What if Trudeau became 'The Trump Whisperer'? - Macleans.ca

What if Trudeau became ‘The Trump Whisperer’?

Donald Trump is a crisis for Canada, but also an historic chance to raise our profile, influence and diplomatic capital to new heights

Justin Trudeau stands for a photograph after an interview in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.  (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Justin Trudeau stands for a photograph after an interview in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

It is well known that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of two characters, one that means “danger”, the other “opportunity”. Unfortunately, this is a myth—the characters in question don’t mean that at all. And that is too bad because there is truth in the notion. Emergencies can create disorder, which provides an opportunity to reorder and rebuild, better and stronger. Donald Trump is giving Canada one of those moments now.

There are dozens of ways the new administration might damage Canada. The repeal of NAFTA could cripple our economy. The decline of NATO would threaten our Arctic sovereignty. A destabilized Washington, in general, would shake every aspect of our politics and society.

And, after Trump’s dramatic first two weeks in office, we must assume everything he threatened during his campaign is now on the table. What’s more, the situation is made worse by the confusion in Washington—it is no longer clear that agencies understand orders coming from the White House, or as we saw this week, are even aware of them. It’s time we accepted this is officially a crisis for Canada, but one that brings historic opportunities.

RELATED: Was Justin Trudeau’s tweet the right move?

First, this is a unique moment for Ottawa to become the “Trump Whisperer”. Every indication out of Washington is that the Prime Minister’s Office has done a remarkable job connecting to the new White House. This administration may seem like an inexplicable puzzle to most Canadians, but at official levels it is less of an enigma. Canadian policy makers share many common social and professional connections to Trump and his team. Former prime ministers, opposition politicians, and leaders in the Canadian private sector are also providing help, making introductions and giving advice on how to manage the seemingly unmanageable.

Canadian diplomats already enjoy a reputation for understanding America and its politics. Operating “inside the beltway” almost gives us a home-field advantage. No one else is better placed to explain Trump to the allies, and vice versa. We are well suited to broker deals, pour oil over troubled waters, untangle mixed messages, and calm rattled nerves—on both sides of the Atlantic. If we consciously pursued this role, it would make us an “indispensable nation”, raising our profile, influence and diplomatic capital to new heights.

And we could use that new capital to take advantage of the second opportunity. This is a moment when we can not only fight for our values, but also change the way we see ourselves, and the way the world sees us. Every few years the Economist magazine puts Canada on its cover and claims we’re the new bastion of liberalism, or multiculturalism, or innovation, and we all get very excited. But the ironic reason we make the cover is because the story is unexpected—Canada is not what comes to mind when people think of those things. The headline says “Canada is cool!” because normally we aren’t. Trump, however, provides a chance to cement the idea that Canada was, is, and always will be an exceptional nation.

MORE: How the Trudeau government is bracing for Trump

Right now, the core principles that Canadians hold so dearly, that define us, such as liberal democracy, multiculturalism and a values-based international order, are being threatened globally. And, what’s worse, there are precious few nations inclined or able to swim against the current tide. Canada is the exception. Unlike France, or Germany, or Australia, no one in our political landscape (who has even modest support) wants to withdraw from the global trading system, close our borders to refugees or abandon our traditional transatlantic alliances. We even have broad agreement on once-controversial topics like climate change.

Canada is uniquely placed to become not just a champion for all of these ideals, but the champion. Our Prime Minister should stand on the world stage and thunder in defence of NATO, the Paris Agreement, NAFTA, and WTO. His ministers should fan out to reinforce or reestablish our allies’ support for these ideas and institutions. The leaders of Canada’s business community and civil society can also contribute, preaching the same message every chance they get. Not only will this fortify the idea that these values are Canadian values—more importantly, it will be critically helpful. For once, that worn-out slogan used to flog books is true: The world needs more Canada.

But in order for this to happen, our government must do more than just add a few lines to a speech. They need to make this a specific goal, poured right into the PM’s “deliverology” alchemy. We could go further, and make this global campaign to champion Canadian values part of the as yet amorphous Canada 150 celebrations. And it will also require resources. If we want to champion NATO, we need to finally step up and support it with troops. We need more diplomats, doing more, and doing it abroad (not filing paper in headquarters). And we need everyone working together—this crusade is important enough to warrant a secretariat, even a war room.

