Justin Trudeau

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Totally replaceable with a cardboard cut out.
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I was a high-school teacher. I am a strong advocate for women's rights, and I'm not a woman.
—Justin Trudeau describing himself in a nutshell[1]

Justin "Joe" Pierre James Trudeau (born 1971) is the 23rd and incumbent Prime Minister of Canada, and current leader of the federal Liberal Party of Canada. He is widely accepted as a dreamboat (for a politician anyway)[2][3][4][5][6] and is a (self-proclaimed) feminist,[7] advocate of legalizing marijuana,[8] LGBTQ-friendly,[9] pro-choice,[10] pro-immigrant,[11] climate science defending[12][13] and as such is antithetical to both his predecessor, Stephen Harper, and his American counterpart, Donald Trump. He is the son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada and reputed "ladies man". Like father like son, I guess.As a result, Trudeau enjoys a sort of "Canadian royalty" status amongst the media. As a matter of fact, he is a millionaire, who inherited CAN$1.2 million from his father, who, in turns, got his fortune from his father.[14]

Lousy things he did[edit]

Trudeau is bilingual (a fact he really wants you to remember), and as a politician in bilingual Canada this has helped him immensely, especially when compared to the The Conservative Party of Canada's new leadership hopeful's attempts at grasping the language.[15][16] Alas, he could not save himself from probably the most awkward bilingual backfire ever, when he swore allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, her "hairs" and successors.[17]

Despite his rhetoric on environmental protection, Trudeau supports the further opening up of the Alberta tar sands, some of the world's greatest current climate disasters, thus like his counterpart undermining effective climate change policies, just in a different and, to quote The Guardian, "hypocritical" way.[18] On the subject of hypocrisy, although Trudeau promised to combat tax avoidance when he was running for Prime Minister, an aid and donor to his campaign, Stephen Bronfman, is linked to an offshore tax evading scheme unearthed by the leak of the "Paradise Papers" in 2017. Notably, Bronfman considers the Prime Minister to be "very, very saleable."[19] Following the leak of the "Panama Papers" in 2015, which implicated numerous Canadians, the Prime Minister was quick to deny any wrongdoing.[14]

Like Trump,[20] he has consented to the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia,[21] a country with a notorious human rights record including involvement in the Yemen Civil War. It should be noted, however that his American counterpart initiated the sale whereas in Trudeau's case, it was his predecessor who started it.

His plan for public infrastructure is similar to Trump's: sell off public assets, pay private investors to finance construction, hire private firms to build, and let the taxpayer pay the tab. This includes setting up a private infrastructure bank under Cabinet control, immediately undercutting any independence for the infrastructure bank. [22]

But wait, there's more! He's also a giant media whore... just like his counterpart![23] Which counterpart? That would be Barack Obama (or Tony Blair for that matter), who was also very image-conscious and sensitive to perception changes by the press. Justin's also following his father's footsteps in this, as Pierre was the original "Trudeaumania."

In 2016, after Fidel Castro's death, he described Castro in a favourable light, believing he had "tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people", and that he "made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation" without mentioning the horrific human rights abuses or intolerance of dissent.[24] Following this praise, wingnuts at /r/The_Donald decided to concoct a conspiracy theory that Trudeau was literally the son of Castro (spread by the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos), based on the fact that Castro and his mother met at one time in 1971.[25] In a similar case of oddity, Trudeau junior praised, in his own words, the Communist "dictatorship" of China, of all places.[26]

Trudeau has always made clear his support for free trade agreements in general and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in particular, even if a key player, the United States, has decided to withdraw from it. Perhaps ironically, Trudeau missed the rounds of negotiations taking place in Vietnam, where he was visiting for the 2017 APEC summit. He blamed his absence on a "schedule mix-up".[27] Either he's lying and thinks he can bargain for a better position, or it really was a schedule mix-up, and if so, this brings into question how organized he and his government are overall.

