Trudeau promised Camelot and delivered, well, Ottawa.
September 6, 2019 6:06 AM   Subscribe

The Two Sides of Canada | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj [YouTube] “In the latest episode of his satirical news show Patriot Act, comedian Hasan Minhaj lays bare Canada’s hypocrisy on the environment, Quebec’s secularism bill on religious symbols, and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. He calls out Trudeau on the disparities between the prime minister’s progressive sound bites and his actual policy. The episode, aptly called “The Two Sides of Canada,” switches back and forth between Minhaj in studio and a one-on-one interview between Minhaj and Trudeau.” [via: Vice News]

• A minute-by-minute analysis of Justin Trudeau’s cringe-worthy appearance on Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj [Toronto Life]
“For most Canadians, the long weekend was a chance to relax and bid farewell to summer. For Justin Trudeau, it was, well, something between a cringe-fest and a formidable ass whooping. On Sunday, the PM made an appearance on an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. The Netflix series specializes in pithy political satire geared towards a younger audience, which is presumably why Trudeau’s team (keen to reach millennial voters) okayed the appearance. To be fair, it wasn’t all bad: Minhaj did point out that Trudeau is probably the best bad option for progressive Canadian voters. He even compared Canada’s PM to the Green New Deal, “if the Green New Deal had piercing blue eyes and wanted to read your poetry.” But the friendly moments were few and far between in what is sure to go down as one of Trudeau’s biggest PR missteps.”
• Americans, take it easy. Justin Trudeau is not the liberal hero you think he is. [The Washington Post]
“Please stop. Although Trudeau has proved to be a powerful public relations coup for my country, the political erotica now streaming from the southern border is embarrassing, shallow and largely misses the mark. Trudeau is not the blue-eyed lefty Jesus, and the global affection for him — and for the progressive politics that he and this country seem to represent — presents a puerile and distorted vision of Canada and its political culture. Worse, the uncritical puffery that is passing for political journalism only makes it harder to hold the man to account. [...] But all of the things that make Canada such a liberal exemplar predate Trudeau by generations. Many of them have their roots in a Westminster parliamentary system and political culture that demands compromise and conciliation and time, rather than benevolent leadership. Further, they are far from perfect, and they come with higher taxes and a greater curtailment of personal freedoms. There are no free lunches in Canada. (There aren’t even any food stamps.)”
posted by Fizz (93 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
I watched this yesterday. It is pretty remarkable: Minhaj asks a bunch of tough questions that were clearly not vetted by Trudeau's people. It gets pretty tense in the interview room.

Also, as a Canadian, I am not immune from being charmed any time we get big US coverage (see also: the John Oliver episode before the 2015 election).
posted by hepta at 6:25 AM on September 6 [7 favorites]


The Trudeau Formula: After a decade of Stephen Harper, the arrival of Justin Trudeau felt like a relief. But as Canadians reckon with the gulf between the dazzling promise of Trudeau’s election and the grim reality of his government, journalist Martin Lukacs makes the case that “real change” was never part of the agenda.

I haven't read it yet, but those are some impressive endorsements.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:44 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Though as Minhaj says, he's the best of the viable alternatives. Not voting for a stock photo of a white guy or francophone Archie Bunker, Jagmeet Singh has Trudeau's flaws but pitched a little higher, and the Greens haven't surged enough to get them within shouting distance of PM May. Sowaddayagonnado?

Something like this is valuable because Trudeau is at least self-aware and subject to shame -- he might actually self-reflect to the point of making some improvements.
posted by Quindar Beep at 6:55 AM on September 6 [10 favorites]


he might actually self-reflect to the point of making some improvements.

I see you're now writing for The Beaverton. Hahaha, thanks for this laugh.

This is not the Trudeau we have. His behaviour over his tenure in office speaks to that.
posted by Fizz at 6:59 AM on September 6 [12 favorites]


Jagmeet Singh has Trudeau's flaws but pitched a little higher

Oh damn which pipeline did he go and buy?
posted by Space Coyote at 7:08 AM on September 6 [16 favorites]


Americans got swept up in him on a surface level compared to Trump so maybe this is news to them? Since he reneged from election reform as soon as he was in power I've had no faith in him.. tho that's the norm I have for the Liberals.
And yet I'll be more than likely to vote for them as the NDP is floundering and the Greens are still too small. Sheer is a Christian right person who is spouting neo nazi points. It's been so long since I had someone to vote for.
posted by kanata at 7:12 AM on September 6 [6 favorites]


I said it in the last SNC Lavalin thread, and I'll say it again. I really feel like I have no one I want in office. I'm not really voting FOR someone, I'm actively voting AGAINST. It's the lesser of evils. I'm not a fan of Trudeau at all, we refer to him as the "Class President of Canada" in this house.

But like kanata said, Scheer is a right-wing troll that has a lot of political stances that are in line with white nationalism. The green party wouldn't make a dent, and I'm not sure what the NDP really stand for. Ugh, I'm just so unimpressed with all of these options.
posted by Fizz at 7:15 AM on September 6 [7 favorites]


I'm reminded of the way Jon Stewart used to always remind us that he was a comedian, not a serious political analyst. Although that was true, his jokes were usually backed up by well-considered and basically fair political analysis, and a strong sense of how to find the intersection between comedy and sharply insightful commentary. I'm reminded of it because that kind of humility and honesty would go a long way towards making Hasan's act better. There's a bit too much shallow partisan point-scoring. It is funny, though, and I guess that's the main thing you want in a comedy show.
posted by sfenders at 7:19 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]


Oh damn which pipeline did he go and buy?

