, Canadians haven't forgotten the horror of the Harper years.

The assault on democratic institutions; the war on the press; the muzzling of scientists; the drumbeat of official lies; the assault on the Supreme Court; the politicization of the RCMP; the abandonment of the UN; the retreat from multilateralism; the rush to war; and a string of corruption scandals, including one that led directly to the door of the Prime Minister’s Office. The senator Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright Affair. Trumpland before Trump.

The nightmare Trudeau ended.

Two, Scheer really is Harper, with or without the creepy smile...

The CPC has never owned that record, nor acknowledged the need to strike out in new policy directions if it wants to be considered seriously again. Instead, it picked a leader who stands for virtually all the same things Harper did, including the notion that any action on climate change is “crazy economics” and would “destroy the economy.”

By insisting on making war on the carbon tax his call to political arms, Scheer couldn’t say more clearly that he is yesterday’s man.

And three, values are what set Trudeau apart from Scheer and his ugly Cons.

The ones he got from his father...

Whatever his shortcomings, the PM’s greatest strength is aspiring to something his father once aimed for: a just society. 

Despite the broken promises, the awful lapses of judgment, and a few policy face-plants, Trudeau is arm-in-arm with Canadians on values.

Scheer continues to hold hands with Harper on everything from climate change to immigration. And both of them continue to cast loving eyes southward to marvel at the power of lies.

Short of a five-alarm scandal for the Liberals, or a serious abdication of the social values Trudeau stands for, they will choose the Liberals over Republican wannabes.

I'm glad Harris has finally seen the light, or finally asked himself the obvious question:

If not him WHO?

In a world where the lights are going out, and fascists are on the move everywhere, this is the bottom line.

Justin Trudeau, the son of Pierre, is the only one who can stop Andrew Scheer from becoming Prime Minister.

That's why the Cons are so eager to destroy him.

And why those who love this country, better hope they don't succeed...


  1. I am very much against the Cons (and Bernier) but Trudeau père was far from a sterling democrat. I have older friends, still alive, who were jailed by him in 1970, and none had anything to do with FLQ bombings or kidnappings. That was a tiny and not very effective terrorist group.

    1. Anonymous9:49 AM

      Perhaps he was protecting all concerned from a severe backlash if the story line was allowed to escalate.

    2. The reason Trudeau will win again has nothing to do with any of that. The victories of Doug Ford and similar people shows the public's contempt for carbon taxes unfortunately.

      And it wasn't policy that ultimately finished off the Harper government, it was coming off mean spirited.

      And Trudeau has been a okay PM at his best moments, and he doesn't have many of those.

      No he will win because his foes are all in Choas. Bernier will suck enough support from the CPC to keep them from winning. Jagmeet Singh has alienated many over his barbaric treatment of Erin Weir and he is completely uninspiring to boot. So that means there is no threat to Trudeau from the left.

      Even the Bloc are have been torn apart with divisions.

      All 3 opposition parties have been ripped into 6 parties. The CPC vs. PPC, NDP vs CCF, and BQ vs QPG.

      Oh and the Greens are a bonus wildcard.

      No Trudeau faces no real opposition anymore because it has completely fractured.

    3. Hi Gyor...the latest polls suggest that most Canadians support Trudeau's carbon tax rebate plan, and I expect that support to grow as the climate change emergency grows more and more dire. But as for all the other reasons you mention, I agree. But that's exactly the point I've been trying to make for months. Trudeau is at this time at least, the only one who can defeat the Cons. And should be supported by all progressives lest the Cons win, and plunge us into the horror of Trumpling fascism...

    4. The FLQ cells were rounded up by normal police methods.

      Trudeau père used the crisis to attack his enemies - I mean his political enemies, not people who set off bombs and kidnapped or killed people. Including trade unionists, community organisers, poets and artists.

      He was a brilliant man, but utterly ruthless.

    5. Hi Lagatta...there is no doubt that Trudeau overreacted during the FLQ crisis, but who knew the FLQ terrorists were such a small group? And that small failure was more than offset by his repatriation of the Charter of Rights, and his decriminalization of homosexuality and abortion...

