Fuss over Justin Trudeau's China comment a lesson for Liberal leader: expert - Macleans.ca

Fuss over Justin Trudeau’s China comment a lesson for Liberal leader: expert


TORONTO – An admission that he had a degree of admiration for China’s method of governance had Justin Trudeau deflecting a volley of attacks through the weekend, but some suggested the Liberal leader’s comments carried little to be aghast at.

Trudeau drew much criticism after a Toronto event Thursday, where he was asked which nation’s administration he most admired and why.

The Liberal leader provided a layered response, but opponents latched on to the first line of his answer.

“There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime,” Trudeau said, according to reports on the event. “I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about, of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted, that I find quite interesting.”

Trudeau then went on to address the nub of the question.

“But if I were to reach out and say which…kind of administration I most admire, I think there’s something to be said right here in Canada for the way our territories are run,” he said.

“Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are done without political parties around consensus. And are much more like a municipal government. And I think there’s a lot to be said for people pulling together to try and solve issues rather than to score points off of each other.”

Trudeau rounded off his answer by quipping “but Sun News can now report that I prefer China.”

At least one political observer said the statements, when taken in their entirety, weren’t surprising, although they did provide Trudeau’s opponents with fodder for an attack.

Indeed, the Conservatives were quick to lash out, firing off an email to members on a party mailing list.

“Justin Trudeau told a crowd of Liberal supporters that the government he most admired was – wait for it – a dictatorship,” Tory MP Paul Calandra wrote before asking for a donation to his party.

“We can’t let this man be our next Prime Minister – donate $5 or whatever you can afford right now so we can fight back.”

The NDP pounced as well.

“Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau found a way to take straightforward questions and skewer himself with his thoughtless answers,” the party said in a release. “Canadians deserve better.”

Federal politics expert Michael Behiels said there was nothing eyebrow-raising about Trudeau’s comments, although the Liberal leader could learn something from the kerfuffle sparked by his words.

“He’s kind of really talking about efficiency, how do you get things done and get them done quickly. Sometimes an overly participatory democratic process becomes messy and delays you from taking action that is necessary,” said the University of Ottawa history professor, adding that Trudeau’s reference to Harper could have been a dig at the prime minister’s “strong man” style of politics.

Nonetheless, it’s no surprise that the Tory machine attacked Trudeau for his words.

“It was almost guaranteed that the PMO and their war room were going to do this, because this is what they do,” said Behiels. “That’s why politicians have to kind of be very, very cautious, especially at the leadership level. They’re really constrained as to how much they can get involved in any kind of discussion.”

Trudeau, who has styled himself as an approachable leader who engages with the public on a variety of topics, took to Twitter to defend himself.

“Canada is the best country in the world. I would never trade our freedoms. But countries we compete with play by different rules,” he said Friday. “That’s why we need to work together to address big issues and that’s why I’m focused on the real priorities of Canadians…My point was that we can learn a lot from the less partisan, more co-operative orientation to politics in the Yukon.”

But that after-the-fact clarification may have come too late for some, said Behiels.

“Trying to explain these things after the fact to people who weren’t there and when it’s already been twisted, is almost impossible,” he said.

“The take away is that Canadians have to take the criticisms of the Conservative partisan machine with a grain of salt and ask for the full quote and the context and make up their own mind…If they do that then they’re not going to be led around by the nose by the excessive partisanship on behalf of any of these parties.”


Fuss over Justin Trudeau’s China comment a lesson for Liberal leader: expert

  1. It’ s amazing and impressive to see how the lame stream media mandarins can circle the wagons around their boy and protect him.…the media in this country are truly despicable

    • As far as I am concerned, I would rather hear a leader make an occasional slip of the tongue every now and then, rather than hear of a leader being under suspicion or questioned about corruption within their government, whether it was last year or 17 years ago. Trudeau has never been questioned about corruption, only Tom and Steve.

    • The media is not protecting anyone.

      Macleans, G&M, National Post they all reported on his comments.

      The problem with partisans like you is that ANY criticism of the Conservatives is too much and no amount of criticism of any other party is ever enough.

      • Yes, they were obliged to report on it; then the writer trotted out an “expert” to explain what Trudeau ‘really’ meant, and assure everyone the kerfuffle, the brouhaha, the uproar was unwarranted.

        Den Tandt limned it best: A less than glib Trudeau blurted out an attempted analogy, then auto-corrected with the Sun news remark after hearing what he said. It happens (and will continue to happen with JT). So you’re going to see more media goaltending from the usual suspects whenever Justin wanders away from the crease. We’ll keep you apprised of such when it occurs, rest easy.