I mean, yes, but at the same time, if your best argument in favour of Jagmeet Singh is 'thus far, he has never had the authority to fuck up our country' is not exactly a ringing endorsement.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:20 AM on September 6 [8 favorites]


I watched this last night. Had mixed reactions/feelings. I had heard on the most recent Canadaland podcast that Minhaj has a Canadian writer, which is why this deviated from the usual American coverage of Trudeau which is almost always fawning and nauseating to me. In talking about the SNC Lavalin affair, he brought back the connection to the Gaddafis, which has been given shockingly short shrift in Canadian coverage of the episode, who tended to cover it as a war of personalities between Trudeau, Butts and Wilson-Raybould, without really going into the underlying issues. (One notable exception was Sandy Garrosino's excellently researched piece in the National Observer.)

On the one hand, it was a good overview and covered a lot. On the other hand, the analysis of the oil sands (like a lot of Canadian coverage) was unnuanced (especially on curtailment, which was thrown out as a 'gotcha' on TMX, but has a good number of factors contributing to the need - if the UCP hadn't cancelled the NDP's oil by rail deal, curtailment would be over by now, for instance). Although, given that even the Alberta NDP have started using the "Alberta Can't Wait" language that was so roundly mocked when it was coined by a UCP troll account, I guess expecting any kind of nuance or completeness of facts on anything related to pipelines or oil and gas is probably unrealistic - you either want to shut down all bitumen production or you want to ramp it up with no regulation of any kind. Not much room for solutions or considered transition plans or thought in the current media/political environment. And, yes, Minhaj is a comedian, but his writers are journalists, and our 'serious' journalists are no better.

I do wonder if anyone in the PMO did any due diligence at all before sending Trudeau out in that interview. He often looked like a dawn stunned in the car headlights, like he was expecting a softball, celebrity type interview and not expecting anything challenging.
posted by Kurichina at 7:24 AM on September 6 [6 favorites]


Trudeau has been an enormous disappointment, for sure, but Jesus Christ mission 1 was get Harper out of office for someone not 100% evil, and mission 2 was get electoral reform, and at least we got the first thing.

I don't want to tread water with Trudeau for sure, but please let's not go back to drowning in sludge because we're mad at his centrism. If there's a viable NDP candidate in my riding, I'll take them in a heartbeat. Otherwise it's Bill Morneau again, who is a white dude, but has done some pretty decent things.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:31 AM on September 6 [19 favorites]


I'm reminded of the way Jon Stewart used to always remind us that he was a comedian, not a serious political analyst. Although that was true, his jokes were usually backed up by well-considered and basically fair political analysis, and a strong sense of how to find the intersection between comedy and sharply insightful commentary. I'm reminded of it because that kind of humility and honesty would go a long way towards making Hasan's act better.

Hmm, I think the time for polite questions has passed. Politics in 2019 doesn't really allow for this kind of humility. I wish we lived in that world. You have to put them to the fire, apply pressure, make these politicians uncomfortable and hold them accountable for their decisions, their lies, their fudging the truth and using words to get out of things they've promised.

I was impressed with Hasan. There were some really uncomfortable moments in that interview. Trudeau probably thought this was going to be an interview where some fluff questions and answers would be thrown in his direction. Instead, he was put under a spotlight and asked tough questions that the media SHOULD be asking.

I hate that our media doesn't do this, or if they are, they're not doing it well enough. It seems like only late night comedians have a platform from which they can just say the things most of us are thinking and wanting to say to these politicians. Maybe it's because the media is so fearful of corporate pushback and being punished financially, of losing their jobs or access to these politicians. Either way, I'm here for more of Hasan.
posted by Fizz at 7:31 AM on September 6 [23 favorites]


And honestly have you seen the Green party website lately? Where they say on the web page they're neither "left nor right" so apparently somewhere right of the Liberals? Not what I'm wanting to hear nope nope nope
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:34 AM on September 6 [10 favorites]


I watched this yesterday. It is pretty remarkable: Minhaj asks a bunch of tough questions that were clearly not vetted by Trudeau's people. It gets pretty tense in the interview room.

I was impressed by Minhaj's interview -- very clearly not what Trudeau's people expected -- but also rather reluctantly impressed by Trudeau's sangfroid.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:43 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I'm reminded of the way Jon Stewart used to always remind us that he was a comedian, not a serious political analyst.

That always felt like a dodge to me, though. Sure Stewart didn't abuse the deniability that stance gave him to anywhere near the extent of a Fox News program pulling the whole "we're really news entertainment, so propaganda dressed up as news is a-ok!" thing, but Stewart certainly was a serious political commentator when it suited him and a comedian when it didn't.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:46 AM on September 6 [13 favorites]


What's wrong with NDP even if they are floundering or doesn't stand for anything? I think those are good qualities for thoughtful leadership. It's people who succeed and have strong opinions, like Trudeau, that are consistently problematic.

