The dreaded invoking of Trudeau - Macleans.ca
 

The dreaded invoking of Trudeau


 

Last weekend, Lisa Raitt held a town hall meeting in her riding. She brought donuts and maple leaf pins. At least a couple of her constituents were unpersuaded.

“The man (Harper) has become more of a dictator than Pierre Trudeau had ever done (sic),” said Paul Redvers, a Conservative voter in the last election. The Oakville resident said the government has broken campaign promises to cooperate more with other parties in Parliament and be more accountable to Canadians.

“Is your integrity so low you would rather stay on as a cabinet minister than confront Mr. Harper about proroguing government to avoid bad press?” Redvers asked Raitt.

Raitt denied the implication and said she has no fear of expressing local feedback to her caucus. “I will go and say these (things) are what my constituents are saying,” said Raitt, noting she had heard similar opinions at earlier town halls in Burlington and Milton Saturday.


 

The dreaded invoking of Trudeau

  1. I stopped reading at dictator.

    Okay, I didn't, but it is when I stopped taking the person seriously.

    • Agreed. Although, technically, the guy only said Harper is "more of a dictator". Which may be like saying Ru Paul is more of a woman than you or I, but I took the inference to be: "you/we folks called Trudeau a dictator and this bozo is worse even than that".

  2. If Harper is, "more of a dictator than Pierre Trudeau", does that mean we get to start changing PETs Constitution?

    • I think Harper also gets to declare martial law. Soldiers in the street at last!

  3. sounds like the natives are getting restless – and March is a long way away – you think photo ops are gonna turn this around?

  4. Trudeau, a dictator? Hilarious.

  5. You shouldn't, or rather Harper shouldn't. This person sounds like one of his bread-and-butter guys. Someone who thought Trudeau was a dictator comparing Harper to him unfavorably? That signals some bad rumbles within the party. I think we may be seeing the camels back starting to crack under the weight.

  6. “Is your integrity so low you would rather stay on as a cabinet minister than confront Mr. Harper about proroguing government to avoid bad press?”

    Too bad Raitt doesn't have Rona Ambrose's sense of humour. Once, a long, long, looooong time ago, when this government was fresh and full of promise, she responded to a crack Rick Mercer about integrity with "Who ever said I had any integrity?" Then she giggled and said "Just kidding…" or something to that effect.

    No one's laughing much these day, that's for sure.

  7. How about Ur-fascist? Or "Disturbingly authoritarian?" Or "Kind of, like, rilly, rilly bossy?" Can one say those things, or are those beyond the bounds acceptable discourse?

    I think getting hung up on the words people are using to describe this martinet of a PM is a little played out.

  8. Many Canadians don't seem to understand what a "dictator" really is, given how often that word gets tossed around and misused in Canadian politics.

    • Is there a chance that one's become declasse now? A classic illustration of Orwell's admontion against overuse of cliche and the degading of public discourse. That being said, i suspect this gentleman knew exactly what it meant, and intended to convey that meaning. The fact that he chose to reference Trudeau [ not a fan i'd guess] makes it somehow legitimate…but that's just me. If you tried to nail me on it, i's have to agree, it's inappropriate.

    • We're getting a feel for it.

  9. sounds like one of his bread-and-butter guys
    Really?

    The Oakville resident said the government has broken campaign promises to cooperate more with other parties
    Yeah, that sounds like the red-meat base, all right. If Mr. Redvers even actually voted Conservative last election, I'd be very surprised.

    • "I think we may be seeing the camels back starting to crack under the weight'

      Maybe the Hippos too.

    • How predictable. This derelict accusing others of lying.

    • Because to be a true Conservative, you have to hate cooperation?

    • Well, he was using a common Con talking point – that Harper was forced by the opposition into doing all that spending.

  10. I get hung up on it because it angers me, and its the type of hyperbole that gets people to change the chanel and not pay attention to the substantive things the government is doing wrong.

