A year-end interview with Justin Trudeau

The Liberal leader talks gaffes, policy and the coming election

OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau says he’s not about to curtail his unscripted, accessible approach to politics in a bid to avoid making gaffes.

And he thinks Canadians will forgive him the occasional foot in the mouth because they’d rather have a genuine politician who makes mistakes than someone who never errs by robotically reciting carefully crafted talking points.

“I’m reassured that, yes, even though every now and then I give a little extra fodder to my opponents to try and go after me, ultimately I’m right in trusting Canadians that they will understand that my focus is entirely on trying to serve them in the best and the realest way that I possibly can,” the Liberal leader told The Canadian Press in a year-end interview.

Since taking the helm of the battered Liberal party in April, Trudeau has made his share of gaffes. Most recently, he dismayed his supporters and delighted his political adversaries by appearing to express admiration for China’s Communist dictatorship while giving a rambling and convoluted response to a question at a fundraiser for female candidates.

But so far at least, Canadians appear willing to make allowances for the rookie leader with the famous pedigree. After being reduce to a third-party rump in 2011, the Liberals have rebounded in the polls since Trudeau took over, vaulting past both the NDP and Conservatives into a solid first place.

And the fluff over his China comment last month, in the midst of four hotly contested byelections, didn’t appear to have any repercussions at the ballot box. The Liberals were the only party to increase their share of the vote in all four ridings — dramatically so in the two Manitoba contests.

Trudeau believes the explanation is simple.

“I think Canadians are tired of politicians that are spun and scripted within an inch of their life, people who are too afraid of what a focus group might say about one comment or a political opponent might try to twist out of context, to actually say much of anything at all,” he said.

“And I don’t think that in our parliamentary system, which thrives on countering arguments and robust back and forth around debate, that we are well served when everyone is trying to be as bland as they possibly can be. I think Canadians want to get a feel for the people who will serve them … and, for me, I think that Canadians will trust people who trust them.”

Of course, Trudeau’s critics would argue that he doesn’t say much of anything either, even if he is unscripted.

He disputes that, arguing that he’s been taking “strong, principled, pragmatic” policy positions since Day 1 of the leadership contest: a focus on the economic challenges facing middle class families, supporting the takeover of Nexen by China’s state-owned energy company, more foreign investment, supporting the Keystone XL pipeline to take Alberta’s oilsands crude to the Gulf Coast, among other things.

But he says he won’t “short-circuit” the engagement of Canadians in the development of an election platform, which he’ll continue working on “right up until election day” — which, by the way, he’s not assuming will be held in October 2015, as required by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s fixed date election law.

“We’re building a (campaign) approach that’s very much flexible. I think one of the aims we’re working at is spring of 2015,” he said, noting that Harper has ignored his own law in the past.

Democratic reform is among the areas where Trudeau has been quite specific in offering policy prescriptions. Among other things, he’s promised all Liberal candidates, including himself and other incumbent MPs, will have to win open, democratic nomination contests and he’s proposed several ideas for empowering backbenchers, including more free votes and less stifling party discipline.

He’s relatively cautious, however, about Conservative backbencher Michael Chong’s private member’s bill, which would give each party’s elected caucus members control over the fates of their leaders. Just 15 per cent of MPs would be enough to force a caucus confidence vote in a leader; a majority vote against a leader would force a leadership contest.

While he enthusiastically supports the aim of Chong’s bill, Trudeau acknowledges that giving caucus the power to turf a leader is hard to square with the move by all parties towards greater grassroots involvement in the selection of a leader. The Liberals have been in the vanguard of that move, opening up their April leadership vote not just to card-carrying party members but to anyone willing to sign up as a supporter of the party’s principles.

More than 100,000 members and supporters voted in the leadership contest, with more than 81,000 voting for Trudeau. Yet, under Chong’s bill, just 19 Liberal MPs (a majority of the tiny 36-member caucus) could decide to dump him.

“That’s certainly part of the discussions that are going to be had over the coming months as we look and debate Michael Chong’s bill,” Trudeau said, adding that he expects the issue will come up at the Liberals’ national policy convention in February.