The only two reasons not to choose NDP is if they are corrupt or if it will cause tactical vote splitting and give power to the Canadian right wing. Otherwise, people who don't project artificial confidence are kind of exactly what society needs more of.
posted by polymodus at 7:46 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


1. man, i really dislike how washpo publishes canadian conservatives.
Many of them have their roots in a Westminster parliamentary system and political culture that demands compromise and conciliation and time, rather than benevolent leadership. Further, they are far from perfect, and they come with higher taxes and a greater curtailment of personal freedoms. There are no free lunches in Canada. (There aren’t even any food stamps.)
jen gerson sucks, i've decided, this is just a dumb misstatement. what personal freedoms are curtailed? oh no what a land of unfreedom

2. Jagmeet Singh has Trudeau's flaws but pitched a little higher is pretty vapid
posted by pmv at 7:54 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


What's wrong with NDP even if they are floundering or doesn't stand for anything?
The "doesn't stand for anything" part of that is a big deal for me, especially given their roots in being the party of organized labour and worker's rights. That being said, Jagmeet Singh has a history of putting his foot in it over Sikh extremism. A lot of the fuss around that is nonsense, but his involvement in trying to have Canada pressure India to show leniency to the participant in the assassination of an elected official isn't.

I know someone extremely highly placed in the Trudeau government, who is a close family friend since long before they went into politics, and in private conversations I have been told that ultimately a lot of the disappointments I've had with them (and I only voted for the Liberals over the NDP or Greens because of this friend) are because they live in utter terror of accidentally handing things to Scheer, and that this has determined a large part of their agenda. They didn't tell me this in exactly those words, but many, many of my friend's arguments about why the pipeline needs to be built, why no election reform, etc. comes down to "if we lose jobs in Alberta we hand the next election to Scheer" and "if we don't get the version of election reform we want we hand the next election to Andrew Scheer" and on and on and on and on.

I don't expect to see a Green official opposition anytime soon, certainly not a government, but it would be good to have them as the third party in a minority government situation. No party on the left aligns entirely with my views (and certainly no party on the right even comes within spitting distance), but at least Elizabeth May has a spine.
posted by Fish Sauce at 8:05 AM on September 6 [7 favorites]


Well we don't have unlimited freedom to spew hate speech, die in the streets from easily treatable medical conditions, or open carry hand guns. Canada really is an authoritarian hell hole.

(There aren’t even any food stamps.)”

We do, at least in my province in the form of restricted use debit cards. But for the most part our welfare programs revolve around giving people (not enough) money. The food cards are usually extras in some form.
posted by Mitheral at 8:11 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I love Hasan's show and was quite happy to see a whole episode on Canada, though I wish it had been a little more in depth in terms of how Canadian politics differ from American politics It definitely felt like the way it was presented was designed to try and force Canadian realities into the model Americans are used to viewing politics through. One major point is that our election is next month and campaigning has barely started. One of the major parties hasn't even decided on a candidate for my riding yet.

The interview really made Trudeau look pretty bad (you'd think he would have realized that responding to being called 'white' with "I'm one sixteenth... er, one thirty-second... Malaysian" is a bad look). Honestly, that in and of itself is pretty welcome, because it gets annoying how much the rest of the world seems to fawn over him. Yes, his ideology is a big improvement over Harper's, but Trudeau has shown himself to be pretty shit at the job of actually running the country.

Overall though, I unfortunately agree with Fizz. I have FIVE major parties to choose from in this election (major as in they actually win seats) and I really don't want to vote for any of them.
posted by 256 at 8:15 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


Yeah I hate to admit it as a member of the NDP and from a family of generations of union members and NDP workers but I need to stop Sheer. I am seeing white pride shit in my town in small Canadian ways and as a queer trans person I'm nervous as hell and the NDP might end up being a vote splitter. Sheer and some Albertans are encouraging shit I need to stop.

I never vote liberal in provincial elections as they been nothing but conservatives here in bc.
posted by kanata at 8:16 AM on September 6 [13 favorites]


Speaking as one who regularly has to deal with the consequences, I'd much rather have the pipeline than not. I'd much rather not ship dibit at all and instead ship a partially upgraded product that doesn't have the associated environmental risk factors. I would also be very happy to find another job if we chose not to ship oil at all. But given the choices we have right now, I'm in favour of the pipeline for environmental reasons.
posted by Anonymous 5$ Sockpuppet at 8:19 AM on September 6


Kudos to Minhaj and his writers for including Romeo Saganash's question period remarks. They don't mention that he later apologized while standing behind his original point:

You said you were exasperated — you were frustrated. Was there something specific that pushed you to that point?

It's about everything — the way they do things. They're all talk and no action.

They use words like "engagement," "dialogue" but not necessarily "consultation" from a constitutional standpoint.

If you take it from a constitutional standpoint then that duty and constitutional obligation to consult in accommodating Indigenous peoples and their rights — you cannot make that decision — say this pipeline is going to be built no matter what, and on the other hand, claim to be consulting Indigenous peoples.

It doesn't work that way.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:24 AM on September 6 [8 favorites]


"...they live in utter terror of accidentally handing things to Scheer, and that this has determined a large part of their agenda."

This may be true. But it also perfectly aligns with the Liberals' eternal call to progressive voters to hold their nose and vote Liberal in order to stop the Conservatives. An election comes, Liberals try to scare progressive voters, claim they'll make some compromises if they'll just do this one thing this one time, and once they get in power, nothing ever comes of it. It's a call that comes out like clockwork and is as old as the party itself.