    • I get hung up on it because it angers me, and its the type of hyperbole that gets people to change the chanel and not pay attention to the substantive things the government is doing wrong.

      This is a private citizen talking (or so I understand). I worry more about how people who are demanding to be taken seriously talk about substantive things. And there's no bigger miscreant in that respect than the current Prime Minister himself. Going back years. Were you concerned then?

  11. I don't have a problem with "martinet". But calling any Canadian PM a "dictator" or a "fascist" or a "Nazi" is just really lame.

    • How about 'He who must be obeyed'?

  12. Garth Turner is going by the name of Paul Redvers now?

  13. Credit where it's due: it's nice to hear a cabinet minister from this government acknowledge concerns and promise to pass them on.

    • "it's nice to hear a cabinet minister from this government acknowledge concerns and promise to pass them on."

      Your earnestness gives me hope.

      *chuckle*

    • Heck, under this government it's nice to hear a Cabinet Minister speaking in public, period.

    • Yeah, how come their MP calls a Town Hall meeting, while our MP can't respond to invitations and sends out a talking point, non-personalized letter to everyone who writes to him, no matter what point they had, questions they asked, etc.

      I gotta say, Lisa Raitt is at least accessible to her constituents.

    • Well, she is always on the lookout for the next 'sexy issue'…

    • Maybe she did. She did get demoted today.

  14. How about "autocrat" or "potentate"? They have a much more God-like sound to them. Harper would like that.

    • How about "Megatron"?

      From Wikipedia:

      Megatron is very powerful and utterly ruthless. There have been several interpretations of his character; some see Megatron as a strategic leader who calls the shots from afar, whilst others see him as a tactical battlefield commander who leads by brutal example. Unlike many other villains in popular fiction, Megatron was not generally depicted as overly chaotic or insane (at first). He was highly aggressive and a megalomaniac, but there was usually a consistent rationale behind his actions, although Megatron was often the only one who could perceive this.

      Sort of works for Harper. It would work for Trudeau, except he didn't lead the DeceptaCONS,

  15. Trudeau was a great Prime Minister who sought to unite Canada with measures for bilingualism and multiculturalism while Harper has done nothing but divide this country.

  16. I saw His Tremendousness used here yesterday.

    • His Tremendousness has a kind Austin Powers evil doer ring to it. You'd need at least a moat, if not a full lair in an underground nuclear missile silo to really carry it off though.

  17. From a minister of the Government of Broken Promises?

  18. Arguably Trudeau pioneered the wholesale concentration of power in the PMO and the denigration of the autonomy of the M.P. but, by extension, one can also argue that Harper has taken this concentration of power to a whole new level, combining it with a shrewd communications, litigation and micromanagement strategy.

  19. I may like some or even a lot of what Trudeau did, but let's not for one second think that he didn't divide the country too. The Liberals have never won much of anything in the west or in Quebec since Trudeau.

    You can say bilingualism, multiculturalism, increased sense of independence from the UK and the US, the Charter, the idea of One Canada and a Just Society etc. were all very good things – which I think they are – but Trudeau was very divisive and it is holding on to his myths that, in part, keep the Liberals from connecting with over half the country.

    • I hated Trudeau when he was in power. It was only later that I discovered the good he did. Still, I remember how I felt. Once again, it is emotional responses, the understanding of the heart, that trumps all rational knowledge.

  20. Um…His Right Honourable Tremendousness…exactitude is essential, don't you know.

  21. I genuinely think that your concerns should be relayed to the Boards of Education designing the current civics curriculum in Ontario. Kids grow up thinking Trudeau was an undisputed hero, and don't learn about the kind of divisiveness his government's policies resulted in unless they go looking for it. Meanwhile, most don't learn anything at all about Pearson (except that he won the Peace Prize), Diefenbaker, or Mulroney (as examples).

