I walk the line

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I like Justin Trudeau. I have said he is well versed on policy and is an excellent retail politician. Many people who know me well are incredulous that I could support a Liberal after working for Robert Stanfield. But as Trudeau himself said, when we met and I told him I’d been with Stanfield and tried to defeat his father, “So, you’re a Progressive Conservative.” Exactly. And our current prime minister is anything but.

Truth be told, I’m a Pearsonian Liberal and actually helped the Liberals during the 1963 federal election. A bunch of us high school students walked the 20 miles from Erin to Guelph one Saturday in support of Liberal candidate Ralph Dent. (He lost to the incumbent, Alf Hales.) When I was hired to be Stanfield’s press secretary in 1970, I had never even voted for the PC party. They were looking for someone with media experience, not a partisan, but I quickly came to admire Stanfield’s wit and wisdom.

Whether I was returning to my roots, or just had enough of Harper, I was drawn to Justin Trudeau and his views. He was, after all, the first major politician to denounce the Parti Quebecois plan to banish religious headgear.

Oh sure, there were the early mistakes. Dropping the f-bomb in a speech, expressing “a level of admiration” for China, and accusing Harper of whipping out our CF-18s “to show them how big they are.” But all were relatively innocuous, even if they came with a certain regularity.

I was out of the country for the latest faux pas, welcoming Eve Adams to the Liberal Party. What a fiasco. Adams had nowhere else to go after riling everyone in the Conservative Party. So why did Trudeau join her at the announcement news conference, all but declare her the Liberal party’s nominee in the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, and assign her some top campaign help? So much for Trudeau’s previous declaration that he would let the locals do the picking. 

If no one on his staff told him that his public support for Adams was a bad idea, then his staff is woeful. If they did tell him, and he didn’t listen, then his political judgment is sorely lacking. So far, voters are either forgiving or not paying attention. Polls have the Liberals either tied with or ahead of the Conservatives. But as far as I’m concerned, many more stupidities like the Adams endorsement and I won’t be walking in Justin Trudeau’s election parade.

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