View From The Hill by Keith Beardsley – ISIS Debate in Canada Smoke & Mirrors

Dr. EvilCFN – As the debate on whether or not Canada should join the military campaign against ISIS heats up it is interesting to watch Justin Trudeau in action.

Remember this is the same newly minted Liberal leader who promised to do things differently. He was not going to be like Harper or other old style politicians; he was going to be different. Essentially he was preaching trust me, I am different, and I have a new way of doing things.

If we take Trudeau at face value, he doesn’t believe in negative attacks, but wasn’t he the one referring to the Conservatives trying to “whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are…” I don’t see him being any different there, insulting your opponents or belittling them isn’t new it’s an everyday item on the Hill.

Trudeau has demanded the Conservatives come clean and have an open debate on the Prime Minister’s motion to send our military into the Iraq conflict. That sounded good at the time, it even got him a few clips on the evening news, but there he was on Friday saying that the Liberals were voting against the motion before he has even heard the rational or details of the upcoming debate. I guess saying no before you know why, is his new way of doing things.

I may have missed it, but I don’t recall reading about a Liberal caucus meeting deciding that their position was to say no before hearing the debate. If they did and he listened all well and good, if they didn’t, then was it the party leader and a few unelected staff who made that decision (remember the abortion decision)? If the caucus as a whole didn’t make that decision, then again that is not a new way of doing things on the Hill, but more of Trudeau saying one thing and doing another. He sounds more and more like an old style politician.

When we include his interference in the nomination process in a few ridings one has to wonder just how is he different?

John Diefenbaker once said the “The Liberals are the flying saucers of politics. No one can make head nor tail of them and they never are seen twice in the same place.” A fitting description of Trudeau, in Trudeau’s case we never know from one day to the next what his latest policy announcement will be or on which side of an issue he will land. Sounds like an old fashioned Liberal to me.

When the debate ends next week there will be a vote. Trudeau has already stated that the Liberals will vote no. Party leaders making declarations and then telling their MPs how to vote is nothing new, party leaders have been doing that for years. The question in this case is will Trudeau allow his MPs a free vote? Now that would be different, that would help him to show that he is not an old fashioned politician. Will he insist that his MPs toe the line and do what he says or will they be able to vote their consciences?

It will be interesting to watch that vote and see just how different Justin Trudeau is from all the rest of the politicians that have gone before him. In spite of the hype surrounding Trudeau, so far he looks like all the other politicians we have seen on the Hill. Nothing new or different with this Liberal leader, he is just better at the art of smoke and mirrors.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for Cenco Public Affairs  in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

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  1. Yes Keith! He’s just more smoke than mirrors……

  2. Smoke and mirrors on both sides. i believe a free vote should be held instead of the usual “party line” voting.

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