Canada Rex Murphy: Trudeau-Singh marriage will have grave consequences for the country
FIRST READING: Is Trudeau the lefty-est prime minister in Canadian history?
First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent direct to your inbox every Monday to Thursday at 6 p.m. ET (and 9 a.m. on Saturdays), sign up here. TOP STORY In a recent interview with Postmedia, Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre referred to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Canada’s first “NDP prime In a recent interview with Postmedia, Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre referred to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Canada’s first
It came upon us rather suddenly, but all things considered, it was surely no surprise. I refer to the joyous political nuptials of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who are still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship.
When the coalition — a word of some distaste to the parties that have publicly … what is the word … convened (Liberals are unsurpassed conveners) — came together and the parties put their fortunes and futures in each other’s hands, there was originally some curiosity about what it all meant. But surely that was obvious.
Kelly McParland: Liberals’ vote-pandering pact with the NDP is a presage of politics to come
Liberal party members seem well pleased with the deal struck with the New Democrats, as well they might. The agreement solves several problems, in particular their ongoing difficulty attracting popular support in the usual manner. Federal Liberals have won just one majority in the past 20 years. They enjoyed a strong period over the previous decade, but mainly due to a split in opposition ranks that left them largely unchallenged. And before that they sat on opposition benches for two Tory majorities. Justin Trudeau appeared to end the slide in 2015 with a convincing victory, but has lost ground ever since.
It gave both leaders a path to “correct” the results of Trudeau’s COVID election. It is now known that when the strategy wizards in the Prime Minister’s Office first suggested the idea of this grossly premature election, the auguries consulted gave promise of a majority government.
A majority government is the grail and El Dorado of every political leader, so the twin considerations of having three more years left in his mandate and the nation being under the grim burdens of COVID management had little influence on the prime minister’s decision to reach for the prize.
However, something happened between the call and the result. And alas, when the votes were counted, Trudeau was still in a minority, the Canadian people not having demonstrated the exuberance for his leadership that was expected of them. Voters can be such a gnarly bunch and not infrequently refuse to live up to the expectations of those leading them. The entire $600-million exercise proved essentially useless.
Rex Murphy: Ignore what's happening in the world. The Trudeau government does
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his visit to Williams Lake First Nation in British Columbia about the community's recent findings at the site of a former residential school.
Fortunately, we live in a parliamentary democracy that contains within its conventions a means to correct the wishes of the people, when they, the people, are so disobliging as to frustrate the wisdom of their masters. They might have voted for a minority, but that was just an eccentric decision by an electorate in a surly mood from COVID and vast overspending — and perhaps made even more prickly by the government’s relentless preaching on climate change.
The Liberals may be slow to fix the problems that, unlike the global climate, are actually within their power to address — the state of drinking water on Indigenous reserves being both a classic and deplorable example — but they are nothing if not swift when it comes to fixing matters that inconvenience them. Turtles on your problems, cheetahs on their own.
And so it came to pass that two parties, which, for most of their common history, were united only in scorn and contempt for each other, reached a happy accord. The banns were announced, rings were exchanged and the NDP and the Liberals became as one. And such a happy matrimony it has already proven to be.
The Covenant for Life - Where marriage and marriage contract Benefits offer
The marriage is nowadays for many. And yet she can be useful - above all the finances concerned. © Provided by finanzen.net Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP / GettyImages For many, marriage today enjoys a rather bad reputation. The "marriage contract" is commonly regarded as a unromantic - who demands him, even think of a divorce. And yet a marriage contract may be useful, not only in case of divorce.
Singh has been enabled to take his docile caucus off the spiky benches of the opposition — they remain seated on the opposite side, but their souls and hearts are in sweet cloister with their historic foes on the governing benches.
As for himself, I think he must be pleased that he has displaced Chrystia Freeland as deputy prime minister. Not officially, of course, as it is one of the sweet features of an unformalized coalition that the minority partner not be given a cabinet position, lest it be seen for what it really is. Yet who can deny that as the prop for an effective Liberal majority government, Singh is in the fabled catbird seat: his hand is on the lever that could return the Liberals to a minority.
In turn, Trudeau has made himself opposition-proof, and thus free to pursue the one and only goal that he has stuck with since entering politics: to sacrifice the economy at the altar of Mother Nature. This coalition allows him to keep hiking the dreaded and useless carbon tax, even at a time when gas prices have leapt skyward and inflation is biting savagely at those with lower incomes.
Most Canadians support Liberal-NDP deal but feel it betrayed voters: poll
By striking the agreement, the NDP traded their support in Parliament over the next three years for progress on issues they care about — like dental care and pharmacare.Despite that, a majority of Canadians still support the deal, according to a new Ipsos poll.
And of course, the marriage means that with the budget coming down, Trudeau can continue his steamroller progress towards net zero and the dismantling of Alberta’s (and Canada’s) most important industry. How long this direct assault on the economic backbone of one province will continue without a really massive backlash from Alberta’s citizens is a good question.
But for now, thanks to the coalition, and a Greenpeace minister of the environment, there will be no staying the imperious hand of the prime minister as he pursues his green vision for the country, which will have future consequences he will certainly not be around to face.
Rex Murphy: Flashbacks of the truckers' protest are 'haunting us still' .
I know that with such fast-flowing events as the Conservative leadership race, the Liberal budget, and of course Joe Biden’s matchless press conferences — there will someday be a book called Profiles in Incoherence — that the dark hours of the truckers protest are receding from memory. The Emergencies Act has — I think — been lifted, and people are slowly repairing their spirits from that trying episode. Still, we are not completely out from under its shadow. To borrow a phrase, famous from another context, “it haunts us still.