Finally, we need this to be a Canadian campaign, not a Liberal one. The opposition, instead of trying to get the Prime Minister to malign Trump in Question Period, should promote Canada’s efforts to champion these values around the world. The government, in return, should bring them to the table–and form a cross-party committee to support the campaign.

As Chairman Mao allegedly once said: “There is great disorder under the Heavens and the situation is excellent.” This is true. With some imagination, some leadership, and some effort, Canada can emerge from the Trump years stronger, and even more Canadian.


What if Trudeau became ‘The Trump Whisperer’?

  1. Thank you for this article.

  2. Excellent article. This should be Canada’s century and with a bit of intelligence we can so benefit from this new reality.

  3. I can see it now… “If you promise to behave Donald, Mommy will stop on the way home for ICE CREAM!” ;-)

  4. I cannot quibble with the ideals expressed in this article, and I am prepared to support whatever efforts Canada makes to promote the highest ideals within our country and offshore.

    I might even believe that Canada’s enhanced role would be possible if we were virtually free of hate (but we’re not), or if Drumpf were simply unhinged and, more importantly, not a puppet of “President” Bannon, but such is not the case, in my opinion (an opinion arrived at reluctantly).

    History tends to repeat itself, even those eras in history that we collectively condemn, and even when we say, “Never again.” For me, too many parallels exist between the rise of Nazism and Hitler, and current events in the US. Too many people are failing to recognize those parallels and to take appropriate actions.

    This could change, and I pray that it does. We can see many, and growing, protests, and even a few instances of politicians backtracking on horrendous proposals.

    However, unless the up-til-now-spineless Republicans break ranks, “President” Bannon may succeed in his stated desire to disrupt the world’s order.

    • Si,
      You realize, of course, that Trump is doing something very unusual for a politician. He is rapidly implementing everything that he said he’d do if the Americans elected him which they did. There are absolutely NO SURPRISES!!
      If you think Bannon is bad take a hard look at Trudeau’s puppeteer, Gerald Butts. Butts lead Wynne into the quagmire called Ontario and now he has Trudeau on exactly the same path for our country.

      • I totally agree with you, getting the unicorn and rainbow people to understand the obvious will be a challenge.

  5. I find the generalizations in this article very annoying. We have had an abrupt change in Canada’s political direction which was supported by only 40% of the voters. I certainly strongly support democracy but not “liberal” democracy if that is what our current Federal government is practicing. To say that there is broad agreement on climate change here, you are right that it is generally accepted that there has been a modest rise in global temperature. However, there are 31,700 scientists around the world (and I’m one) who believe that man plays very little role. Finally, for Trudeau to “thunder in defense of NATO” would be ridiculous. There are six countries not meeting their commitment to NATO re military spending and Canada is the worst of the six meeting only 1/2 of its obligation..
    I believe what you are recommending (even if I thought it right) is like sticking a stick in a bear’s eye. Canada can continue to have a beneficial relationship with our largest, most important trading partner if we
    don’t become openly antagonistic.
    If Trudeau ever needs to make a comment, he should say that Trump is doing everything his voters elected him to do and Trudeau plans to do what he had promised-end of story and I expect fully acceptable to Trump.

    • I agree. It is decidedly leftist and gives Trudeau way too much credit considering he has done nothing domestically to improve life in Canada…it’s pretty hard to imagine he will fare well trying to hold up our interests in a trade deal with a seasoned businessman.

    • First, re your “only 40% of the voters” comment: Harper ruled for nine years with no more support – and that’s if you only count actual votes for the parties. But the centre-left vote was (and still is) split between the Liberals and the NDP. I think you’ll find, even now that Trudeau’s popularity is waning, that the Liberals still garner more support among voters of other parties than Harper ever did. Harper took us in one direction; the Liberals another. And while your argument is a solid one for proportional representation (which I support), until such time, 40% (or less) is all that’s needed to form a “majority” – you want to change that, then tell Trudeau to get back on the electoral reform bandwagon. Otherwise, learn to accept that we are perpetually stuck with a minority deciding all our fates.

      Second: As for appeasement: It didn’t work for Chamberlain. It won’t work now either.

      • I was just trying to emphasize that leftist generalizations certainly do not apply to all Canadians-particularly Conservatives who would have been very happy with Harper for several more years.. (I had Liberal friends use the 40% argument against Harper for years.)
        This article is analogous to CNN saying that “everyone” is protesting against Trump. His actions are supported by 94% of Republicans and 4% of Democrats!

