Justin Trudeau is un-smart like me

What if Trudeau’s China gaffe wasn’t a gaffe at all, but a genius political strategy?


Photo illustration by Sarah MacKinnon

Justin Trudeau’s recent musings of admiration for China’s dictatorship were seized upon by critics as evidence that the Liberal leader may not be especially gifted in certain areas, such as mental thinking.

For instance, the headline on Andrew Coyne’s column in the National Post suggested that Trudeau’s utterance revealed the “gulf between his intellectual reach and grasp”—which is one of the more elegant phrases I’ve seen used to describe someone as dumb. The truth is that Trudeau’s intelligence has long been a topic of discreet discussion among political and media types in Ottawa. Typically, the conversation goes something like this:

—He doesn’t seem super smart to me.

—I agree.

[Long pause.]

—Let’s talk about something else now, I guess.

Trudeau’s aides tried to defuse the “Justin ? dictators” uproar by insisting the remarks were a joke. This proved to be a very effective strategy in a parallel universe in which the goal was to successfully convince zero people.

But hang on: What if Trudeau’s critics don’t see the trees for the forest? Or the forest for the trees? Whichever one means that THEY’RE the dumb ones. What if we’re looking at Trudeau’s “gaffe” all wrong? Maybe it wasn’t a misstep at all, but part of a sly effort to reposition the Liberal leader for maximum political advantage.

People of Canada, I ask you: What if Justin Trudeau and his team have taken the measure of our society? And what if they’ve come to one inescapable, unavoidable conclusion—we are getting dumber. In such a circumstance, the obvious strategy would be to get ahead of the curve that we’re all sliding down. Ergo, dictators = good. MISSION UNCCOMPLISHED!

In Trudeau’s defence, there is certainly evidence of our collective intellectual decline. A recent study estimated that humans today are 14 IQ points less intelligent (or, to put it terms that an ordinary person would understand, “more unensmartened”) than during the Victorian era.

According to one analysis, the best possible spin on the data is that we’re “not alarmingly denser” than our forebears—which really isn’t much of a rallying cry for 21st-century achievement. And it doesn’t change the fact that, according to the study, we are on pace to continue losing 1.23 IQ points per decade. (The political implications of this are clear: Justin Trudeau is a young man. He can wait us out.)

But we don’t need studies to tell us what we already know from our own experiences. Few of us try to get anywhere these days without a GPS. We don’t know anything without Google. The other day, I watched a cashier at a fast-food place try to make change. It was like watching a puma try to play billiards. It’s important not to read too much into any one incident, but there is no escaping the hard truth that we belong to the same species as the man from Kelso, Wash., who—arriving recently at court to face charges of meth possession—emptied his pockets at a security checkpoint. The contents? One meth pipe.

In this context, what Coyne describes as Trudeau’s “simple-minded prattle” may be in fact be “exactly-the-right-minded prattle.”

After all, the charm-free-brainiac niche in Canadian politics is already overstuffed. Stephen Harper’s aides never stop boasting about his smarts. And I’m not saying the NDP leader comes off as professorial, but an opinion poll would surely find that at least 85 per cent of Canadians agree with the statement: “Thomas Mulcair is likely to smell of tweed.” Meanwhile, the doofus vote is there for the taking!

From a tactical point of view, Trudeau needs to tread carefully. He can’t parade across the country with a big sign that reads, “Intellectually unthreatening!” That’s too obvious. And besides, the party just invested in a banner for his current slogan: “[Sexy pout] Helloooo, ladies.”

Instead, the Liberal leader needs to be subtle. Start with more hair flips and giggles. While doing simple math, maybe use his index finger to tally numbers in the air. Talk about his admiration for North Korea’s despotic regime and the enviable efficiency it has achieved in starving its people to death.

There’s an old saying in Ottawa about Stephen Harper: while everyone else is playing checkers, he’s playing chess. Well, Justin Trudeau is playing chess, too—and he just stuck a bishop up his nose. Your move, Canada.

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk


Justin Trudeau is un-smart like me

  1. Well put.
    Re: Coyne, probably not a great idea, when in the act of slamming somebody for being dumb, to use a mixed metaphor like “gulf between his intellectual grasp and reach.” First, because the space between anyone’s grasp and reach is always quite small — not a “gulf” — and that figure of speech turns on the fact that a small gap can be key. Second, because gulfs divide things, not abilities: there can be a gulf between PEI and the North Shore of Quebec, or between one side of a broken bridge and the other, but there can’t be a gulf between the numbers three and four, it is always the same distance as between four and five. So Andrew Coyne might want to start actually thinking about the words he’s using, kind of like Justin Trudeau might want to pick up a newspaper more than once a decade.

