JULY 14, 2020 – Trudeau has apologized again for another ethical mess of his own making. He played his part well staring into the camera, voice soft and low, looking contrite etc. You have to give him high marks for his performance and it certainly took over the daily news coverage.
My guess is most voters will shrug this one off for now. Surviving the pandemic, wearing a mask, trying to figure out if and how their children will be going to school in the fall matters more to them now than the nonsense coming out of Ottawa.
Trudeau’s apology came a week too late. Someone in the PMO, maybe the Prime Minister, was too stubborn to admit an obvious wrong when the story broke and they dragged this out far too long allowing the PM and the Liberals to take a week of hits from the media and the opposition parties.
In spite of the Conservatives glee over this issue, barring any new major revelation this story is running its course. Yes, there will be the drama of whether or not Trudeau will appear before committee to be grilled by opposition MPs. But, why would he subject himself to that when it would only move the story from the back pages to the front page again? They are better to run out a few cabinet ministers who can stick to their talk points. After a few hours of that, the Liberals can shut the committee down and say they gave the opposition and public what they needed to know.
The Conservatives need to be careful. They are treading on dangerous ground when they ask for his resignation, or for him to step aside or for a police investigation. For one thing, setting that precedent now, can come back and bite you when you are the party in government.
They should not push the Liberals too hard when they do not have a leader. The PM can always ask the people to decide if he should remain the leader and while polls have dipped slightly over this issue it is far from a fatal blow to the government or to the PM’s personal popularity.
This issue will not defeat the government, nor would it have defeated previous Liberal or Conservative governments. Governments are defeated over time as they become more arrogant and mistake after mistake piles up diminishing their record and popularity and that applies to all political parties.
The present government and its ethically challenged leader have not reached that point yet.
Keith is a former Conservative political staffer with over 50 years of active involvement in Canadian politics. During that time, he has held quite a few party positions as well as political staff positions. Most recently, Keith was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Issues Management with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2003-2008). Prior to that he worked as an advisor in the Leader’s Office for Peter Mackay, Joe Clark and Jean Charest. Keith also served as the Chief of Staff to the minister in three Federal departments during Brian Mulroney’s government (1984-89). Additional political experience came as the staff person in charge of Question Period from 1997-2008 where he served in both the Opposition and Government roles. Keith is also known for having created one of the most effective political rapid response teams in Canadian politics. He also has municipal experience and he was a city councilor in a suburb of Montreal. Known for his bluntness and to the point comments, this blog is also known for its fairness and respectful treatment of politicians from all parties. A well-known political pundit, Keith has appeared many times on Canadian political panels and he has been interviewed by major Canadian networks including CTV, CBC, Global. He has also given presentations/speeches in various parts of Canada and the USA.