    I agree that Trudeau did a lot of good for this country, but holding onto his legacy without looking at the bigger picture isn't restricted to the LPC alone…it's much broader than that.

    • Really? It hasn't been that long since I was in High School, and I didn't learn jack about Trudeau. About the only PM I learned anything about was Laurier, and that's because I went to a school named after him and he was the randomly assigned topic for a history project. Oh, I guess we did touch on Pearson, but only as he related to the Suez Crisis.

  22. I believe that law's off the books now…at least i hope it is?

    • Yep. The War Measures Act had been weakened. But in the aftermath of 9/11, Chretien passed national security laws that allow the PM to invite American troops onto Canadian streets. So its actually worse now. The CIA can create a little chaos here and there with covert actions, and scare a sitting PM into inviting American troops onto Canadian soil. Yep….your friendly Charter loving Liberals did this, created a formal mechanism for Americans to invite themselves into Canada.

  23. This astonishing coming from you. So, all of these "good things" should in fact be appraised in light of what was good for the Liberal Party?

    Feh.

  24. Wait, guys, I think we're missing a really salient point here: A Harper Cabmin held a townhall meeting! And, one presumably not full of Tory plants!

  25. Yeah, sure.

    And, we still can not even discuss the subject of making any changes to our constitution after how many years?

    He so polarized our country that the minute someone suggests addressing issues in our confederation all h e double hockey sticks breaks out.

  26. I really have no idea how you make that connection.

    My point was completely the opposite. The Liberal Party needs to spend more time thinking about what is good for the country than on holding onto certain myths of the past.

    Trudeau implemented many things that were good at the time and remain good for the country today, but he also did many things that, whether they were good then or not, divided the country then and still do today.

  27. "I genuinely think that your concerns should be relayed to the Boards of Education designing the current civics curriculum in Ontario."

    What is this fetish with burdening the primary and secondary school systems with such complex political history that can only be grasped with maturity and experience anyway? Even the people who lived through that era and who weren't in school at the time will remember the Trudeau era differently and can't/won't agree on its true nature.

    The place to address this is in our silly and dumbed down news media, which the kids are also exposed to, outside of class…that is, if they're parents even bother encouraging that kind of thing. The schools have enough to take care of.

  28. Be nice if Harper ever showed half as much respect and interest in what Canadians think or would ask him.

  29. As noted above, it would be nice if Harper ever showed half as much respect and interest in what Canadians think or would ask him.

  30. Not sure what history books you are reading, but only a few years after the Charter was adopted, we not only discussed the subject of making changes, but actually came within one vote in the Manitoba legislature of actually amending the Constitution, and then had a full referendum on it a few years after that.

    Can't blame Trudeau for everything. And our inability/lack of desire/fear of tackling the Constitution has to do with Meech Lake and Charlottetown and the Bloc Quebecois.

    • Meech and Charlottetown Accord failed partly because of their omnibus nature. Had something to rile everyone in them, like giving provinces unilateral authority to extend their boundaries to the north (people wore black arm bands in Yellowknife over that one) or the further balkanization of environmental jurisdiction, when it was obvious that air, water, and pollutants travel across not just provincial but international boundaries. (Not to mention special status for Quebec but not First Nations, which actually have a longer standing and more legally substantiated claim to group rights than Quebecers). All those flashpoints together with the arrogant preaching of proponents who denied the validity of any and every concern, soured many Canadians on the deal making.

      I was a DRO on polling day for Charlottetown and saw a lot of spoiled ballots, way more than I'd ever seen for a general election, almost all of them deliberate (drawing happy faces in both circles). To me that's as much a reaction to the salesmen as it is to the product.

  31. You missed my point entirely: the current system encourages students to cram on one particular Prime Minister – though only the positive stuff – and jack squat, comparatively, about all the others.

    I agree that our teachers are overburdened, but nationbuilding and those who took great part in it deserve some coverage in our education system.

  32. divided the country then and still do today.