        • You mean the CPC will tell you when to run out and distort his comments, and then whine when the media does not buy into it.

          Understood. Been understanding that for a long time now. Conservatives are whiners.

          • I don’t think his comments were distorted. I think he just tripped over his tongue a bit (as fledgling pols will do from time to time), then caught himself and feinted towards Sun news to buy himself cover.

            That said, there’s a family tradition of cutting communist regimes plenty of slack. So he might have been accidentally channeling a genuine admiration for the old ‘iron rice bowl’ conceits trafficked by his father’s generation of Sinophiles.

          • You “don’t think” his comment was distorted. The fact that the CPC, some media, and some people here, are reporting it as though he said he admires China’s administration the “most” would show that you are wrong.

          • I’ll accept that certain partisans from the right may have parsed the quote more literally than what Trudeau intended when offering his answer (but only because he hasn’t thought about China beyond surface generalities).

            As an ardent admirer, you might caution his handlers against letting young Mr. Trudeau too close to a hot mic (when not charming the ladies). Extemporizing doesn’t appear to be his strong suit.

          • “I’ll accept that certain partisans from the right may have parsed the quote more literally than what Trudeau intended”

            Well not literally at all, because “literally”, his words mean something totally different from what they are saying they mean, what with the fact the words he used are not the words they are saying he used…

          • really, when the Conservatives lose, they wait until the next election and come out swinging – the left loses and they create havoc, bully and bring about many unnecessary law suits. now that is being a whiner…

    • Harper would never make this kind of mistake because, well… because he never answers questions, ever. Esp. not from the electorate. Maybe from the media, as long as they take a number and submit it several days in advance…

  2. Let’s see. Trudeau claims that Quebecers are better than Albertans in a 2 year old TV interview, and the media…attack Jason Kenney. Paul Wells is embarrassed at media colleagues trying to pretend that 2 year old comments are not fair game.

    Trudeau elicits wide-spread, bi-partisan criticism for a sexist “ladies night” and the media…attack Michelle Rempel, implying she looks like a skank in her (entirely appropriate) twitter AVI. Paul Wells is again mortified.

    Trudeau professes admiration for China’s “basic dictatorship” and the media…find a so-called “expert” to pretend that it’s much ado about nothing. CBC doesn’t cover the story on the National at all.

    And oh yeah…that so called “politics expert”…is this guy. Do these look the musings of an independent expert?


    Hey idiot media…guess why the Conservatives treat you like lepers at their policy convention. Hint: it’s not about them.

    • Find another rant. This one has grown tiresome.

      Poor little picked on conservatives. You do suffer so.

      • My comments are easy to spot. Pretty sure no-one else is using an “Animal” avatar. Feel free to skip any posts you see under my AVI without reading them. Problem solved!

        • I see. You are OK whining about others, but when criticized yourself you take a different tack.

          Why don’t you just ignore the media? Problem solved.

          • You didn’t criticize, you told him to stop talking, which is completely different. And no, it has not grown tiresome, it is dead-on and worth repeating.

          • I also like the fact John G provided context about the so-called expert Michael Behiels, context that was lacking in the article. At least somebody is willing to give us the facts.

    • There’s really nothing controversial about what Trudeau said. I think most Canadians, if asked, would agree that China’s dictatorial model allows them to steer policy effectively and achieve progress at an astounding rate. The contrast with India’s democratic model is stark. Trudeau didn’t say that he admired China’s model, he said it was interesting. I don’t think most Canadians would disagree with that.

      • Well he said he had a “certain level of admiration”. Now that level can be almost none to a whole bunch. Maybe it can even be the answer to the question that was asked, although it seems unlikely. It was an odd ungainly answer and that should be pointed out. pretending he’s a big fan of all aspects of communist China is silly.

        • There was also this shot at Harper: “I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about, of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted…”
          Oddly, no one seems to dispute or take issue with that; it that a tacit admission on the part of CPC supporters?

          • Gee, JT took a shot at Harper. Now THAT is news.

          • actually we did take offense, since Justin has come out as a “new breed” of politician, will always take the high road and never get in the mud with Harper or Mulcair and will always be civil. That is until its time for him to actually talk; he screwed the you know what and his recovery go to was to insult the PM by saying that the PM would prefer being a dictator and then taking a shot at the Sun since “now they can report on it”. We take offense to the hypocrisy that is Justin, you know the new breed of civil politician…

      • China’s great leap forward killed millions of people. That wasn’t progress. The only reason China is growing quickly today is because it was repressed so much for so long. Yet China still has less than a quarter of the GDP per capita of developed countries. Comparing with India, which has its own problems, is ridiculous, when you could compare with Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and any number of other neighbours of China, which have far more similarities with China than India.
        So no, only idiots would agree with Trudeau.