I'm not saying there's no truth behind it, only that this messaging comes out Every. Damn. Time. I'll take it with a grain of salt the size of Lot's Wife.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:32 AM on September 6 [13 favorites]


It's so frustrating because there was such an effort to get Harper out, but now that Trudeau has shown himself to be questionable (at best) a large segment of those voters will be like "Well guess I have no choice but to vote for the awful racist!" I will do my part and vote but I have pretty low expectations for October.
posted by thebots at 8:36 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


That part where he tries to get Trudeau to testify to the Shahada got me in every single funny, though. With the creepy camera zoom and the glare and the utterly normal call to prayer playing. Every single funny.
posted by lauranesson at 8:50 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]


The funny(?) thing about the Liberals being so scared to lose the oil vote is if you ask around it seems like a ton of people will insist the current government and Trudeau specifically are fervently anti-pipeline. If they're going to believe that no matter what you do, then why bother trying to appease unless it's actually what you want?
posted by ODiV at 8:59 AM on September 6 [11 favorites]


Right? I've also never understood the "we can't do the good thing we were elected to do because what if it causes the other guy to get elected next time and he does terrible things" argument, because, uh, if you aren't doing the good things what is the point of you anyway?
posted by Fish Sauce at 9:07 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


I'm reminded of this quote about his father:
It was all slightly improper, but fun. Brainy young women from the NDP and the peace movement clamored to lick stamps for Pierre. Quebec's separatist RIN party came out for him because they thought he'd bring on the deluge quicker than anybody else. Academics clustered around him, not because he was an academic, but because he was a swinger and go-go was the hip academic thing. For generations, hoary old men had talked about this young country. Now a young man (of nearly forty-nine) was frugging his way to power, backed not so much by the voteless young, but by those who wanted to feel young.

The awful truth was briefly revealed by Toronto professor Paul Fox: "Beneath his dashing image, Pierre Trudeau is a conservative."
I wouldn't go that far about either Pierre or Justin; in terms of the things that Justin has symbolically aligned with, at least - apologies to First Nations, lots of women in cabinet, legalization, welcoming words to immigrants - he's still on the left-wing side of the Culture Wars. We're in a time when a subset of voters want to send women back to the kitchen, would've preferred that the genocide of First Nations had continued, don't care how many drug users die in the War on Drugs, and think there are too many brown people in Canada, so it's good to at least have a Prime Minister who don't lean fascist.

He is a Liberal, though, after all, and paternalistic economic development has come first for Liberals since at least C. D. Howe. I think the most Justin Trudeau thing that Justin Trudeau has done so far is talk about selling the pipeline to Indigenous groups. That is all of the mixed-up Liberal approach mixed up into one.
posted by clawsoon at 9:11 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Oil and pipelines in Canada are the equivalent of The Wall in the states: politically it's 100% culture war shit. The Liberals will try to woo the "moderate" conservatives (as if they're still politically relevant if they even exist) by saying that they'll do it smarter than the conservatives, the way the dems insist they'll so sensible border security. And they'll lose for the same reasons.
posted by Reyturner at 9:11 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


"...what is the point of you anyway?"

Because (the argument is) you're *stopping* the bad thing. And, secondarily, the implication is there isn't enough support to do the good thing (at least at the time). Don't know.
posted by aleph at 9:14 AM on September 6


Trudeau has been an enormous disappointment, for sure, but Jesus Christ mission 1 was get Harper out of office for someone not 100% evil, and mission 2 was get electoral reform, and at least we got the first thing.

It's a shame that the Liberal strategy is to try to ensure that that's missions 1 and 2 forever, and we never manage to get to doing the good things.

They have a talent for placing all the hopes and dreams of the left just beyond the horizon so they can hold gun to their heads during elections.
posted by Reyturner at 9:16 AM on September 6 [11 favorites]


I unfortunately agree with Fizz. I have FIVE major parties to choose from in this election (major as in they actually win seats) and I really don't want to vote for any of them.

I've usually decided who to vote for well before the writ is dropped, but not this time. Liberals broke every campaign promise that seemed interesting to me except for marijuana legalization. NDP can't decide if they're the party of urban progressives or of northern labour or just liberals lite. Greens have decided that the way to get more than two seats is to bring in some mercenary political operators instead of winning hearts and minds. And I'm not a xenophobe or a separatist so that takes the other 3 parties out of the picture.

I just don't know anymore.
posted by thecjm at 9:24 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


The idea that only Trudeau and his liberals can hold back the tides of white nationalism and misogyny is a self fulfilling prophecy that becomes more true the more we say it. Maybe we should start saying something else?
posted by rodlymight at 9:26 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I had heard on the most recent Canadaland podcast that Minhaj has a Canadian writer,

I thought that the 'denim' joke from the full episode was pretty funny; I was then immediately willing to bet that he had a Canadian writer on staff.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:30 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


The idea that only Trudeau and his liberals can hold back the tides of white nationalism and misogyny is a self fulfilling prophecy that becomes more true the more we say it. Maybe we should start saying something else?

The Liberals make me think of felicium.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:39 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


the only rational vote (ie: not going to help a Conservative win) in my riding is NDP, so lucky me.

Meanwhile, if I've learned anything from the current Trudeau regime, it hasn't been about Trudeau or the Liberals or even politics as usual -- it's more along the lines of, wow, I guess very many folks still haven't learned something that was emphatically pointed out to me before my twentieth birthday (four decades ago now) The change we want (however you want to word it) is not going to come from politicians of any stripe. They'll end up putting their stamp on it, but the work comes first.

