Sunny ways on rainy days

Liberals gather in Montreal

by Paul Wells

Exercising pundits’ prerogative, I skipped almost all of the pre-game niaiserie on Thursday night and hauled into Montreal’s Palais des Congrès about 10 minutes before Justin Trudeau was scheduled to take the stage. First problem: the press accreditation wicket had closed for the night. I feared trouble, because as a rule if you don’t have a press tag hanging off your neck, political staffers don’t know whom to abuse. I headed for the escalator with my best don’t-you-know-who-I-am face, but nobody stopped me.

In fact, nobody was in charge of checking anybody’s ID at any point from the street to the main convention hall, where when I arrived Chrystia Freeland was busy interrogating Larry Summers, the former Harvard president and Clinton/Obama administration mucky-muck. It was like an episode of Fareed Zakaria GPS without the host, and when I googled the name of the show just now to get that joke right, I discovered Summers was on it just last Sunday. In Montreal he repeated most of the same nostrums, heartily agreeing with Freeland whenever she suggested human capital is important; playing a role in the world is good (“That’s really important to us. In our values. As Canadians,” Freeland said on that point); or virtue is to be encouraged. Having warmed up the crowd with federal Liberals’ favourite appetizer — a U.S. Democrat they’ve seen on TV — Freeland and Summers decamped from the stage.

There followed one of those extended pantomimes in which a succession of interchangeably fresh-faced and eager thirty-something Liberals spoke to one another over The Internet, which Liberals always seem to believe they have just discovered. “We’re getting a lot of tweets,” one said, before consulting with another on a giant floating screen about How Many Pageviews They Were Getting Right Now From Canadians Coast to Coast to Coast. It was, as these displays usually are, deeply weird and a little depressing, like trying to get your kid to report on his school day while he concentrates on Clash of Clans.

Then it was the dauphin’s turn at bat. Justin Trudeau isn’t the most natural orator I’ve seen — that would be Lucien Bouchard — but his tone and manner don’t change whether he’s addressing one person or 3,000. He spoke with the sort of natural touch that is improved by long practice with teleprompters and prepared texts, but that some leaders never get with any amount of practice. Colleague Geddes has already delivered the details on Trudeau’s brief welcome — he will, it is said, speak more substantively tomorrow — but what struck me was how low-key and cheerful he sounded. It’s a sound I haven’t heard from a Liberal leader in a hell of a long time.

Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff had to keep buying their Liberal bona fides on the instalment plan, speech after speech, so they could never permit themselves to shut up about party-of-Laurier and party-of-Medicare and Clarity Bill this and Mike Pearson that. Ignatieff and Stéphane Dion operated in minority parliaments where they had to decide, from one week to the next, whether to seek to undo the Harper Conservatives with a no-confidence vote in the Commons. And if they weren’t doing that this week, they had to constantly warn that they might do it next week. It made them hectic and hectoring. Even Jean Chrétien, who was born to exercise power, was rarely much good at talking about it. He needed his audiences to fill in a lot of blanks and correct a lot of missteps. And before that was John Turner, who always sounded like he was choking on a muffin, and before that… well, look at that. Trudeau lacks his father’s elite education and his credentials as a leading participant in Quebec’s existential debates, but he brings a measure of Pierre Trudeau’s serenity to a stage.

After a few minutes Trudeau turned toward a video screen — this too had been rehearsed in the afternoon while reporters listened — and chatted with his very pregnant wife Sophie and the kids. After a precise amount of small talk, as if on cue, Xavier Trudeau, not yet 7, jumped off the sofa and began performing adorable-toddler calisthenics. He rotated 135 degrees clockwise. He vanished off the bottom of the screen. He popped back up. Then Sophie stood to show off her fertility-doll anatomy poured into a Liberal-red dress, and I flashed on a moment at Rideau Hall in 2008 on the day Stephen Harper began that year’s election campaign. That was Harper’s sweater-vest campaign, when he spoke more frequently about his obligations as a dad than he has ever done before or (so far) since. At Rideau Hall a reporter asked whether it was true that Stéphane Dion was also a husband and father. (He was and is.) Harper was unsure whether to concede the point. “You know, I don’t know Stéphane Dion all that well,” Harper said then. “But I presume he’s been married a long time, has children, I presume he’s a family man also.”

