Politics and its Discontents: He Takes A Nice Selfie, But Secrecy Is His Real Forté

Those of us who follow politics fairly closely know that there is frequently less than meets the eye in the Trudeau government. Certainly, the Prime Minister talks a reasonably good game, and his selfies are world-renowned, but scratch the surface and you will find increasing evidence that the emperor is, at the very least, scantily-clad. ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Outrage Grows

I suspect that, if they had their druthers, both Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her boss, Justin Trudeau, would much prefer that we trust their administration to always do the right thing and just go on enjoying the always-too short days of summer. But the electorate can be fickle, even unpredictable, engaging in issues ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Cheap Talk And Photo-Ops

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.-George Orwell Regarding the misuse by the Saudis of armoured vehicles Canada sold them, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says all the right words. She says … she’s “deeply concerned” about recent videos that appear to show Canadian-made armoured vehicles being used ...

Politics and its Discontents: Are There Cracks In The Liberal Fortress?

Justin Trudeau and his band of sunny men and women have had, up to this point at least, a pretty easy ride with the Canadian electorate. After years of darkness under the Harper regime, the liberating promise of an open government bent upon truly representing citizens had an allure and cachet too strong to resist. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Will It Be All Talk And No Action?

There will always be those who see Justin Trudeau only through the public image he has so assiduously cultivated. Others, however, refuse to suspend their critical faculties despite the Prime Minister’s fine hair, sunny rhetoric and public earnestness. They demand that his ‘sunny ways’ be met with the kinds of actions a leader with character ...

Politics and its Discontents: Whose Sovereignty Is It, Anyway?

He’s loved of the distracted multitude,Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes.-Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 3 For a long time I have found little to fault in Justin Trudeau’s tactful dance around the Trump administration. Rather than denigrate a particular benighted American initiative like the Muslim travel ban, for example, the Prime Minister ...

Politics and its Discontents: Justin’s Secrecy

There will always be those unable to see beyond the obvious when it comes to Justin Trudeau. His sunny smile, his platitudinous assurances that we can have our pipelines and climate change remediation simultaneously, and his opaque insistence upon the necessity of an Infrastructure Bank seem to carry the day for some, apparently happy to ...

Politics and its Discontents: While You Were Venting

While many Canadians continue to vent their spleen over the compensation awarded to Omar Khadr, something really important is taking place but is being given little media coverage. It is something that, if enacted, may have irreversible consequences. Justin Trudeau and his sunny band of men and women like to portray themselves as progressives with ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Litany Of Failure

While I normally do not read the National Post, a tweet by @trapdinawrpool about a column caught my attention. Written by Kelly McParland, the article offers an uncompromising assessment of a Liberal political landscape littered with broken promises coupled with a return to the party’s traditional arrogance. Why is this important? Because with its brilliant ...

Politics and its Discontents: Omnibus Bills: Another Liberal Betrayal

When Justin Trudeau and his merry band of men and women were campaigning for our vote, they railed against the Harper propensity for passing omnibus bills; those documents, being so dense and long, meant that almost anything could be slipped in. Said the erstwhile earnest Trudeau in 2015: We will not resort to legislative tricks ...

Politics and its Discontents: He Can Talk The Talk

But his sandal-clad feet cannot walk the walk. After the disastrous tenure of Paul Wells as national political affairs commentator, it was a real pleasure to see that The Toronto Star has called Tim Harper out of retirement. In his column today, Harper reminds us of some things that Justin Trudeau acolytes would prefer to ...

Politics and its Discontents: Zelig, Anyone?

I don’t know how many of you remember the 1983 Wood Allen film, Zelig, in which Allen plays an individual with the uncanny ability to take on the characteristics of those around him. The only problem, as I recall, was that there was no real individual at Leonard Zelig’s core, just a skilled chameleon whose ...