“I totally support the aim of Michael Chong’s bill, which is to allow MPs to be strong voices for their constituencies as opposed to Ottawa’s voices in their constituencies,” he added, but as to the specifics: “I think there’s a really interesting debate to be held around that and I look forward to having it.”

Part of being a genuine political leader, warts and all, includes admitting when a mistake has been made, Trudeau said. He’s done that several times, for instance conceding that he shouldn’t have accepted public speaking fees after becoming an MP.

He makes no apologies, however, for spending little time in the House of Commons since becoming leader, choosing to spend more time on the road meeting with real people while NDP Leader Tom Mulcair wins plaudits for grilling Harper on the Senate expenses scandal.

“Canadians want parliamentarians who are serving them, Canadians want people who are strong voices for them and who are focused on solving the problems they’re facing … Part of it, yes, happens here in the House and holding this government to account but an awful lot of it also happens out across this country, meeting with people, listening to them, hearing them and building a better alternative, a better government for Canadians.”

Speaking of apologies, Trudeau argues that Harper could have avoided much of the political misery that’s engulfed his government for a full year over the Senate scandal if he’d just “chosen to come clean early on and apologize and answer fully and completely what’s going on.”

The big mystery in the scandal has been why Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, and up to a dozen others in the Prime Minister’s Office, Conservative party and Senate went to such lengths to protect Mike Duffy. Wright eventually paid the former broadcast journalist $90,000 so that he could reimburse the Senate for questionable living expense claims while others, including Sen. Irving Gerstein, head of the Conservative party fundraising arm, bent over backwards to ensure that Duffy’s conduct would not be criticized in an external audit or subsequent Senate committee report, according to RCMP documents filed in court.

The answer, as far as Trudeau is concerned is straightforward.

“It was very much about protecting an important source of revenue for the Conservative party,” he said, pointing out that Duffy was a popular feature on the Tory fundraising circuit.

“Money is at the root of this entire scandal.”




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A year-end interview with Justin Trudeau

  1. This puff piece which offered zero scrutiny of a young man who wants to be leader of our country could have been released by the Liberal Party itself. Then I looked to see it was from the CP which isn’t far off. You want scandals? This is scandalous.

    His resume consists of him quitting teaching after a brief stint then dropping in and out of university as he entered his 40′s (go check Wiki for yourself). His appalling professional track record would get him punted from even a low level manager job interview but this startling flaw wasn’t brought up once.

    Not once.

    Query whether the author would do a full report on the seaworthyness of the Titanic and not mention that it sank. If it could somehow advance the interests of their chosen leader I suspect they would do so shamelessly.

    A finer example of pro Liberal propaganda masquerading as journalism there could not be.

    • remember my friend, your guys(harper)only experience was a back room mail clerk in some oil company building in downtown Calgary to my knowledge, so hold off from throwing too many rocks. If you want to read puff pieces about your guy(harper),theirs always, the Post Media, The Sun News, G&M, Hockey Night In Canada. So you have to allow space in other papers to talk about the other leaders in the house. I don’t see macleans taking up the cause for one party, I see them writing good and bad about all parties.

      • You forgot ken Whyte’s gag inducing interviews with Harper. No doubt we’ll be getting one again this year too. But don’t expect to see an outraged Biffer there. He won’t be able to type for being all choked up.

      • Harper was also the chief policy officer of the Reform party before becoming an MP. Which is a little different than Justin Trudeau who’s been an MP for 5 years and is still telling us to wait for his policies because he hasn’t figured out where he stands on anything yet.

        • Trudeau is chief policy officer of the Liberal party. As for his policies – wait for them. And I don’t see an election right now with every leader putting forth policies and blah blah blah…

    • You can be so silly sometimes; I would imagine that MacLean’s is going to do year-end interviews with all the leaders, and since Trudeau is leader of the third party, his is first. So hold off on your angry-bird criticism because I doubt very much that there will be anything but puffery for the other leaders too. Sheesh; it must be tough to sustain such outrage all the time.

    • Not really kosher to quote stuff you probably submitted to wiki yourself Biffer, is it?