Flash forward to Thursday night, and here was the bounteous fruit of Justin Trudeau’s fecund loins virtually leaping off the video screen. You want family man?, he seemed to be saying. I’ll give you family man up the freaking wazoo. Here again was a Liberal leader with a simple family story to tell. Wife? Check. Kids? Two and a bun in the oven. Any funny passports or estranged first-marriage kidlets somewhere? Nope. Not that Sophie Grégoire, one of Quebec’s most glamorous television personalities, or these preternaturally cute kids presented precisely the image of a regular family. The Trudeau clan is more of an augmented-reality experience; I felt sure that if I pointed my smartphone at them I would get free recipes and coupons.

Then Trudeau talked some more, and as my mind wandered, because it was the kind of speech where one’s mind could easily wander, I parsed some of the big room’s iconography. It was pretty basic: lots of red, with the word Libéral behind the leader and the words HOPE and HARD WORK in French and English on the walls. The word Canada was nowhere evident, and I was reminded that the prime minister has lately made damned sure it’s the most obvious word wherever he speaks:

You don’t get a Canada logo that big on your travelling podium by accident. The Conservatives pushed the Canada stuff hard, at first defensively — because it had become a standing question, even in conservative circles a decade ago, whether the Liberals had cornered the market on patriotism — and then offensively, because Michael Ignatieff’s claim to the maple leaf was so shaky. The worry for the Conservatives is that Justin Trudeau doesn’t wave the maple leaf because he doesn’t need to, because he was practically born with the thing tattooed on his ass. And Trudeau’s appeals to some notion of Canada seem less disingenuous because, unlike Harper, he is so relaxed about letting Canada wander in off the street, un-harassed, to hear him speak.

All the hard work lies ahead for Trudeau. But I could have written that same sentiment a year ago and probably did, and a year later he still remains the most confounding presence in Canadian politics, easy to dismiss but much harder to effectively attack. You can’t go after him with family-man, you can’t go after him with real-Canadian, you can’t go after him with easy-to-rattle, divorced-from-his-party-base or a bunch of other attacks that undid his predecessors.  His opponents still haven’t found the easter egg that will allow them to rack up points against Trudeau, and it’s starting to be a while since they started trying.

Political leaders are either easier to beat than they looked, or harder. Bringing Kim Campbell and Paul Martin and Michael Ignatieff down was easier than it looked at first. They came on the scene all big and scary — old-timers in the crowd will remember how many Progressive Conservative greybacks left politics rather than try to beat Campbell — but had great big glass jaws and came down fast and hard like so many sacks of potatoes. Bringing Chrétien and Harper down was harder than it looked. Trudeau… we’ll see.

 




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Sunny ways on rainy days

  1. Sophie Grégoire, one of the most glamorous Quebec TV personalities? Really? I had to look her up on the English Wikipedia. That’s right, this “most glamorous TV personality” doesn’t even rate a stub-rated entry in the French version of the online encyclopedia.

    • It’s almost as if there were Quebecers who watched TV in English.

      • LOL!!! this is funny really, touché!

    • It’s all about the Liberal focus on celebrity – and hype, rather than substance, Claude.
      Will adult Canadians tire of it? Who knows!
      But it has reached cult-like dimensions among Liberal devotees.

      • And, apparently, it’s got Cons everywhere breaking out in cold sweats.

      • She’s his wife, Faris. Leave off the wives; aim for the pols.

        • Claude raised a good point.Your use of Trudeau’s wife is over the top.
          Stop using her and Harper should stop using his wife – for once start dealing with the substantial issues that face Canada with discussion of substantial solutions – not a celebrity cult.

          • The charade at the Convention of the phone call to his wife was a gimmick so don’t blame others for mentioning his wife.