    • It wasn’t Coyne’s best. He leapt out of the gate calling JT dumb – but quite nicely. But ended on a lame note. Something about JT learning from his gaffes. Either he really is too dumb too know better, or he isn’t.

      • It was pure metaphor.

        Okay, maybe apologistic metaphor, but metaphor.

        • It turned out to not be a very well expressed metaphor then.

      • If I had to choose, it would be dumb. A leader he is’nt.

        • Don’t vote for him then.

        • Just like your failure to spell properly. Kinda dumb. Don’t want you as my leader.

          • I wrote it in English and every word is correctly spelt, that is if you can read English. Please do’nt (do not) be one of my followers. I guess the hyphen threw you.

          • @ puzzled2: Apparently, we learned English in different countries then. When using contractions, the apostrophe (not hyphen) replaces a missing letter. Therefore, “do not” becomes “don’t” (not do’nt) and “is not” become ”isn’t” (not is’nt). See how that works in English?

          • Different countries? Don’t be too sure. I once had a Canadian graduate student proofread one of my manuscripts; she changed all occurrences of “doesn’t” to “dosen’t”.

          • Please don’t (do not) talk about spelling or grammar. You spelled (the past tense of to spell) don’t incorrectly.

          • FAIL — both “spelled” and “spelt” are correct. Try using your dictionary. (Yes, don’t was spelt incorrectly.)

    • I don’t think Coyne’s intention was to actually measure the distance between JT’s reach and his grasp so I would take it more as metaphor than take it literally. Now, the distance between 3 inches and 4 inches is not a gulf, but the distance between 4 miles and 5 miles is indeed a gulf. But that’s really not the point.

      • Jesus Christ, of course it’s a metaphor. Metaphors that don’t express actual images are called bad metaphors.

    • Coyne should take a break from twitter and read a book sometime. I had to stop following him because he was on there all day every minute of the day.

      • I still read his column but I quite following him on Twitter because he’s a certifiable dick online. Some people are better off NOT showing their true personalities.

    • Maybe Coyne should move to a warmer room. Unfreeze that single brain cell that all media so proudly displays.

  2. Drivel as always.

    • My strength is consistency!

      • Nailed it!

      • You should frame that one. Someone takes the time to read them all while finding them drivel. That takes dedication.

      • Verb: archaic
        let saliva or mucus flow from the mouth or nose.
        “the nurse leaves you to drivel, and never wipes your nose”


      • the hacks that write trashy pieces like this will indeed deserve a footnote in this chapter of Canadian history as being the most spineless media in our nation’s history

        the man increases debt to record levels, but they still rally around Harper

        hope you are getting decent money to sell out our country, hack

        • I get a nickel AND he musses my hair!

        • I’m not sure you get the point of Feschuk’s column… it’s supposed to be humorous. Here, this’ll send you into a fit:


  3. “And what if they’ve come to one inescapable, unavoidable conclusion—we are getting dumber.”
    With 35% of Canadians in love with this guy, that is a FACT!

    • Good thing we also happen to have some of the world’s most inaccurate (read: dumbest) pollsters. That makes it far less than a fact.

  4. Nicely written, good chuckle.

    • Trashy attack article written by the mouthpieces of the ideologically bankrupt ‘conservatives’, who having no spent all of our money, are not sure what else to do

      • You realize Scott Feschuk is a former Liberal speech writer, right?

  5. “…such as mental thinking”
    Is there some other kind?.

    A further proof of the dumbing down of our peers is that 45% still support Ford, 30 odd % still support CRAP and more then 20 people of voting age in the US support the GOP.

    • Yeah whatever the hell Harper does.

    • Further proof of the dumbing down of comments is that people still refer to the Conservative-Reform Alliance Party which no longer exists.

      There is a Conservative Party of Canada, but the other doesn’t exist. How could you miss that as it happened quite a few years ago?

