Ottawa, Canada (TFC) – He entered the political world as the prodigal son of a rock star former prime minister, who was supposed to lead the rebirth of a Liberal Party turned into ashes by Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff. He had the name, the youth, and the passion to evict Stephen Harper from Sussex Drive, but as the draconian Bill C 51 prepares to diminish Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Trudeau has committed a type of political suicide he was too ignorant and inexperienced to prevent.
Last July at a rally in B.C., Trudeau made a brilliant political move when he saw a sign in a crowd that called for the decriminalization of marijuana. He responded to the sign by saying, “I’m actually in favour of legalizing it; tax and regulate it. It’s one of the only ways to keep it out of the hands of our kids, because the current war on drugs, the current model, is not working. We have to use evidence and science to make sure that we’re moving forward on that.” The crowd went wild, and his stance made national headlines, allowing him to use the promise of legal cannabis to gather support for a party that was on life support.
In January 2012, a poll released by Forum Research Inc. found 66% of Canadians want a change in cannabis laws. A year later The Globe and Mail released a graph from Angus Reid that showed almost 60% of Canadians support full legalization of the plant. Trudeau clearly saw the political benefits of calling for cannabis legalization, and his brave stance was supported by Maclean’s magazine which ran a cover story calling for cannabis to be completely legal.
He took on the Harper government and was able to deflect any Conservative criticism of his pro pot views; making Stephen Harper look like a fool. After admitting to smoking cannabis while a Member of Parliament; the Liberals polled at 38%, ahead of Harper’s Conservatives, who according to a poll commissioned by The National Post had only 29% support among Canadians.
The Harper government has spent tens of millions to advertise the Canada Action Plan, while cutting valuable environmental programs. Stephen Harper has ruled Canada through arrogance and ego; silencing Canadian scientists who don’t follow Harper’s anti environment views. Canada’s reputation as a pro environment, pro peace keeping nation has been threatened under the leadership of Stephen Harper, and Canadians are fed up.
In the last quarter of 2014, 39% of Canadians approved of the job Harper is doing as prime minister. Although the numbers increased four points from the beginning of the year, the poll still showed the majority of Canadians did not like Harper, and as Trudeau billed himself as the anti-Harper, Pierre’s son was destined to follow his father’s footsteps and lead Canada away from the mess Harper has left. Then Trudeau made a blunder he will be hard pressed to recover from.
Upon initial introduction, Bill C 51 had the support of a majority of Canadians, but as more people read the legislation; bloggers, special interest groups, and the media began to make a fuss. In April, mere months after Canadians expressed their support, 56% of those aware of the bill disapproved of the “anti-terror” law, with 75% of 18-34 year old’s voicing their opposition. Despite millions of Canadians taking the time to read through the legislation and then voicing their disapproval; Trudeau decided to stand next to Harper and encouraged the Liberal Party to vote for the bill. Now, after the Senate approved C 51, Canadians are left to wonder what will happen to their country.
Thanks to the approval of C 51, protesting a pipeline is now deemed a security threat, and allows the government to dictate which people deserve extra scrutiny, without any oversight. The tax and health records of Canadians can be shared with the RCMP, while the “promotion of terrorism,” can now grant Canadians a longer stay in prison without charges.
In March, Trudeau detailed the plan for his vote by declaring he doesn’t want the Harper government to make, “-political hay out of an issue… as important as security.” After his vote, Trudeau traveled to Edmonton, Alberta and faced angry protesters who asked why he voted for the bill. Trudeau argued, “-there are elements in that bill that keep Canadians safe, in a concrete and serious way. And we need to make sure we’re balancing rights and freedoms with the protections of Canadians.”
After he was challenged, Trudeau further placed his head in the sand by claiming, “Balancing rights and freedoms is what the nature of society is.”
Now Trudeau has angered the very people who once supported him. As noted by Peter Nowak for CBC, It doesn’t matter what the story is about, any time Trudeau posts something on his Facebook page, former Trudeau voters have voiced their displeasure over his vote; promising to vote for the NDP.
A man who was once destined to become Prime Minister is at risk of destroying his destiny. A Liberal candidate who was pegged to challenge Justice Minister Peter MacKay for a seat in parliament has quit the race for, “integrity,” reasons.
David MacLeod, a Canadian military veteran told reporters, “My grandfather served as well, he served to hold back tyranny. More often or not, I usually faced oppressive political systems and I did that in the name of Canadian democracy. But when I come home now, I find that C-51 is going to really affect our Charter of Rights and Freedoms or in some cases, negate the Charter and I find that very offensive.”
Instead of voting against C 51 and promising the “good” parts of the bill to be included in a different bill, Trudeau decided to piss off the people he depends on to become Prime Minister, and C 51 has become his noose. The mistake has destroyed any chance Trudeau had of becoming Canada’s next leader.