  2. Well….this article won’t get you a Senate seat.

  3. But surely at some stage Trudeau’s incoherent and sometimes contradictory views ( they couldn’t be called policy statements) will catch up with him?
    Where does he really stand on how his many promises should be paid for?
    What priorities – if any – does he have?
    Perhaps the NDP strategy of having parliamentary votes on issues is the only way to smoke him out.
    His poor performance in the House – as well as his poor attendance- may well be explained by his reluctance, or inability, to discuss in clear detail a growing number of crucial economic, environmental. and social issues and challenges this country faces.

    • “But surely at some stage Trudeau’s incoherent and sometimes
      contradictory views ( they couldn’t be called policy statements) will
      catch up with him?”

      Not if they only exist in your imagination.

      • And today’s promise of Trudeau on CBC’s “The House” to have “no new taxes” to pay for his many promises about increased aid to education, infrastructure etc. is also imaginery? LOL

    • Con sympathizers seem to be the only ones panting for “real substance” from Trudeau. What’s the hurry? The election is more than a year away and no party, including yours, would put up a platform so early in the game.

      As much as it’s causing you and your ilk to rend your knickers in evident anxiety, you’ll probably just have to be patient.

      Honestly, you’re like a bunch of children with no sense of deferred gratification.

      • What’s the hurry? Harper has profoundly disappointed us Red Tories and moderate conservatives. Trudeau just has to reach out and he could grab a big portion of us.

        • Don’t go away. He’ll probably still be around to capture all your homeless Red Tory votes in 2015.

    • For those who are actually following – there was an interesting panel shown on CPAC about various possible policies and how to fund them. You might want to pay more attention.

      • I will tell you what is going to happen in October 2015 The Conservative Party of Canada will win a majority (yet, again!) and Thomas Mulcair will still be opposition leader (because oddly enough he is holding on to Quebec) and Justin Trudeau will still be a third party leader. Why, simple?! Because he is in way over his head.

        We can follow up the conversation in October 2015 ; )

        • “yet again”

          Wow, sounds like you think this is routine, instead of the first time since 1988.

          ha ha ha ha ha

        • That is so incredibly original, Claudia – you should think about a career in P.R. Oh wait – what…

          • Bwahaha!

        • The repetition of the anti Trudeau mantra “he is in way over his head” is meaningless- it says nothing and has no point to make. Mere meaningless blather , a nostrum for those who cannot say anything useful and cannot account for Justin. It is useful that Trudeau is so dismissed by the Cons. Surprise ! Trudeau is not driven by anger, and does not espouse a core value of nastiness. …What , a real human being.

        • “he is in way over his head”
          Thought they retired this TP months ago?

        • What a lot of wishful thinking.

      • And to which funding policies has Trudeau committed? LOL

        • None – same as the other leaders.

          • Tom Mulcair has called for restoration of the corporate tax rate to 2006 level i.e. from the current 15% which Trudeau and Harper support to 22% – still far below the US rate.

          • A 7% increase – what does he think that will do?

          • $14B/yr according to the Con 2009 budget. Fact is resourced-based economies like Norway and Australia have very high corporate income tax revenues as a percentage of GDP. In Canada we are pouring that money down the drain and shifting the tax burden onto the middle-class.

          • Actually, Canada has the lowest effective tax rate among ALL major economies. Our rate is HALF that of China’s. Our corporate tax policy — which hasn’t created a single job — shifts the tax burden onto income taxes. This is bad economic policy all the way around.

            “Corporate income taxes are lowest in Canada (7.3 per cent effective corporate income tax rate), France (14.7 per cent), and China (14.8 per cent). At the other end of the scale, effective corporate income taxes exceed 30 per cent in Japan (31.5 per cent), Brazil (36.1 per cent), and Italy (37.6 per cent). These effective income tax rates are significantly lower than the nominal tax rates in most countries due to the inclusion of various tax incentives, including R&D tax incentives, in these calculations.”

            KPMG Competive Alternatives 2012 — Focus on Tax (Chp 3, pg 7)
            http://www.competitivealternatives.com/reports/2012_compalt_report_tax_en.pdf#page=9

          • Tom Who?

          • Shades of Joe Clark!

