Justin Trudeau has taken delusional thinking to a whole new level
It was a wonderful Christmas at our house on Monday. Good company, good food, good cheer, good presents and a good amount of rest and relaxation.
The weather wasn’t very Christmassy in Toronto, however. One of the greenest in my lifetime. Not a drop of the white fluffy stuff to be seen. El Niño’s warming effect could turn this into one of Canada’s milder winters.
Hence, many Canadians weren’t able to take a walk in the snow. This includes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – and in more ways than one.
There’s a long-standing association between Canada’s political leaders and taking a walk in the snow. Why? In a nutshell, if someone in the former category is struggling in some capacity (i.e. significant drop in the polls, keeping the party caucus united), he or she should take a walk outside in the snowy weather – or any type of weather – to contemplate his or her political future.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
|NOT YET A PREMIUM MEMBER?
The first Canadian politician who took this walk was the PM’s late father.
Pierre Trudeau famously recounted his fateful walk in a winter wonderland during a press scrum on Feb. 29, 1984, the day he announced his decision to leave political life. “I walked until midnight in the storm. Interesting, eh? And then I went home and took a sauna for an hour and a half. It was all clear. I was to leave. I went to sleep, just in case I changed my mind overnight, and I didn’t. I woke up, great. To use the old cliche, this is the first day of the rest of my life – and here we are.”
CBC reporter Bill Casey, who was at that scrum, noted Trudeau “first attracted national attention as a sort of philosopher-politician” and it seems “he wants to leave the same way.” Moreover, the PM “looked for signs of destiny in the sky” in the storm that night, but “there were none – just snowflakes. So, he listened to his heart. And his heart, it appears, told him it was time to go.”
In reality, it was a combination of several factors.
Trudeau had been Prime Minister from 1968 to 1984. Joe Clark’s short-lived Progressive Conservative minority government between 1979 and 1980 served as the only interruption. The Canadian public, who had witnessed Trudeau’s leadership for years, was tired of him and his Liberal government’s policies. Brian Mulroney, who beat Clark in the 1983 PC leadership election, certainly sensed this. “My party was soaring in the polls – Gallup had us at 56 percent, with the Liberals trailing at 27 percent in a poll published on Dec. 1,” he wrote in Memoirs: 1939-1993. “I knew he wouldn’t want to risk another election defeat.”
There were many things to dislike about Trudeau, from left-leaning statist ideas to poor economic thinking. His vision of the country had its admirers but wasn’t shared by all Canadians. Which is naturally the case for all political leaders.
His intelligence and political savvy weren’t in dispute, however.
The long walk in the snow Trudeau took that stormy evening, whether real or imaginary, confirmed what he had likely suspected in private for a while. There comes a moment when every leader realizes the final steps of a political journey have been taken. When your ideas are tired, policies are stale, and personal popularity has sunk to depths that can’t be easily rejuvenated. The layers of snow on Trudeau’s boots provided those indications – and more.
Which brings us back to his son.
Justin Trudeau has been in a state of political decline for several years. The reasons are plentiful, including three older instances of wearing blackface, two ethics violations, political scandals and controversies involving several Liberal MPs and cabinet ministers, spending taxpayer dollars like a drunken sailor, and situating Canada at the foreign policy kiddie table. That’s why he’s been trailing Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives by double digits since late September.
Will Trudeau depart before the next election? It seems unlikely.
Terry DiMonte, a former radio host and Trudeau’s friend, recently said to him during their annual hour-long holiday chat, “You have a lot of fight in you. You’re not going anywhere, are you?” The PM responded, “You know, everyone talking about, ‘Oh, maybe it’s the walk in the snow this coming week’ … it’s like, Jesus Christ! Come on.”
Is this an act of defiance and stubbornness? It’s possible. Does he want to prove he can muster up another political recovery and stay in office? It could be a motivating factor.
Or does he want to prove he’s not in the shadow of his late father? Ay, there’s the rub.
History has shown that Justin Trudeau doesn’t have Pierre Trudeau’s political sense and communications skills. He didn’t have them to begin with and hasn’t spent any discernible amount of time developing them. He simply plodded along, spent most of his time focusing on fluffy rhetoric and pet projects like a federal carbon tax, and systemically destroyed Canada’s economy and political culture.
Not that he believes this has happened, mind you.
“With the challenges that people are facing right now, with the way the world is going now and everything that we are doing that’s making positive differences in a very difficult time that isn’t done yet, I wouldn’t be the person I am and be willing to walk away from this right now,” he told CBC’s Rosie Barton on Christmas Day during their year-end interview.
Yes, you read this correctly. Our mediocre and ineffective Prime Minister actually feels he’s the nation’s saviour. A political role that virtually no one believes he’s ever assumed, and even fewer would want him to bear. He’s taken delusional thinking to a whole new level.
The son, unlike the father, doesn’t realize when it’s time to pack it in. A long walk in the snow isn’t in the cards. Canada will, therefore, trudge behind him even when the powdery material finally reaches terra firma.
Michael Taube, a Troy Media syndicated columnist and Washington Times contributor, was a speechwriter for former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He holds a master’s degree in comparative politics from the London School of Economics.
For interview requests, click here.
© Troy Media
Troy Media is an editorial content provider to media outlets and its own hosted community news outlets across Canada.