      • Good gawd I cannot believe you spent that much effort with the 40 percent argument given how many times you guys spewed that same argument over the 10 years Harper led. As for suggested that the Libs and NDP are both left, that is a joke given the NDP’s adoption of the Leap Manifesto. The Libs are closer to the Cons then they are the NDP. Trudeau is okaying pipelines and breaking promises to veterans and First Nations. In one town hall meeting he told some Chiefs that they hadn’t been speaking to their youth if they thought their youth wanted teen centres with tvs and couches to hang out it. With the physical pushing he did in parliament and his devotion to global free trade, Trudeau is truly emulating Harper but they Harper always was a fan of Pierre. Did you see when that kid asked him why his dad gave the citizens the finger….it was awesome. Hahahaha. He gave a lame answer about decisions instead of just saying it was a mistake.

        • Gage,
          Added some fine points!!

  6. While I agree that Trudeau has made some surprisingly good choices in dealing with Trump, both before and after the US election, I would not set up Canada as the nation that “understands” where the US administration is going. I don’t think even our most gifted politicians nor diplomats really understand that. No one does, probably not even Trump.

    Yes, it could all turn out fairly well for Canada and, yes, with some bold moves it might just turn out great. But, it could also turn out bad. It could turn out very, very bad. It is not an opportunity that comes without significant risk. Canada does not need to be a great nation on the international stage; the world does not need Canada to lead, at least not yet. What the world does need is for the Trump administration to not turn out as bad as it has the potential to. Hitching our wagon to the Trump train, being the nation the world expects to explain reason to a man that may not be prepared to listen to reason, just might not end all that well. It has the potential to limit our ability to defend our values and could place us on the wrong side of history.

    I agree with other comments here. The best course of action at this point is a low key yet principled approach. We may very well miss the opportunity for greatness. But, we could live without that greatness much easier than we could live with ourselves after finding we’ve become part of something that goes horribly wrong.

    That said, Trudeau does seem to have a better handle on dealing with Trump than most of us. Perhaps the best approach would be following Trudeau’s lead, supporting him rather than telling him what we think he should do. And, it would be better for all of us if we could unite in not undermining what Trudeau is trying to accomplish with the Trump administration. He’s got a hard enough job without us cutting him off at the knees. Surely, we have domestic issues we can publicly squabble about instead.

    • You and others who view Trump as dangerous and unpredictable are missing a very salient point. Trump campaigned for 18 months-warts and all. On November 4 he WON the election and on January 20, he became the President of the U.S. And now he is doing something very unusual for a politician-he is rapidly implementing everything he promised that he would do if he became President. There are NO SURPRISES at all!!
      I don’t think Trudeau has any special incite on how to deal with Trump. How could he? Trudeau has no business experience and his puppeteer is Gerald Butts-an extreme environmentalist. And I don’t think anyone has any idea what Trudeau is trying to do with the Trump administration. So far each of his personal moves have been antagonistic and that’s unwise. It was Trump’s staff who asked to visit with Trudeau’s staff in Calgary to tell them not to worry about our part of NAFTA. So Canada’s worries appear to be recognized by Trump and we shouldn’t do anything to discourage Trump from putting them to rest.

      • Nobody is overlooking the fact that Trump won. We are completely baffled by it and scared to death of the consequences of that disastrous failure of democracy.

        And yes, he is doing what he said he’d do. What’s freaking out much of the globe is not that, so much, but rather the way he’s going about it. And his absolute lack of understanding of things like diplomacy. And his thin skin and strange obsessions.

        In short, the issue is that no one with his degree of mental health issues should be running the most powerful country in the world.

        • YOU are completely baffled and scared to death. His supporters are delighted.

          • Of course his supporters are delighted. They are his supporters. The question is how many of the people that voted for Trump; thinking he couldn’t possibly, actually mean those things he said; are no longer his supporters.

            Hard to say how many voters have remorse at this point. I’m not going to be one of those silly people that starts quoting polls, right after the pollsters being shown how wrong their numbers are. But, clearly some must, if they can be taken at their word. As for the rest of his supporters… the bill hasn’t come in yet, so we shall see how that goes. The next US “coalition of the willing” might end up rather sparse on the ground, or rather much more sparse.

            As for Trudeau, he was one of the few world leaders that did not, even when repeatably poked, take a shot at Trump during the US election. He has had multiple calls with Trump, none appearing to have degenerated like many others. And, he actually has fielded a remarkable team to support diplomacy, if it can be called that in the age of Trump. And, yes, Freeland is a good choice. Have you not noticed that Trump has quite a few women around him in leadership roles? Never miss an opportunity to exploit a weakness. Yes, I think Trudeau will do well, especially if we let him work it the way he wants to.

