Is Justin Trudeau a disaster waiting to happen?

By on November 26, 2015

Will he be another Obama?

There are moments in time when we all stand back and watch a potential disaster developing. Mouths agape, it is only after the event when some helpful soul exclaims, “Boy we should have seen that coming!”

The wave of support that has lifted Justin Trudeau into the country’s highest office could be that unanticipated disaster unfolding before our eyes. It is worth remembering that a tidal wave, while compelling to watch from afar, eventually hits shore where its true nature is manifested.

No crystal ball being available, no one can say for certain that a Trudeau and Liberal government will in fact be disastrous. But seldom has a party gone from a distant third place to a 184 seat majority in a new Parliament. Fewer still are the examples when that party is helmed by a manifestly untested leader set to become the new Prime Minister – joined by a largely inexperienced caucus when one considers things like actual governing as a desirable job requirement.

Has there ever been a more telling example of our celebrity-driven culture than watching a man, who has never held executive power, ascend to office with echoes of his being “dreamy” still ringing in our ears?

We have become so accustomed to fawning over people who are famous, not for great achievement but for the fact of being famous, that we willingly abdicate our responsibility as citizens to take the measure of a person, instead preferring to bask in the reflected glow of what may very well be an illusion.

In the United States, there was a similar situation in 2008 when voters chose a man who had served less than one full term in the Senate and elevated him to the White House. President Barack Obama had significant oratorical skills and memorably spoke to adoring crowds in Berlin prior to even winning a single vote.

So complete was his Svengali-like hold on the population that it was considered rudeness to even question his qualifications. Eight years later, and nearing the end of his presidency, he has proven to be an equal opportunity disappointment to those who believed his time in office would result in a sea change in how American society was ordered.

If one wishes to base their support – of what can charitably be called an “image” candidate – on being lifted up to unfamiliar plateaus of hope and change then both Obama and Trudeau have met that bar. To give people hope is no small feat and should not be dismissed, but neither should actual tested leadership. Justin Trudeau is about to be tested certainly but it might have been prudent to see his readiness instead of simply declaring it in a campaign slogan. It’s like wearing a T-shirt that says “Beautiful” – the rule of thumb being if you have to say it about yourself you probably aren’t it.

Much was said in the campaign about momentum. Justin Trudeau rose and grew in such a way that an aura of inevitably surrounded him by election day. There are always a host of voters who are seduced by the desire to be on the presumptive winning side – which is why it is never a good thing to be on the wrong end of a pre-election poll. These voters are unfettered by deep thinking. Recordings go platinum and stars are born based on this mom phenomenon.

Every person’s vote is sacred and it would be arrogance to suggest that any of us knows better than our fellow citizens what the best choice is. But we do have the right to expect that votes are cast based on serious, sober reflection – informed by both present and potential issues.

A stratospheric popularity is difficult to ignore. But, as we all know, what goes up will come down. When it does, the thud can sometimes be deafening.-TROYMEDIA

MacFadyen is a lawyer and freelance writer living in New York State

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