Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Assesing Trudeau: A Guest Post By Pamela MacNeil

Yesterday, in response to my post about the Trudeau government's diluting the terms of the rules governing the export of arms, frequent commentator Pamela MacNeil offered these insightful observations:

I think "the terrible embargo on truth, honesty and openness," Lorne, will still be there with Trudeau. He can march on gay pride parades and support gender equality, which are good things, but he threatens the democratic and constitutional foundation these rights rest on. He has shown this with his support of the BDS motion and with his military deal with Saudi Arabia, to name a few of his decisions. The response he gives to violating Canadians' rights in these decisions is complete indifference.

His ignoring of amending or, better still, repealing Bill C-51 is very worrisome. The security and privacy risks it poses have already been enacted on some Canadians by CSIS. He may remain silent about it until he can find a way to keep it intact.

His foreign policies follow almost completely Harper's Neoliberal and American Imperial agenda. The U.S. expanding NATO troops, including Canada, in Eastern Europe along the Russian border is very dangerous.

Trudeau goes along and accepts the propaganda narrative that the U.S. is spewing about Russia. More then ever this is when we need a strong independent PM who at the very least questions U.S. foreign policy or, better still, says no to its request to go along with the deception.

The policies he creates in energy, climate change, trade and defence are not in Canadians' interest, but are in fact supporting special interests, especially the American Government's interests.

He is no different than Harper, including having his MPs toeing the party line. Where Harper was a miserable, petty personality, Trudeau is very likable. That is primarily where they differ. In developing policy, however, they are Neoliberal Imperial twins. This does not make him less an authoritarian then Harper.

Because of his strong positive personality though, it's going to take Canadians a long time to come to that conclusion.

When Canadians gave Trudeau his majority, we were ready to once again become a progressive, sophisticated country that respected the rights of all Canadian citizens including the rights of citizens of the world. Instead, Trudeau has embarked on a journey of making Canada a sycophant of the U.S. and is quite prepared to destroy our sovereignty in becoming that sycophant.

Where Harper was aware of what he was doing, Trudeau may be oblivious to the political and cultural consequences of his policy decisions. This doesn't make him any less dangerous.

Canadians are going to have a serious fight on our hands when we realize we're going to have to once again reclaim our democracy.


  1. You want to reclaim your democracy there's an electoral reform process going on right now that no one is writing about. (Except the media which says democracy would destroy the government, the economy and the country.)

    If you're tired of living in an establishment colony with pretend elections, electoral reform is the only way out. (Of course it would give bloggers a lot less to complain about. Which is my theory on why few want to talk about it.)

    1. For the latest blogger commentary on election reform, Anon, you might want to check out Democracy Under Fire. Rural, its author, has done consistently thorough work on various aspects of democracy. His latest post can be found here:

    2. Well, Anon, somebody is writing about it - you are. There is so much more to democratic restoration than electoral reform that your remark seems dangerously simplistic. If you don't have a suitably informed electorate, how the people vote is far less important. Electoral reform is part, and a significant part, of the answer but to deem it "the only way out" is naive.

    3. The reason Trudeau represents Red Tories on the economy and the environment is because if he doesn't they will vote Con and we get a Con dictatorship on 40% of the vote instead of a Liberal dictatorship: 10% Red Tory + 30% hardcore con = "majority".

      You need a democracy before you can have ANY form of democratic restoration. Call that dangerous, simplistic, naive. Call it what you will. I call it what it is: the obvious truth.

      Another fact: if you want government that represents the people, it obviously must represent a majority of people (voters.)

      A lot of Canadians are ignorant of electoral reform because they are prole-fed establishment media lies -- the establishment being the actual group of people represented in Canadian government. That's why they are so fiercely opposed to Canada becoming a democracy like 30 of 32 developed countries and 74% of all 181 nations claiming to be democracies. They have a lot to lose. (But obviously not much to worry about.)

    4. The mechanics of voting is important - to a point. You could say that having a 2-party system is sufficient. Leaving aside the Electoral College, Americans usually elect their leaders by majority. Ergo they should have a solid democracy. Do they? The 2014 study out of Princeton reveals, quite damningly, that America has long ceased to function as a democracy despite its direct voting. Once 'political capture' is in effect, how one votes or for whom, can quickly turn irrelevant. Democracy quietly is supplanted by oligarchy. The public still turns out to vote, even waits in line for hours, and it doesn't matter.

      Political capture is one problem. A confused, misled and distracted electorate can likewise defeat the best electoral reform process. Democracy is governance by consent of the governed. However those who practice the Dark Arts of manufacturing consent and manipulating votes can leave you with the appearance of democracy without the substance of democracy.

  2. Recall that Trudeau had famously said that his government would be different from Harper's only in style, which had prompted me to state previously that he might be promising, especially to the Cons votes that he was hoping to attract, there would be little difference in substance/policies. Lol.

    I believe that many Canadians had voted Liberal because they were desperate to get rid of Harper and the Cons - voting for the lesser evil, or strategic voting to block the greater evil. It is hardly surprising, therfore, that after the euphoria of getting rid of Harper wears off, the difficult questions are now being asked.

    We are seeing the same thing happening down south. Many people are so fearful of, or upset with Trump, that either they have paid really little attention to Hillary's neoliberal domestic and neocon foreign policies, or they are rationalizing that Trump must be stopped at all costs. They are ignoring that Hillary will undoubtedly continue the very same policies that had got the U.S. into the quagmire they are in now - trillions of dollars in debt, 40M of their citizens existing on food stamps but by golly, the military industrial complex is happy with the trillions spent on neverending wars, the 1% are happy with the Wall St breaks, and the dictators/human rights violators in the middle east and Africa are happy with the pay to play scheme that the Clintons had so skillfully implemented (see "Clinton Cash"). And the Clintons will undoubtedly improve upon their pay to play schemes once Hillary becomes President. Lol

    Like Trudeau, Hillary has presented a very strong positive personality while Trump (much more than Harper) had foolishly worked hard to convince us that he is a buffoon. Thus many are decrying Trump as unfit to be President (and that is undeniably true) while ignoring that there already is substantial evidence that the Dem. nominee is unfit to be President too based on her well known track record.

    With Trudeau, just as with Hillary, I would suggest that we will not see real progressive changes. But, by golly a third time, will we see changes in style, eh? What do they say - we get the government we vote for, no? Or, as Jim Prentice had said: look in the mirror, folks. Lol again.

    1. Your trenchant assessment, Anon, reminds all of us of the bleak dynamics at work in contemporary Western democracy. Thanks for your input.

    2. When did Trudeau say that his government would be different from Harper's "only in style"? Got a reference for that?