Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Canada’s PM Trudeau cynical about his election promises

Journalist Campbell Clark  sums up the cynicism behind Justin Trudeau’s reckless abandonment of a central election promise:

He calculated it was better to drop it.

That’s probably not a cost-free calculation. Left-leaning voters cared more about electoral reform, and the NDP will make it a cause; the Liberals always fare worse when they face strong competition on the left. And it allowed the NDP to attack Mr. Trudeau’s image as a new kind of politician, accusing the Liberals of acting cynically in their electoral self-interest. “The old party decided to protect the old party,” Mr. Cullen said.

Electoral reform had been part of Mr. Trudeau’s new-politics appeal that struck a chord with young voters in 2015. As opposition leader, he spent many days speaking to young voters about political cynicism, telling them, as he did at a stop at the University of Waterloo in 2014, that disaffection with politics among young people “is much more a reflection on what politics is doing wrong than on you yourselves.”

He told those students that Canada needs electoral reform. “It’s just not right that we have a prime minister with a majority who is, you know, disliked or disapproved of by 60 per cent of the population,” he said then. But now it’s 2017.

The Liberals have chosen the low road, despite the hope of millions of Canadians that they might offer a more honest governance than their predecessors.

They will pay the price.

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