When Justin Trudeau appeared on CBC’s Power and Politics Tuesday night to defend himself against allegations of having a soft spot for Quebec sovereignty he jumped the shark. In fact he may have jumped a few sharks. For anyone who saw it, it was quite the unwound performance – and if you haven’t seen it, check it out.
Now even though my tendencies are more conservative in nature, I have always had some time for Justin. While he can be his own worst enemy, as witnessed with his emotional theatrics in the Commons foyer, it does take a good degree of courage to put your name on the ballot, fight for your place in a tough riding, live constantly with the bad that comes with bearing the Trudeau name and not be drunk on the constant diet of bullshit you are fed about your greatness. While we would have different views on many issues he deserves credit, as others do, for choosing public service.
Give Trudeau some marks for trying to explain his position. But in the course of doing that he did what Liberals constantly lambaste their Conservative opponents for doing: He went so far over the top in his condemnation of the government he might soon be joining Newt Gingrich on his moon base. His third-person, self-referential tirade was based on the usual failed Liberal talking points with a new conclusion – in Quebec separatism is a better option than supporting the current Prime Minister. You’d have thought Justin would have learned from his father that separatism is never an option any federalist should inflate or support.
If Justin ever wants to be a serious candidate for the Liberal leadership he is going to have to remember he is not teaching a drama class anymore. Equally, he has to abandon the failed Liberal approach of demonizing Stephen Harper, which seems only to benefit the NDP in Quebec, and avoid talking up separatism in any form. His time would be better spent developing rational arguments to unpack what he perceives as the offensive Conservative bromides.