  7. Wildly overstating how strong the leftist values are that Canadians hold dear to us. Democracy yes, liberal democracy…not so much. But I think @Jerome sums that all up well.
    This reads more like a paid advertisement for Trudeau and his diplomatic chances. Pump up our guy and make people feel like he has a chance with Trump.
    He is way out of his weight class trying to negotiate with a seasoned, cutthroat business man with executive order powers. His wooing of the UN with speeches on equality and women in power are a great message that if acted on in a meaningful way in corporate Canada would pave the way toward making Canada a model in equality. However, his fluffy rhetoric only increase his chances of a cushy UN post down the road and only serve his own narcissistic goals and do nothing to increase the quality of life in Canada. More “Liberal-Demagoguery” that is all sizzle, no steak.
    He is way out of his league and although I really want him to succeed, he had better learn to harden up and negotiate very quickly or we will be forced to a situation of isolation fairly quickly by virtue of unfavorable trading regulations that Trump sets out.
    Although it could be a great time to bear down and actually make Canada more self sufficient and develop trading agreements with other nations. it would however take a fairly substantial effort and some infrastructure building.

    • “He is way out of his weight class trying to negotiate with a seasoned, cutthroat business man with executive order powers.”

      You do realise that Trudeau, in our parliamentary democracy, wields considerably more power in Canada than Trump does in the US, operating in a system specifically designed to thwart executive power. Further, while odd considering the age difference, Trudeau is a much, much more seasoned politician than Trump is.

      Trump is a businessman, trying to do politics like a business, and I don’t think that’s going to work out over the long run. Look at the damage he’s already caused… he is going to pay a political price for that. Not a business price, a political one. Clearly, we can already see that Trump is a lousy politician who is in completely over his head. You can call into question Trudeau’s business skills, maybe even complain about his economic sensibilities, but it’s very clear that Trudeau is actually quite good at raw politics. He’s remarkably good at it. After all, he is a very young man that turned around a failing party and then led it from 3rd place to a solid majority government. He understands politics in a way Trump can’t fathom. Belligerence will only get Trump so far before everyone starts to turn against him.

      • Thank you for saying this. I agree with all you say except perhaps your description of Truduea as a “very young man” He is 45. Pitt the Younger, after all, was 24 when he became PM now that is young, but then he too, like Trudeau, grew up immersed in politics.
        On a side note – I am amused by all the posters on this, and other threads who think that “liberal democracy” somehow equates to the Liberal Party.
        OED Defn: Liberal Democracy:
        A democratic system of government in which individual rights and freedoms are officially recognized and protected, and the exercise of political power is limited by the rule of law:
        ‘the objective of liberal democracy is not limitless freedom’

  8. Amazing, trump in 2 weeks is Hammering off his campaign promises, stood up to china, told Mexico to get a handle on the drugs or he will do it, ripping up agreements that he believes dont help his country. All the while, he has been blamed for woman’s right issues and all the racist fuel remarks and attracts world wide. Next week he will be the cause of global warming. In the other corner we have Trudeau. At least someone whisper to him that trump speaks english.

    • It would be a transcendent moment in Canadian history if Trump were to ask Trudeau a question in English and Trudeau responds in French.

      • That, I would love to see!!!

  9. There is a lot at stake.

    It is pretty obvious that the Trump administration noted that the Liberals and Canadian Press were fairly active ridiculing him , his campaign and his policies. Trump has been talking to everyone in the world. He is just ignoring Trudeau.

    There has been enough push back from Trudeau to the Trump presidency that a mature relationship would require a sincere change in direction and attitude from Trudeau.

    Trump has an adversarial relationship with the traditional press and is winning. Canada appoints Freeland, a reporter/journalist as the Minister of Foreign affairs and chiefly responsible for dealing with the Trump administration. How do you think that is going to work? General Leslie and ex-PM Mulroney are hopefully doing the real work but Trudeau is risking Canada’s position with a symbolic position.

    • A “mature relationship” would require a completely different president. No matter who our PM might be,

    • Where did you miss the fact that Trudeau has already had several conversations with Trump and his staff. Please describe the “push back” that you feel Trudeau has offered to the new US Admin.