          • What about the policy on the senate, how is Tom going to dismantle the constitution in time for the Quebecois to pull the rest of the constitution apart. Tom is always blowing his stack over getting rid of the senate, it would nice to see the dippers policy on that. Just a reminder, Tom is not going to get rid of the ” ANGRY MAN FRAME ” , its hung around his neck permanently now(that’s why the dippers numbers are not moving) until 2015 and its not going away.

          • Be patient , grasshopper.
            the Supreme court may provide a way, including a national referendum that would provide evidence of Canadian’s desire to abolish the undemocratic body. Even the Cdn Taxpayer’s foundation claims that over 60% of Cdns want to abolish the abomination now.
            Then – as now in Qusetion Period and on the hustings you will see Tom smiling – and your framing will have failed once again.

      • And today’s promise of Trudeau on CBC’s “The House” to have “no new taxes” to pay for his many promises about increased aid to education, infrastructure etc. – how does that respond to the panel? LOL

    • Mulcair’s definitive views on Dutch disease and his supposed ability to abolish the Senate didn’t to seem to work out for him. Sometimes being really certain isn’t the best approach.

      • Stephane Dione says Trudeau’s proposed senate appointment model is “undemocratic and elitist” – because it is.
        Do you support dione or Trudeau’s position?

        • Dion – notice no ‘e’. Do you have a link for this?

          • It was on the Liberal party web site. His views on the appointment model was enunciated during the fall debate on Senate abolition.

        • I can’t speak for Jan, but I support the Leader’s position. I betcha Dion does too.

          • What evidence do you have of Dione’s 180?

      • Ya because us voters, we all hate certain. Give us pablum and doublespeak and you got our vote.

  4. His campaign reminds me of the Christy Clark campaign during the last BC election.
    Cute.
    Family.
    Blah blah.
    It worked.
    And the same folks that worked on Clark’s campaign are working for Trudeau.
    Surprise!

    • It did not work ElaineMay. If people hadn’t thought the NDP were a shoo-in they would have troubled to vote. Christy Clark won by default.

      • I disagree. They had a better campaign.
        I worked for the NDP as a volunteer.

        • That’s says a lot about you . . . none of it good.

    • Name names. Clark was helped to get the leadership by Con Gwyn Morgan and Preston Manning. Len Boessenkol was hired as her COF – before he has to be sent home for some ‘personnel’ problem.

      • None of those people worked for the Liberals in the last election in BC.

        • Oh right . just their money – gotcha.

  5. ” And Trudeau’s appeals to some notion of Canada seem less disingenuous …”

    Globe/Mail Fed 2012:

    The Dauphin – “I always say, if at a certain point, I believe that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper – that we were going against abortion, and we were going against gay marriage and we were going backwards in 10,000 different ways – maybe I would think about wanting to make Quebec a country.”

    • If those things actually happened, this wouldn’t be “Canada.” I’d move to Quebec, too. But we don’t have to worry about those things happening, since it is a small minority of right-wing fanatics who oppose rights such as gay marriage. More likely, they would attempt to form their own country, with Provost, Alberta as the capital (even Calgary is too liberal for the hardcore reformer base).

    • And if that happened I’d be having my stuff packed and getting on a plane. My brother will put me up until I find a property to purchase.

    • Devin Ens & JanBC

      You two would not be welcome in Trudeau’s new country unless you are part of pure laine. Can you two take communion at one of Quebec’s National Shrines?

      It is astonishing the amount of twaddle our msm write trying to convince us that francophones are really not as racist as they are.

  6. Isnt it time for the media to take a look under harper and mulcairs hood to whats happening to there timing chains lately ? why aren’t the media asking them(con@dippers) why there numbers are falling in the polls, no because Justin Trudeau sells news. What reporters and a lot of other people here are missing from the Trudeau picture is, our country is looking for an inspirational figure, like they did in the states with Obama, Trudeau is not Obama, I know, but he inspires people whether you like him or not. A lot of Canadians are fed up with scandal and anger as well. their fed up every day looking at the democracy being slowly getting twisted and torqued.

    • Wow, yeah, you’re right. I should definitely write some kind of large piece of journalism on the Conservatives sometime.

      • I have yet to read an article about the cane effect in Quebec politics. You would do a wonderful job.