    • Trudeau hasn’t sunk yet biff – try not to get ahead of yourself.

  2. And of course the remarkable fact that he spoke at events for Charities, and rather than doing the thing that all decent people do with thier name recognition (particularly when they were born into lifelong wealth) – they donate thier time to speak – Justin charges them Ten grand a pop? Nary a mention. Choosing to take money from poor children and other needy to further stuff his already full pockets would be seen by most as a repugnant an morally indefensible character flaw.

    Best keep that from the public, so says his defenders in the media.

    • All people do as you claim? The paid speaker idea did not even exist before Trudeau? The fact he invented an entire industry speaks well of him, then!

  3. Until he gets the EU deal done, PM Harper’s most profound political achievement will have been the unification of Reform and the PC’s to form the CPC. The follow-through to the creation of the CPC was impressive. Harper was recruited by Nigel Wright, Doug Finley, Irving Gerstein as their preferred choice to lead a unified party with the strategy of developing finances as a critical advantage and then maximizing that advantage through perpetual campaigning, elevating key personal off party payroll and onto the pubic payroll (principally the Senate and PMO) and aggressively pushing the envelope with Elections Canada in terms of allowed expenses & deductions.

    The campaign worked brilliantly once Harper beat Martin. The Liberal party quickly depleted its resources. The CPC war-room demolished first Dion, then Ignatieff long before any campaign. Harper was brilliant at flaunting his advantage with omnibus bills, pushing Dion (then Ignatieff) to demonize him as undemocratic, only to back down from defeating Harper because they were in no position to run a campaign. Understanding the dynamic, Layton played his role. Opposing the government on every issue, quickly and decisively knowing the Liberal leader would back down. Many lauded pundits predicted the end of the Liberal party.

    Trudeau’s only real accomplishment since taking leadership has been to change the dynamic above. He finished the job of reconstructing the party’s fundraising arm and aggressively drove a campaign for grass root support. Last quarter, the Liberals had more financial supporters than the CPC for the first time ever. This coming quarter they may well out raise them in total dollars, certainly the gap will continue to narrow. The Liberal party is now more united around Trudeau than the Conservatives are around Harper; the other leadership hopefuls recognize they could not have pulled off the financial resurrection that Trudeau achieved in such a short time. Only a few partisan hacks speculate on the end of the Liberal party these days.

    It is ironic that Trudeau’s early days are reminiscent of Harper’s beginnings. In his early campaigns, Harper was openly mocked for his wooden performance and inability to connect to an audience. Since then he has emerged as Chretien’s equal in political campaigning, perhaps the best political operator we have ever had as a Canadian PM. I for one am looking forward to the next few years of political theatre… it should be fun.

    • Harry Potter, the nerdy specky kid up against the dark lord. We all know how that story ended…life doesn’t exactly mirror art, but still?
      Not sure about mulcair…doesn’t seem the Dumbledor type, Snape perhaps? I have difficulty seeing Ms May as Hermione too…darn it’s hard writing an original narrative isn’t it?:)

  4. One simple question to the Canadian Press…

    Justin Trudeau has consistently shown a Palin-like propensity to say stupid things.

    Why was Sarah Palin’s idiocy something to incessantly mock and be terrified of, while Justin Trudeau’s idiocy is something to celebrate and ultimately ignore as unimportant?

    • I can’t find a quote from the above that suggests celebration. The article simply notes that the dude seems to keep polling well despite well-publicized idiotic utterances. It reports his explanation, but also includes the criticism that despite his claim to be open and engaged with voters, he’s not really saying much of anything.

      All of that said, the Pailin comparision is informative. Where Trudeau has acknowledged mistakes (I can’t tell if it’s calculated damage control or genuine contrition), Palin had a habit of doubling down when confronted with gaffes. It was the “lame stream media”, she moaned. Always the victim, always the bearer of the real truth, and pathologically unable to admit even the potential for being a teensy bit wrong. To expect anything less than intense skepticism from voters and journalists in response is delusional.