      And before you come back with the disingenuous idea that today’s CPC really is the CRAP, let me tell you as a former Alliance member, it isn’t even close. The entire Alliance focus on accountability, bottom-up party platforms, limiting the power of party leaders, and democratic reform of the Canadian system including the senate have been run out of town along with most of the original Alliance members. The CPC of today has more to do with the former Conservatie Party of Canada (red Tories I suppose) than anything the Alliance was trying to achieve.

      What are we all crying for now? Senate reform. That was an Alliance idea in the late 80s. What else? More transparency and accountability in government and by MPs. That was also an Alliance plank from that period. Less power for the PM and party leaders so they can’t rule like Kings and more independence for MPs – also Alliance platforms. All things most people seem to agree are important NOW…. a bit late….

      • That has to be the wordiest “not a real Scotsman” argument I read in a while.
        Senate abolition a form of reform was an NDP idea for hmmmm decades before the populist intellectual pygmies of the right latched onto it and for different reasons. And as for the more power for MPs.. phhsssk the Alliance was still a party and any party puts the voter second.

        • Really? Hmmm.

          I recall living through election campaigns from the late sixties onward, and I don’t recall much about senate reform or abolition. if it was their platform, I don’t recall them focusing much on it – their focus was usually working class people, tax system adjustments, and social programs.

          I don’t recall them ever calling for a triple-E senate either, although they may at some time have done so. It certainly didn’t get much media attention.

          I do agree that parties generally tend to put voters behind party lines. However, you obviously were never exposed to party conventions on both sides (Alliance vs. PC in case). There was a world of difference. The alliance policy was put forward from the grass roots, by elected representatives, and voted on at the policy convention. It wasn’t invented by a group of policy wonk advisors to the party leader to suit some elitist ideal.

          You may recall the early days of the current Conservative regime – MPs spoke out (sometimes said dumb stuff, but were often seen in the media). Now nobody other than Mr. Harper gets to talk unless they are delivering his message. Before, they’d say stuff that reflected their own views, sometimes controversial, and often not in strict accord with the leader’s wishes. They had more freedom in voting as there was less whipping of votes.

          And BTW, ad hominems like ‘populist intellectual pigmies’ doesn’t particularly add any merit to your argument. I could use the same phrase on silver-spoon 416 and 905 volvo socialist elites in the NDP (at least in an Ontario context).

          Reform, for all people were afraid of a religious right agenda that never manifested in any meaningful fashion, were about transparency, accountability and democratic reform in government and the party system. If you’ve never looked closely at the constitution of the Alliance vs. that of any other Federal Party or looked at the policy platform they had closely, you might think there wasn’t much difference, but there was.

          How is the CPC different today?
          a) Old school party with leader having a lot of power over MPs including signing nomination papers (which is like controlling if they get to keep their job)
          b) Top down policy
          c) No communication that doesn’t run along party lines
          d) Any dissent gets you thrown out
          e) No focus at all on transparency, accountability or structural reform to the party system (in fact, even less of the first two than ever before)
          f) Most of the original alliance people are just gone – retired, run out of town, etc. The few remaining alliance members are quiet and don’t have important jobs. Even the Harris Tories that remain have been co-opted, beaten into line, and are pretty quiet (no dissent).

          The left has this canard that the CPC is the CRAP of old. No way. I voted for the Alliance and paid dues because I wanted accountability and transparency and electoral, party system, and senate reform. None of that except trying to make the Senate more like the US with some badly thought out changes is even mentioned anymore. I wouldn’t vote for the current bunch again if you paid me unless there was literally no other even vaguely useful option.

          I didn’t want the Alliance to unit with the old-line PCs because I knew it would come at a cost. Turns out that cost was everything worthwhile the Alliance stood for. They got elected as a united party, but it isn’t worth much in my eyes.

          That’s the same reason I think the Liberals should avoid merging with the NDP – their brand will just be subsumed and vanish.

          • You voted alliance would they ever be able to get enough votes and elected MPs to form a government? The choice is conservative government with party discipline or Liberal government with the same party discipline. What you wanted is a utopian political system.

      • Hey, this abomination is nothing like the Progressive Conservative Party of old. The PCs were about democracy, not about dismantling it. Sure, PCers might have taken the odd plain envelope stuffed with cash, but they wouldn’t steal elections! So it might not be Alliance and it might not be PC–who are these people and where did they come from? And why are they still here? ??