  2. Jackie Blue12:09 AM

    God save Justin Trudeau. With Angela Merkel saying auf wiedersehen and Emmanuel Macron floundering in the Seine, he's going to have to take up the mantle as leader of what's left of the free world. I don't put it past an increasingly desperate and unhinged Trump and his lunatic acolytes like Bolton to authorize a wag-the-dog scenario that involves shooting at children in Mexico, going shock-and-awe on Venezuela, nuking Iran, or any and all of the above plus any number of surprises pulled out of their... sleeves. (In Amerikan Putinstan, dog wag YOU!) We'll be in a bigly war soon enough, that much is all but certain. Especially if the blue wave craters and there's nothing to stop the Trump train from really going off the rails.

    I don't know what transpired in that bullshit "debate" between war-criminal David Frum (who recently gave a ringing endorsement to Nazi-adjacent religious fascist and climate-science-denying incel avatar Jason Kenney) and pockmarked psychopath Steve Bannon, but clearly there's sharks in the water who want to destroy Canada just like every other place they've shat upon (including and especially the United States). All the knives are out now, at home and abroad. "No axis of evil, no axis of evil, you're the axis of evil!"

    It's not just the Republi-Cons themselves who pose a threat, though. There's also the pseudo-leftist backstabbers who'd rather coalesce with the Harperrhoid fascists than unite with the Tru' Grits against the common enemy. Don't count out the Rooskies or even the Saudis this time around, attempting to make useful idiots of the leftier-than-thou just like they exploited the Bernie Sanders campaign and whatever possessed Jill Stein. When all the dust settles, though, the Cons, Hamish Marshall and Ezra Levant especially will need to face at minimum a parliamentary inquiry and CRA audit, and likely a criminal investigation. It will have to come from an external source rather than the party "taking a walk in the wilderness" and recalibrating on their own without the bigots and austerity fanatics of the Koch Kleptokrat Klan. They can't be introspective, because they have no souls to search.

    Now, the snow may end up glowing neon anyway, and not because it's reflecting the Aurora Borealis but because Mandarin Manson decided to go all Helter Skelter on the planet. Trudeau can't do anything about Trump. What he can do is what he's already done so well, and what he undoubtedly picked up at the side of his father (who'd be celebrating his centennial shortly before next year's election day). He can be, and is, a voice of reason, pragmatic progress, and especially compassion, for Canadians and for those on the outside looking in (especially on the wrong side of the Orange Curtain) who need to believe there's still hope for the bright side of the Force. In other words, if there's any chance left for humanity, then the Jedi needs to return for a second majority, the phantom menace needs to be extinguished, and the Empire needs to STRIKE OUT!

    1. David vs Steve fake news personified. Two straw men tilting at windmills.

    2. Hi Jackie...Brilliant comment. Canadians have a tendency to be a bit provincial, so I don't believe enough of them realize that Canada is one of the few bright spots in a darkening world. And that Justin Trudeau is increasingly alone in a world full of ugly Cons and tin pot dictators. So as a result, even some progressives spend more time tracking Trudeau than they do the real enemy. It's absolutely pathetic. Those wretched snowflakes would destroy the only politician who can defeat the Cons. Hopefully they will regain their bearings, or their sanity, before it's too late...

  3. Jackie, I strongly disagree with you about the Bernie campaign, which gave new hope to many. US Americans deserve health care as much as Canadians and a great many Europeans do.

    1. Oh, I absolutely agree with those things. I was among the activists for abortion and contraceptive rights, and a supporter of those who were fighting against not only criminalisation but all forms of discrimination against gay and lesbian people, and a close friend (still am) of one of the earliest leaders of those movements.

      I am not a Trudeau père hater - but do want to point out that he wasn't always a sterling democrat. Arresting and jailing innocent people for their political beliefs (socialism, sovereigntism) is not a small failure.

      I think the RCMP knew very well how small the FLQ were.

  4. Before Justin Trudeau ran for the leadership of the LPC.....I read his book 'Common Ground"and my first thoughts were "No, don't do it" because I was concerned that being in the limelight of the Public has proven that it has the potential to ruin good lives, especially where family is involved. Now, 4 years later, I still have this concern. Time for Humans to be Humane!

    1. Hi Kathleen...yes, and Justin Trudeau and his family have been attacked in a most disgusting manner. But despite that we should be grateful that Trudeau did take the plunge, for I don't believe any other politician could have defeated Stephen Harper, and liberated us from his ghastly regime. I don't always agree with him, but I will be eternally grateful for having taken back my country...