  10. Will Trump support Canada remaining in the G7?

    We are #10 in the world in GDP and have been included in the G7 to provide balance between North America and Europe (a US surrogate). China, India, Brazil, Korea are far ahead of Canada in GDP and and Indonesia should pass us soon.

    Trudeau’s stark lean away from capitalism to a Euro-socialist system negates Canada’s value to the balance of the G7.

    • If Trudeau doesn’t continue to be openly antagonistic to Trump’s policies (after all Trump is delivering every promise that got him elected, as he should) then I doubt your concern is warranted. But if Trudeau continues to poke Trump with a stick, put on your tin hat!!

      • You are quite right that President Bannon and his Drumpf puppet are doing almost everything the puppet promised his followers he would do, and at a haste that makes waste and that defies logic. He has, however, forgotten at least one promise, i.e., to keep Social Security and Medicare intact.

        The problem is that what he promised to do will not be good for his country, nor will it be good for Canada.

        Only time will tell how much longer his supporters will turn a blind eye to his inhumanity. I suppose it depends on how humane those supporters are. I would hope that sooner, rather than later, many of his supporters will come to their senses.

        In the meantime, Canada’s politicians are dealing with a White Supremacist (Bannon) and a spoiled child (Drumpf) and an administration in disarray at the very least. It’s difficult to negotiate with such people. Add to that, we have Drumpf, who is such a brilliant negotiator. He is brilliant, you know. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

        If the number of comments on this article that support President Bannon’s actions are any indication of how Canadians feel, our Prime Minister shouldn’t waste his time trying learn how to whisper. He should shout, but not at the US. He needs to walk a very delicate line when dealing with the US right now.

        He should shout at home to ensure that Canada improves its own track record in routing out hate and fear. And each and every one of us should work with him. We should become the whisperers for tolerance and clear-headed thinking.

        • Those who elected Trump are showing strong and growing support for delivering on his promises to date. I don’t think they would take kindly to your words.
          I chuckled regarding your description of Trump and Bannon. If you don’t think Trudeau is a spoiled child that would be unbelievable. All of Trudeau’s wealth came from his father-he has NEVER held a real job. Trump got money from his father and used it to grow a worldwide business. Our Bannon equivalent who is running Trudeau is an eco-nut who led Wynne down the economic sewer and is leading Trudeau into the same septic tank..

      • Jerome, Jerome, get your head out of your butt. What stick and what poking? Like your hero, you are just making this up.

  11. Some people seem to somehow have the idea that Canada is the honest broker on the world stage. I am curious as to why some think this way. What gives Canada any special wisdom or ability that many other countries do not have? Canada has a small population which came from many parts of the world. But does that give it some kind of special ability or knowledge that other countries such as the U.S.A. or Britain do not have? Britain has a far greater history of governing in the world. In the 19th century, Britain’s empire under Queen Victoria stretched around the globe and it was said the sun never set. It played a key role in the sacrifice and struggle of two world wars. The U.S. has 250 years of history and has become the most powerful nation on earth, and it was a key factor in winning WW1 and WW2. Yet there are some who think Canada can somehow be a special honest broker and advisor to the most powerful nations on earth and that they are going to listen to Canada. Is there something special about Canada that I don’t know about?

    • Primarily, an approach to diversity that, for the most part, actually works. At least it’s worked a lot better than in Britain or other European countries. It also works better than the US “melting pot” approach, as should be obvious.

      The ability to get along, to negotiate compromise with words rather than resorting to violence, to accept compromise as individuals, and to tamp down rather than fan the flames of violence. Those are the things that makes Canada, and Canadians, feel rather smug. We know we’re not perfect and have a lot of room to improve, especially with our First Nations people. We’ve made mistakes, done stupid things, but we do diversity comparatively well. As it happens, diversity seems to be the problem of the day on this planet.

      Oh, and we have no interest in governing the rest of the world. We’re just trying to set an example of how to live together. We have never had an empire, quite the contrary, and haven’t run around starting conflicts. But, when they’ve come, we’ve hit hard enough to earn the respect of those that do. It’s an interesting spot between those that want to govern and those that don’t want to be governed.

      And, while being honest, we have repeatedly allowed ourselves to be used by the US as the “honest broker,” lending our smug moral superiority to whatever US cause was in play at the time. It’s our little part in global affairs and we seem to do fairly well at it.

      • A very well written comment. Makes me wonder if you drew that from the Liberal Party Foreign Affairs policy file or a liberal PR file of some sort.

