Something happened in Parliament on May 19th, 2016. It may have changed everything.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the perfectionist heart-throb that has taken the world by storm, stepped away from his Disney Prince persona and had a very human moment. In a heated parliamentary debate, the prime minister strode across the floor, grabbed hold of Conservative whip Gordon Brown, and accidentally elbowed a female MP. Ruth Ellen Brosseau appeared in shock as Trudeau's less than shining performance put a serious damper on the parliamentary stage. It wasn't long before the commotion made headlines, prompting questions about Trudeau's "feminist" motivations and furthering discussion about his performance as our leader.
How enraging to us that he's a politician, and not the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
Looks like Ted Cruz isn't the only Canadian elbowing women, eh?
The whole thing made me laugh. To turn a whole discussion of appropriate behavior in the House of Commons into a question of gender politics is like pouring gasoline on a half-hearted campfire. This was one of the first times when I fully disagreed with our prime minister's initial actions, but the quick and stormy actions of the Conservatives and NDP turned a reasonable concern into a farce. It's the overly polite, overly politically correct narrative that turns Canada into one giant joke for the rest of the world. This time, I was laughing with them.
And all of that got me thinking.
The country has been pretty harsh on the Trudeau family recently. It seems as though our "Commander-in-Chief" and his "First Lady" haven't been able to do anything right. First, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau can't have a nanny, then the Trudeaus can't go on vacation, then Trudeau is doing too much for refugees and not enough for Fort McMurray, then Gregoire-Trudeau has no right to ask for help with her busy schedule, and NOW, it's Elbowgate. "He MUST be perfect!" the Canadian public seems to cry, because isn't that what he marketed himself as at the beginning? How enraging to us that he's a politician, and not the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
Oh, Canada. How lucky you are to have such problems.
There's a lot of issues that we need to work on as a country, but throwing our leader under the bus is NOT going to help anything.
I speak often of the time when Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States. On election night, the footage from around the globe looked like the final scene in Return of the Jedi. This was America's chance for REAL change, and yet the debt piled up, the promises got broken, and then Obama was just another politician who didn't cut it. Naturally, this made him a bad president because some people can't deal with the force from the ground after they fall off of their unicorn.
And Trudeau has been elbowing us off of our unicorns for the past couple of months now. Magical horses everywhere have been left unattended after we have all started to realize that Saint Justin Trudeau isn't a thing and that he's just a guy trying to do a job that none of us criticizing him are actually qualified to do. Elbowgate is the icing on the cake right now, and frankly, the whole thing is getting embarrassing for us. If this is what Canada calls "chaos," then someone is going to have to throw us a dictionary sooner than later.
We've become the whiny kid in the schoolyard that no one wants to play ball with because everyone knows that kid is going to go crying to Teacher if someone looks at them wrong way. The Opposition even threw in that nice gender equality dig, just to show the entire planet how truly bored we are with having nothing real to complain about. There's a lot of issues that we need to work on as a country, but throwing our leader under the bus is NOT going to help anything.
We all need a dose of reality every now and again.
There are some things that you can get pissed off at Justin Trudeau for. The TTP Agreement, for example, is not particularly popular, as are some of the Easter eggs hidden in the most recent budget. Hell, I don't think it's unreasonable for you to be irritated by Trudeau's initial response to Brown. On the whole, however, it is undeniable that we are in a better position than we were under Stephen Harper's regime, if only for the incredible approval Canada has received on the International stage as a direct result of Trudeau's leadership. So, let's pick our battles a bit, shall we? Let's not be that whiny kid no one wants to play with and show the world that we can play ball just like anyone else.
In the most Canadian thing ever, Trudeau humbly and extensively apologized for his actions in the House of Commons on Thursday. I'm sure that we have many friends south of the border who would be thrilled to even hear the word "sorry" mumbled for anything their recent candidates have said, but alas, they are not in the land of the unicorns. We are a spoiled lot, Canadians are and it's about time that we suck it up a bit and stop being the backseat driver to our chauffeur. Remember, we voted him, guys. Isn't it reasonable to give him a chance to keep doing his job without picking on every single human detail?
We all need a dose of reality every now and again. This marginally bitter pill couldn't have come at a better time for us, and I'm hoping that this will make us smarter. There are far greater things to be concerned about now.
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