The debate in the US over the fiscal cliff, gun control, taxation – you name it – comes down, for the most part, to conservative versus … well not really liberal because that word is taboo south of the border. They use the “Left-Right”, “Conservative-Non-Conservative” couplets to describe the sides. To a Canadian it’s really more like a variation on one of this year’s best-selling books, Fifty Shades of Grey only in this case it’s Numerous Shades of Conservatism. There’s not a whole lot of Leftism to be found!
Here in the snowy North we have a new lightning rod for the debate: Justin Trudeau. As the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau seeks the leadership of the Liberal Party (imagine that, a political party that actually calls itself Liberal and, ironically here it’s the middle-of-the-road party, try the NDP!) those who didn’t particularly like (okay, despised) Trudeau pere and those who liked him have resurrected the old arguments.
In an effort to get a broad idea of what people think, I try to read publications from both sides of the political divide and, more interestingly, the comments from readers. So from time to time I scan through the webpages of the Sun News Network to balance the view. Sun News, ironically Quebec owned, is akin to Fox News in the US.
Sun News takes a populist, conservative-leaning approach that mirrors the namesake Sun chain of Quebecor-owned tabloid newspapers; that, and its employment of conservative commentators and operatives in key on-air and off-air positions, led media reports, pundits, and critics to colloquially bill the network as “Fox NewsNorth. – The Globe & Mail
A recent article, Fashion Over Debate: Sonny Days Ahead If Justin Trudeau Gets Liberal Leadership Nod included some pretty testy comments from readers. Needless to say, given the publication’s right lean, most of those comments were unfavorable to the Trudeaus. pere and fils.
The writer, Michael Coren starts the slinging with statements such as: “But if he wins, he will be a mere face for a more substantial and altogether more sinister body.First are the old Liberal hacks who were brought to political maturity by his father, and who want to rule again vicariously through the meagre son.”
Some of the follow-up comments are equally snippy:
If that little worm gets elected as PM it will be curtains for democracy in Canada. Hopefully Canadians will wake up and make sure that doesn’t happen. We have a lot of work to do to make sure that happens. – Kenneth Sorensen
An interesting first sentence; I guess if your candidate doesn’t get elected democracy doesn’t work.
We shall see what happens as time goes on, whether Justin Trudeau can strike a cord with enough voters to lead the Liberal Party into the next election. Or will he be deemed a liability because of his heritage and denied the leadership. Stay tuned, and stay civil as the debate heats up!