      Simply put, errors in judgement are less of a story when the politician acknowledges them, and become huge stories when the response is to tell critics and/or the press to go f@ck themselves. There does seem to be a neocon tendency that takes oppressed victimhood as the starting point, and combines it with contempt and derision for any who oppose (Rob Ford, Stockwell Day, Stephen Harper, etc., etc..) Even Ralph Klein – blowhard that he often was – possessed enough humility (or caginess) to admit mistakes quickly and readily.

      • Palin was “dangerous”. “Not ready for prime time.” “One heartbeat away”. Etc., etc., etc.,

        Trudeau is “genuine”. “unscripted”. “accessible”.

        I’d call that celebrating.

        As to Palin’s response to the media…do you think Trudeau would be as friendly and unflappable if the media baselessly questioned the parentage of his children?

        • You’d have a good point there, if Palin hadn’t agreed that such questions were fair game. (It was in the context of the logical corner she painted herself into by jumping on the birther bandwagon.)

          Please link to a media report that uses those adjectives in describing Trudeau. I’ve seen many that use them to reflect how his supporters feel about him, and his own explanations of strategy (like the above), but I haven’t seen much professional journalism fawning over him in that manner.

          If you’re talking about punditry, I think you’re imposing a filter on things that has you overlooking routine criticisms and questions that centre on his youth, ascribed ascension via his father, work history, gaffes/idiocy, attendance record in parliament, lack of platform, etc..

          The press is treating him no more gently than Mulcair or Harper, I’d argue.

          • Please link to a media report that uses those adjectives in describing Trudeau.

            The exact one we are commenting on. In the first 2 paragraphs.

          • “Justin Trudeau says….” is how those those lines start. If you’re going to argue that reporting a poltician’s own utterances is biased, then I guess we have to agree to disagree.

          • Those lines aren’t quotes. They are the CP paraphrasing on his behalf.

          • And it’s quite clear that is a paraphrase – a very common device in reporting as you well know. The subsequent story includes direct quotes. You’re splitting hairs on this one, I think.

            But honestly, I think we’ve reached our point of politie divergence. :)

          • Really? Where did she agree that questions about whether or not she was actually the mother of her own child are “fair game”?

            This wasn’t punditry. The CBC ran this story. 2 days after it had been debunked.

          • “Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I’ve pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask… which they have repeatedly.”

            https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=188707498434

          • The key word there is “seemingly”.

            She’s not justifying it.

          • “Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose.”

            “Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask…”

            But ya, the use of “seemingly” completely undoes the unequivocal stand she takes in the first two sentences. You’ve semantically bested me, to my shame.

          • With all respect Sean, I think you completely missed the context of her quote.

            She was pointing out the hypocrisy of media that slammed the “conspiracy minded reporters and voters” for going after Obama’s birth certificate, but had no problem with going full birther on her.

            In the next sentence after the quote you clipped she points out that she never once asked to see Obama’s birth certificate, so you can’t really say it was that she “was jumping on the birther bandwagon”

            Also, you just moved her quotes out of order. :)

            Does this look like she really thinks its OK?

          • I doubt it. More likely a reflection of her intellectual incoherence then anything else. Trudeau makes the same errors on occasion up here and gets roundly mocked for it. Difference is, as you say he doesn’t go into an immediate fetal crouch blaming the lame stream media for his gaffes.

        • Nicely done there JG …trouble is not all the media went after her kids. That’s just an assertion you like to infer as fact. Besides, the press in the US is known to be generally more partisan then up here.

        • John I hate to quibble with your good points, but the comparison to Palin isn’t fair……..to Palin.
          She was an accomplished woman, the CEO of the government of Alaska for a number of years before making a run for VP.
          Our man/boy Justin is, by any measure, utterly unqualified, for virtually any job. Not only does he not have executive experience, he has virtually no real experience whatsoever. To the contrary he was a permanent student into his 40′s after dropping out of a brief stint at teaching (not bothering to actually accomplish degrees to completion before he moved on to his next faculty), his only real “job”, if that’s what you call it, was trading on his father’s name charging speaking fees, often to needy charities.
          This prototypical spoiled trust fund child who never really grew up, languishing in a Paris- Hilton-like life, devoid of anything of professional substance should not be compared to Palin.
          Palin is a hundred fold more substantive than Justin.

