So you want to raise some money for female candidates... - Macleans.ca

So you want to raise some money for female candidates…

Trudeau and sexism… and China?

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The invite for last night’s fundraiser with Justin Trudeau was probably worth consideration and those who took offence are certainly entitled to their views, but, in the resulting furor, a scrum with two ministers of the crown to respond to the invite was a bit much, but sexism in politics is an interesting and a worthwhile topic for discussion and it is good that at least last night’s event raised $25,000 to assist female candidates.

But then there is what Mr. Trudeau actually said last night, specifically when he was asked which nation’s administration he admired most, specifically the part of his answer that involves China.

You know, there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we need to go green fastest…we need to start investing in solar.’ 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.

China might be doing some interesting things on solar power, but it’s still China, a single-party communist with serious environmental and human rights concerns. I suppose if you asked me which country’s administration I admired most I wouldn’t have an answer at the ready, but I’m not sure China would be among the first considerations. And, of course, a politician has to be much more careful about these things than I do.

The second half of his response has more merit (though the Yukon does have political parties), in which he seems to place the Canadian territories slightly above China in terms of his admiration.

Update 11:34am. Via Twitter, Mr. Trudeau explains himself.

I pointed out that globally Canada is up against big countries (China, for one) that can address some major issues quickly.

It’s ridiculous for anyone to suggest that I of all people would trade our rights and freedoms for any other system of gvt.

Some countries play by rules we wouldn’t and shouldn’t ever accept, but, we still have to compete with them.

We need to get better at coming together to address big issues, and that’s what I asked people to think about last night.