      • I get a feeling Mr. Wells, that the Conservatives and the NDP are going take themselves down by spending so much time trying to take Trudeau down, its called obsession. if you sling mud all the time, and it dosnt stick, your own credibility drops and no one believes anything you say anymore. And I still think you have a very poor judge of character of Mr. Harper, Lawrence Martins analogy was more accurate. You only think you know about Mr. Harper.

      • As he delicately implies, P. Wells did indeed do a “large piece” of writing — a book by name of “The Longer I’m Prime Minister.” Very good read.

      • The point is Paul, will you? I doubt it.

        • Oh.

          Em.

          Gee.

        • He was being sarcastic.

          • So was I.

      • Great book. Not only is your name above the title, its also in a larger font! You’re moving up in the world Paul.

      • How ignorant of the guy to not realize you wrote a book on Stephen Harper. He must be living under a rock! No doubt, when your book came out Canadians were lined up around the block to snap up a copy. Even after 8 years in power, Canadians just can’t get enough Harper!

        • The book was ghost written by the conservative party, Wells never interviewed Harper, not even once. He was given all his imfo by Harpers trained seals. Lawrence Martin new a lot more about a small man with a big ego(Harper) than Mr. Wells. And I still say, Nigel Wright was the strategist in the PMO. Before 2008, Harper almost blew his job as PM because the world was crashing, he hired Nigel, things started to look good again until Feb. 20013, Harper fired Nigel and he has been on his heels ever since. So where is the strategy to now. They must have Tom Flanagan back with the fold, because its been attack, attack and attack everyday on Trudeau everyday since.

          • It’s fair to say that I share none of your insights.

          • The thing is Mr. Wells, there are some who do share my insights. Your book was a success, only because the senate scandal just happened to be the hot topic at the same time, it couldn’t of happened a better time for you, lucky you. Other than that, it was just another book.

          • Please take your meds.

          • 2015. typo

          • Feel free to plug your own book while you’re on the topic.

  7. Larry Summers has to travel abroad for speaking gigs since American progressives have figured out that he is a bankster/1%’er stooge.

    Liberals fawning over the guy who of intimately involved in creating the global economic crisis (the repeal of Glass-Steagal, the non-regulation of derivatives, the bullying of Brooksley Born out of government), and who convinced Obama to hand over hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street, and pennies to Main Street.

    • Start being more specific about the ‘bankers’ will ya? These generalized slurs aren’t doing it for me.

  8. One needn’t look for an Achilles heel in young Justin. His entire existence is made of paper mache. While the hopeful Liberals wishcast all of the traits they see in a perfect leader, onto the empty Trudeau, Canada’s political Paris Hilton will soon wilt under the weight of reality.
    His episodes of foot in mouth aren’t outliers coming from an otherwise substantive man, but perfectly comport with a man of little depth, substance and intellectual capacity.
    His handlers were wise to introduce Justin on a prime time night of Olympic intrigue, where all but the most ardent Liberal supporters’ attention were elsewhere.
    But in the rough and tumble of the campaign they will not be able to keep Justin inside his handlers protective cocoon. Justin will eventually have to be Justin.

    • I’m not a card-carrying Liberal, let alone an ardent supporter of Trudeau, the Younger, but I’m really enjoying how he’s giving you and all your fellow travelers in Con-dom a conspicuous case of the yips.

      They’re going to need a new entry in psychiatry’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual to classify your malaise: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Trudeau-centric Variant

      • Trudeauneuoriticism? Never mind the politics, I find it fascinating.

      • Yes, Justin’s supporters seem so comfortable with Justin. Immediately swooping in attacking every person who dare’s criticize their dear leader.
        Yes, rather than saying “you are wrong because of ‘x’”, his supporters say “shut up”.
        The confidence in Justin overfloweth.

        • If you substituted Harper’s name in your comment, it would apply with equal accuracy to the Cons. Anyone who levels a criticism (no matter how thoughtful) at PMSH is immediately labeled a “Harper hater”.

          Seems to work both ways, my friend.

      • “Con-dom.” I like that term; will steal in future.

        • Feel free. Consider it…ahem…safe to do so.