        • No, only an idiot would think that Trudeau actually admires China for all the things you listed.

          It is not that hard.

          • The silly attacks lately reek of desperation. The attacks, plus harpo singing and laureen allowing herself to be interviewed. I love smell of CPC desperation in the fall, don’t you?

          • no desperation on our part – is it desparation on your part to continually jump to his defense every time he speaks – Justin did not really mean PQ was better and its two years old, Justine didn’t mean cap and trade or any other carbon tax, it was context – Justin didn’t mean to offend woman by going to terrorist sponsored Muslim meetings, the others guys must have gone at some point – Justin didn’t mean….Justin did not mean to sit next to an “alleged” pedophile, he happened to be there…etc Can’t wait until the debate two years form now, but its possible facts won’t get in the way of what he says…

          • Only an idiot would reframe the question as you have. He was asked which government he admired the most. His answer was the government of China. The government did all the things I listed. It does not matter what his reasons were, he chose one of the most autocratic, despotic and horrific governments of recent times.

            And here you are, trying to reinvent what the question was, and what the answer was, to protect your complete idiot of a leader Trudeau.

          • Actually, that was not his answer. Try again.

          • Trudeau was asked which nation, besides Canada, he most admires and why? A: “You know, there’s a level of admiration I actually have for China
            because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their
            economy around on a dime” his answer before realizing oh crap…
            I think that covers it…

          • In fact, that was not even the question.

          • Ha ha, that’s all you got? Try again.

          • That’s all I need. The truth.

          • You sound like a used car salesman. “This car is as good as new! You won’t find a deal like this anywhere! And that’s nothing but the truth!”

            Meanwhile, those of us not born yesterday know what the truth looks like.

          • OK. We could go round and round in circles. I am guessing you can read as well as I can so you know that is not what he said.

            No doubt if you keep on repeating the lie it will magically come true. But I am not playing anymore.

          • You’re not playing? Really? That’s what a used car salesman would say. I’m not interested in your spin.

          • As a car salesperson Gayle has to go to the boss and get the answer – but he does not have one…

  3. It wouldn’t matter what Justin said….Cons use old gimmicks

    ‘If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find
    something in them to hang him.’ Cardinal Richelieu 1585 –1642

  4. It’s far more fair to tease him for thinking Nunavut is a country than it is to pretend that he wholesale endorses Chinese policy.

  5. The fuss over these supposedly revealing remarks of Trudeau show what it wrong with the way political dialogue occurs these days, and it also shows why Trudeau is coming off as a different kind of politician. We see from many in the media clucking not over what he said in terms of meaning but rather in how it left an opening for twisting meanings by his political enemies (as EmilyOne noted already with her wonderful Richelieu quote this is not a new approach, far from it) and that he should learn from it. To that my comment is this, we already know from watching Harper against Martin, Dion, and Ignatief that he and his are going to go on total war twist and smear at every possible way they can think of, right? So Trudeau has one of two basic choices ahead, he can try to be the perfect scripted politician and in the process cut away a major amount of what is making him appealing for voters and still have stuff made up by the Harper CPC attack machine anyway, or he can take the hits, pivot off them to show how his brand and style of politics is different AND how those of his attackers proves they are tired one trick ponies more interested in destruction than creation (and after the past decade I suspect that will resonate fairly strongly, Harper has not exactly shown much of the vision thing especially in policy substance), and demonstrates that he is actually interested in discussing issues in meaningful ways instead of scripted talking points.

    As for the NDP, as we get closer to an election I would better hard currency that they spend at least as much if not more time attacking the Libs and Trudeau as they do the actual sitting government, because for all their claims to be a different kind of party, a party about principles, they proved over the past decade to have become just another party that places power before all else. They have to go after the Libs and Trudeau harder and more despite Harper and the CPC obviously being a far greater threat to actual core NDP values, policies, and principles because electorally they are their main rival, not the CPC, and they know it. Anyone that actually reads Trudeau’s full answer knows exactly what he was saying and doing, and Mulcair proved on CBC’s Power and Politics Friday to be no less willing to distort and smear as the Harper CPC instead of following up on Trudeaus dig on Harper and then using it to pivot to where he could have said that Trudeaus approach in his mind would be little better, but that was not what he did, no not our so called principled party leader.