      • Nice ideas of alliance but a sure recipe for being a permanent opposition never in government. Liberal leftist media will tear them to pieces like they did for the Wild Rose party of Alberta or as they did for the Reform party. Whether you like it or not party discipline kept Harper in power and enabled him to steer the political climate away from the Liberal /Leftist ideology of PET

    • Also the prodigious use of “then” in place of “than”.

    • Support Ford? If the choice is supporting sober Smitherman or drunk Ford I will choose Ford

  6. With Harper Canada is having its George Bush moment ..move along ppl nothing to see here

    • Agree 100%. And with Trudeau we’d move on to our Sarah Palin moment.

      • more like our Jimmy Carter/Obama moment. The US is just now finally realizing what a self-absorbed over-rated loser Obama really is

      • Palin is ten times as smart as Trudeau, in fact the American left is finally admitting she was right about death panels and Obamacare.

        • Palin could’nt run a lemonade stand

          you partisan hacks are ridiculous

          • And you couldn’t correctly place an apostrophe.

            Crotch: 1, Pubic: 0

          • Regular leftist canard. She was very successful City Mayor and state Governor. She would have been hundred times better than Obama

  7. “we are on pace to continue losing 1.23 IQ points per decade”

    Well I guess this explains the Reagan-type right wing in 80’s-90’s and the ascendancy of the misanthropic post-modern leftish today. Also probably explains why a good–natured boffin like Ignatieff lost so badly too.

    • 5/4ths of Canadians disagree with you.

      • What? My dislike of the Reagan right and post-modern left? or my affection for Ignatieff?

        • Ummm, I failed to pick up on the actual affection for Iggy, but I’m guessin’ his gaydar detector is shrieking about now, and he’s busy texting you an invitation to an idyllic retreat whilst simultaneously stuffing his speedos into a sleek Versace satchel.

          “boffin”. Lol. How entirely Freudian of you!

          • You seem to be confusing “boffing” with “Boffin”. A Boffin is a scientist, engineer, or academic engaged in scientific work. Despite of your accusations of homo-eroticism on my part, in this case a cigar is just a cigar.
            Some words do sound similar to rude ones, like frigate, caulk, niggardly and boffin, but are perfectly decent in their correct context; as mine was.
            There, you learned something new.

          • No confusion here, jus’ yankin’ yer chain, FL.

            By the bye: is that short for FancyLady? :)

          • Pussy is a perfectly decent word too, but I bet this post gets deleted, if it makes it to post.

            True story: When I was very young, in my first apartment, a worker came to my unit, unexpectedly, and told me through the door he “had to do some caulking.” I thought him very bold to be so truthful about his intentions .. and wouldn’t let him in; he had to go get the caretaker. Imagine my confusion and embarrassment!

  8. “It was like watching a puma try to play billiards”


    • Makes we want a painting of a puma playing billiards, though.

      • Me too. Part of what makes it so funny is i can clearly see that painting in my mind’s eye – i think you can too.

        • its hanging next to my puppies playing cards and my cat just hangin on…

  9. Nicely done.

  10. I”ll only go along with this if Trudeau licks his finger before he does air-tallies, and if he refers to his financial calculations as “his guzintas.”

  11. Could it be that Trudeau said what he did because there are a lot of amazing things happening in China culturally, technically, and economically? Yes, their government sucks. But they are growing economically in leaps and bounds, they have some really amazing schools, produce a lot of very bright engineers and scientists, and have an ancient culture with a fair bit of wisdom in it and lots to think about.

    Even without loving communism or dictatorships, there’s a lot to see and learn from China. They had civilization while most of our ancestors were rollicking in the European mud in the Dark Ages…. (well before that….)

    So, maybe Mr. Trudeau, who probably thinks in those sorts of terms of reference, being someone who seems to look ahead a bit and knows how to find good advisers like ex-General Leslie and ex-Astronaut Garneau, may well have been thinking about all the scientific, technological, economic and cultural insights that the superpower of the late 21st Century would have to offer. They’ll be that one way or the other…..

    And I say all that as a lifelong small c conservative / moderate libertarian who hated P.E.T. (the father) and have never considered voting Liberal before this young man came along and the Conservatives put on jackboots and brown shirts.

    • That’s not what he said though. Why are you putting that ridiculous spin on it?

      “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.”

      If what you said is what he really meant why did he then try to pretend his gaffe was a joke about Stephen 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 that I find quite interesting.”