      • I’m not a conservative, and think Martin was instrumental in turning canada away from being a good copy of Argentina. To see adults fall for this vacuous twit with a good haircut is appalling.

        I understand his appeal. There are lots of folks who resent that a young man with a family working as an electrician in Northern Alberta making $250k a year has far more influence in real terms on how this country works, including paying for the social programs that are said to define this country than some university educated, debt riddled and generally ZMP employed.

        • To see adults fall for the devious autocrat with the helmet hair has been equally appalling. Time to fix that.

    • I’d just like to remind you of the Mulroney advice.

    • I agree Trudeau is kind of a mimbo. He doesn’t come across as someone who does his homework on the policy decisions his team puts forward, especially economics. So he is really out of his depth whenever he strays beyond the memorized talking points.

      Of course, Harper has always been a policy lightweight on economic issues. His policies target votes instead of economic performance. His expensive and superfluous corporate tax cuts were a bust. His new (year old) job training initiative is nothing more than an excuse to waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on self-promoting “job creation” Action Plan ads.

      Then their’s Mulcair. He’s obviously smart enough to be in his element on any economic policies his party adopts. Unfortunately, the NDP doesn’t have any. They are trying to weasel their way into power with gimmicks. That obviously won’t win over red Tories.

      So Canadians are left with whatever Trudeau’s team slops together. Given Larry Summers is their economic guru, don’t expect any real change to happen.

  9. Paul, you are becoming a curmudgeon. Just so you know.

    Also, “Bringing…Harper down was harder than it looked”? True, since it’s been awhile since people started trying. But he’s not down yet, so can we know for sure?

  10. Whether right or wrong…

    How many of the upper echelon of the Conservative Party are heterosexual?

    That is the elephant in the room…and precisely how Trudeau will part the red sea.

    Given that the base frowns upon such stuff…

    • Only if the Cons decide to run a gay leader. Officially they don’t have gay members. It won’t be the Liberals who will point out a gay who is the closet if they decide to run one.

      • I agree. But it is just a subtle reminder as to real family values.
        You know, the same crap the Conservatives pretend.

  11. Given Chrystia Freeland’s prior willingness to appear with Bill Maher (famous for among other things calling a Sarah Palin a 4 letter word starting with C, ending in T, with the United Nations in the middle), and now Larry Summers (yes, this Larry Summers…)

    She seems to be, like all liberals, very selective over who and what offends her delicate femininity.

    • I am sorry, but what liberals talk about who offends their “delicate femininity”.

      Names, dates and links please.

      Thanks

    • “…delicate femininity” ??

      Elaborate, or would doing so require you to disclose intimate details of your febrile fantasy life?

      • And God knows we don’t want to go there. :-)

    • rfaris – you want to be seen voting for this?

    • See John (and this is another lesson), anyone who uses the phrase ‘delicate femininity” should not be lecturing others on being sexist.

      • It’s just too subtle for them, but I appreciate your patience.

      • Neither should anyone who appears with Bill Maher.

        • Just own your own sexism John. Try, just once, to be accountable for your own words.

          (It’s OK. I don’t expect you to behave like a mature, responsible adult. Like a typical conservative you have, once again, tried to blame someone else for your misdeeds).

      • Nothing the least bit sexist about it at all. If you’re going to scream “sexism” when somebody heckles you “because I’m a woman MP”, or tells you to “use your big girl voice”, then you have to back that up.

        You don’t get to regularly associate with the Bill Maher’s of the world, welcome guys like Larry Summers, and still claim the moral right to hide behind your gender and claim someone is trying to silence women when you’re heckled with 1/100 the intensity of Bill Maher calling someone a “c**t”, or a “dumb tw*t”.

        • The heckling of her was disrespectful, rude and, yes, sexist. That does not change just because she went on a show hosted by a guy who once used language you disapprove of.