        You mention “an approach to diversity” as if this is something invented or designed by Canada. While it is true Canada is made up of a diverse assortment of races and cultures from a variety of different countries, I would question your inference that Canada has a diversity by some “honest broker” or a “moral superiority” of Canada or a particular political party’s policy. Canada is geographically very large and needs a large number of immigrants to be able to function and grow economically. So I see the immigration simply a matter of bringing in people in order to meed the large quotas needed to function and grow as a nation. There is nothing ingenius or morally superior in doing this. It is a matter of necessity to have large numbers of immigrants. These diverse immigrants do in some cases integrate while others remain in separate communities. This has nothing to do with government policy. They are simply settled and doing what people in any country do to earn a living and raise their families.

        You mentioned Canada having “the ability to get along, to negotiate compromise with words rather than resorting to violence, etc…”. This is not unique to Canada. We have no monopoly on getting along and compromise. Most of the western democracies such as the UK, the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and others do exactly the same thing. You seem to think Canada has a special skill or ability in this area that we could teach others. Perhaps dictatorships could use some of these advantages such as in central and south America, the middle east, Africa and in fact most of the world. But there is no indication they are prepared to listen or even sit down to hear or pay any attention to what Canada might have to say.

        As far as an example on how to live, in some things yes, we might have something to offer, but in other ways we have fallen short. We still have problems with indigenous relations, lack of education and employment of indigenous people, lack of proper living conditions in some places. In cities, we have problems with the cost of living, cost of homes, some crime, drug addictions, etc. We have problems getting pipelines built and getting our resources to market. We have had problems at times with separatism in Quebec. We have significant problems with sexual abuse in the Canadian Forces and RCMP and seem unable to deal with it. We have problems in many areas. Hardly a good portfolio to use to try to advise other countries with.

        You mentioned our “smug moral superiority” as if that is an asset. I would say that sounds more like a liability. Approaching any other country with any kind of superior attitude will never gain a listener or accomplish anything. Pride must be left behind and if Canada is going to approach any other country, it must be done with humility and with an offer of something to give.

        • I agree, pretty much on all counts. We developed an approach to diversity out of necessity. It happens to work better than what most other nations have come up with. That we had to develop this does, in fact, make us better at negotiating solutions to diversity problems. The two are rather solidly linked.

          Further, I am not saying our smugness is an asset, but I’ll admit to it being a fact. It is a quiet, polite smugness, but undeniably there. You asked a question and I tried to give what I see as an honest answer, warts and all.

          As my other comments here state, I do not advocate that Trudeau step up and somehow try to tell Trump what to do. I think that would be very risky and, quite frankly, not worth said risk. We don’t need to be leaders in this, to seize the opportunity as the author suggests.

    • You have a point but my argument to you is that Canada has and will never rule the world like the British empire did or the American empire of recent history. Therefore it isn’t essay to negotiate as opposed to dictate. That is special as far as building relations.

  12. Grand Mufti Muhammed Justine Khan?
    Frightening scenario folks!
    God save Canada!

    • CJ

      “Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool that to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”

  13. Mr. Gilmore, is this a bad dream or you are actually quoting the ruthless atheist dictator Mao Zedong? Is your opinion that the Prime Minister of Canada should go even further to the left? Wait, I forgot, there is no room for him to go further to the left after his famous Fidel Castro eulogy! Despite of the appearances, TRUmp and TRUdeau have a lot in common besides suffering of malignant narcissism, both are extremists, first right, the second left, but the extremists are all the same, if you don’t agree with their “logic” and words, they shoot first and then ask questions…

