I have a rather lukewarm view of him. I was rooting for Garneau during the leadership race, and hope that Garneau remains a major player in the party, but it may be better to have Trudeau as the face of the party (so long other party bigwigs still have a major role to play in setting policy).
I’ve gotten the impression that Trudeau is trying to cultivate the image of being someone who often speaks off-the-cuff rather than from prepared talking points. I kind of like that, but I’m sure that by now we’ve all seen the times where he’s fallen flat and his opponents have pounced. Still, the party could have done worse (and certainly has) in selecting a leader.
Sarah is not his grand-daughter, rather his daughter - Justin’s half-sister - that Pierre had with Debra Coyne. Debra actually lost to Justin in the Liberal leadership race!
With regard to Justin, whether I believe he is the caliber of leader his father was or not, he is decidedly not Stephen Harper. I think that another term of the Harper government will do damage that will take decades to repair and THAT scares me.
That’s like saying someone is more dignified than Rob Ford.
Is Trudeau scary? No. Neither is Stephen Harper, who is not “destroying Canada,” nor Thomas Mulcair. Is Trudeau a good candidate for Prime Minister? I’d be very surprised if he was good at the job. He seems neither terribly bright not especially interested in taking a clear stand on what he’d so as PM.
The Harper government is very tired and needs to go so we may be stuck with Justin, whose smartest MP has announced he’s not running again so oh well.
He doesn’t scare me. Canada’s not going to implode if he becomes prime minister, although I think Harper is a much better choice. No surprises there. In no way are the Conservatives “destroying Canada.” They’ve kept things together pretty damned well considering we all faced the greatest recession since the 1930s.
Now here is why I love the Dope as I expect our political discussion will remain entirely civil, despite the fact that we don’t quite agree.
I liked Harper at first. He was a solid financial manager when the rest of the world was just flushing money down toilets. I credit the Harper government for allowing Canada to come out of that financial poop storm relatively unscathed.
I also agree that he is not “destroying” Canada. But he does have a knack for pissing people off, that is for sure. I don’t have a comprehensive list of his litany of sins but the things that I know of that upset my Facebook friends are as such:
The Wheat Board thing. I do not understand the intricacies of this conflict enough to offer intelligent commentary on it beyond knowing it was controversial.
Shutting down government libraries. This has been perceived as Harper having an anti-intellectual, anti-science, pro-religion bias. Burning books, basically. I don’t think any actual books have been burned and I feel that this kind of knowledge can’t actually be destroyed in the 21st century but I know it upset a lot of people.
Go Israel! Now in the past, Canada has called for moderation and has tried to see both points of view in this conflict. We have enjoyed the role of referee and we have done well at it. Harper has no use for fence-sitting. Israel is doing the right thing and should continue to do so. Fuck the Palestinians. FWIW, I agree with him but I also admit this is not the popular stance in Canada, where we’d prefer to be peacemakers rather than warmongers.
Election fraud. This one does trouble me a bit. Apparently, the Conservatives have a friend by the name of Pierre Poutine and he calls people to tell them that they have a new polling station. My understanding is that you cannot actually pull a fast one like this on Elections Canada but it troubles me that they tried.
There’s also a lot of argument going on about pipelines right now. Keystone XL looks like it’s ready to go on this end and we’re just waiting for Obama to get his thumb out of his ass. The Northern Gateway pipeline is controversial and the entire West Coast seems to be saying “DO NOT WANT!” but money and influence may prevail anyhow.
The one that does actually concern me is the Conservative stance on drugs. Their stance on marijuana is just silly. They say that Trudeau’s way will make it more available to children as if they don’t have access to it already! And the Conservatives don’t believe in safe injection sites, which are unambiguously supported by every scientist who has ever looked at the concept. It’s a health issue and the Conservatives are still trying to moralize drugs out of existence.
In any case, I don’t think Harper is the anti-Christ but I do think Canada is due for a change.
My take on Harper is that his government is tired. Dumb, preventable scandals are increasing, indicating an increase in arrogance and contempt. These are the usual signs of a Canadian government that has simply been in power too long - Liberals and Conservatives are, historically, alike in this.
I mostly disregard his social conservative stuff. He has always done the same thing on social conservative issues - made a big show of publicly supporting them (to appease his base), while quietly allowing them to drop when public or legal pressure forces change (to avoid pissing off everyone else). See abortion, gay marriage, etc.
The problem here is that the usual treatment when a Conservative government has grown tired is to replace it with a Liberal one. This is a problem, because this time around, the Liberals have simply been unable to put their house in order - by choosing a leader that looks like he could, well, lead. Justin just doesn’t seem up for the job, though he may well get it anyway. My fear is that this will lead to a short-lived Liberal government, and a quick return for the Conservatives - too quick to purge them of their worn-outness. They need some years in the wilderness to recover.
Farmers could only sell their wheat to the wheat board, no one else. This option has been removed and farmers can choose who to sell to: some like this, some don’t. The wheat board will be privatized by 2016. Conservatives believe in privatization where it makes sense.
Do we really need as many libraries in this day and age? We have a huge library here where I work and hardly anyone uses it now. I’m sure it was very useful when it was built 50 years ago.
There are no both sides. Israel is a democracy and has a right to defend itself and it’s about time Canada grew a spine and said so. I agree with the Conservatives on this. And Canada has never been a peacemaking nation. We’ve been directly involved in many wars, such as: WWI, WWII, The Korean war, Afghanistan, etc. I like the notion of participating in UN peacekeeping missions though.
One guy in Guelph was charged. One guy did this on his own.
Canada is resource rich and there’s nothing wrong with selling resources to better the prosperity of our nation. Are railway lines safer than modern pipelines? Of course not, and shipping by transport truck is not feasible for the volumes we are prepared to sell.
Plan on the Conservatives rolling out a decriminalization stance on marijuana in the next election, but not legalization. I actually don’t personally care one way or the other since it means nothing to me.
The science of safe injection may be sound, but no one wants one of these in their neighbourhood. Do you want one beside your house or school? They attract drug dealers, drug addicts and prostitutes if reports I’ve heard from Vancouver are accurate. Who funds these sites? Should it be the responsibility of the federal government to provide free drugs and paraphernalia to addicts? Where’s my free drinking site?
The thing is, with most of these points, everyone wants a balanced budget, but no one wants cuts to any services and in fact wants increased services. Look at the mess Ontario is in from a government that just can’t say no to spending increases.
I have a suspicion four years out of power will result in a complete turnover in the Conservative leadership.
Harper has strengths and weaknesses, and personal popularity is most definitely a weakness. He’s respected in the Tory party and caucus because he’s been winning, and is perceived as a great master of strategy; almost everything he does is to some extent assumed to be a cunning move in the chessboard of politics, though to be honest that isn’t always true. On a personal level, however, is is clearly extremely disliked. Harper is, I believe, essentially a quiet and reserved man who’s comfortable around his family but visibly not so anywhere else; he is a policy wonk, and when forced to gladhandle he’s both out of his element and unhappy.
But if he loses an election the image of his as the strategic genius is gone. He’d have to gladhandle his way back into his party’s heart, and he just isn’t the man to do that.
The irony is that people often complain that politicians are so often lawyers instead of intellectuals, but we’ve had an intellectual, not a lawyer, as Prime Minister for eight-plus years now, and whaddya know, he’s just human.