No line taken by the government in this matter will please everyone. Perhaps it will plough through with the deal and weather the heat from critics, no matter how persistent. Alternatively, if it decides to open the books on the Saudi deal, and the contract is altered, suspended or cancelled, there will be complaints from those concerned for the economy. The Saudi arms deal presents the new government with an admittedly complex policy challenge. But challenges can result in opportunity.
The world's top one per cent own more than 50 per cent of the world's wealth. The ability to make policy and to enforce it at the national level is essential to combat the slide towards plutocracy, under which society is controlled by the wealthiest citizens. Mr. Obama and Ms. Freeland, please listen to your own rhetoric. Pull the plug on the TPP and CETA.
Just as Trudeau did when he invited the public to the swearing-in of his cabinet ministers at Rideau Hall, or by meeting with the provincial and territorial ministers for the first time since 2009, or by attending the UN climate change summit with his provincial counterparts and opposition leaders, Trudeau is signalling that his is a different government. Gone is Stephen Harper's uncaring, exclusionary and secretive government. Instead, the Liberals are saying, they will be open, transparent, collaborative and caring. Time will tell whether they hold true to those promises.