    This is what really infuriates me about the NDP, the Harper CPC for all their faults don’t pretend they don’t do what they do, they just don’t care so long as their base is with them that is all they really worry about. The NDP on the other hand wants people to believe they are different than that when all the while their hatred of the Libs is at least as intense as Harpers (and with better cause I’d say because of their problems going for the same vote and repeatedly losing to the Libs until the last election, well that and the tendency of the Libs to campaign more to the left than they actually govern, although contrary to NDP spin the Libs really don’t govern anywhere near as rightwards as we have seen out of the Harper CPC). I mean they still claim that Lib Tory same old story has any resemblance to reality, this despite the facts that the CPC is anything but Tory in actual political belief and leadership as well as much further to the extreme right than old Torys ever went, and is wasn’t completely accurate even back in the days of the PCPC, although there was some overlap so it wasn’t totally bogus either, unlike now. It is easier though for them to lie and smear their competitors than it is to have an honest fight with them, which if they really were the principled party fighting for democracy they claim to be they would do instead. This btw is not about whether the Libs are any better, it is about how the NDP claim in words to be this way but their actions over the last decade have shown how they are anything but.

    So for Trudeau to have any real chance to bring back the Libs to government again anytime soon he has to come off as different in substance and tone, which means walking a path different than the other two parties and leaders, and this is going to entail risks such as what we have seen with this incident. This is not to say Trudeau is blameless though, last time I checked the Yukon unlike the other two Territories actually does have political parties, and his getting that wrong was a completely legitimate opening for attack. Indeed, if the CPC and NDP had instead limited themselves to going after him for that instead of going over the top about his China Love Story Confession(tm) they could have actually done significantly more real damage to Trudeau than I think this will end up doing because of how easily the China claim is shown to be really overblown. This approach with the Yukon if it had been used by itself could have been used as a major tool to argue that Trudeau is simply too inexperienced to govern if he doesn’t know such basic things as this, but because of the China overreach that has been effectively taken off the table, not exactly the smartest thing either side did given that both have been clearly trying to find effective ways to wound Trudeau with little success to date. I don’t mind seeing politicians attack each other when there is some actual substance to the attacks, much of my problem with the way attack politics has been played is the degree of fictional manufacturing of the attacks, instead of going after substantive reality based ones. As in so many other ways politics has been cheapened to the lowest common denominator approach in this regard too, easier to make stuff up that sounds good than it is to actually go after the real issues, differences, and mistakes which likely take more than a simple one-liner to represent. It is no wonder there is so little substance in politics these days when that manner of operating has become the norm.

    I think in the long run Trudeau will end up gaining more than losing from this experience, thanks in no small part to the gross overreaching by his opponents on the China element. I also think it helps remind him that he needs to be more careful about getting his facts in order even in such supposedly free flowing events such as this fundraiser was supposed to be. The more experience he gains from these gaffes early on well before the election the stronger a campaigner he will be come the election. If he can maintain this style of political communications without too serious a gaffe that actually has real substance to it then I think he may give himself a level of protection against the worst of the smear attacks coming his way from both the CPC and the NDP in the election cycle, but he has to walk a very tight rope to get there and this approach carries no small risk to it. That so far this is about as bad as it has gotten for him to date tends to show that so far the rewards have well outweighed the risks for him and for his party.

    Trudeau gives his opponents a rare chance to really make him look bad with his mistake on the Yukon, but instead they blew it by having swallowed what was clearly bait with the China remark based on the entire answer he gave (the closing about what Sun News could say showed he knew how this could be played and would be by those who prefer that sort of thing, so he clearly was trolling it as well as making a deeper point in that answer). This is what happens when you let things like desperation and hatred blind you, and both the Harper CPC and Mulciar NDP blew what was one of their best chances to really go after Trudeau in a way that could not be easily if at all defended against. This business shows at least as much about both Harper and Mulcair as it does Trudeau, and not to their credit in any sense of the word. Trudeau got a fair bit lucky with this because of his Yukon mistake, but he clearly knew what he was going to get with the China part when he said it, indeed one wonders whether that really was a part of his intent to begin with to cause this sort of overreach to further discredit his attackers.


  6. This puff piece that is really an advertisement for the Liberal party is truly disgusting. How much are the Liberals paying for this?

  7. His handlers will take care of this. Do not answer questions unless we have prepped you first, specially those questions which are not about shampoo.

    • So you’re advocating the Harper approach? Only take preapproved questions from friendly reporters – and NEVER from the electorate?

      • See, here’s the thing.

        The Prime Minister of Canada is a pretty busy guy. At least I hope he is. If he is spending valuable time on twitter taking on Internet trolls like the leader of the third party appears to have time to do…well, suffice to say that is probably not the best use of his time.