      As someone else said, he doesn’t seem super smart to me.

      • You’re reading in there bud. Much as i like Coyne, it is only his opinion [ a guess iows] that it was a correction. May be it was, maybe it wasn’t a rehearsed remark that failed to come off big time.[ apparently they had the questions ahead of time] I’m not excusing him – admiring a basic level of dictatorship is a major messaging blunder, and a very strange turn of phrase.

        • Maybe you’re right. However if it was a rehearsed answer to a question he had ahead of time that he somehow managed to answer by expressing his admiration for China’s dictatorship, then he isn’t smart enough to be Prime Minister in my opinion.

          He isn’t very articulate either. He throws in extraneous words such as “actually,” like a college student trying to sound more intelligent than he “actually” is.

          e.g. “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.”

          He’s 41 years old and supposedly well educated but he sounds like he’s 18. And what’s a “basic” dictatorship anyway? If other dictatorships are more complicated does that mean he doesn’t admire them as much, or that he admires them more?

          • For that matter, China’s dictatorship is actually very complicated and not basic at all. I can’t imagine any dictatorship being much more complicated . . . in fact it would probably be much more accurate to call it an oligarchy than a dictatorship.

          • I’ve always had problems with JT’s odd diction. Agreed it does come across as high school debate level at times. But i’ve also heard him give the odd extremely good speech. Notwithstanding the fact some of this can be put down to good speech writers, it’s evident he does have the capacity to focus and conceptualize complex issues when he wants.
            I don’t agree with Coyne’s over the top premise – he must be a dummy – but i do agree with criticism of his tendency to lazy, incoherent messaging from time to time.
            There was a debate worth having which JT raised. But the media in the main is indulging its proclivity for pissing on stuff from a great and holy height.
            Trudeau’s lazy thought processes deserve some mockery and scorn even. But his larger point will not get addressed. Due in part to his own ineptitude. But also in no small part due to the media’s own lazy insistence on being holier then thou, and having both the first and last word.

          • Well, they control the pens so the last word is going to be theirs usually. I’ll let you go last here if you like (if it’s not too outrageous) since I was first this time.

          • You’re a gent[ i assume] and a gentlemen[ or lady] always gets the last word.

      • The version I had read indicated he was asked where he would like to live if he had to live some place other than Canada. The article mentioned he’d answered China. Apparently they left out some specifics.

        I suppose I can see admiring the rapidity of response a dictatorship can manage or the simplicity of direction because unity is not necessary to argue for with each and every new issue, but that is stretching it.

        I can admire the Chinese people and China’s accomplishments, but I’m not such a fan of their government for its structure and its conduct.

        My theory fit the data I had. If what you say is true, it does seem a pretty silly thing to say. Mind you, its a bit silly as a question too.

        The sad part is if this Trudeau turns out to be not too bright in the next election, I’m stuck. There will be no-one to vote for. I’m left wishing the Martin Liberals were still around…. and that’s not saying much…. or even the Mulroney Conservatives…. gah!

        • The version you read is wrong, try the unedited and unspun video….

        • I haven’t been paying much attention to politics the last while, as disillusionment with all three parties has finally set in. My interest in the whole process has waned considerably, although I’d rather see a democracy of sorts than a dictatorship, however efficient. At least the governing party is replaced from time to time.

          I still think of the CPC as the lesser of three evils. What is it about Stephen Harper that could possibly be worse than Paul Martin or Brian Mulroney? I’m allowing for hyperbole here, but where do you see jackboots and brown shirts among the CPC.

          I grew up in a left leaning family and began voting NDP as a result, but came to my senses eventually and became a conservative. The NDP are as deluded as ever and Justin Trudeau isn’t conservative at all in my view. How is it you see Stephen Harper as even worse than them?

          • There are two basic problems that make Harper worse than PM the PM or Lyin’ Brian. One is that, whether one wants to characterize it as fascist or not, Harper’s ideology beyond left and right is one that says political objectives are everything and institutions are nothing. He does not believe in continuity or the social or political or institutional fabric of the country. Not seeing the value of any of this, he doesn’t care what he breaks to get what he wants. So you could have Harper pushing for the exact same policies as PM the PM or Mulroney, and the key difference would be in the process Harper would see an advantage somewhere from gutting the parliamentary committee system or sacking a supposedly arm’s length official for doing their job or muzzling government employees or whatever–from breaking some institution that does useful things because it’s momentarily convenient. And he’d do that, so instead of getting a policy I don’t like, we end up with a policy I don’t like and a broken institution.