          There is another side to the Larry Summers issue, but you do not want to go there because, well, it is a different side and one that is inconvenient to you, so…

          Anyway, thanks for proving my point John. Never fear, as I said above, I did not actually expect you to admit your comment was sexist. It would be real cool though if you could at least pretend to find links to “all liberals” who are apparently “very selective over who and what offends her delicate femininity…” (Rather than make it so obvious you were just making stuff up….again)

          • There is another side to the Larry Summers issue

            Yes. The fact that he’s a Democrat. And the fact that he’s now helping the Liberals, which means you are obligated to now defend him.

            Which trumps the fact that he believes that there are more men scientists than women scientists because men are just better and smarter than women.

            It does appear that on many, many different human
            attributes—height, weight, propensity for criminality, overall IQ,
            mathematical ability, scientific ability
            —there is relatively clear
            evidence that whatever the difference in means—which can be
            debated—there is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability
            of a male and a female population

            You hear that Gayle? That’s not just your random drive by misogynistic slur.

            Freeland is welcoming a person to the Liberal HQ who believes that the reason there are more male scientists than female scientists is because…well…men are just smarter. Enjoy defending that Gayle…if you are indeed a woman hiding behind that name.

            Thanks for confirming that your accusations of sexism are just as useless and driven by ideology and politics as Chrystia Freeland’s. I’ll not trouble myself too much with them.

          • It is so cute when you try to use my style against me. And even cuter that, in your intense desire to prove some point about Freeland, you continue to avoid taking responsibility for your own comments, and your own fabrications.

            Anyway, no doubt from the same article you quote from, is this little nugget:

            *Summers’s protégée Sheryl Sandberg, has defended him saying that “Larry has been a true advocate for women throughout his career” at the World Bank and Treasury. Sandberg described of the lunch talk “What few seem to note is that it is remarkable that he was giving the speech in the first place – that he cared enough about women’s careers and their trajectory in the fields of math and science to proactively analyze the issues and talk about what was going wrong”*

            See – another side, and not a single mention of being a Democrat. (Try not to make it so easy next time).

            So, about all those liberals you were referring to earlier – any chance you are going to name them? No? So. Shocked.

  12. If Obama flunkies are hanging around the Liberals, that is troubling. The number of times Obama has violated election law in the US is very concerning, if any journalists bothered to report that stuff.

    Poilievre’s Fair Elections Act better be frigging air-tight if we’re letting the likes of Obama for America or ACORN in.

  13. OK – you lost me at ‘fertility doll’. Really, Paul?

  14. Did not realize how many journalists had been hired by the CPC to write harsh and nasty stories about Justin and his family. Comments below are equally harsh and nasty, must be part of the 34% who still believe in the messiah Harper.

    • The hell of it is, since Nigel left, the Conservatives don’t pay me nearly enough. Fortunately it’s a labour of love.

      • Was he the only one with cheque signing authority?

      • LOL!

      • I admire your humour and quite liked this article.I check McLeans to see who the reporter is and always read yours.