Politics and its Discontents: Just A Couple Of Questions

Given that I have no background in economics, I will leave it to more finely-tuned minds to debate the merits of yesterday’s federal budget. However, there are a couple of things that, from my perspective, need to be answered, and they both relate to the Infrastructure Bank the Liberal government is touting. Introduced in last ...

Politics and its Discontents: Another Pending Betrayal

As we become increasingly disillusioned about the growing disparity between the Trudeau promise and its reality, another betrayal of that promise is pending. Like his neoliberal soul sister in Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, who insists that selling off 60% of the provincial crown jewel known as Hydro One is a no-brainer, Mr. Trudeau apparently thinks it ...

Politics and its Discontents: Another Pending Betrayal

As we become increasingly disillusioned about the growing disparity between the Trudeau promise and its reality, another betrayal of that promise is pending. Like his neoliberal soul sister in Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, who insists that selling off 60% of the provincial crown jewel known as Hydro One, Mr. Trudeau apparently thinks it is a keen ...

Politics and its Discontents: An Ideological And Horticultural Taint

Although I am not a user of medical cannabis, the current scandal (and it can only be termed a scandal) regarding dangerous and forbidden pesticide use by companies with the Health Canada seal of approval is instructive. First, a recap of the situation is in order: After a string of recent recalls by Mettrum Ltd., ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Proud Moment

Despite my frequent criticisms of the Trudeau government, this move by the Prime Minister makes me proud to be a Canadian: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: How To Think, Not What To Think

I have been retired from teaching for 10 years now, and I can say that since departing, I have not missed the classroom for a single day. I say this despite the fact that every few weeks I dream about being back on the job, usually with about two weeks before final exams, and there ...

Politics and its Discontents: What A Pretty Face Conceals

When one thinks deeply about neoliberalism, one conjures up the face of greed, rapacity and monetary narcissism. Not at all a pretty face. But here in Canada, Thomas Walkom writes, neoliberalism is concealed by a human, some would say pretty, face, that of Justin Trudeau. The essence of neo-liberalism is globalization. Neo-liberals strive for a ...

Politics and its Discontents: Thomas Walkom on CETA

While it is disappointing to see that Wallonia has dropped its opposition to the CETA deal, thus paving the way for signing and ultimate ratification, all may not be lost, at least for the Europeans, according to Thomas Walkom. Morever, this imbroglio has brought forth some interesting facts, facts that again raise questions about Canada’s ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Youth Voice is Our Voice

If ever there was ever any doubt about the neoliberal agenda being pursued by our ‘new’ government, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s recent comments removed all uncertainty. He asserted that precarious work is here to stay and Canadians must adapt to having a variety of jobs throughout their lives as they experience the euphemistically phrased ‘job ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Boost To The Spirit

Fifty years ago, Star Trek – The Original Series – began. As a young person at the time, I was quite enthralled by a series that depicted a time when humanity had apparently solved its myriad problems on Earth and had expanded outward to seek out new life and new civilizations. Although Earth was never ...

Politics and its Discontents: CETA – A Threat We Should All Be Aware Of

A recent post I wrote contrasted the apparent indifference/ignorance of Canadians toward CETA with the furious involvement of the Europeans, most recently the Germans, in open protest against the deal. It is a pact that will see even greater erosion of our ability to enact strong legislation to protect labour, the environment and a host ...

Politics and its Discontents: Trudeau Has Some Explaining To Do

While our ‘new’ government continues upon the Harper neoliberal path, apparently never having met a free trade agreement it doesn’t like, one issue that never seems to be honestly addressed by either Mr. Trudeau or his most ardent acolyte, Chrystia Freeland, is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions. Thanks to always astute Toronto Star readers, this ...

Politics and its Discontents: Assesing Trudeau: A Guest Post By Pamela MacNeil

Yesterday, in response to my post about the Trudeau government’s diluting the terms of the rules governing the export of arms, frequent commentator Pamela MacNeil offered these insightful observations: I think “the terrible embargo on truth, honesty and openness,” Lorne, will still be there with Trudeau. He can march on gay pride parades and support ...