          • Palin was Governor for ‘a couple of years’?? She quit!!!! Ya she let us all know she can “see Russia from my front porch”. Dumb-azz analogy..

          • Actually she was drivin from office by the hate filled peace loving left.
            As for Russia, you can see it from Alaska, and even the dumberst democrats have finally had to admit she was right about death panels, though she figured it out five years before they did….
            Palin’s main crime, to the left, is that she wasn’t crooked like them.

          • Indeed. All the more reason to wonder why we are not being subjected to the same “OMG we can’t let this person anywhere near power” warnings that we were for Palin.

            Quite perplexing when you think about it…what difference could there possibly be to explain this?

            It’s not even that he’d be “a heartbeat away”. It’s worse. He’d be zero heartbeats away.

    • Question to john g – why do you constantly drag American politics and media coverage into discussions?

      • 1) Because our hack journalists refuse to anymore since Obama got elected. Regular readers of this board have probably learned more about Obama’s shortcomings from me than they have from Luiza Savage, who in theory runs the Washington bureau around here. To say nothing of the CBC.

        2) Our media has not shied away from Sarah Palin, especially if it involved a chance to embarrass her. Why should I not point out the disparity?

        3) I don’t want the American media to become the blueprint for the Canadian media. Our media is bad, but theirs is worse. They openly cheer for Obama. Even worse, they suppress coverage of his scandals, as do ours. We’re not quite as bad as them yet but we’re on that road now with Trudeau. I don’t want to see us get there.

        • Those articles are all dated 2008 for God’s sake. And lighten up – you’re taking your role on here too seriously. There is enough of that on here already.

        • I think its too late up here as well John. It’s gone beyond cheerleading for Justin. They actively coverup or try to explain away his shortcomings.
          Consider this. His office was sent emails complaining of a caucusmember serially sexually preying on women, and they took no action.
          The explanation: they “misplaced” the email. (google Akin’s report on it…he and he alone reported).
          Sadly I think that bogus explanation may be worse than tacitly condoning the sexual predations towards women.
          Imagine the Russians sending a cable warning of missle exercises, or the EU sending notification of drastic changes in monetary policy, etc, etc, and we don’t respond……because such intrinsically important communications were “misplaced”.
          This is truly scandalous, yet the media covers for him.
          Truly pathetic.

      • It’s probably because you radical ideological left-wingers here are constantly bringing up American politics and media. How many times have you seen Harper compared to Bush here, simply because they’re not rabid left-wing ideologues? A thousand times? Ten thousand times?

        The plain fact of the matter is that the Trudeau-Palin comparison is quite apt. She sees Russia from her home, Trudeau sees a fine form of government in China’s Communist dictatorship. Palin liked to utter bland platitudes, Trudeau answer to everything is to ask the nearest scientist.

        But don’t worry, he hasn’t even started displaying his ignorance yet.

        • She sees Russia from her home

          Let’s at least stick to things that Palin said, not Tina Fey.

  5. Down to earth, relaxed commentary on how things are going ….it never sounds like Harp’s dirty-trick-up-my-sleeve approach to governnance.

  6. I’m often surprised that people don’t understand why Trudeau is so popular. They often try to poke fun or act as though it is some sort of insanity, but even the most basic understanding of human psychology makes it clear why people relate to him:

    Rather than focus specifically on issues, he tells you what he believes in.

    It’s really that simple. Any platform or position therefore becomes viewed through the lens of his stated principles.

    After all, the real nitty-gritty of any bill should be authored by legal and topic experts in each particular field. Since Trudeau has been very specific about relying on evidence and fact and expert opinion, it seems fairly straightforward then that the only truly important aspect of Trudeau’s position on an issue is related more to his values and principles than a specific policy response.

    I understand that this will drive the policy wonks and partisans crazy, but Trudeau’s approach in unassailable by standard methods. Unless the CPC or NDP start positioning themselves relative to Trudeau’s strategy, all they’re doing is legitimizing him further.