        I’d be quite concerned with that level of “civic engagement”

        • Yeah; takes a lot of effort crafting all those non-answers. Can’t risk making any off-the-cuff, or he might get stuck with a new spin on a story, like firing Wright rather than accepting his resignation, that makes him look like, I don’t know… a liar?

        • Really? He is too busy to talk to the citizens of this country about the government? He needs to work on his time management skills.

          “Oh, sorry boss. I know you have questions about how I am doing my job, you know, the one you hired me to do?… but I am just “too busy” to answer them. I am sure you do not mind and will pay me anyway.”

        • Harper is not too busy to write a book on Hockey while in Office but he is for anything even remotely resembling an honest exchange with the citizens he represents as PM. He barely even talks to his own hardcore base members these days, let alone anyone that might have a different view on anything from him. As for Trudeau having that time, gee that is pretty much a given when you are the leader of a third party during a majority government by the very nature of our political system, so trying to turn that into a productive and innovative means of reaching out to average citizens is hardly a poor use of his time despite what you appear to think. Personally I am far more concerned about the level of civic engagement from a PM who lives in such a tightly confined bubble as Harper does, he is by no small margin the most disconnected from the public Prime Minister in this nation’s history, as I already said not just from those who are his opponents but even from those who are his long time supporters as well. That you fail to find that level of “civic engagement” concerning while claiming you do with Trudeau shows just how little you take civic engagement itself seriously.


      • Justin has already indicated he will not take questions from the Sun. which media outlet is next…

  8. Good thing it was nothing serious…just a ‘fuss’. No doubt created by those monsters who don’t worship at the feet of Jughead. The CBC handled this ‘fuss’ of a crisis by running interference with their ‘reporters’, then moved quickly into ignore mode. We’d rather not discuss Pierre’s love affair with commie dictatorships across the globe, and how that affection could be passed on to son. That might lead uncomfortably into ‘journalism’….why talk about that when there might be a Rob Ford video somewhere??

    • How about Justin Turdeau’s love of Castro at his father’s funeral? Did everyone forget the big hug by Justin to uncle Fidel? Or, even his brother, Sacha, love of the communists!! We must not talk about that. It must be a “fuss”.

      • Really? Well, I counter with Stevie’s selling off national resource companies to China. And a trade deal which seems slanted heavily in China’s favour. Which looks more-pro-communist to you? I’ll take hugging Fidel over Harper’s moves, thanks!

        • So is your position that we should never sell anything to a Chinese entity? Because they’re uniquely evil?

          • It’s my position that any trade deal we enter into should be to our net benefit – and should have a MUCH less restrictive escape clause.

            I’m frankly of two minds about the sale of the companies – though it does highlight that we need clearer guidelines on foreign investment.

            But mostly I was pointing out the stupidity of the Castro comment; CPC supporters decrying Trudeau for ties to Fidel is absurd in light of the behaviour of their own party.

          • big difference of doing business with then compared to Fidel coming to Daddy’s funeral…

        • Steve did not sell the resource company to China, they sold it themselves – board of directors and stuff, you know. The sale of Nexen represents very little of the Oil Sands, compare 15 billion to trillions, not much there. China actually bought Nexen to get the offshore oil rig off the coast of Africa, because that is where the action is for them, as they are taking the continent over piece by piece. Angola is China’s largest oil supplier and Nigeria is next on the list for China. The oil sands means very little to them…

  9. I understand. The CPC has sent its minions out to flog the “Trudeau is stupid” meme, and no one is buying it. Hence the frustration, the gnashing of teeth, the stomping of feet, etc etc.

    Let me help you. The “Dion is not a leader” thing sold because behind Dion was Ignatieff, doing everything he could to undermine Dion. The “Ignatieff is in not in it for you” thing sold because it is true he returned to Canada so he could become PM.

    The “Trudeau is stupid” thing will not sell because it simply is not true. Sure, the Sun chain and the CPC decided to try to distort the meaning of his comments to make it sound like Trudeau was actually admiring a dictatorship, but, as this piece effectively points out, that was not what he meant at all.

    So the CPC supporters are frustrated. They thought this was IT. The thing to bring Trudeau down. They are frustrated because the media will not spread their lies and distortions for them. So they cry “bias”! Because it is easier to blame the media than it is to admit they are wrong.

    How many of the conservative supporters whining on this thread posted on the Duffy pieces, or the Ford pieces, and demanded that all the conservatives involved stand up and take responsibility for their actions? My guess is none. Because although conservatives preach accountability, they simply do not practice it.

    • I understand. The CPC has sent its minions out to flog the “Trudeau is stupid” meme, and no one is buying it.