    This country is always divided. That's fundamental to its nature.

    The last thing the Liberals need to do now is to start engaging in mea culpas about its history (you know what the Conservatives do with that). The country has moved on and some things don't need revisiting.

  33. Well, we're talking about a guy who's spent more on public opinion research than any Prime Minister before him; it could be that he's supplanting town halls with quantitative research. (It's a pattern that extends beyond his management style to policy decisions as well).

    Whether that means he "respects" what Canadians think or would ask him, as you put it, I don't really know.

  34. No Anon, I wasn't. Because you see, when I said I didn't like the word dictator, I meant I only disliked it being attached to Prime Minister Harper, because I'm a big old partisan hack.

  35. Assuming you are the same Anon as above, I'm still not sure you understand what I am saying. I am not talking about mea culpas or anything. I was simply responding to a post that claimed Trudeau was not divisive and noting as well that that kind of mentality – the glorification of all that is Trudeau and ignoring how he is viewed in different parts of the country – remains a problem for the Liberals to this day.

    A guy like Terren just doesn't get that Trudeau was divisive to a lot of the country and there are lots like him. And that is a big part of why the Liberals today have difficulty connecting to a majority of Canadians.

  36. Norman Spector on CKNW radio, Monday Jan 18th @ 10:22 AM

    "… In the British Parliamentary system, the decision to go to war is ENTIRELY the decision of the Prime Minister. It flows from what was called the "crown prerogative" …

    Mr. Harper, the first Canadian Prime Minister, the first Prime Minister I think in the Commonwealth, as I understand it , to PLACE that decision in Parliament. …

    Now, you don't hear that very much, because it does not FIT the NARRATIVE of this Prime Minister being power hungry and a control freak.

    Now I can tell you from having served in the beauracracy in Ottawa, public servants OPPOSED this change FEROCIOUSLY. As they oppose ANY change that diminishes the AUTHORITY of the Prime Minister. Because in their view, the country is difficult enough to govern, without weakening the role of the Prime Minister.

    But that decision [by Harper] is the single largest devolution in POWER that we have seen in YEARS. And you never hear about it.

    http://www.cknw.com/other/audiovault.html

  37. I'm not accusing you of being a partisan hack. I'm highlighting a hyper-attentiveness to a trivial point.

  38. What did Trudeau say about Meech?

    Why is it we can't hold him accountable for the failure of Meech to some degree?

    IMHO, that might have been his most petty moment, to the detrement of Canada.

  39. Now that is a funny comment.

    The one moment when the west and Liberals were more on the same page, and that is when he was most divisive?

    No, you can't hold Trudeau accountable for the failure of Meech. It failed without any input from him. You could maybe say he was part of the cross Canadian uprising that rejected the charlottetown Accord, but not Meech.

  40. You don't hear about it because it wasn't true: we were already at war.

    What he did was ask Parliament about an extension. And everyone in the country knew he did it because the Liberals were in the middle of a leadership race.

  41. Now now, you seem to be forgetting that Trudeau Must Be Blamed For Everything.

    Rookie mistake.

  42. Certainly no Canadian PM can become an actual dictator.

    Consider in the existing parliamentary system and a typical dictatorship that all of the power is concentrated in the hands of a single individual. While there is no formal reporting structure, it is essential that the PM/dictator maintain the loyalty of the Generals/Caucus. This is typically done through some combination of fear and appeal to self interest. While in principle, the Generals can pull the plug on the dictator, to attempt to do so is always messy and potentially dangerous to one's career.

    There is usually some scattered opposition in dictatorships. The key for the dictator is to keep the opposition off-base, disrupt their logistics and funding whenever possible. However, the most important strategy is to discredit the opposition in the eyes of the masses. This means never, under any circumstances debating policy with the opposition. Instead the dictator spends massively on public relations. Massive statues, portraits and eye catching photo ops from the PMO thats what you need. Accusations against the opposition are a second strategy, the more outrageous the better. The goal is not to be intellectually compelling to the chattering elite, rather the secret is to use the massive advantage in funding and access to the public to overwhelm any opposition attempt at dialogue.

