If elections were held today, the Grits would likely romp to victory, according to a recent poll. We would then be faced with the scary prospect of drama teacher Justin Trudeau hamming it up in the role of the next Prime Minister of Canada.
Only reflected glory has brought him to office. Becoming leader of the Liberal Party has done nothing to stop him from committing gaffes. For example, he attributed terrorist activity to "root causes." That surely pleased a lot of disenchanted Islamist radicals who must have seen him as a "useful idiot" who bought into their manufactured complaints of injustices.
Many Quebecers would rejoice at Trudeau's election. Here's a politician who can appear to understand their grievances well enough to identify with them better than with Canadians as a whole. He recently commented to a Quebec newspaper that keeping the troubled senate is a good idea because it would benefit Quebec (Quebec and Ontario are both allocated 24 senators).
The rookie politician could offer only inanities to deflect criticism of this stance. "The status quo...has certain advantages for the East in...sheer numerical value and that's not a statement of opinion," he said. "That's a statement of fact of what's in the Constitution."
His defence of this blunder continues to miss the point and just piles absurdity on absurdity. He stands by what he said because the senate does indeed benefit Quebec. That is not the issue. No one even challenges that Quebec benefits from its proportional representation in the senate. The point the nation must confront is highlighted by the scandal around Mike Duffy's senate expenses: How can the very existence of the senate be justified? The distribution of senator numbers is irrelevant to this issue.
He should have spoken about the issues surrounding the Mike Duffy scandal. Instead he chose to make a comment that only further confirms the view that Trudeau, no matter how charismatic some may consider him, is not fit to be Prime Minster of a developed and influential country like ours.
Justin Trudeau does not even appear to understand why he was criticized for his remarks. In his defence he argues that indeed Quebec has 24 seats. He stresses that this is a fact, not an opinion. But why bring it up?
It is Trudeau's undue focus on it that is troubling. Does he not understand this? Let's see how many more gaffes, distractions and inane ideas are in store for us from the new head of the Liberal party.
It is a scary prospect to see someone as disconnected from reality as Justin Trudeau strive for the highest office in the country. It also puts the current state of the Liberal Party in a dim light given that it apparently thinks electing someone like Trudeau is what is needed to get its image back on track.
Discerning voters can sometimes respect a politician with whom they disagree, as long as he or she can at least recognize the crux of an issue. In making statements and bringing up facts that are not apposite to the controversy surrounding the senate, Trudeau has shown how poorly he grasps the issues. There are many steps to statesmanship; Trudeau has yet to take his first one.