They say the Law is an ass (ie: slow and stubborn and resistant to change). Well, Politics is whatever's slower and more stubborn than that ass. As a rule, it follows change ... at a distance. And I'm not convinced that this a terrible thing.

And speaking of change, I wonder if the only genuinely brilliant thing the Liberals will be seen to have done is LEGALIZE MARIJUANA. Which, speaking of slow, is something I recall once being assured would happen before 1980.
posted by philip-random at 9:43 AM on September 6 [6 favorites]


if your best argument in favour of Jagmeet Singh is 'thus far, he has never had the authority to fuck up our country' is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

But...the federal NDP have never fucked up our country. I’d rather give them a chance and see if they can do better, than hand it over to either the Liberals or Conservatives, both of whom have clear track records of fucking us over.

I’d also like to see what a person of colour could do in office. White people get to see themselves represented by the politicians who fuck them over all the time, so why shouldn’t I have the same opportunity, especially since he might not actually fuck us over?

The Greens also haven’t had the chance, but I’m not voting for a party with “we are neither left nor right” as its public platform.

I do find that the Canadian media reports on the NDP in a dismissive way, though. And I don’t find it mysterious what the NDP stand for. Their progressive platform is clearly stated. Will they adhere to it? Obviously only time in power would tell, but if “they might not do what they say they’ll do” were a reason not to vote someone in, then anyone disappointed in Trudeau now should not have voted for him.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:44 AM on September 6 [15 favorites]


i really dislike how washpo publishes canadian conservatives

Regardless of political alignment Gerson and JJ McCullough are garbage even by Canadian columnist standards, it's staggering that the Washington Post publishes them.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:58 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


A Liberal minority would be an a-ok outcome, though. Then Trudeau would pretty much have to lean left in order to get anything done. So maybe that's a game we can hope to win.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:12 AM on September 6 [8 favorites]


On the subject for more progressive parties VS Liberals.

The fact they've got some kind of flexible ethos will almost always ensure they'll be the more viable "progressive" option because they'll keep adopting the progressive positions that are popular or trending towards popularity, if it's popular they'll adopt it and keep their base from moving to NDP/Greens. Its way more cynical than taking a stand and defending something because its deemed right against all odds, but I'm unsure if that's 100% a bad thing if it blocks those morons in the conservative party, I don't like the Liberals but I hate the conservatives.

Now I don't understarnd why NDP AND Greens exists, surely the platforms and goals are similar enough for them to merge, it makes no sense.

And god bless that idiot Bernier, please let him be just popular enough to eat a bit of the conservative's lunch and not enough to get anybody elected.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:18 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


A Liberal minority would be an a-ok outcome, though. Then Trudeau would pretty much have to lean left in order to get anything done.

Agreed. Minority and/or coalition governments shouldn't be anathema. I mean, that's how we got the National Medical Care Insurance Act.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:19 AM on September 6 [9 favorites]


A minority would be my preferred outcome this election. And while there are definitely risks from minority/coalition governments, I think they are milder risks than what we get from the back and forth of opposing majorities, which is why I am so disappointed by the failure to scrap FPTP for PR.
posted by Fish Sauce at 10:58 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


To complete the picture, Minhaj once interviewed Trudeau when he was working at The Daily Show. He wore an all-denim suit. Then he discussed having done that in his really, really life-affirming Netflix special, Homecoming King. Apologies for interrupting the Canadian politics discussion. Minhaj is getting to do such cool stuff and he's such a good human to do it.
posted by lauranesson at 11:00 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Now I don't understarnd why NDP AND Greens exists, surely the platforms and goals are similar enough for them to merge, it makes no sense.

They're not, really. The Greens are a lot closer to the Liberals on most issues. But I wouldn't mind seeing them merge (hypothetically, the combined party would do a lot better than either does on its own) in order to push for electoral reform, and then split up again after acheiving some system of proportional representation (from which they'd both benefit).
posted by asnider at 11:02 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I like Patriot Act (but I really, really love the Tan/Hasan wardrobe promo video) and I thought this was a decent look at some of the hypocrisy of Trudeau's tenure to date. Politically-minded Canadians are all too aware of of his flaws, but my friends in America and the UK do fawn over him, helped, of course, by the fact that they have their own disasters to deal with.

I didn't realize the federal Greens described themselves as "Not Left. Not Right. Forward Together." until I visited their website just now, prompted by the comments in this thread. It reminds me of the rhetoric surrounding Emmanuel Macron's En Marche movement during the last French election. Is the appeal of such a seemingly "non-ideological" slogan to appeal to dedicated moderates/centrists? Or is it to sway the apathetic voter?

Also, Trudeau and his Afghan doppelganger really, really look like one another. How did I not hear about this until now?
posted by invokeuse at 11:08 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I am generally strongly opposed to minority governments in Canada. They are enormously expensive (as can be seen by inspection of federal and provincial expenditure and size of civil service numbers, for example) and generally not hugely productive in terms of legislation. I am also of the personal opinion that they don't respond well or in a timely way to crises.

