In politics, reality seldom matches the perception. Views of any leader can range from that of the Divine Saviour to Beelzebub. Both are grossly unfair but that never stops partisans from taking to the social media to blast their preposterously rigid views. The Liberal Party of Canada is holding its convention in Winnipeg this week and there will be much back slapping and goodwill. That’s what happens when you win a majority. But here are few small doses of reality which might lend a little balance to the joyous celebration of the triumphant return of Canada’s Natural Governing Party.
The Liberals promised during the election campaign to raise the minimum wage. No sign of that happening. They also promised to restore door to door mail delivery. Now, it’s been kicked down the road (another study). Trudeau promised Canada wouldn’t buy F-35 aircraft because they’re too expensive. That stand appears to have softened as well. Cronyism is still alive and well in Ottawa. The PM named a couple of buddies as ambassadors to the UN and the USA. Finance Minister Bill Morneau claimed his government had inherited a deficit of $3billion. This was false and has been shown to be so. When Morneau’s first budget came down the Parliamentary Budget Officer complained that the Liberals were even less transparent than the Harper government in some respects, no mean feat. Hidden in that budget was, well, not exactly hidden. It didn’t make it at all, was the Liberal promise to do away with employment insurance premiums for a 12-month period for employers who give permanent jobs to youth. Election promise? Yep. Delivered? Not so much. By the way, the Minister For Youth is none other than Justin Trudeau himself.
Then there was the pledge to give first nations an absolute veto over any new pipelines. Yeah well, that was then. Consultations were promised on the Trans Pacific Trade partnership. Those didn’t happen. Trudeau simply signed off. There was a $150 million dollar infrastructure fund which the Liberals used to call a Tory Slush fund but the cash is still flowing.
The Liberals promised greater transparency but cancelled all party budget consultations and are doing everything in their power (until last week’s debacle in the House) to restrict opposition debate.
I can hear it now, of course. “Harper was worse”. But instead of using the last government as a measuring stick for success, how about we just use the current government’s own election promises. How many are being kept, how many are being kicked down the road in the hopes that people will forget they were ever made and how many have been flat out broken? Whether you’re in love with Justin Trudeau or hate him, these are the only questions that really matter. But voters not bothering to ask those questions is something every government relies upon when it comes time to shop for our votes once again.