Anyone watching the 2019 federal election coverage on television Oct. 21 saw Andrew Scheer forcing a smile amid layers of disappointment and undoubtedly fear for his leadership role despite the fact the Conservatives increased the number of seats by 26.
Well, you saw Scheer for a brief time, that is until a smiling Justin Trudeau and a suddenly visible again Sophie were enthusiastically on stage waving to the throngs of supporters at SNC-Lavalin headquarters …. oops apologies… at the Palais des Congres in Montreal.
Trudeau decided to launch into his victory speech knowing full well Scheer was well into his runner-up speech.
TV coverage producers were forced to cut away from Scheer to cut to Trudeau. Including Brad Wall, Global’s panel were incredulous on how to react to such an unprecedented move.
No matter what political stripe you support, it was classless move and just ugly political etiquette. Now, whether you believe Trudeau is a mindless puppet controlled by a think tank of Liberal bureaucrat handlers (hello Gerald Butts) or it was ordered by Justin himself, the base human trigger was based in immaturity.
It was a political move which equalled that time in 1982 then prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau was touring Canada on a luxury train car near Salmon Arm B.C. with his son, opened the curtain and gave the middle finger to a trio of protesters. Yes Justin was there in 1982 and learned. The speech timing was no oversight.
What’s the significance to something seemingly like trivial rudeness? This is what is scary about the next (up to) four years. Forget for a moment about whether the last Liberal government did a good job at meaningful job creation, the state of the economy, or how the world sees Canada on the world stage.
There’s an underlining infantile or at best ego-driven frat-house attitude governing the country.
This will undoubtedly come into play as the Liberals will need some assistance from the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois in implementing their agenda and passing some bills. That in itself for the Liberals will be frustrating as if you look at the history books they are used to be in power and governing things their way. We will see the negotiating skills amongst the Liberals, Yves-François Blanchet and Jagmeet Singh on full display.
However, where this immaturity gets interesting — and not in a good way — is when you have a fractured country. All you have to do is look at the map of Canada which shows the ridings and how they voted.
Instead of looking like a tie-dye shirt, it is very orange in outlying areas, very blue, literally and figuratively in the west and in small isolated pockets in Ontario (city and greater Toronto and Montreal) as well as Atlantic Canada is where the rest of the country is seeing (Liberal) red.
Absolutely fragmented. And with a party high giving themselves because they were able to hang on and survive politically instead of building a country, it doesn’t bode well.
There is no trust or in the faith in the intelligence of federal politicians in eastern Canada. The prairie provinces is encouraged to vote. Other than one NDP MP in Edmonton, the combined remaining 47 elected Conservative MPs between Alberta and Saskatchewan are trumped by the combined 55 ridings in the City and Greater Toronto alone.
That just pours more gas on the flames for western separatist rhetoric.
Ironically in the 2015 election, Trudeau campaigned on completing major electoral reform but never followed up on it.
“See, told you so,” says Wexit supporters with their arms folded harshly.
The animosity is just ugly and now the eastern media cares about the west as the flames of extremism with all of the dirty oil igniting it are fanned.
“See, told you so,” says the Yonge Street hipster.
Moments after his speech, Justin couldn’t help himself but get more selfies at Jarry Metro Station in Montreal following his speech. There they were right in front of him: smiling, awestruck commuters watching as a celebrity was happily self-indulging on an ego trip of people fawning all over him.
Sadly, the prime minister-elect seemed oblivious to the fact the vast geographical area contained citizens whose ridings who didn’t support the Liberals. Nor did his party have the most votes of any other party. Saying “oh well” is not good enough.
Like the rest of the parties in the election, the Liberals pitted everyone against each other. As a government, the Liberals need to bind Canada together. This takes work, effort, vision, compromise and leadership. But first and foremost, maturity without ego.
Heaven help us.