            The second is that the Harper Conservatives don’t believe in governance. Look, it’s all fine to believe in markets and related stuff–I don’t, but that’s a political argument one can have. But Progressive Conservatives believed that in a broadly capitalist economy, government still had a role and it made a difference whether you performed that role well or badly. But these guys just don’t bother. Their doctrine says that government literally can do nothing well; they have taken to heart the notion that government is, by definition, the problem and the implication is that nothing they can do other than giving money to the private sector and maybe defence and cops, can possibly be worth doing. And if that’s the case, there’s no point sweating the details of doing it right.
            And so they just cut whatever they feel like, not what studying what’s being done shows is worth cutting. They spend based on their gut feels, they slough the tough work of doing administration, they lose track of money, they sell off assets that they’re just going to have to rent back at a loss. They don’t care about governance, they think of the nuts and bolts of being in office as a platform they can use for further campaigning and as pretty much nothing else. They put way more effort into controlling what government employees will say to the public than they do into what government employees will do for the public.

            I think the results of putting a party in government that has different views about taxation (and really, the NDP only wants to shift taxation back to how it was in the early 2000s or at most the 90s) but is actually interested in governing, in getting the food inspections done and the EI cheques out and the contracts vetted, will be far better than the results of putting a party in government that agrees with you about taxation but lets the place go to wrack and ruin because they don’t think it’s worth doing the nuts and bolts work of maintenance.

          • Government can do nothing well it is not only doctrine but it has been proven over and over as a fact. I worked over 20 years for a crown corporation that Harper closed. it was rotten to the core and wasted hundreds millions of taxpayers dollars on make believe projects. The worst thing that you can encounter is when someone comes to you and says I am from the government and want to help you.

          • Your point is simply wrong, but it’s also beside the point. I said governance. The private sector exists to make profits. It does not exist to, for instance, keep the public safe. So, the word Listeria ring any bells? There are important things the private sector can’t or shouldn’t do. The government has to do those. It is unwise to have someone in charge of getting those things done, who doesn’t think there’s any point in trying. You end up with dead people.

            Incidentally, that crown of yours sounds like its problem is it was too much like the private sector, not too little. Private sector companies are always grabbing hold of the government’s teat and wringing out the money for as little as they can manage to give back. My read is, some of the top boys at your crown were on the make, just like private sector executives.
            Now I work at a university library. And I will tell you, the place runs more efficiently and more responsively than most private sector operations I ever hear of. Even the most annoying and wrongheaded of the bosses are at least trying to get stuff done, not just feathering their own nests. And when we have a bottleneck, when an elevator doesn’t get fixed for months or something, it’s generally because some private sector supplier is falling down on the job.

          • “I grew up in a left leaning family and began voting NDP as a result, but came to my senses eventually and became a conservative” What it tells me that you matured and realized that socialism is based on delusion and it ends when others people money runs out . Have you heard the saying that any young person that is not socialist proves that he has no heart and if he is still socialist when he grows older it proves that he has no brain?

        • these are the Chretien Liberals – back room boss is Jean…

    • What jackboots and brownshirts are those, Mr. Godwin?

      Harper is an evil dictator because he gave us back control of our guns, or was it because he quit jailing farmers for selling their own wheat?
      Maybe it was because he quit jailing people for not filling out the long form census?

      • maybe it was the one billion dollars on the G20 party

        or it could be the 3.1 billion dollars he lost

        or maybe the silencing of scientists and the appointment of criminals to the senate

        or it could be the taxing of income trusts

        maybe the lack of clarity around international investment rules

        or increasing Canada’s debt to the HIGHEST level in our history

        who knows, pick one

    • wow,how did you get there from here. the reason so many high tech schools and scientific growth if for the hacking and technological sabotage that China does world wide. read up about the telecom chips that are creating back doors for the culturally sensitive Chinese gov’t.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with Tom. And everyone should remember that there’s a big difference between IQ and wisdom. Maybe Justin Trudeau has more wisdom than the rest of us – and courage, in the circumstances, seeing the response he got.

      • Can you point out some examples that Justin demonstrated wisdom? You know what is the difference between someone that is smart and other person that is wise? The smart knows how to get out of trouble when he got into it, the wise knows how not to get into trouble in first place. Justin may be smart but I canot see him as wise.