      Well, I guess every party has its minions doesn’t it?

      Sure, the Sun chain and the CPC…

      And the NDP. The leader of the NDP as a matter of fact. I guess some things are even too much stupid for the NDP to approve of. Colour me surprised.

      How many of the conservative supporters whining on this thread posted on the Duffy pieces, or the Ford pieces, and demanded that all the conservatives involved stand up and take responsibility for their actions? My guess is none.

      *raises hand*

      • Ok – so if you posted that Harper should come clean and stop lying to the masses, I will give you credit for that. I do not want to comb the boards so I will even take your word for it.

        But as for the rest, you have not argued against what I had to say. You added Mulcair into the mix, which is true. He is a political animal and smelled blood so he attacked. I have long held the opinion he is not dissimilar from Harper on that front so I am not surprised. He is in trouble unless he can burst Trudeau’s bubble so it does not surprise me he joined the distortion.

      • Never mind. I actually did go and look at your posts, and no, you do not demand accountability from ALL the conservatives involved. You trot out the PMO’s line – yet again.

        I see you also think what Ford did was bad, but you are not going to ask him to be accountable because the Ontario liberals are worse.

        You should look up accountability in the dictionary. It would be an eye opener for you.

        • You must have missed this one.


          Or this one.


          And this one.


          You want to try and paint me as a plant from the PMO? Be my guest. But the part where I called for the head of the PMO to be fired? Yeah, they didn’t sign off on that.

          I’m not here to defend the PMO. I’m here to show people how much their media is lying to them.

          Mea culpa coming?

          • From your comment that received 67 up-points: “And if Harper can’t demonstrate that he didn’t know about this bailout, he’s next.”

            No doubt you got the up-points because you are a known CPC supporter, and you were talking tough, as in accountability tough.

            Yet lately, you don’t seem to demand any accountability from harper, even though it’s clear he’s up to his neck in this PMO scandal. Why the change of heart?

            Frankly, m’dear, you lately are starting to sound like the Liberal supporters when we were screaming about a communion wafer: desperate.

          • You’re right. I did not go back 6 months to see you calling for Harper’s head. So sure, mea culpa on that one.

            So far he has not been able to demonstrate he did not know about the buy out, so I expect I will read more comments from you calling for him to go?

            And no, I do not think you are a PMO plant, and never said otherwise. I think you are a conservative loyalist who buys everything the PMO is selling, including the “Trudeau is stupid” meme. S

          • Question for you…

            You recall Duffy going scorched earth against the conservatives in front of the senate a couple of weeks ago? Pretty clear that he was out to wreak as much destruction on the CPC as he could in revenge for the attempts to kick him out of the Senate.

            Even in doing so, he still couldn’t finger Harper as having known about the payment. On the contrary, he says Harper told him to pay back the money. Didn’t say Harper knew anything about the PMO bailout.

            What does that tell you? Here’s what it tells me. If Mike Duffy, out for revenge, couldn’t finger Harper as having known about it…he probably didn’t.

          • “Just the three of us.”

            john, I will be eternally disappointed if you prove to be one of the ranks of CPC supporters who manages to believe and promote that everyone in PMO (13 and counting) knew — except Harper. If that could possibly be true, harper has more issues than we knew. And I think we both know he knew — or should we admire the leader who uses all his staffers, senators, MPs, wife, etc as pawns while he stays back from the action?

          • “If Mike Duffy, out for revenge, couldn’t finger Harper as having known about it…he probably didn’t.”

            I think your logic is a little weak. You assume that Duffy is privy to all conversations in the PMO, which is clearly not the case.

            The only one who can tell us what Harper knew, and when he knew it, is Harper. And he won’t answer the question.

          • “And if Harper can’t demonstrate that he didn’t know about this bailout, he’s next.”

            So we have gone from Harper having to demonstrate he did not know, to Duffy having to prove that he did. Rather convenient. Also totally irrelevant. The question was not whether Duffy can prove it, it is whether Harper can.

            Question for you…

            Harper changed his story on this entire incident, including the fact that he first claimed no one but Wright knew to now admitting at least 13 people knew. How many times can he change his story before you start questioning his credibility?

            Another question for you…

            If the Prime Minister runs an office where 13 people knew a senator was paid off, and yet the PM did not know, what does that say about said PM’s competence?

            Don’t worry, I am quite certain you will come back with all kinds of justifications for the fact that you do not think Harper has to be accountable for anything. After all, he has been the PM for 9 years, and in all that time he has never once admitted to being responsible for anything that went even a tiny bit wrong. Why would he start now, especially when there are so many people like you ready to make excuses for him.

