For years I would instinctively point out that there was a huge difference between British Columbia's Liberal Party, our perpetual provincial government, and the federal Liberal Party. To me there was a real difference. The federal Liberals embraced a measure of liberalism. The provincial Liberals were staunch conservatives flying a false flag.
What a relief. That distinction is gone. Thanks to Ignatieff and now Trudeau, "small l" liberalism has been scrubbed out of the federal party also. They're both conservative now.
Stephen Harper can be proud of himself as he looks on today's federal Liberals. Justin Trudeau is in lockstep, faithfully carrying out Sideshow Steve's sacred mission to permanently shift Canada's political centre far to the right, safely quarantined from any progressive contagion.
On the great challenges of the day - climate change, inequality, neoliberalism, and more - the Liberal legacy is nowhere to be found. Take climate change. Trudeau and his enviromin, Dame Cathy McKenna, stage a grandiose performance at the Paris climate summit only to return home to ramp up bitumen extraction and export. A shameless, wanton betrayal of their boastful promise.
Then there was the Saudi death wagon deal. We knew what the Saudis were. We knew what they were doing. We knew what purposes those armoured vehicles, once heavily armed, would be put to. The deal wasn't even done. The requirements hadn't been met. No matter. It was a 15 billion dollar order and the Saudis could have used those things to drive over little babies, it wouldn't have stopped Trudeau from cementing the deal.
Canada as a surveillance state? Trudeau promised to reform Harper's bill C-51. Voters thought he would rein it in. Fat chance.
Israel and the persecution of an enslaved people? Alison at Creekside has kept a meticulous record of Canada's voting record on motions in the UN General Assembly dealing with Israel or Palestine or both. These are things much too mundane to show up in Canada's news media. We knew Harper was an utter Likudnik. It appealed to his Christian fundamentalism. But Trudeau? He's in lockstep with Harper. Every time a resolution comes up at all critical of Israel the usual suspects - the United States, Canada and a gaggle of South Pacific island states bought and paid for - dutifully vote in opposition. Trudeau has Canada stand against the rest of the world - South America, Africa, all of Asia, and most importantly, the entire European Union. He has made us complicit.
Now the world has Trump and Trudeau is quick to morph into his dutiful lapdog fearful perhaps that the Cheeto Benito might give us a thrashing over NAFTA. It rarely turns out well when your instincts are to show cowardice to a bully.
For these and so many other reasons it's no longer possible to contend that liberalism exists within this Liberal government. It is to liberal as Christy Clark is and that is not remotely.
In the next election I will work to drive every Liberal MP from this province. When the usual pandering starts about how that only ensures a Conservative return to power I'll respond that doesn't make much difference. The Trudeau Liberals have failed Canada. They could have honoured their solemn promises. They could have made Canada better. They didn't even try.
As you may recall, Justin was given an Easter weekend kick in the balls yesterday at both Slate.com and in The Guardian. In the first he was depicted as a spineless, "bargain basement Obama." In the other he was outed as a "stunning hypocrite" on climate change. Both assessments were fair and accurate.
Today, our erstwhile prime minister, is getting a thumping from Huffington Post where Elijah Dan questions whether Trudeau doesn't show fascist-grade tendencies of dishonesty.
A couple weeks ago, Bill Maher had Timothy Snyder on as a guest. Yale professor of history, Snyder's recent book is titled, On Tyranny. Given the Trump presidency, Snyder's book sounds as timely as you can get.
In it, Snyder details the many lessons we can learn from the history of tyranny. One in particular caught my attention. It's the frangible relationship between truth and politics, and how abandoning truth is a frontal attack on democracy:
"Without truth we don't have trust. Without trust, we don't have the rule of law. Without the rule of law, we don't have democracy."
"People who are going for post-fact; people who are against the truth are taking the direct line to killing democracy... when we think about post-fact ... what we should be thinking about is fascism."
Then came the part that really grabbed my attention:
"It's the fascists who said everyday life doesn't matter; details don't matter; facts don't matter; all that matters is the message, the leader, the myth, the totality."
What surprised me, listening to Snyder's description of the earmarks of fascism, was that Donald Trump didn't come to mind.
Popping up instead was the image of our own Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, complete with sleeves rolled up on his crisp, white dress shirt.
Dann cautions that we make the mistake of measuring Trudeau against Trump rather than weighing the prime minister on his own dishonesty.
But be careful here. It's exactly that sort of reasoning that makes fascism so dangerous.
Mesmerized by the most extreme perpetrators, we can then unconsciously ignore egregious abuses of democracy by more "normal," even cuddly-appearing leaders.
The bottom line: Our Prime Minister shouldn't be held to less a standard because there are more notorious examples in public office. A lie is a lie, is a lie.
The comparison then, isn't with Trump. It's with the standard of truth, and Trudeau's own stabs at Canadian democracy, including the declaration that electoral reform is no longer necessary, or wearing big-boy pants and saying too quickly that Trump's military strike in a foreign country is justified.
Justin's duplicitous dance with climate change.
So we have Justin at the United Nations in New York City, signing the Paris climate treaty, looking all diligent and serious for the cameras (not without a few indulgent photos), saying that we -- especially he, with his newly minted Minister of the Environment and Climate Change -- do take it seriously.
Then, only to return to Canada and say that he has a duty to get our "natural resources" to market, which means the worst of the worst: Further exploiting the tarsands, and building pipelines out to BC to ship bitumen to Asia.
"We know we can get our resources to market more safely and responsibly while meeting our climate change goals"
Quickly followed by Post-Truth Whopper #2:
"This is a decision based on rigorous debate, on science and on evidence."
These two statements, simply and categorically, are a contradiction in terms.
They are no different from the utterances, "the circle is a square." "Some bachelors are married males." "The pregnant virgin." "He's a gentle torturer." "She's a towering midget." "All pigs are equal, but some are more equal than others." Or, in Trudeau's case, "Wrong is right, and right is wrong."
All are Post-Fact blatherings. All are an overt shout in the face that, "details don't matter; facts don't matter; all that matters is the message, the leader, the myth, the totality."
I don't care if you're a Liberal or a New Democrat, a Green or "none of the above," you know this prime minister is a liar, as wanton a dissembler as the guy we so loathed whom he replaced. Whenever Trudeau's partisan political fortunes clash with the interests of the country and betterment of our countryman, Trudeau can be counted on to place the Liberal Party first.