We haven't tried true binding coalitions much yet in Canada, and those would likely resolve some of those issues, but those bring their own issues in that the government mandate then is not decided by the voters, but the inter-party negotiations. And those, in the past (e.g. in BC) have all been secret and not at all transparent. Not a process I can bring myself to have a lot of faith in or trust in outcomes. It makes the process seem much less democratic to me. It's literally government by backroom deals.
posted by bonehead at 11:11 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Capt. Renault: I'm not saying there's no truth behind it, only that this messaging comes out Every. Damn. Time. I'll take it with a grain of salt the size of Lot's Wife.

I think the reason it comes out all the time is because it's basically true. The Conservatives are increasingly beholden to various alt-right elements and to various business lobbies (as are the Liberals, I assume). They're mostly ideological populists, where they have any policies at all, and govern with little respect for parliament (see Doug Ford regime). They're baby Republicans with a milquetoast leader.

In our riding, the Conservative MP is Michele Rempel, best known for her selfies, Fox News interviews, and the way her American husband disparages Canada. Last election she got 60% of the vote, and probably will again this year.
posted by sneebler at 11:48 AM on September 6


polymodus: Otherwise, people who don't project artificial confidence are kind of exactly what society needs more of.

Very much so. We need different criteria around what makes a good politician instead of "Can pull in funding" and "X Party stalwart".

I don't see much difference between the Laurentian elites who control the Liberal Party and the corporate interests who control the Conservative Party, so election time is always depressing.
posted by sneebler at 11:51 AM on September 6


Depends, I guess, if you see a difference between Bay Street and Electric Avenue. The big financial services firms do want a stable economy and at least look to the long game, while the oil and mineral companies just want to strip as much profit as possible.
posted by bonehead at 12:55 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I just checked and the TrudeauMeter is still going. I'm still a little bitter that he scrapped first past the post reform.
posted by flyingfox at 2:00 PM on September 6 [4 favorites]


I only know who I'll vote for because I'll have the pleasure of voting for Jody Wilson Raybould. I'm generally an NDP voter, but having anyone that principled in office is a rarity. I may even get out and campaign for her.
posted by lookoutbelow at 2:32 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


flyingfox: I just checked and the TrudeauMeter is still going.

Wow, that's an amazingly detailed breakdown. Thanks for linking! Hopefully they keep it up for future governments.
posted by clawsoon at 3:01 PM on September 6


You can also compare it to the mandate letter tracking, where the gov is tracking their own commitments. I don't think campaign promises and mandate letters match one-to-one, but it might be interesting to compare.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:23 PM on September 6


> I don't think campaign promises and mandate letters match one-to-one

They don't, but it's interesting anyway as you say.

Another metre is polimetre.org's Trudeau polimetre, which has a slightly different goal:

The Trudeau Polimeter is designed to create data for sub-national, national and international comparisons. Accordingly, it follows a coding manual designed by a consortium of international experts on pledge fullfillment known as the Comparative Party Pledge Group such that it can produce data about Canadian pledge fullfillment that can be compared to pledge fullfillment data from other countries. For an example of comparative research on pledge fullfillment, see Explaining the Fulfillment of Election Pledges: A Comparative Study on the Impact of Government Institutions of Government Institutions (www.fcsh.unl.pt/media/noticias/.../ExplainingtheFulfillmentofElectionPledges.pdf) . There are already two archived Polimeters (Marois and Harper) and two on going polimeters (Trudeau and Couillard) available on the POLTEXT.org website. These allow for comparisons between governments in Canada and Quebec. We hope to find partners to produce polimeters in other provinces using the same methodology.
posted by quaking fajita at 4:19 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


While a progressive majority would be best absosumrfly anything would be better than letting Sheer have a go at the wheel. A minority might be good for a single go around as a way of forcing through some sort of proportional representation to depreciate the oversize influence of conservative pluralities. Canada in general is way more small l liberal than Conservative governments.

Now I don't understarnd why NDP AND Greens exists, surely the platforms and goals are similar enough for them to merge, it makes no sense.

Out west NDP is (big) labour and that generally encompasses a lot of resource extraction. This makes it tough for the Greens and NDP to partner. Post election in a minority government they'll be natural allies.

The Greens have No Whipped Votes as a a party plank which will be interesting if they ever get a significant number of MPs.
posted by Mitheral at 4:42 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


He left out the really obvious point about teaching in those secular Quebec schools named, for example, Ecole Sacre Coeur or Ecole Notre Dame or Ecole Saint-Sacrament and brought up the cross in the flag instead.

I was hopeful at first, but his surrounding himself with smart people turned quickly into surrounding himself with friends (I am still bitter about my MP) and, meh. My riding won't ever go conservative, and I like the NDP candidate, so I will vote for her (I have voted NDP in every federal election, and, finally, the last provincial one). I don't think he particularly cares about politics -- from things I have heard it was mostly pushing from other people, especially Sophie Gregoire who had this in her long-term plan since she was in her early 20s.
posted by jeather at 5:34 PM on September 6


The Greens have No Whipped Votes as a a party plank which will be interesting if they ever get a significant number of MPs.

Considering most people vote for the party not the MP (see CBCs piece about women candidates for another study that shows this) I’m not a super fan of this.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 6:21 PM on September 6 [4 favorites]


My impression was that the Greens tended toward NIMBYism in housing policy but google suggests that that might just be the BC Greens. They've certainly suffered in the past from their only seat being held in the not so diverse community of the gulf islands. Overall I had the sense that the Green party wasn't particularly leftist or progressive. What changed? Or am I out to lunch?
posted by quaking fajita at 5:19 AM on September 7


I just checked and the TrudeauMeter is still going. I'm still a little bitter that he scrapped first past the post reform.