    Finally, it should be noted that every dictator has their die hard fans. These are people drawn to the power held by the dictator and consider the ruthlessness and aggressive traits virtues. Sometimes, it is physical qualities that impress these fans. For example, many Russians are truly proud that Putin can kill a Siberian Tiger with his abs alone. Other times it is more cerebral such as “my guy is playing chess to your guy's checkers”.

    In conclusion, it is truly unfair and hurtful that people continue to point out that Stephen Harper can not be a legitimate dictator in Canada. He really is doing the best he can!

  43. Well, that, and frankly Trudeau is all the Tories have to attack now, having thoroughly embraced Jean Chretien as their go-to model for Prime Ministerial behaviour.

  44. That's right Anon, we have now reached a point in our national discourse where we can just fling aroung terms like "dictator" and still expect to be taken seriously.

  45. "It failed without any input from him"

    Now that is funny. Which history books are you reading?

    Start at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meech_Lake_Accord

    From the article:

    "Former Canadian Prime Minister and arch-federalist Pierre Trudeau spoke out against the Accord, claiming Mulroney "sold out" to the provinces."

    I'm also pretty sure he called Mulroney, and the Premiers "Cowards", and "men in back rooms".

    Correct me if I'm wrong. (I'm not)

  46. Trudeau's legacy rests on things like the Official Languages Act, the Charter the repatriated constitution, multiculturalism as a tool for progressive integration and the necessity of developing shared *civic* values and a *civic* identity, which are the *only* things Canadians can have in common. Those who remain divided are the people who don't want to have anything in common. Trudeau's so-called divisiveness is something kept alive by regional politicians and other elites who have a vested interested in keeping Canadians divided.

    And that is a big part of why the Liberals today have difficulty connecting to a majority of Canadians.

    I doubt it. Most people don't even know what happened last year. There's much more going on than just Trudeau.

  47. No you are.

    Elijah Harper didn't block approval of the Meech Lake Accord because of Trudeau.

    Frank McKenna didn't revoke NB's endorsement of the Meech Lake Accord because of Trudeau.

    Clyde Wells didn't promise to revoke Newfoundland's endorsement of the Meech Lake Accord because of Trudeau.

    They were the ones who caused the failure of Meech Lake. And most of Canada rejoiced.

  48. "Most people don't even know what happened last year."

    Oh yeah, thanks for the reminder about the bigger reason that Liberals today have difficulty connecting to a majority of Canadians.

    Just a tip, calling people idiots doesn't make them smarter or friendlier.

  49. Again, the point is that, like Terron here, the myths of Trudeau still pervade the Liberal Party. It is part of an attitude that looks back with rose coloured glasses and misses where the country has gone since the 1980s, in part because of him – the positive and the negative results of his actions.

    Under Trudeau, the Liberals used to win lots of seats out west and dominated Quebec. But since, the Liberals have been nothing in either region. That is part of his legacy and, rightly or wrongly, it is still very much at the forefront of many people's minds, both those who try to still carry his torch and those who still cry over last year's snow and those who are still looking for a Liberal Party that "gets it" in their region.

  50. What's more Ted, Harper made it clear that he would extend the Afstan mission regardless of the sham vote's outcome. That's democracy, Harper-style.

  51. You can choose whether or not to take the man seriously for yourself. But a political leader who fails to take the sentiment seriously, even if it's not elegantly stated, is a political leader with a limited future.

  52. I thought we'd reached that point when the Conservatives called the coalition a "coup d'etat." But I see it really arrives when Joe Blow from Kokomo, while addressing the nation (although he may not have thought so at the time, of course) uses the word "dictator."

    Abandon all hope.

