Sunday, February 17, 2013

Justin Trudeau: great in the ring, not bad on stage too

The winner of last night’s Liberal party leadership debate was MP Justin Trudeau. Anyway, that’s the way I saw it. Trudeau entered the Mississauga debate as the front-runner, took on all eight rivals and emerged as the winner—and gave former MP Martha Hall Finlay a severe verbal mauling in the process.

Hall Finlay seemed to be trying to make some spurious point about Canada not being a class society. This in response to several mentions of Canada’s middle class.

Don’t most of us, however, know what we mean by middle class in the context of these political discussions? Her rivals weren’t referring to “middle class” as it might be meant in a country like the United Kingdom with its privileged aristocracy. Rather, I—and I think most of the audience—took the reference as meaning “middle income,” and Canada certainly has a substantial number of these.

But Hall Finlay was determined to paint Trudeau as out-of-touch with ordinary Canadians, and being too privileged to understand middle-class issues.

Follow this exchange:

You yourself have admitted that you do not belong to the middle class. I find it a little challenging to understand how you would understand the challenges facing middle Canadians,” Hall Findlay said.

“What is important for me is to put everything that I’ve received—like each of us wants to—in service of my community,” Trudeau retorted to much cheering in the audience.

Hall Finlay, like a rookie, dropped her guard, stock her chin out and Justin Trudeau swung. A knockout? Maybe not quite, but at least a strong, staggering blow. About 20 seconds of her life Martha Hall Finlay would like to have back, I think.

MP Marc Garneau—probably in second place currently—also took on Trudeau directly, challenging him to match résumés. The former astronaut, retired military officer and engineer, former president of the Canadian Space Agency and the former Chancellor of Carleton University in Ottawa, Garneau asked Trudeau, “What is it in your résumé that qualifies you to be the future prime minister of Canada?” Ouch!

Trudeau’s easy manner and obvious charm got him through the moment, though, and his quick response seemed to resonate well with the audience. He shot back at Garneau, “You can’t lead from a podium and a press conference, you can’t win over Canadians with a five-point plan. You have to connect with them.”

So Garneau really never laid a glove on his younger rival and did little to support himself with what—I thought—was a lack lustre performance and a missed opportunity.

I must add this.

In the middle of the debate, Justin Trudeau made a gratuitous remark about First Nations not being immigrants. No one had said they were, by the way, so the remark was unnecessary and, at least from my point of view, not factual.

I have relatives through marriage whose ancestors arrived in what is now Canada before the ancestors of many of the First Nations living in my part of Ontario. The British government resettled these First Nations people in Canada and provided them with compensation for properties they had lost in the United States following the American revolution. Just saying.

The rest of the debate was inconsequential, but with a few entertaining moments such as George Takach getting booed for taking a shot at Joyce Murray’s tree-planting, and Takach’s questioning of Garneau’s math, at which point Mr. Trudeau spontaneously throws an arm round Garneau’s shoulder as if to suggest he’s protecting him. Best moment of the night, and it belonged to Justin Trudeau.


  1. At first I thought she was deploring this business of bringing up class all the time, a bit like the States with the talk of class and race by the Democrats. Unfortunately that wasn't her point.

  2. I just watched this exchange and have to say that I agree with what she had to say about how the whole “middle-class this and the middle-class that” is a completely foreign political narrative and it’s one that really stinks. Of course this strategy has been imported by the Liberal Party from their Yankee masters in the Democratic Party who had just used it in their recent election. Once again, its “monkey see, monkey do” when it comes to the Vichy Regime Liberals and their super rich American overlords.
    But I must say that I got a laugh from the rigged audience members who “right on cue” got on their derriere and hoarked out their approval for the mutterings of the Shiney Phony. It sounded as real as canned-laughter.

  3. Yes more praise for Trudeau at Blogging Tories.

    Have you folks lost interest in criticising Liberals and the socialist left wing? Is that why you praise Liberals?

    Is this a conservative website or a left-wing liberal one?

    1. Mohogwah Al_Dandy, what a sad, dreary world you would have us inhabit in which conservative websites exist only to criticize "Liberals and the socialist left wing?"

      Partisanship for its own sake lacks sufficient intellectual interest to keep me blogging. Perhaps it's time to start your own blog so you can show us how it's done.

  4. "He shot back at Garneau, “You can’t lead from a podium and a press conference, you can’t win over Canadians with a five-point plan. You have to connect with them.”

    I really don't see how this is such a devastating comeback to Garneau's legitamate question regarding Turd-oh's qualifications.

    You list Garneau's incredible resume and then you gush over the spoiled brat who's only actual job was that of a part time drama teacher. Give me a break!

    Finlay made a legitimate point about Turd-oh being one of the out of touch air head elitists. He has had an overly comfortable life. He has never had to live according to a budget.

    He makes up nonsense about shooting guns and trying to pretend to be some tough rugged lumberjack type. HE HAS NEVER KNOWN WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE BROKE!

    He is a waste of skin, spoiled weasel aristocrat who knows nothing of life outside his pissy assed little urban shelter. At least the other know what it's like to have a boss that expects results.

    If he were content to remain in academia & teach useless drama courses to other spoiled little useless brats he would be no real harm. But now he seeks to be Prime Minister.

    I also agree with the poster above who accuses you of being a Liberal. Such silly fawning over this useless effete metrosexual fop leaves no doubt as to where you lie on the political spectrum

  5. "....and his quick response seemed to resonate well with the audience".

    --Are you kidding? These..."audiences" are as rigged as a reality show catfight. I still remember the audience participation the CBC had in a town hall discussion a couple of days after Sept. 11 2001. The participant's contributions were pure CBC twaddle.

    "you can’t win over Canadians with a five-point plan. You have to connect with them.”

    -- Yes, and a welder in Sarnia, a waitress in Cape Breton a pilot in Yellowknife or a grocery store clerk in Saskatoon have SO MUCH in common with a spoiled little wesael who's only job was that of a part time drama teacher.

  6. As I was growing up and becoming aware of the Canadian political sphere I often found myself mystified as to how someone like Pierre Trudeau could've been elected over and over again. What was this supposed "Trudeaumania" really about, how could Canadians worship such an unqualified phoney, a communist Canada hater who's only real concern was that of his own tribal desires. A man who imposed french as an "official language" costing 100's of billions of dollars to enforce, followed by the imposition of Martial law, which from what I can discern was nothing more than a manufactured "crisis" of convenience for social engineering. Yet, this horrid little man kept getting himself elected and kept on destroying the very fabric of the nation... truly mystifying. Now we have the son of the worst PM Canada has ever had putting himself forward as the saviour of the Trudopian empire. A new "Trudeaumania" if you will, but why? As terrible as Trudeau the first was, his vacuous son would be much worse. I believe it speaks to the inexplicable insecurities and shallow superficiality of the Canadian mindset that would even for one minute consider this substitute drama teacher as a serious contender for the role of PM. Is it because of the Trudeau name? Is nostalgia for the bad old days? Is it because of his "good looks"? Is it because Trudeau Jr. says nothing about why someone like him should be PM? Truly mystifying how anyone could take this spoiled, vapid, arrogant piss ant seriously. "Trudeaumania", now or then is seriously beyond reason or comprehension.