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A Troubling 2013 for Justin Trudeau's Liberals

Posted: 12/19/2013 12:21 pm

Parliament has risen for its Christmas break and won't sit again until January 27, 2014. In true Christmas spirit, it's a time for reflection on the good and bad of 2013, and how that record may be updated in 2014.

Unfortunately, the record for Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party has been overwhelmingly negative, leaving significant room for improvement in 2014.

Since being anointed -- er, elected -- Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Trudeau has been entirely devoid of any policy ideas.

Within the first week of being elected, controversy surrounded Trudeau. He tried rationalizing the Boston Marathon bombings by blaming society for the terrorists' actions. Then he complained about the temporary foreign worker program, only to be instantly revealed as a hypocrite who petitioned in favour of foreign workers in his riding.

In a video uploaded in 2010, infamous drug user Marc Emery claimed he smoked marijuana with Trudeau. Trudeau confirmed he had smoked marijuana, and one of Trudeau's first (and only) policy declarations has been that he favours of the legalization of marijuana. This, of course, only after Trudeau voted with the Conservative government to increase punishments for drug crimes. Hypocrisy count: two.

Unfortunately, that's pretty much where Trudeau's policy record ends. In fact, Trudeau has been completely unable to define the Liberal Party or Trudeau brand under his leadership.

Trudeau has failed to distance his Liberal Party from former Liberal cabinet minister Joe Fontana, who is being criminally charged for using taxpayers' money on his son's wedding.

Trudeau supported Liberal Senator Mac Harb, the only Senator to-date to resign from the Senate after he repaid $231,000 in ineligible Senate expenses. Up until Harb resigned, Trudeau was adamant he would "welcome him back into caucus."

Trudeau promised accountability and transparency of his MPs and Senators by proactively disclosing their expenses and posting them online. Unfortunately, that service is already available through the Parliament of Canada website. MPs such as David McGuinty have yet to post anything -- meaning either McGuinty runs his office for free (in which case, we taxpayers thank you!) or he's refusing to follow his boss' orders. The latter seems more likely.

Somehow, Trudeau's focus on transparency somehow missed the fact that he was charging enormous speaking fees -- up to $20,000 a pop -- to speak at private events. While he was a sitting MP, Trudeau could have collected over $288,000 in speaking fees, or more than three Wright-Duffy deals.

In the weeks preceding the Labour Day long weekend, Trudeau's communications staff let this gem slip, claiming that religious people were less intelligent than atheists. Trudeau has still not held his staff accountable, nor has he been held publicly accountable.

By August, even Trudeau's media friends were getting antsy, craving something, anything of substance. Trudeau said they would have to wait until 2015 before he revealed his ideas. Oh, but convicted terrorist Omar Khadr should be compensated for the inconvenience of being jailed for his crimes.

Maybe when Parliament returned in October Trudeau's team could rebuild. Wrong.

Instead, he hosted a patronizing women-only event, charging them $200 each to "get to really know" Trudeau by asking women about their "favourite virtues." At that event, he extolled his love of Chinese dictatorship as the preferred method to get things done quickly. Seriously.

Also in November, it was revealed that Trudeau was either kept out of the loop or purposely stalled a sexual harassment complaint by a Liberal staffer against a Liberal Senator.

Sure, in four byelections held the Liberals held the two ridings in Toronto and Montreal they had already held. But maintaining the status quo is hardly indicative of Trudeau's positive effect as leader.

And finally, as Parliament was about to rise for this season's Christmas break, Trudeau attempted to justify his part-time two-days-a-week attendance record. And a few days after that, long-time friend of Jean Chretien and former Liberal Party Vice President Jacques Corriveau was charged with fraud.

On second thought, in Trudeau's first eight months as Liberal leader, he has said a lot. He just hasn't said the right things to make him worthy of leading this country.

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  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting on a bench in Lafayette Square across from the White House before a television interview, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Louie Palu

  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Louie Palu

  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Louie Palu

  • Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2013. Trudeau was on his first trip to Washington to attend a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

  • UP NEXT: Memorable Trudeau Photos

  • Come At Me, Bro

    Justin Trudeau trains at Pan Am Boxing Club in Winnipeg on Friday Feb. 1, 2013.

  • Peekaboo!

    Justin Trudeau & co. making faces.

  • Riiiiip!

    Justin Trudeau splits his pants while pushing the "scrum machine" in support of Prostate Cancer Canada in Toronto Thursday, July 21, 2011.

