(written initially as a comment to the article ‘The Real Justin Trudeau’ on the website ‘The ECOreport’: Original article HERE)
I cannot say that I personally agree with all of what I perceive to be Trudeau’s aims, but with that caveat I can with confidence state that he is the quintessential Canadian politician, even to his tendency of favouring appeasement regardless of his own expressed values.
He is intelligent (his decision to veer off from completion of his Masters of Environmental Geography was, I think, based on a realistic analysis of the political and legislative landscape at the federal level prompting an earlier than planned “move”, that particular degree would perhaps be one of the greatest qualifications for a prime minister of the Dominion of Canada).
He identifies fully and actively as Canadian, rather than passively, and vests his ideals within that identity (seriously, he grew up with the Constitution Act of 1982 as his Dr Seuss, and a dominant factor in his home environment, anyone who can’t respect the effect that would have on any but the most dull of children, most likely is not someone who should ever have a say in anything affecting youth, period).
His vision, without knowing the exact centre of his aim, includes the realities that neither end of the so-called “political spectrum” will admit to, the broad range of realistic considerations both of today and of the future, the “missing moderate” portion of our media driven consensus landscape of perceived reality.
The question on topics like the construction of new pipelines should not be “Yes or No?” but rather “Which ones do we need, and which ones are unacceptable risks both domestically and in the global picture?”.
Currently Trudeau is under the constant attack by the self-declared “Right wing” of Canada, as he has been ever since the Conservative poster child Harper finally lost an election despite gross misuse of public funds for consistent and narcissistic inter-election campaigning (really, how is it that re-branding the Government of Canada with one’s own name is considered compatible with ‘conservative’ values???).
Trudeau is also dealing with the disappointment of the so-called “Left”, the environmentalists, scientists, and humanist advocates of social justice and safety who have been left disappointed by many of his decisions that were definitely made within the confines of what had been set up for him by his predecessor, few of whom question why it would be if he were solely committed to the destruction of the environment and the honour of the Crown vis a vis First Nations for the sole sake of economic gain, that the “Right” would be so adamantly attacking him.
For just under a year now, this writer has been searching for a very specific quote that is recalled from the spring of 2016 by Justin Trudeau to the effect of “I will do what I can to do what I believe is right for Canada, but it is up to Canadian citizens to lead the way and clear the path”.
Not being able to confirm that quote is frustrating to no end, but it’s relevance is not diminished one iota even were it to turn out to be the fabrication of a faulty memory and wishful thinking.
Whatever he may be inside of himself, the concerted and expressed will of the people of the Commons will guide and/or enable Trudeau’s policy decisions.
If he is pure pragmatism, the will of the people interpreted through the filter of his own aims would be the path to continued power.
If he is pure idealism, then it requires a demonstrable public mandate for him to make politically or economically hazardous decisions, or take stances that would be controversial.
A friend who has met the fellow had a statement to offer to myself, one that almost had me tear up as it was well in line with my thoughts at the time:
“He’s a nice young man, fairly bright and with solid values, but he made one stupid mistake. He counted on Canadians to believe in Canada the same way that he does, and now he’s surrounded by wolves.”
I do not support Justin Trudeau, but this is why I will defend him when he is unfairly attacked.
Because I believe in Canada, too.