  14. The headline is wrong. It should read, “What if Trudeau junior became a real leader while in the PMO? Why would Trump (at this point) listen to a word he has to say?” I am a libertarian and I do not believe any party in Canada has leaders at this point in history. We are a leaderless ship and we are allowing a politico`s child open our borders to anyone. Shower your gifts on the native Canadians you stole land from Trudeau before you open Canada to the world. You have NO RIGHT! This entitled boy/man is running around the globe (on your dime Canada) NOT in the best interest of Canadians. In fact, all Canadians wanted a change and this boy has impeccable timing. His genetic boon will not carry him through as a successful PM. This Trudeau is only name, the ex drama teacher, failed at every job in his life (have friends in Vancouver that know him well) and now wants to do his starter position as a PM??? It is comical how Canadians simply had no choice and put him in. Who wanted that cold fish Harper in another 4 years. The biggest crisis in Canada and the world today is a lack of real leadership. Trump is another case in point. He wants to simply fulfill promises and he is in a lose-lose scenario. The inefficacious Obama could not do any wrong just as Trudeau could not in the first year in office. Finally, we see he is really not ready for higher office and possibly never could have the brains to do so. Does bilingualism mean he has leadership skills? NO! Canadians, wake up! Trump would never bother with this kind of leader in Ottawa. In fact, after Trudeau did nothing this summer to help two Canadians that were brutally executed by extremists in the southern Philippines. He had the opportunity to show the world he could negotiate their freedom for pocket change and Trudeau washed his hands of their lives. Trudeau should have got those two men freed and the real leader of the PH would have caught and killed the miscreants involved. Instead, he looked distracted and annoyed. Please remember having him in poor leadership office has real consequences. No one wants this Trudeau (I could not stand Harper another minute.) to fail but he has already for millions. He has to realize our nation has to be protected. Do not sell it off slowly to Asia or open the gates to the Middle East unless you are willing to give those people jobs and house them in OTTAWA. You are causing a catastrophe. Solutions for Syria and the Middle East are being put form like a temporary humanitarian visa with hard visa expiry dates and even finding a suitable island in the Med to properly care for these migrants until their countries are in a better way.

    • Your idea of temporarily housing refugees on some island somewhere has been proven, beyond any doubt, the worst possible thing to do. Ask the 3rd generation stateless Palestinians in Jordan or Syria how that turns out. Assisting a regime in ethnic cleansing by housing the displaced is the worst possible recourse. They will never be allowed to return. Welcome them in your country if you can or go to war with the regime causing the migration if you must. Supporting them in displaced person camps for generations with no hope just creates breeding grounds for angry young men. The world needs less angry young men.

      As for leadership, my city had a record-breaking year in tourism, and I suspect it partly due to Trudeau selling Canada on the world stage. 2017 is looking good to. The threatened EU boycott of Canadian goods, because of those evil tarsands, vanished as Canada became the darling of the Paris crowd. Same oil by the way. Through luck or foresight, he ended our bombing mission in Syria, right before the Russians made that a whole lot more complicated, and instead double-downed on training what is turning out to be one of the big winners in that particular mess, while restoring our standing in NATO. He has started, fitfully, what will be a very long reconciliation process with our First Nations and, meanwhile, he’s managed to shoot Canada to the top of the world humanitarian list, despite still having said First Nations problems.

      Not paying ransom for hostages is a matter of international agreement, though previous Canadian governments have reneged on that. I happen to agree with Trudeau’s approach, even if people like you tar him for it. Paying ransom has consequences far beyond the immediate lives saved. I happen to be one of those people that supports immigration and, yes, refugees too. Yes, statistically the adult refugees coming will be a net-negative on society but, if history is any guide, their kids will be awesome Canadians.

      Oh, and I expect he’s actually going to get at least some of those pipelines built. Image a Canadian leader that could actually DO that. Amazing. Harper would never have had any chance. None.

      I don’t know… seems like better Canadian leadership than I’ve seen in decades. Quite honestly, I was one of those “anyone but Harper” voters, but I’ve been rather impressed by this new guy. Maybe I just don’t have the same mythic standards for leadership that you have. At least there isn’t a million-signature petition to keep Trudeau out of Britain.

      • Just to clarify… if I were PM and some terrorist outfit captured and put up for ransom a Canadian citizen, I would immediately publish a bounty for the leaders of that terrorist group, dead or alive, offering the exact same amount of money. If they released the captive, I’d rescind the bounty. If they killed the captive, I’d double it.

        So, yes, I’d say Trudeau could have been a little more forceful in that situation. Of course, when the captives were killed, he’d have been tarred even more. But, a good leader expects that once in a while.

  15. I disagree with one part of your article. The WTO needs fixing. I agree with Trump that here has to be fairness at least as far as environmental and labour standards. The world can not keep grinding its labour into the ground and polluting the world just for a competitive advantage in trade. This is where trade agreements need fixing and maybe there will be an opportunity for this in the near future.

  16. I laughed at the reference to Chairman Mao. The first time I heard this was in a Doonesbury cartoon: http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/1975/12/25
    The character Duke, loosely modelled on Hunter S Thompson, was the US Amabassador to China and made the comment to his Chinese aid and sometime girlfriend, Honey.