The Ghost of Liberals Present.

When the second ghost confronted him, Ebenezer Scrooge was hardly convinced to mend his ways. In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it was the spirit of the under classes that was highlighted by this ghost. In the same way, the ghosts of Liberals present can assure Justin Trudeau that maybe if he does not need them now, they will be there for him in the future. No political roads stretch smooth forever.

He can count on a much higher level of partisan questioning in parliament in the New Year and Justin has put some parliamentary neophytes in some tough positions. Minister of Finance Bill Morneau has struck fast and hard but he has yet to really show how he will handle constant attacks from across the aisle. He can only pass the buck to the last administration for so long.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale might not be a neophyte but Justin will have to watch that Ralph does not get the bit in his teeth. When the news media write about Liberal arrogance, they probably use Goodale as their poster boy. Trudeau promised that the C-51 security bill will be fixed and it is not just the news media but concerned Liberals who are waiting to see the results of the needed changes. We would feel even more secure if the bill was scrapped and we started over.

A major concern at this time is the neophyte Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef. The minister has promised that there will be consultations but what worries us is that the status quo seems to have been discarded as an option. This was the same ridiculous position as faced the lottery winners in the Ontario attempt at changing how that province voted.

What happened in Ontario is that they ended up with a proposition that nobody really cared about one way or the other. It was just that they were asked to suggest some changes, so they did. What is obvious is that we are faced with people who lack broad experience with the Canadian understanding of our democracy driving this initiative. How we vote is neither a hypothetical question nor something you can change on a whim.

There are different types of consultation and you can hardly recommend a change without discussing the long term impacts of that change. Making airy, fairy claims for gender and ethnic equality in some new purity of parliament are sad promises that have never worked. For example, we are waiting patiently for the first time Justin Trudeau has to replace a cabinet member—will only the same gender need apply?

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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