It's been extremely frustrating to see what Trudeau is and is not willing to spend political capital on. Election reform was scrapped when an online poll didn't indicate an overwhelming public desire for it, where as he was happily willing to walk backwards into hell to buy pipelines and to grant indulgences to corporate criminals.
posted by Reyturner at 9:43 AM on September 7 [5 favorites]


WaterandPixels, is this the piece about women candidates you were referring to?

Set up to fail: Why women still don't win elections as often as men in Canada
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:00 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Yes! I’ve read the French version but I assume it’s the same.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 2:59 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


> I'm not really voting FOR someone, I'm actively voting AGAINST. It's the lesser of evils.

Welcome to democracy. "Lesser of evils" is a fine way to proceed; indeed, it's the most common choice.
posted by nnethercote at 3:33 AM on September 8


quaking fajita: Overall I had the sense that the Green party wasn't particularly leftist or progressive. What changed? Or am I out to lunch?

Anecdotally, I've always felt like the Canadian iterations of the Greens, provincially and federally, don't tend to resemble some of their European counterparts.

Talking to Green candidates in the various (Ontario) ridings I've lived in over the years has revealed a pretty...mixed bag, I guess you could say? One candidate I talked to a few years ago sounded exactly like a Conservative candidate except that he was a big proponent of wind and solar power. He talked a lot about "market-based solutions" to environmental problems.

Then there was this critique from Robert Jago, followed by an exchange with the Greens:

Elizabeth May’s Greens Need to Fix Their Indigenous ‘Vision’: Party’s positions are thin, unrealistic and riddled with embarrassing errors

Was It Fair to Criticize Indigenous Stances of Green Party? An Exchange
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:02 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Daaaamn that “they’re watching you” comment is IIIIIICY ! I would not want to be on JT’s shit list.

My take on Trudeau has evolved, from drama nerd, to flowery-speechifier, to decisive leader, to over pandering political image controlling, to meh. In this video you see him threatened, not a common look, and by someone so small comparatively. This is Trudeau the first politician who owned the Trump handshake, remember. He would have been stronger to take Hasan for what he is - a young comedian - and roll with it. Instead he took it so seriously and this is what brought out his tension. I like that he leaned into his opinions with Quebec’s xenophobic bill, but then couldn’t simply say “look my job is to balance current economic goals with long term environmental concerns; here are XYZ other policies we’re working on to balance it out.” Instead he just kept with the bullshit.

So, overall it reads like a guy who oversold himself on his image as Dudley Do-right Progressive, hit reality and now needs a correction - and by correction I don’t mean more image management for heavens sake.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:04 AM on September 9


Hating Justin Trudeau has become the national past time here in Canada, and to be honest it's kind of weird. He is being a politician, which for the most part means lying then covering up those lies. I mean look around, do you see anyone in power in the western world doing any different?

Anyhow... The liberals are taking climate change seriously, unlike the Conservatives. They also have an effective and (mostly) capable party structure with competent members representing both sexes and many races. The Greens have neither of those things, and the NDP is being torn apart from within, so what's the choice? Our world is going up in flames and I believe that the Liberals can show leadership on this and help Canada get to the next step, if the provinces fall in line and stop electing conservatives. Every other topic is moot. If climate change isn't dealt with, then the entire world is screwed. I think here the Greens can definitely help and hopefully the Libs will extend them an olive branch.

Anecdote: I just came back from a road trip out west and the mood in Alberta is basically that they want the world to rewind the clock, open up resource exploitation to the max, bring back high paying jobs, and keep rolling coal. It was, in a word, frightening.
posted by Vindaloo at 6:26 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Election reform was scrapped when an online poll didn't indicate an overwhelming public desire for it, where as he was happily willing to walk backwards into hell to buy pipelines and to grant indulgences to corporate criminals.
No, it's a lot more complicated than that. It's because the version of election reform they wanted was a ranked ballot system that (in our current climate) heavily favours the Liberal party. It wasn't the most popular option in public polling and none of the other parties were willing to agree to it during consultation. Everyone had their own version, but the one that had the most support amongst the parties and experts overall was also going to be the hardest to explain to the public and wouldn't favour the Liberals the way ranked ballots would, so they decided "no consensus means no change." (The highly-placed friend told me that if all parties concerned wouldn't back the Liberal version of voting reform, then they were going to demand near-total consensus on what other system to choose before they did anything, and they didn't get that, and were never going to. It was just a way of saying "you do it my way or you get nothing.")
posted by Fish Sauce at 7:16 AM on September 9


That online poll, such as it was, was a vague, incomprehensible mess that was never designed to create anything like consensus. I don't know how anyone could have looked at the results of those questions and drawn any particular conclusions from them at all, never mind a consensus on a particular type of electoral system.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:28 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Agreed 100% -- the poll was hot garbage designed to confuse even reform radicals like me. It was extremely clear when I read through it that the Liberals had no intent of trying to build consensus and were just trying to justify saying "no one can understand this and really no one wants it" or in other words "we're in power now so fuck you." It's like their vision of the future doesn't extend past about, oh, 5 years or so? Or maybe 18 months now.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:14 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Talked to some nice door-to-door knockers from the NDP tonight (two students and my MPP). They led with climate change.
posted by quaking fajita at 4:34 PM on September 9


Writ is dropped.
posted by clawsoon at 8:39 AM on September 11


Or not.
posted by clawsoon at 8:58 AM on September 11


Despite its inaccuracy, the "writ drop" expression has long been used to mark the start of an election.