          • Lots more info coming. Don’t jump to conclusions.

          • By no means. I don’t think this story is done unfolding yet.

          • Yeah. I am sure we will find out more just as soon as Harper starts answering questions.

            Oh wait…

          • I downchecked you because you are making assumptions you shouldn’t, namely that if Duffy didn’t reveal all he had in the Senate then there was nothing there. Given he had to know it was almost impossible for him to stop what was coming why, oh why would he decide to use all of his ammo at that time? I don’t know that Duffy didn’t do so, but to think that there is only a lack of further ammo to explain it is at best very sloppy reasoning. As well, you appear to have forgotten the context for Duffy saying :pay the money back” from Harper, it followed Harper having said to Duffy about the problem not being with the legitimacy of the expence claims but the perception of it to Harper’s base, that it was politically unacceptable so regardless of the merits of the claims Duffy had to pay the money back. If you accept Duffy’s word on the paying the money back part then you kind of have to accept the rest of it too to be consistent.

            Also, you conclude that Duffy was on a scorched earth campaign with nothing left to loss, again while I agree he was clearly on the attack, he also alluded to a lot more than he presented documents to back up, but then at first he presented no docs, and then the next time he presented some which back up what he had said before, so I would be wary about assuming he had placed everything out there, especially if he is trying to keep himself out of jail as a co-conspirator by giving away the evidence publicly. Duffy has to walk some fairly careful legal lines right now if what he is claiming is true (this was true even considering Senate immunity for what he said in the Red Chamber, that does not protect him from any conspiracy charges that could arise from his making them known there), so that alone would be reason not to have provided all his evidence. Indeed it is easily possible that he gave out what he did to entice the RCMP/Crown to come to him for the rest to cut a deal to avoid jail time so as to make it possible to charge the PM. Again, do I know that is what is going on, no, but it is a feasible/plausible explanation for why Duffy would have held back such evidence that would show Harper was involved directly at this time. Just from what was already released for example we know that the PM’s Chief of Staff made significant use of private e-mail accounts as opposed to public ones for this business, and if Wright did so it is hardly unreasonable to think his boss may have also, and that Duffy may have something there too, something that would not have been a part of the “official public record” of documents generated by the PMO..

            So all that tells me that your conclusions are wildly premature, and that while it is possible you are correct it is also at least as possible that you are wildly wrong for the reasons I just listed. I am sure with even a bit more thought there could be additional explanations for Duffy not providing all he had to date and/or evidence directly tying Harper to this matter and the fact that you have apparently not considered them shows either a closed mind or worse a deceitful one. Only you know for sure which is the case, I am not a telepath nor do I pretend to be one. What these things do show though is that regardless of why you came to your conclusions that those are not the only reasonable ones to have reached, and therefore yours are premature at this time based on the facts as they are known to date.


  10. Of course the Conservatives and Sun would jump on his somewhat out of context minor gaffe.
    Meanwhile, are the Liberals and NDP mounting attacks through TV, email, social media, talking points on the long existing alliance between Harper and Ford in the GTA? This is an axis of corruption, well documented in video, photos, and print.
    Here’s a real opening opposition, attack!

  11. The China dictator comment was probably taken out of context by the media to chose the newsworthiness of the situation. I interpreted the comment to compare the Chinese dictatorship with the Stephen Harper CPC dictatorship.

    • He did get around to saying that eventually.

      • Yes, Harper is a dictator. All of his political opponents are languishing in jails or concentration camps. I mean, just look at this comment board — nobody dares say anything that might displease the Harper Dictatorship, lest they get hunted down by Harper’s secret police and get transported to that Gulag in Nunavut.

        • Pretending that a spectrum of behaviour is a mere black and white dichotomy either makes you a fool, shows that you think that those you’re speaking to are fools, or some mix therein.
          In either case, you’re fooling no one with such a comment.

          • Do you think that most people around the world consider Canada to be a dictatorship?

          • What people “consider” Canada to be is irrelevant on multiple fronts.

            First of all, most people know little about Canada, so their opinions are hardly educated or reflective of deep understanding.

            Second, as I noted above, the concept of “either/or” here is a false construct or false dichotomy, neither of which reflects reality.

            Given the power of the Prime Minister over parliament, the senate, the appointment of judges, the appointment of the Governor General and a whole host of cabinet related powers, the answer most certainly points towards a benign cyclical dictatorship installed by occasional democratic processes that aren’t really all that democratic.