  53. Who called anyone an idiot?

  54. How do you propose they "get it" in Alberta? And how do you think the Conservatives "get it" in Quebec? What does "get it" actually mean, anyway? And isn't the country much bigger than those two loud parts of it, anyway? And don't we have provinces to address regional issues?

    You want a pan-Canadian party that panders to regional prejudices of a tiny minority of Canadians? Or tells them different things about what it's doing on the exact same issues? Well, good luck with that.

  55. In responding to AJR79, I was being precise.

    Meech Lake failed because Elijah Harper would not support it in the Manitoba legislature and then McKenna revoked his legislature's approval.

    Your comments are definitely a big reason why the Charlottetown Accord failed. Tried to do way too much, make too many people happy.

    What we really need is a simple two part amendment right now: (1) something along the lines of recognizing the three founding distinct nations of Canada (could even borrow the words from Harper's nation motion), (2) elected senate of X years (my preference being 12 with one chance for re-election). That's it. Get that done and then move on to other things if you want/can.

    • Perhaps we can all take a moment and appreciate the humour in having a strident conservative defending Meech Lake (ya know, that thing that helped create the Reform Party movement) in order to impugn Trudeau.

      priceless.

    • Actually all Elijah Harper did was prevent unanimous approval to move to third reading which would end the committee hearings process in the Manitoba Legislature. Any Manitoban can request to be heard to speak to legislation that is in committee (at second reading) and there was a long list of people who wanted to be heard.

      Technically what killed Meech Lake was the deadline which, like much of the debate didn't respect public interest and involvement. Credit for that has to go the man who bragged that he counted back the number of weeks and then "rolled the dice."

  56. Not anyone, "most people".

  57. 1. Don't know, but it hasn't exactly been working has it.
    2. They don't.
    3. Understanding and connecting with voting Canadians.
    4. Yes.
    5. Yes, in part.
    6. No I don't.
    7. No I don't.
    8. Thank you.

    You are welcome.

  58. Well, I don't have any better answers either. But like I've always said, I just want government that doesn't screw up too badly. I don't need a government to fulfil me, or to tell me who I am.

    I'm quite happy with managerial competence. I think it's a sign of a mature polity.

  59. Um, no. The reason they forget it, if they knew it in the first place, is because they've been convinced that politics isn't relevent to their lives.

    "Kids" graduation school are, or soon will be, adults; I'd highly recommend you treat them as such.

  60. Oh I see,
    I'm wrong about Trudeau coming out of retirement to speak out about Meech in the manner I described, am I?

    It kind of belies your statement "It failed without any input from him".

    That is demonstrably wrong.

    I don't know if you are pro-Meech or not, but if you are,
    that position cannot be reconciled with thinking that Trudeau the master of all things constitutional.

    How much of Meechs failure can be laid at Trudeaus feet is debatable, but it is not insignificant.

    A man speaking with the gravitas of a former PM, attacking a current PM for trying to fix a mistake that the former PM made.

    IMO, Trudeau could not stand to see someone succeed where he had failed, and wanted to protect his legacy.

    Like I said, petty, and to the detrement of Canada.

  61. I can still get the wood out for Chretien, or Harper for that matter.

    Trudeau is relevent in a discussion about Meech thou, whether people want to admit it, or not.

  62. From what I understand, the Manitoba legislature's resistence to Meech may have been able to be overcome.

    The real death of Meech is, as you pointed to earlier, in large part due to Clyde Wells not even allowing a vote in the Newfoundland legislature.

    Did Wells even know Trudeau, or support him?
    Hmmm.

  63. It's to counter the Trudeau Must be Absolved of Everything movement.

  64. graduating, not graduation.

  65. AJR79:

    That is demonstrably right. And in fact, I demonstrated up above.

    Like Meech or not, the Meech Lake Accord was all set to pass without any consultation with Canadians. It didn't matter what Trudeau said or what anyone said. If Elijah Harper had voted with the entire rest of the Manitoba legislature, the Constitution would be amended to this day. Instead, he sat there with his feather and his dignity and refused to move out of the legislature. That bought McKenna time to get elected and then withdraw New Brunswick's support.