Always love when prescriptive arguments are "I don't care if you've been using this word to mean something for centuries and everyone knows what you mean (the purpose of language), using it that way is wrong".
posted by Mitheral at 11:33 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Dans la Beauce, le Parti Rhinocéros présente… Maxime Bernier!

I remember the Rhino Party from the late 80s/early 90s, but hadn't realized they had been reconstituted in Quebec in 2006.

Sowing confusion, Rhino party fields candidate named Maxime Bernier in Beauce

Well, neo-Rhinos beat neo-Nazis any day.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:43 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Always love when prescriptive arguments are "I don't care if you've been using this word to mean something for centuries and everyone knows what you mean (the purpose of language), using it that way is wrong".

This is my favourite description of writ-dropping so far:

To USA followers, our election starts today w the "Dropping of the Writ," an old Victorian tradition wherein the Gov General waves a handkerchief the Queen once used to dab her tears, & "drops" it in the same manner as one would in a duel, but from from Parliament clock tower.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:45 PM on September 11


Trudeau's campaign bus scrapes left wing of Trudeau's campaign plane

Nothing to read into here.
posted by clawsoon at 4:10 AM on September 12


Slogans:

Liberals: "Choose Forward"
Conservatives: "It's time for you to get ahead"
Greens: "Not Left. Not Right. Forward Together."

I'm sensing a directional theme here.
posted by clawsoon at 12:32 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


But tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!
posted by Chrysostom at 4:42 PM on September 12


an old friend who begrudgingly backs the NDP because he's a union guy says their slogan should be:

PROBABLY BETTER THAN THE OTHER PARTIES
posted by philip-random at 4:59 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I completely missed the first leaders' debate tonight. Post-debate discussion.
posted by clawsoon at 6:56 PM on September 12


I didn't catch it all, but May demonstrated that she commands a debate stage. Even when I don't agree with her, I love watching her when she's at the podium and taking on all comers. Singh really seemed like he was out of his depth and not able to discuss the finer details. Scheer gave the impression that he was boiling mad and was doing everything in his power to sound calm and reasonable while speaking through clenched teeth (especially while May was on the offensive).

One of the contenders for quote of the night goes to May about Scheer's foreign policy echoing that of a certain U.S. president: "I realize if anyone wants to know where you stand, just figure out what Trump wants, ” said May. “You will do what Trump wants. He might as well be the ventriloquist and you're Charlie McCarthy.”
posted by sardonyx at 9:12 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Apparently this is appears to be a real CPC poster.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:10 PM on September 13


Vindaloo: I just came back from a road trip out west and the mood in Alberta is basically that they want the world to rewind the clock, open up resource exploitation to the max, bring back high paying jobs, and keep rolling coal. It was, in a word, frightening.

It helps if you think of Calgary as a suburb of Houston, Tx. Which we kind of are.
posted by sneebler at 2:59 PM on September 14


Multiple daily direct flights YYC-IAH.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:15 PM on September 14


So far the leaders mostly sound tired, and we're only a few days into the race.
posted by clawsoon at 4:15 PM on September 14


Maxime Bernier invited to participate in official commission debates

One of these days somebody should make a proper Canadian election post. Maybe in a week or so, so that it expires just before the voting starts?
posted by clawsoon at 12:42 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Only if we can post the occasional Beaverton headline too.

"Trudeau has best debate performance of his career"
posted by bonehead at 1:15 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


I think that's a splendid idea, clawsoon, and one I was contemplating myself. I don't have time to pull together a comprehensive mega post of links, but I don't know if we need one. I definitely agree we should wait until it's far enough into the campaign that the thread won't expire until at least a couple of days after the election (and I haven't done the math to figure out when exactly that will be).

If you're looking for someone to second your idea and encourage you to post, consider yourself seconded and also consider yourself encouraged to post. In fact, please do!

Until we get one, here's my election complaint of the day: the NDP in my riding doesn't have anything up on its website about the upcoming election--not even a notice that there is an election (okay, they do have the national twitter feed automatically posting, but that's it). The most recent "news" they have up is that they picked a candidate for the Ontario provincial election--you know that one that Doug Ford won and the one that elected a PC from my riding.
posted by sardonyx at 1:28 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


I was thinking that it'd be fun to Go All Crazy and have another FPP on the day of the election to discuss the results.
posted by clawsoon at 4:30 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


That works too!
posted by sardonyx at 4:36 PM on September 16




What an idiot he is. That said, although I’m not a Trudeau fan, the one thing I will give him is that under the circumstances, he apologized properly. He owned up to having done it, did not make excuses, did not double down, said it was wrong and that he was ashamed now that he has learned more about racism in the intervening years, and did not make a non-apology like “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.”

And Andrew Scheer’s performative outrage is disgusting. He doesn’t give a shit about people of colour and he is being even more fake and infuriating than usual.

And I am hating all the rhetoric about splitting the left and a vote for the NDP is a vote for Scheer.

Christ I’m grumpy about politics this morning!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:09 AM on September 19


Blackface thread, if you haven't seen it already.
posted by clawsoon at 6:00 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]


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