            Does that answer the question for you sparky? LOL

  12. Same political BS that has been going on forever. Pol makes a comment, pols from other parties jump all over it. Used to be the Liberals were most effective at this game. They had much of eastern Canada convinced that the Reform party was filled with fascists and Nazis. Now the Conservatives have learned to play the game, and seem to have embraced it with even more fervour. It’s no wonder we can’t get honest politicians anymore (if we ever could). They are punished and ridiculed every time they open up with an honest thought.

    • That is true, and that’s why it is up to Canadians themselves to get a little more sophisticated about this stuff — and demand better. Watching the NDP supporters join in with Rempel’s idiotic rant was truly revealing — and it’s going to get real ugly over the next couple of years. They actually took their marching orders from a silly partisan Con MP who poses like a cutesly little girl in the HoC. If anyone is thwarting a feminist cause, it’s Rempel and Bergen in their “pretty girls for the camera shot” seats behind Harper — they should remember what happened to Miss Huronia, who was every bit as pretty and supportive but readily and thoroughly dispensed when she displeased the emperor.

      Haha, Rempel said “she worked long and hard” to win that chair behind Harper — nah, Miss Clairol worked long and hard, Rempel.

  13. So typical of the right ! Can’t take a joke or get the anything (including direct quotes) , RIGHT!

    “But if I were to reach out and say which…kind of administration I most
    admire, I think there’s something to be said right here in Canada for
    the way our territories are run,” he said.

  14. No need to try and spin him out of this one. This just confirms how outrageous it would be to think he could lead a government. Just watch him in question period. Even though he is scripted, he has trouble reading it sometimes. If the cameras are focused in his direction before he stands, you see members around him coaching him as he nods. No issues of his own . He would be great as an actor on a stage . No credibility !

    • I totally agree. If you cannot ask questions in QP without reading them from a script, you have no right to be PM. Because that is what makes a good PM. Who needs to be honest, and build trust with Canadians, and have the intelligence to surround yourself with good people, and develop policy and stuff. None of that matters. What matters is how he asks questions in QP.

      • He didn’t place those around him in question period……they have always been there….they are the ones controlling the puppet. The questions he answered at the speaking event were pre scripted for him and he still made the ridiculous comments. Any time he goes unscripted , the rest of the party must cringe . I actually enjoy when they allow him out without the muzzle….makes for fun times

        • The questions were not scripted. Neither are the ones that he answers from the media. Maybe you are not familiar with that since you have been watching Harper for so long.

          But you keep on clinging to that desperate hope that he will flop, eventually. I mean, conservatives have been predicting it for months. It must come true some time, right? Right?

          And then maybe people will stop “obsessing” over minor things like whether the Prime Minister of Canada is lying to them about trying to bribe a senator, and focus more on the small missteps the leader of the third party makes while answering questions from citizens.

          • Really should watch the report on sun news and maybe look up the name, mac harb

          • If the Sun chain actually reported news, I probably would.

            But they don’t, so I don’t.

            But I do watch real news. What Harb has to do with Trudeau’s taking unscripted questions is not clear.

          • Sent from my iPad

  15. No, it’s a lesson for Canadians as to what the airhead actually thinks. No one forced him to say that he admires the genocidal Chinese dictatorship, he thought of it all by himself.

    • Not only did no one force him to say that, he didn’t even actually say it! But I think if you repeat the lie often enough, it magically comes true. Like unicorns, and fairies…

      You know how you can tell Trudeau strikes fear in the hearts of conservatives? They have to make stuff up to criticize him with. And then they get really really mad when no one believes them.

      • Justin is dreamy, that’s for sure.

  16. funny this story doesn’t point out so-called expert dr behiels is, in fact, a die-hard grit. why is that? not relevant to the story?

  17. “…It was almost guaranteed that the PMO and their war room were going to do this, because this is what they do,” said Behiels. “That’s why politicians have to kind of be very, very cautious, especially at the leadership level. They’re really constrained as to how much they can get involved in any kind of discussion.”…”

    Nope, totally wrong. They are only constrained if they’re willing to buy into the nonsense.

    I for one hope that Trudeau keeps speaking his mind in whatever way he pleases. Frankly I’m sick of scripted politicians whose words I can’t trust.

    One way or another, at least I know Trudeau is being honest and forthright.

    I can’t say the same thing about either Harper or Mulcair.

    • So when Justin said that Albertans as a people are unfit to hold federal public office, he was being honest and forthright. What an awesome guy.

      • Nice amateur attempt at misappropriating my words. Allow me to clarify for anyone silly enough to take you seriously.
        A) He said no such thing, and I challenge you to back the assertion.
        B) I’d rather he gaffe so that I know precisely who I’m dealing with than have to guess at the the man behind the mask. Real people are better than fake ones any day of the week.