  5. Finally, great to see Harris come to his senses- I usually agree with most of his writing, and he was right about a few things that Justin has done. None of which is enough to move the needle over to the hapless Scheer. In order to win or risk losing a solid majority, they have to get on the carbon tax issue and get it the hell reframed. Otherwise, the wave that brought stooge Ford will bring Scheer. Unfortunately, Singh has failed on revitalizing the NDP and they will be a non-issue so no worries there. We'll have to turn away at all the nastiness that we'll have to endure before election day and hope the result is what we desperately need.

    1. Hi bcwaterboy...What I think the Liberals urgently need to do is explain the need for a carbon tax, and contrast that with the peril of doing nothing. I am constantly surprised how bad they are at messaging, and as you point out, they are going to have to up their game if they are to prevail over good old human greed. The rebate plan is a big plus, but even it is not enough. We all have to realize that we are in a war with the right, and attack them like we have never attacked them before...

  6. Anonymous11:15 AM

    From the moment JT announced his intention to run for the Liberal leadership(6 or 7 years ago), the Cons have been relentless in their attacks on him. Most being complete lies or facts that were contextually blown way out of proportion.
    They did however share the distinction of being petty and childish with a healthy dose of bullying. It reminded me of middle and high school where the usual bullies would make fun of other kids for what they wore, or their looks and at worse, the color of their skin and doing physical harm to them. I imagine those same bullies who did not see the error in their ways are now Conservatives who hold those same bully traits.
    Thanks to Harper, the Conservative party of yore is no more, it's dead. Gone are the days of respectful debate, sound policy or bipartisanship on anything. Harper and Scheer have effectively devolved the party into the Trump GOP slop north where anything goes, fact is fiction, smoke and mirrors depictions and duties are derelictions.
    JT will prevail next year and despite the misinformation campaigns, the majority of Canadians are smart enough to see the Cons for what they are and they know deep down that Justin Trudeau truly loves this country and wants only what is best for it.

    1. Hi JD...The way Justin Trudeau was attacked from the moment he entered politics was the most disgusting case of political bullying I have ever seen. It was revolting, and since I hate bullies with a passion I can never forgive them, and why I hate them so much. I didn't vote for the Liberals in the last election, but I will be voting for them in the next one. Trudeau may not be perfect, but he is good and decent, and still our best hope of defeating the Cons...

  7. Anonymous11:21 AM

    Justin Trudeau and his group made some truly amateur mistakes over the last couple of years, but the reality is that I can't imagine a stronger, more capable leadership than what we have ever seen for this country. A shining example: the Cons would have collapsed and capitulated to Trump in a heartbeat.
    With this in mind, I *really* want the Liberals to win in 2019, but they must pivot to focus on Canada's financial situation. Any extra dollar spent right now just becomes fuel to the flames burning around the Conservatives.

    Also, the Liberals *must* find a way to point a couple of fingers back at the Cons for the disasters they've created and put in the laps of the Liberals, including (but not limited to) Phoenix, the shipping contract, Kinder Morgan and more.

    Finally, who gets chosen in 2019 remains a media issue (as far as I'm concerned). We have to shine the spotlight on racist and provocative organizations like Post Media and Rebel. Embarrass but not silence. Connect them to white supremacists and find ways to block them in.

    1. Hi anon...As I've said many times, Trudeau is not perfect, but he reflects my Canadian values, and is the only progressive leader capable of defeating the Cons. The left in Germany spent all its time fighting itself, until Hitler swept them aside, and hanged their leaders one by one. We should not make the same mistake. We live in dangerous times, and survival is job one...

    2. The fratricidal fight among the left in Weimar Germany involved actual left forces - the Social Democrats, who bore the stain of supporting the Great War as opposed to labour solidarity, and the Communists who bore the stain of becoming increasingly Stalinised. It had nothing to do with bourgeois liberal parties, though of course there were bourgeois liberals who were very much against fascism.

  8. e.a.f.2:24 PM

    loved the picture of father and son, but I want the old man back. O.K. that's not happening so we'll go with the son. the riding I live in is NDP and thus a choice is not difficult. however, in other ridings, if the NDP were not going to be a winner, it would be Liberal.

