Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tripping The Light Fantastic

"Many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years."
"Well, I have a simple message for you: on behalf of 35 million Canadians, we’re back."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
They can have him....!

"Some countries really wish to see the presence of Canada [within the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement]. Others might have less interest ... So, I think this is a very delicate balance which is in question."
"So we are sincerely hoping and strongly hoping that we can go ahead with Canada on board, yes. Otherwise this delicate balance might be affected."
Japanese Ambassador to Canada, Kimihiro Ishikane
Justin Trudeau made many election promises on the campaign trail. Canadians liked those promises and they elected a majority Liberal government, dismissing the majority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Politicians are very skilled at making election promises. They place a wet political finger high in the air to see what popular sentiments from the public waft by, and as they do, flail wildly to capture them and make them their own. Justin Trudeau did so with an emphasis on "sunny ways", interpreted as smiley faces, particularly his.

Justin Trudeau, a young man with previous experience as a snowboard instructor, a drama teacher at a private boys' school, and plenty of experience on the remunerative speaking circuit as the wealthy and telegenic son of a previous prime minister, felt he had what it would take to lead Canada into the future. A future which, under his tutelage and guidance, would prosper and became a 'nicer' place with a lot of smiley people eager to take selfies with a man pleased to share those selfies.

So, how's he doing? At his inauguration, his mother was overheard to murmur her own sentiments about her "Golden Boy". The Golden Boy with the Sunny Ways likes to have things go his way. And he enjoys moving among the big players on the world stage -- their reactions are so predictably courteous, including the one whose boorish ignorance and tendency to react on uninformed whims calls out for prudent grovelling on the part of supplicants.

Pierre Trudeau used to muse about the difficulty of a mouse living in close proximity to an elephant, fearful of it rolling over. Pierre Trudeau also recognized that in matters of trade with Canada's largest trading partner Canada would always be poked with the short end of the stick, so he reasoned that the Canada he led must look elsewhere for trading partners; that sentiment has stuck with his successors. And now, here's his son with one of the most vital files leading to Canada's future prosperity.

Australia was so taken aback and shocked at Justin Trudeau's behaviour -- boorish in the extreme -- at the TPP summit in Vietnam in November that resulted in an "unpredictable situation" with Canada, it informed the press that Canada had "sabotaged" the deal. Expected to appear at a meeting where all the leaders were to have signed the agreement to make it official, the leaders of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam were left cooling their heels when Canada's Trudeau failed to appear.

Simple enough; he was having a hissy-fit of anticipated entitlement inexplicably denied. Free trade agreements are meant to feature his personal signature, inclusive of specific wordiness, and inclusion of women's equality rights, demands that might seem out of place in a group of ten other heads of government whose focus might be elsewhere; this is trade, after all, not a philosophical treatise on human rights skewed Trudeau-way.

Perhaps Trudeau felt he could strong-arm those Pacific nations with his pacific beatitude. Canada, after all, alongside Mexico, is getting reamed by their great-trade-power partner, the United States of America by a president who scorns free trade, abhors the thought that other nations might benefit by opening up trade with the U.S. and insists on America First in all measures, fairness set aside. As for the Liberal fixation with a free trade deal with China which previous PM Jean Chretien had all but set up, Justin Trudeau's entitlement sense appears to have rubbed Chinese sensibilities the wrong way.

In the common parlance of Chinese nick-names, Justin Trudeau is known as the 'Small Potato', with or without his sunny ways. So that brings us to other important issues brought up during the election campaign, with a change the Liberals would bring in election reform high on he list of immediate 'to-do', when Trudeau announced his would be the last election under the current FPTP. Forget about that, now, dead and buried, awkwardly handled, embarrassing to the government -- almost.

During the election campaign, Trudeau asserted knowledgeably that the F-35 stealth jet fighters most of NATO were signed on to was 'untested' and unreliable. And  having stated unequivocally that Canada, despite its investment in the plane's advanced technology would not acquire them, worked himself into a corner where now 18 obsolete second-hand Australian CF18s will temporarily fill the gap of a shortage of military jets for Canada. Boeing is in Canada's bad books for bringing a suit against Bombardier of unfair competition. 

"Canada is back" as a member of the world community prepared to resume its 'traditional' peacekeeping role with the United Nations. Musing over African commitments and rearing back with the realization that African conflicts are horrendously costly, deadly and unstoppable, Trudeau committed to restructuring his promise and offering instead training equipment and air transportation to help other countries committed to having their military wear blue helmets.

The long-promised solution to forming a commission to investigate the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women has run into roadblocks. Inefficiency, lack of focus and discipline, and the censure of First Nations chiefs (as per tradition where those same chiefs fail to investigate the issue of violence within the communities victimizing both men and women) into the structure and lack of purpose of the commission before it even got off the ground.

Finally, the clumsy and unprincipled behaviour and actions of the finance file, where the Minister of Finance was brought up short on his very own actions as an immensely wealthy man whose family business stood to gain enormously with the enaction of amendments to taxation avoidance. The Ministers of National Defense and Finance have both diminished their own stature and that of the offices they hold by their demeanor and their inability to divulge the truth.

Let sunny ways prevail!

 

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