    That is why the Meech Lake Accord failed. Like Meech or not, those are plain facts.

    Trudeau when he spoke gave voice to the feelings of a majority of Canadians, bud. That is hardly petty. Regardless it was not to the detrement of Canada. (Whether it was to the detriment of Canada, is another matter however.)

  66. Newfoundland had already passed Meech. Clyde promised to revoke it but he never got the chance because of Harper and McKenna. McKenna had campaigned on revoking his province's approval if changes weren't made.

    Was Harper influenced by Trudeau? Not in the least. Could the Manitoba government have done something about Harper? Possibly. Would they have removed a lone native objector? Not bloody likely.

    Was Mckenna influenced by Trudeau? I suppose he might have. My understanding of McKenna and his views is that he didn't need Trudeau to tell him "Say Goodbye to the Dream of One Canada" or that the Accord was a "victory for those who never wanted a charter of rights entrenched in the Constitution." I think McKenna read the feeling of his province correctly and voted accordingly.

    I would certainly not deny that Trudeau caused a stir and got people's attention and I would agree that he had a big influence on speeding up national opposition to Meech Lake. But that is not why it failed. It would have failed exactly in the same way if he had kept quiet.

  67. You demonstrated that PET had "no input" into the Meech debate?

    I guess thats true if you consider a former PM coming out and calling a current PM, as well as all the premiers cowards, "no input"

    I'm sure it would not have been "no input" if Mulroney had ever done anything like that to Chretien.

    I'd just like to note that, leaving Meech aside, it was your example of how we got to debate our constitution after PET.
    (in rebuttal to E.Bs post)

    Pretty sad.

  68. Now you are deliberately misconstruing what I am saying.

    He had lots of input into the Meech Lake debate. He wrote a lot and he talked a lot.

    I'm saying it would have failed anyway.

    (I have no idea what you mean by your last comment and frankly I don't really care at this point. I'm done. You want to be a part of the Trudeau Is Responsible For Everything Party, go right ahead. Cheers.)

  69. Well if that one guy said it, then it must be the case of all conservatives.

    Gotta love how the sample of…..one…

    becomes so telling, when that sample of…one…tells you what you want to hear.

    The "Harper's a dictator" meme is so rediculous in so many ways it's hard to begin with.

    Perhaps the starting point should be a sober examination as to how such a rediculous moral equivalence serves to soften/justify/excuse,

    real dictatorships.

    If everyone's a dictator then no one is. A byproduct this hyperpartisan left seems fully comfortable living with.

  70. You don't see anything a little bit, say, ironic, in starting a post by saying "if one guy said it, that must be the case for all . . ." and ending with "A byproduct this hyperpartisan left seems fully comfortable living with" ?

  71. Anybody who calls Trudeau a 'dictator' is obviously an angry person on the right of the political spectrum i.e. a Conservative supporter. Stevie is in big trouble if he is being compared to Trudeau in this context.

  72. The kids hardly remember any of that stuff two minutes after they graduate, the prime reason being that adult politics are difficult for younger people to grasp. Besides, political history needs decades of hindsight before it can be taught with some kind of detached objectivity. Otherwise, it will be introducing unacceptable levels of political partisanship into the curriculum and *that*, we don't need.

    It's the adults who need remediation. As I was reminded in 2008, people my parents age, all too willing to moan on about how the schools don't teaching how our government works, had themselves forgotten how it works when questioned on it.

  73. Since Trudeau has been invoked on this post: a good quote i think. Can anyone imagine a present day PM saying this? We can but dream…don't let AC see it Aaron…it'll only needlessly upset him.
    '
    "We wish nothing more, but we will accept nothing less. Masters in our own house we must be, but our house is the whole of Canada.”