    • Sure, but by the time election day arrives, Trudeau had better have assembled and publicized a team of people who can step into Cabinet.

      • I completely agree. While selling the principles is first, without following through on the means, he’d be dead in the water come election day.
        Trudeau won’t sell you a specific means per se though, but the basic policy idea backed by (as you suggest) the experts he intends to have conduct the work.
        Since this is how rational people actually do things in the real world, and since people will feel that they at least have a sense of what principles guide him, barring a major gaffe or scandal Trudeau will be exceptionally competitive in the next election.

      • Yes, but is there any reason to think he will not? What about the CPC and NDP: do you think they currently have a more cabinet-ready team that LPC? Even given the current cabinet, they don’t (Kerry Lynn Findlay? Rempel? Polievre? Do these people strike you as cabinet-ready?)

        • Trudeau has less substance than Ignatieff or Dion did. What potential cabinet ministers does he have that they didn’t?

        • Reason to think he will not? Well no, no reason that I’m aware of, but I also wouldn’t be able to guarantee that the LPC will follow through.

          I’m not completely up on the NDP, but I have favourable impressions of Nathan Cullen and I don’t mind Charlie Angus. Oh, and Craig Scott seems very capable.

          As for the CPC there are a few current MPs who also have lots of potential to be good ministers – Peter MacKay, James Moore, James Rajotte and John Baird come to mind as MPs that could probably become very good ministers if they were given the opportunity. Polievre, not so much.

          The advantage that both the CPC and NDP have is that they have leaders who are better able to carry a weak cabinet.

          • Weak cabinets are part of the reason harper’s in the trouble he’s in: he likes them weak and under his control. Remember cabinets of Trudeau, Mulroney, even Chretien? Strong leaders yes, but really strong cabinets with ministers who were allowed to do their jobs. Rajotte will not get to be a minister under harper, that’s clear — and I do like him too. McKay is already a weak minister. It’s truly time for a change, and I see no good reason to stop someone fresh and new from forming gov.

      • It’s way too premature to question whether Trudeau will or will not have a sufficient number of MPs for a good Cabinet if the Liberals were able to form a government after the 2015 election.

        To form a mjaority in 2015, any party will need to win 170 of 338 seats. For the Liberals, that means they’d need to win 136 new seats they don’t have now. A Cabinet could be anywhere from a low of 29 or 30, up to 39 or so which is what PM Harper has now. Since no parties have held nomination meetings for candidates yet, it’s anyone’s guess as to who any party will have for candidates in 2015.

    • No he doesn’t. On most issues he avoids articulating any position at all and simply emits vague platitudes about nothing in particular. And he’s not intelligent enough to understand my previous sentence.

  7. Mr. Trudeau, I want inclusive, pragmatic, consultive, science based governance not blind ideology, pandering, partisanship and cronyism . I believe you are best chance for that at this time.

    • Dave’s not here, man…

      • Ha ha ha very clever. I suppose you like politicians that think they have all the answers. I have learned to be very suspicious of anyone or anything that has “all the answers” Blindly following a bunch of tea party style, let the free market decide BS from so called economists that can’t predict a recession even when we are already in it will lead us to ruination my friend.

        • The Tea party are the only ones making any economic sense these days.
          Try a history book…

          As for having all the answers, Zoolander has none of the answers, and he talks out of one side of his mouth out west and the other when in quebec.
          Look it up..

          I’m quite happy to see him leading the liberals, it pretty much guarantees Harper a sweep west of Ontario.

  8. “Canadians want parliamentarians who are serving them”

    Now I would like for JT to explain his abysmal attendance record in Parliament and his endless tour of paid personal appearances during the time missed from his duties as MP.

    • This is addressed in this article that you are commenting on; whether or not you agree with his response to the question is up to you:

      “He makes no apologies, however, for spending little time in the House of Commons since becoming leader, choosing to spend more time on the road meeting with real people while NDP Leader Tom Mulcair wins plaudits for grilling Harper on the Senate expenses scandal.