  • Don't Shoot!

    Justin Trudeau gets his geek on at Montreal Comiccon in September 2012.

  • So Long 'Stache

    Justin Trudeau has his moustache shaved off to raise money for the Judy LaMarsh Fund, that supports female candidates, at the Liberal Party convention in Ottawa on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

  • Coming For MacKay

    Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay (left) is chased by Liberal MP Justin Trudeau in a motorized wheelchair during a wheelchair race relay on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. Twenty-five MPs and senators used a wheelchair for the day in support of the Canadian Paraplegic Association's Spinal Cord Injury and CPA awareness month.

  • All For One, One For All

    Justin Trudeau all dressed up for the Montreal Movember Gala in 2010.

  • Get Him!

    Pierre Trudeau's sons, Sacha, left, and Justin, tackle their mother's paperboy in Ottawa in this undated photo.

  • 'Family... And A Cow.'

    'Nuff said.

  • He Can Certainly Take A Punch

    Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau delivers a right hook to his older brother Justin during a play fight in 1980 at Ottawa airport as the boys await a flight with the return of their father, then-prime minister, Pierre Trudeau.

  • Be Honest With Me, Who's Cuter?

    Justin Trudeau strikes a pose with an adorable baby.

  • A Very Furry Christmas

    Justin Trudeau poses with his family on his 2010 Christmas card.

  • Game On!

    Former Liberal MP Ken Dryden, left, and Justin Trudeau play table hockey as they visit Sun Youth, a community organization, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 in Montreal.

  • Yanking Their Chain

    Then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, left, watches as his 11-year-old son Justin swings on a chain during a tour of an old fort in the Omani town of Nizwa Dec. 2, 1983. Trudeau and Justin spent the day visiting the towns of Jebel and Nizwa 165 kilometres south of Muscat.

  • Rocking Out

    Justin Trudeau in Muskoka, Ont.

  • YeeHaw!

    Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, centre, has his cowbay taken by his son Xavier, 4 years-old, while his wife Sophie Gregoire, second from left, holds daughet Ella-Grace, 3 years-old, while they attend the party's annual Stampede breakfast in Calgary, Saturday, July 7, 2012. This is the 100th anniversary of the Stampede.

  • Like Mother, Like Son

    Eleven-month-old Justin Trudeau, urged on by his mother Margaret Trudeau, crawls up the steps of an aircraft in Ottawa on Dec. 5, 1972 to meet his father, then-prime minister, Pierre Trudeau on his return from Britain.

  • Cutting A Rug

    Justin Trudeau dances with wife Sophie Gr├ęgoire before his speech at the Liberal showcase on April 6, 2013.

  • Next: What Is Pierre Trudeau Doing?

  • Magician?

    Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, wearing what someone called his "Mandrake the Magician outfit," walks down the grandstand steps to present the Grey Cup trophy to the victorious Montreal Alouettes in this Nov. 28, 1970 photo.

  • Hey, It Was The '70s

    Pierre Trudeau leans over to kiss an unidentified young lady to the seeming surprise of his recent bride Margaret. Trudeau and Margaret spent Saturday March 27, 1971 at maple tree farm here near Montreal at a sugaring out party.

  • Fur Wasn't Always Controversial

    Pierre Trudeau accompanies Margaret Sinclair, at the annual Governor General's skating party for members of Parliament in Ottawa Jan. 14, 1970.

  • Ditto For Seal Hunting

    Pierre Trudeau looks through the scope of his rifle while on a seal hunting trip in Baffin Island's Clear Water Fjord, July 29, 1968.

  • A Leg Up

    Pierre Trudeau shoes off his frisbee catching style while waiting to board his plane in Vancouver May 16, 1979.

  • Calisthenics Were Still Cool

    Pierre Trudeau had no trouble keeping himself occupied during a break from a boat trip down the Northwest Territories, Nahanni River, Monday Aug. 4, 1970.

  • The Outfit...

    Pierre Trudeau takes a wary look at an ice crevice, decides to chance it and makes the leap successfully during a midnight seal- hunting expedition at Clearwater Fjord in Canada's Arctic, July 29, 1968.

  • When in France...

    Pierre Trudeau receives a kiss from his wife Margaret during a tour of St. Pierre, France, Aug. 1971.

  • Running Man

    Pierre Trudeau in Guayana 1974.

 

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