Perhaps most cynically of all, in February 2017 he abandoned his campaign promise that the 2015 election would be the last election using the broken first-past-the-post, a promise which is still live on the Liberal party's website.[28] He had been speaking vaguely about "ranked ballots" since before the election, but the all-party committee on electoral reform found that such a system would produce more disproportionate results than even the existing system and instead recommended a referendum on proportional representation. Trudeau thought long and hard about this and came to the decision that proportional representation would hurt the Liberal party was not in the interest of Canadians and that there was no consensus (even though the committee's recommendation was unanimous). In the process of sabotaging reform, the self-proclaimed feminist had his Minister for Democratic Institutions (who holds a science degree) stand up in front of the house and act like math is hard.[29]

Overall assessment[edit]

He does deserve credit for overturning many of Harper's policies, like removing the gag rule on scientists, appointing independents to the Senate, withdrawing air bombers from Syria, putting actual experts (mostly) in his Cabinet, and restoring the census after Harper randomly removed it. He's been solid on women's rights, he's supportive of net neutrality, and he's not big on money in politics.

But if you're looking for a signature achievement, he's not done much, and withdrawing from election reform really soured him to many on the left. He's also taking his time decriminalizing marijuana, one of his major campaign promises. In conclusion, he evidently is more style than substance, as least for now. But he really should pick up the pace. The next federal election in 2019 is not that far away.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Justin Trudeau says he won't 'play the politics of fear' by John Ivison (June 18, 2015) National Post.
  2. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/justin-trudeau-sexiest-politician-world-6666495
  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/10/20/justin-trudeau-prime-minister_n_8340036.html
  4. https://www.hottestheadsofstate.com/list/
  5. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justin-trudeau-is-seen-by-non-canadians-as-attractive-1.3279862
  6. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/justin-trudeau-is-definitely-not-the-most-bae-canadian-leader
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/justin-trudeau-feminism-fatherhood_us_56f448a1e4b014d3fe22a29f
  8. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/10/why-people-who-hate-marijuana-should-legalize-it-anyway-according-to-justin-trudeau/?utm_term=.86ebd5280861#comments
  9. http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/07/04/justin-trudeau-toronto-pride-orig-emarticke.cnn
  10. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justin-trudeau-s-abortion-policy-keeps-people-talking-1.2771828
  11. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-justin-trudeau-canada-immigration-ban-muslim-countries-a7552186.html
  12. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/opinion/canadas-trudeau-steps-up-on-climate-change.html?_r=0
  13. https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/dec/15/justin-trudeau-interview-video
  14. 14.0 14.1 Trudeau Says He Does Not Have Money in Offshore Accounts. The Globe and Mail. April 7, 2016.
  15. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/you-dont-speak-french-you-shouldnt-lead-the-conservatives/article33654140/
  16. http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/kevin-oleary-doesnt-speak-french-but-says-he-could-still-be-prime-minister/
  17. Trudeau Takes Oath of Office. The Canadian Press. November 5, 2015.
  18. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/17/stop-swooning-justin-trudeau-man-disaster-planet
  19. Paradise Papers: Tax revelations hit Canada PM Justin Trudeau's fundraiser. BBC News. November 5, 2017.
  20. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/questions-raised-110bn-arms-deal-saudi-arabia-170608033511760.html
  21. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-saudi-arms-deal-what-weve-learned-so-far/article28180299/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&
  22. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2016/nov/22/justin-trudeaus-giant-corporate-giveaway
  23. http://www.hilltimes.com/2017/08/14/trudeau-pmo-stands-communications-driven-image-conscious-approach-say-strategists/116002?ncid=fcbklnkcahpmg00000008
  24. http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/11/26/statement-prime-minister-canada-death-former-cuban-president-fidel-castro
  25. Alex Kasprak (30 November 2016). "Is It Tru, Deau?". Snopes.
  26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8wQrM5jTWc
  27. TPP trade deal talks move forward despite Canada wobble. BBC News. November 11, 2017.
  28. https://www.liberal.ca/realchange/electoral-reform/
  29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIMACyMUlXk&t=4m05s