Federal Politics

Trudeau needs to rise to the challenges of Trump and Ford

There must be days when Justin Trudeau, his patrimony notwithstanding, must be asking himself why the heck he wanted to be prime minister.

The easy days of happy selfies with adoring fans and rave reviews in foreign media are fading. Sunny ways are being overtaken by harsh reality.

For Trudeau, reality means no more playacting as Donald Trump’s obliging northern neighbour and best pal. Reality now means fending off the bully who amuses himself by alienating his closest allies and trading partners, a president who thinks trade wars are good politics and are easy to win.

Unfulfilled expectations are Trudeau’s Achilles heel

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?" – Robert Browning.

That may be a viable proposition in poetry, Mr. Browning, but it does not work in politics, where a reach that exceeds one’s grasp means expectations have been created but left unfulfilled.

Just ask Justin Trudeau. Unfulfilled expectations are his Achilles’ heel as he struggles to raise the Liberal government out of its midterm slump.

Caroline Mulroney for leader? Not just yet.

Caroline Mulroney has a bright political future. She may be premier of Ontario one day, if such remains her ambition. But now is not her moment.

Her name was the first out of the mouths of television pundits in the hours following the stunning demise last week of Patrick Brown as the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives – the man oddsmakers were touting to win the provincial election in June. But Brown is gone, his career ruined by exposure of his alleged penchant for inebriated teenage girls.

It’s time for Trudeau to try a little humble pie

John Diefenbaker waggled his finger sternly across the aisle as he instructed the Liberal government of the day in 1968: “It is a long road that has no ash cans.”

While the provenance of Dief’s metaphor is obscure, his warning was clear. You think you know what you are doing, but don’t get so full of yourself, so convinced of the rightness of your course that you do not see the obstacles littering the road ahead.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his present-day Liberals must surely understand the Chief’s message. Their 2017 has been full of ash cans.