  12. “Trudeau’s aides tried to defuse the “Justin ♥ dictators” uproar by insisting the remarks were a joke.”

    Glen Mcgregor is now an aide? Heh…must’ve missed the memo.

    “…like watching a puma try to play billiards.” Just one word: HUH??

    • dont expect sense from conservative hacks

      they’re playing the CPC spin game and they look like buffoons doing so

      must suck to prostitute the truth and your integrity in order to operate as a partisan mudslinger

      no class

  13. Well, if you want to suggest some more handsome and charming political candidates for us to look at, we’d be ok with that.

  14. When even the media are openly laughing at you…..

    • Except Feschuk satirizes all kinds of politicians. Does that mean they are all ridiculous? Actually, I just answered my own question…

      • Well, put it this way, he’s so dumb that even the media have started to notice.

        • Except he is not “dumb”. And one column (that I read and I do not think Coyne is calling him stupid – if he is maybe he should just come right out and say “Trudeau is stupid”) does not make him dumb.

          It was a dumb thing to say – what he actually said, not what some political opponents are saying he said – but that does not extend to him being dumb. Find me one person in the universe who has never said or done something stupid.

          But you guys can keep on dreaming that this one will stick…

          • At some point you have to notice the evidence piling up….

  15. Zoolander, but without the deep insights.

    • So, why male models?

  16. Ok, Scott – I had to laugh at your last paragraph. I was all ready to dog you, but you made a strong comeback with your last thoughts :) Well played sir, well played.

  17. “mental thinking”

    That’s redundant, you stupid idiot.

    • I find myself in complete unanimity with your very unique take on this.

    • Stupid idiot is also superfluously redundant.

  18. Exploiting the dufus vote? Hey, it’s working fine for Rob Ford. If he’s the moron measure, Trudeau could stand to dumb it up a little more, for that matter.

  19. As a conservative voter I was a tad worried that the Libs might elect Marc Garneau…an intelligent man of considerable accomplishment….but then they went ahead and voted for Jughead….LMAO…I haven’t been worried since….

    • I love it when you guys try to make us believe this stuff. Truly funny…

  20. Trudeau’s priority ad struck me the same way and, yes, I liked it. How great would it be to have a Prime Minister who seems to be uneqivicollay more unensmartened than me? (I could have spelled unequivically right with spellcheck, I’d like to add)

    Harper’s campaign ads infuriate me because they can be good and low brow – and effective. Trudeau takes it a notch beyond treating us dumb to acting even dumber than us. Advantage Trudeau?

  21. He’s the ” Forest Gump” of Canadian politics.

  22. ” he just stuck a bishop up his nose.”

    Ha – ha – ha – ha – ha – ha. You’ve still got it, Fess, baby!

  23. Uh, “mental thinking”? Is there another kind?

    • As opposed to plain thinking – think Tony Clement.

    • Yes, there is. Only certain of us are capable of it, and it is awesome. Sorry.

    • All thinking is mental. The author is too dumb to realize he should have wrote “critical thinking”.

      • Putting mental thinking together like a 4th grader or beauty contestant might do is a rhetorical device to comically emphasize the dumbness which is the topic of the entire column.

        It is literally scary that a few commenters don’t get that.

        • Really Rob? You were actually frightened, fearful, alarmed, terrified and panicked after reading some harmless comments?

  24. So,.. er,..if China is admirable because their dictatorship can turn on a dime and end pollution etc, why haven’t they turned on a dime and ended pollution? Why are they building a new coal plant every ten days and why can’t you see across the street through the air pollution?
    Seems their dictatorship is getting poorer results than Stephen Harper’s evil regime…..

  25. I wonder if he can see Russia from his house in Alaska. Our answer to Sarah Palin.

  26. He’s probably Conservative and Trudeau mania is back!!!

  27. One Trudeau was enough

  28. Trudeau is young fresh and intelligent! We need new blood not and Old Conservative skeleton ignoring Canadian voices! He makes promises and once elected he goes back on them! Trudeau rules….and two Trudeaus are history in the making; you watch and see! Go Trudeau go……

    • Show us proof of his intelligence.