    The Conservatives are not yet ready to form government and I don't know when it will. Many in that party are too closely tied to the racists of yesterday and today, have regressive views on the LGBTQ community and straight women.

    The Conservatives don't seem to understand the needs of today's society. One of those items falls under, doesn't matter how hard you work in this century, you may well never get a head and that is very clear in Greater Vancouver. Housing prices are now so out of reach for working families, that the City of Vancouver is building "affordable housing" for families who make $30K to $80K a year. Another project backed by the City of Vancouver provides for housing for people who are fire fighters, teachers, nurses, paramedics, police officers, who are all in the $70K to $90K a year bracket. None of them can afford a home in the city or in the burbs unless you can afford a town house for $670K an hour or more away from Vancouver.

    The other issue the federal Conservatives can't seem to wrap their heads around is the drug/fent. crisis we have in this country. Ford and his fxxk ups can't get it through their heads if we don't have safe injection sites, pop ups, etc. human beings will die. yes, they'll be dead. Now of course he may think that's a good solution to a problem but many of us don't. Addicts need free drugs, medical support, and a safe place to inject. it will bring down crime, if nothing else.

    In a democracy it is good to have 3 to 5 viable parties so voters have a choice, so I may not be a Conservative, but I'd really like a decent Conservative or Progressive Conservative Party in Canada. Some who come here, may not like my views, however, the party has always represented a lot of citizens/voters in this country and they have the right to vote for the party of their choice. That party however needs to understand you can't trample on other people's rights.

    So yes, it will be comforting to think Trudeau, Jr. will still be the P.M. after the next election. He ought to though have a bi election for Singh in Burnaby. Not happy about him not calling that bi election and not sporting either.

  9. John B.6:17 PM

    Nice move on Jagmeet-we-hardly-knew-ye. I’d say worthy of Harper & Assoc., though hardly necessary. Let’s see whether Justin can do anything besides grab what’s left of whatever else the NDP has left to spoil on its plate while it pursued whatever it’s been pursuing since it forgot everything it ever understood about labour economics and settled into that comfort zone with its collective head up its ass. Of course, there’s also the Max Factor: another one that Justin will score without having to get off of his. We’re all winners and we’re going to keep winning. We’re all going to win so much that somebody is going to get sick of it.

    1. Hi John...People might get sick of winning, but it's still better than losing to the Con fascists. Because let's face it that's who the Scheer Cons are, fascists in waiting who would wreck our country beyond recognition. I have always argued for the unity of the left, and always will. I am not partisan and support all progressive parties. But right now Trudeau is our best Con slayer, and that's why I'll be supporting him in the next election...

  10. Reason 4, historical voting patterns. Since the Canadian Parliament went to more than two parties and with one exception a first term majority government has never lost government during the succeeding election. That exception was John Diefenbaker.

    Brian Mulroney won his first term in 1984 and won again in 1988 despite the fact he had to defend a deeply unpopular Free Trade Agreement. Jean Chretien won his second term in 1997 despite the fact there was a wide spread perception that he broke a promise to scrap the GST, also deeply unpopular.

    For over 80 years and four generations Canadians have gernerally given first term majority governments a second mandate regardless of what happens in between the two elections. It is possible Canadians will break that trend this time but it is not probable. So we could see a Liberal minority government in 2019 or a larger Liberal majority but the most probable outcome is a reduced Liberal majority government.

    And in fairness to Mr. Harris he did not have much good to say about Stephen Harper when he was running the show. I believe that Mr. Harris is just a professional critic who believe is job is to criticize. He must be a blast at parties.

  11. Hi e.a.f....I would have no problem with a Progressive Conservative party that would respect our Canadian values. I wouldn't ever vote for them, but I could coexist with them just fine. The problem is that the Cons we have now are more American than Canadian. They are racists, they are misogynists, they are homophobic, and I would rather die than live in their Canada. I believe that we are at a turning point in world history, and the next few years will determine the fate of the planet. The fascists must be beaten and failure is not an option...

  12. That is true. Many of them, including Harper if I recall, did NOT attend Flora MacDonald' funeral. For shame. She actually supported the international solidarity NGO Alternatives (I was on Alternatives' women's committee) and we had a wonderful conversation when she was visiting Montréal. She had NOTHING to do with the current Con scum, who are more US Republicans than any kind of Tory, left or right.