      “Canadians want parliamentarians who are serving them, Canadians want people who are strong voices for them and who are focused on solving the problems they’re facing … Part of it, yes, happens here in the House and holding this government to account but an awful lot of it also happens out across this country, meeting with people, listening to them, hearing them and building a better alternative, a better government for Canadians.””

      • Remember how much Jack Layton’s “if you don’t show up for work, you don’t get a promotion” line stung Michael Ignatieff during the last debates?

        Don’t worry. Neither does the Canadian Press.

        • I do remember that, and how surprised Iggy looked when asked — it was a pivotal moment for poor old Iggster. But I guess Trudeau already has his answer, and is already being asked about it in public media. I accept the answer. And given the state of affairs in our HoC, surely even you will not pretend much is getting done there that needs to be done. It’s like a sideshow, and I hope whoever is the next government will do something about decorum and answers to questions because the speaker is surely not up to the task.

          • Apparently it’s a time-honoured criticism and that is the time honoured response. Because Iggy had little experience as a politician, he was not familiar with it. Like in chess if you recognize the gambit you know how it is traditionally countered, but are at a disadvantage if you don’t play very much.

          • given the state of affairs in our HoC, surely even you will not pretend much is getting done there that needs to be done. It’s like a sideshow…..

            So is it the Senate “scandal” or Senate “sideshow” that’s what’s really going on in Ottawa?

            Is Chong’s democratic reform bill and important discussion regarding our democracy, or it’s an example of “not much getting done”?

  9. “Just 15 per cent of MPs would be enough to force a caucus confidence
    vote in a leader; a majority vote against a leader would force a
    leadership contest.”

    No it isn’t! I notice this interpretation of Chong’s bill quite often. It is simply wrong. 15% is the number required of caucus signatures on a letter to the caucus chair requesting a leadership review – the actual number needed force a confidence vote in a leader is 50+ i%.of those attending caucus.[ which is oddly too ambiguous for me]

  10. The answer, as far as Trudeau is concerned is straightforward.
    “It was very much about protecting an important source of revenue for
    the Conservative party,” he said, pointing out that Duffy was a popular
    feature on the Tory fundraising circuit.
    “Money is at the root of this entire scandal.”

    Trudeau gets it then. It is the only reasonable answer to the question:

    “The big mystery in the scandal has been why Harper’s former chief of
    staff, Nigel Wright, and up to a dozen others in the Prime Minister’s
    Office, Conservative party and Senate went to such lengths to protect
    Mike Duffy”

    Why else would the CoS of a PM allow a senator to set the conditions and essentially blackmail the govt? Answer: Because they wanted to keep Duffy on board.[ that and the fact they really did not want the party core to find out what was going on] If this had stayed secret Mikey would still be out there on the rubber chicken circuit shilling for the CPC period. It is astonishing that a guy as savvy as Harper is politically didn’t see the danger signs earlier. And it says a lot about where his real priorities are. Party before country always.

  11. …..ultimately I’m right in trusting Canadians that they will understand
    that my focus is entirely on trying to serve them in the best and the
    realest way that I possibly can,” the Liberal leader told The Canadian
    Press in a year-end interview.
    What if this Canadian thinks that sounds at best childish and at worst untrustworthy?

    • Not much anyone can do about that. We’re all free to judge for ourselves, right?

  12. he’s been taking “strong, principled, pragmatic” policy positions since Day 1 of the leadership contest: a focus on the economic challenges facing middle class families, supporting the takeover of Nexen by China’s state-owned energy company, more foreign investment, supporting the Keystone XL pipeline to take Alberta’s oilsands crude to the Gulf Coast.

    Every. Single. One. of those initiatives and policies were policies and positions the Conservative’s had staked out literally years before Trudeau even became an MP.

    So he can support someone else’s good ideas. Good for him. But what ideas of his own has he come up with? Nothing.

  13. Stand back!
    After an extensive tongue bath like that there is bound to be a very large hairball hacked up!

  14. He cares deeply about Canadians, if they can cough up the 20 grand speaking fee..

  15. Can’t wait to see him negotiating with Putin!
    We’d all be speaking Russian in a week.

  16. Zoolander can always give the media his Blue Steel look if they ask him an tough questions.

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