  29. I read the entire comment that Trudeau said and looked at it’s content not just a sentence or two taken out of context. At the end of the comment Trudeau said, something to the effect “that SunTV can now tell everyone I love China”. So he knew that whatever he says will be pulled apart and there is only so much a person can do before they are stifled. Also that fact that a student asked him about legalizing marijuana and he actually answered it instead of political double speak will go against him. We, at least, finally have a politician who actually doesn’t hide behind a lot of lies, misinformation, and avoids questions or answers questions that weren’t asked. That’s what the shock is and our unbiased media and conservative party will jump on it and in the end we may end up with the liars and cheats and self indulgent idiots that we presently have in office. But won’t we feel smart!?

    • he is an egotistic elitist clown who flipped a coin over brandy with his bestest buddy Dominic LeBlanc (son of former GG who was BFF with PET) to see who would be PM. Don’t underestimate the hubris these two have. Between Dom and Justin’s brother the eco-warrior they will cap/trade the crap out of us – they will attach meters onto our wallets. Legalizing pot is a smoke screen and attempt to steer the conversation – pot will never be legalized, the provinces will never support it…to much involved, trade deals, U.S. – its literally a pipe dream…

  30. His ONLY claims to fame are he is Pierre’s petit enfant, taught school for 3 weeks, boxed 2 rounds, and is PRETTY!! Makes a great Prime Minister?????????

  31. You are all avoiding / missing / ignoring the fact that Trudeau is not smart enough to be Prime Minister, same problem which his Father had!

    • Would you care to compare your IQ with them?
      I thought not, so fuddle duddle. ;-)

      • Judy LaMarsh wanted him gone!

  32. Speaking of the gulf between what is higher – the media’s single brain cell iq and average room temperature….. room temperature wins.

  33. News Flash: Our education system is already run by the state. The fact that we don’t have a dictator just means we have democratic fascism.

  34. What if you want to believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?

    Stop spinning the outlandish stupidity of a airbrushed lightweight.

  35. Still an amateur in the big league.
    Not fit to lead us.
    Should go back teaching school.

    • He was assistant drama teacher. So he could not make kids dumber

  36. E R Z You are absolutely right.
    One Trudeau was more than enought.

  37. The liberals made a mistake, they should have chosen that chick PET was banging instead of his son.

  38. The problem is, if you come across as too smart, you wind up like Ignatieff. IMO this is an absurd way for voters to think, but I fear it’s true. Voters quite often don’t want to vote for someone who they feel is too much smarter than they are, and the results are 1) Bush, or 2) political leaders who have to dumb themselves down in ridiculous ways so they don’t seem too distanced from the average person. *Sigh*. Not that a PM or president is really the one coming up with all of the policies in the first place.

  39. Commentaries such as this one written by Andrew Coyne (and the rest of his body of work) are meant to be controversial in order to spark political debate. The threads of truth that run through what some may call ‘hyperbole’ should be taken as an impetus to search for greater truths (sometimes unfortunately more subjective than objective.) But what I see in the posts below are more akin to the closed minded variety of political partisanship at the lowest level rather than bona fide political discourse. I am also perplexed by the anonymity of all of those that post here. Much easier to throw stones when one is clouded in obscurity. It may therefore lead us to the conclusion that the portion of the electorate to which Justin Trudeau is parlaying is indeed a large one. Personal attacks on each other or the author is not only a waste of energy but alas an unfortunate reflection of the state of Canadian political debate.

  40. You are right for the wrong reason. He is crazy like a fox. He knows that opponents will jump on his every questionable word. It’s obvious that Trudeau is open and accessible and it’s really really really difficult to imagine him as an overbearing dictator. Harper is far more dictatorial than Trudeau.

    It just comes across as a silly petty attack to suggest that Trudeau’s admiration for China’s ability to turn on a dime has anything to do with how he would govern. There has been lots of mud thrown at him but it all slides off because it seems petty. That makes the attacks seem petty. Compare that to Trudeau’s insistence that he won’t descend to their level.

    Canadians will continue to believe that Trudeau’s values are quintessentially Canadian. Canadians won’t care about his mini non-gaffes that Conservative pundits try to blow up.

  41. was that a Montreal bishop or one from the colony of vancouver otherwise known as west minister, the church of England type

  42. justin is a teen boy; a prat

  43. he and his brother spent 159k restoring pet’s mercedes ; oh yeah; he is for the middle class

  44. coyne is just an unintelligent whatever

  45. justin, poor little rich boy; a millionaire

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