  15. I still don’t know what the Liberal Party policies are? I think Justin will legalize pot but then what? Does he believe in limiting the size of government’s share of gdp or increasing it?Does he believe that personal income taxes are too high or to low? What are his feelings about school choice? Does he believe that Canada should experiment with a school voucher system like the U.S., Sweden, Australia, and the Netherlands? What will he do to improve the conditions of aboriginal reserves where big government policies have largely failed? Will he allow more entrepeneurship and a larger role for the private sector? What if any moves will Trudeau take to strengthen the Canadian military(increase military size, mobility, increase Arctic defense capabilities) since Obama seems to have the U.S. abdicating its role as a military superpower? He bows to the radicals to Iran, lets Putin roll him over in Georgia and the Ukraine. He’s leaving Israel in the wind. Hey, he let four of his own guys get murdered in Benghazi(but hey 2 were Navy SEALS and 1 was a former member of the U.S. Air Force.. However, the three of them were probably Republicans(U.S. military vote tends to be strongly Republican) so the left is fine with those guys being murdered. There is a lesson in this. Canada has to built up its military and not expect any outside help.Will Trudeau reinstate the long gun registry? While Justin personally opposes the death penalty, polling shows that Canadians support it by about 2 to1(63%-30% in Angus Reid Poll, 65%-35% in another poll). Will Justin be a supporter of the common man and woman and allow the Canadian public to hold a binding referendum on capital punishment? Or will he follow the wishes of the elitists and ignore the peoples’ wishes? What are his answers?
    I know many liberals look at his long hair and it reminds them of the 1970′s under Pierre Trudeau when they looked like hippies and Trudeau’s socialist utopia seemed possible. However, its not reality. Trudeau blew the economy out of whack. He ran up big deficits while dramatically increasing the size of government. He also continued the decades long policy of greatly weakening the Canadian armed forces. Take a lesson from the U.S. Obama did this same song and dance. Their economy stinks. He increased their debt from $10 to $17 trillion.He couldn’t even hire anyone competent for his healthcare website. He ran out of Iraq without securing a status of forces agreement(after the war was won by the surge under General Petraus). In addition, Obama seems to have a Nixonian side to him. His administration was involved in using the IRS to undermine political opponents. The Justice Department stonewalled Congress over the “Fast and Furious” gun running investigation. He refuses to enforce immigration law.
    Obama ran a great campaign in 2008 being vague and letting the voters put their own labels on him. Now , in 2014, Obama is expected to lose the U.S. Senate(the Republicans are already polling ahead in 8 or 9 Democrat held seats when they need only 6 gains for a majority). The Republicans are expected to make slight gains in the House. In addition, the Republicans are already polling ahead in the governor races for 4 states held by Democrat governors(Illinois, Hawaii, Arkansas, and Connecticut). Other vulnerable Democrat governorships are in Colorado, Minnesota, Maryland. Eventually, running guys that look good but have no substance comes back to bite you.

    • Hint: If you are going to write a really long comment, paragraphs help. I took one look at the lack of breaks in your screed and moved on.

  16. In my opinion Trudeau is a though cookie, won’t go down as easily as the other ones. Has potential but not anytime soon. He is his own worst enemy. It takes an enormous amount of discipline, to succeed in this business and I can’t see him delivering.

    • Thanks Claudia

      Your opinion is so well reasoned and thought out it is sure to sway a lot of people.

      Or, you know, not…

  17. “Bringing Kim Campbell and Paul Martin and Michael Ignatieff down was easier than it looked at first. … Bringing Chrétien and Harper down was harder than it looked. Trudeau… we’ll see.”

    This analysis is so ridiculous. Why was Chretien harder to bring down that it looked? Because right-wing voting splitting between the PC and Reform parties allowed him to coast through perpetual fake majorities. (What Harper called a “benign dictatorship” while in opposition.)

    Why was Kim Campbell reduced to 2 seats? Again vote splitting. Fact is in 1993, the combined conservative vote was 34% — or 4 points higher than what Harper got in 2006 behind a united Con party.

    Why was Harper harder to bring down than it looked? Because the conservative parties united. (Duh.) Add to that three-way center-left vote splitting with the rise of the Green party. Harper was easily able to “win” power even though most moderate conservatives found him repulsive. The right-wing vote only united behind Harper in 2011 to stop the NDP from forming the government.

    That the super-majority of Canadians were opposed to Harper means nothing in our loony-tunes implementation of democracy. We dole out absolute power to arbitrary minority parties shutting the *actual* majority of voters out of government — the literal opposite of democracy!

    Fact is 31 of 34 developed countries abandoned primitive First-Past-the-Post because it produced ridiculous election results. Why are Canadian journalists so ignorant?

    • “loony-tunes implementation”

      Unless you happen to be on the winning side of it (ie Cons and Libs). Then there is no reason to change.

      • The same is true of the NDP. There have been many NDP governments among the provinces. But not one has adopted voting reform.

        Fact is, partisans like FPTP because it doles out absolute power on 39% of the vote.

        Clearly there’s no reason for journalists to uphold this pathetic mess we call democracy. In other developed countries they did their jobs and effected change. Here they are cowards and frauds. Disgusting.

  18. Great piece.

  19. If Claude Boucher couldn’t find a reference to Sophie on Wikipedia I have no idea what he looked for. Instantly when I read his comment, I typed Sophie Gregoire and here is the reference. My goodness! Is that the worst he can come up with against her?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Gr%C3%A9goire

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