At this time of year, we get a lot of introspective about politics, mainly because there is not much else to write about. Yes, I know that no two snowflakes are alike but they all look alike to me. And there is no question but that prime minister Justin Trudeau has far more to worry about. If he really thought ahead about anything, you would wonder why he destroyed our liberal party.
Liberalism is very much at the heart of what Canada has become to the rest of the world. It is a beacon of progressivism. Canada is helping lead the support in Ukraine against the ugly genocide of Russia’s Putin. Canada’s women have control of their own bodies. Nobody pays for health care. It is a land of clean, clear waters. Canada is a land that leads in the rights and freedoms of its people.
But, from the first day we met, I had the feeling that Trudeau looked down on the liberal party. There was a sense that he disliked and distrusted the organization. I felt like I was between a hard place and a guy on a mission. He was glib. He said what people wanted to hear. He went along with what I considered demeaning photo ops so that former liberals would have something to remember the event.
It is interesting that I have a clear memory of what he and I discussed and absolutely no memory as to what he said to the audience. The speech was obviously a set piece. There were none of those small grunts you often hear from him—when he has to think and talk at the same time.
It was when I mentioned the constitution that I saw a change in his attitude. It was almost an automatic rejection of what I was going to say. I came away with the impression that he had learned something from his father that maybe his father had not intended. It was as though his father came home day after day to a teenage Justin, with the elder Trudeau swearing under his breath about the constant complications of making changes in Canada’s constitution. It must have made an impression on the younger Trudeau.
And yet, it was the repatriation of the constitution, the separation of Canada from its colonial past and the adoption of the country’s charter of rights and freedoms that Pierre Trudeau left us as his legacy.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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