The prime minister, all auspices agree, has made up his mighty mind
Author of the article:Rex Murphy
Publishing date:Aug 13, 2021
The word from every sage source, from within the cavernous atrium of CBC Toronto to the tom-toms of the Twitter undergrowth, even unto the seers in the nation’s political science departments where wisdom has her own happy seat, is that this fractious, cantankerous, debt-drowned and perplexed country of ours is to have an election.
They tell us it is to be called on Sunday. Normally a day of prayer and worship, but when there’s a writ to be issued, cancel the Sunday bulletins, forget the rash of church burnings, and the turmoil of lockdowns and business collapses — hey, it’s late summer: let’s go to the polls.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, so all the auspices agree, has made up his mighty mind. And when that cranium has made a choice it is but for us to signify assent. Should it be agreeable to him, how could it not be to us?
There are two full years left in the current Liberal mandate. And as we all know, Jagmeet Singh’s NDP has been the obliging handmaiden to the Liberal party since the last tryst at the polls. The companionship between Mr. Singh and Mr. Trudeau has been, politically, almost matrimonial.
Should it be agreeable to him, how could it not be to us?
So, odd as it may sound, some people are asking why we’re having an election so soon. But those who ask that question are so admirably innocent as to be an endangered species.
There is but one reason, and one reason only, why we will have an election called this Sunday.
Because it suits the mood and aligns with the political calculations of the prime minister.
Mr. Trudeau, as befits such a momentous choice, ascended the high reaches of the Peace Tower, looked out across the land and saw that it was good.
“Verily, I see Canada, from East, West and North, looking towards me and saying as with one voice — Mr. Trudeau, we yearn for an early chance, yea, though there be a pandemic, to renew our faith in you. Of Singhs and O’Tooles we have no concern. Can you not, two years in advance of the full mandate, reopen the polls?
“May we not, mere servitors of your vision to build back better, have the honour, both the jabbed and the unjabbed among us, to trek to our polling stations, and again, prematurely as it may be, invest you with a full and great majority as justified by your many triumphs over these past two years?
“We, the great swathe of Canadians, are athirst with the desire to say ‘thank you’ at the earliest possible opportunity, if not earlier.
“Who, but you, has put such colour in our lives? May we put it this way: You ‘de-Harperized us.’ Thank you, PM. Between desk yoga and daring socks you have made us better Canadians.
“We remember India. Any ordinary prime minister would have gone to that psychedelic subcontinent swathed in grey and blue, as a dull tourist. You, Mr. Trudeau, arrived like the fabled Assyrian of Byron’s poem, in ‘purple and gold,’ resplendent in the dress of the people you were honouring by your visit. All the world, and Vogue, shouted OMG! And Awesome!
“We Canadian voters have not forgotten that — the panache, the sensitivity, the infallible sense of daring that found its moment. Here’s the metric for that tour: Stephen Harper would have gone to India in a suit and held … meetings.
“Then there was COVID. A mere plague, we know. A pandemic, if you must make a fuss about it. You measured it and knew the best things to do.
“Lesser leaders would have left Parliament open, continued the mayhem and embarrassment of question period. And allowed dreadful, annoying committees to unnecessarily ‘probe’ (their word) into the operations of our friends Craig and Marc Kielburger of WE Charity, or the SNC-Lavalin affair.
“The WE brothers, as everyone knows, were just two kids, with close connections to your nearest and dearest, trying to save Kenya and build a little real estate empire. To toss a billion dollars to them to distribute to young Canadians was merely a Christian thing to do.
“A true leader, you made sure that the WE boys and your whole family were left mainly untroubled by the rowdy, impolite inquisitions of your opponents. You stymied your critics and smacked the Globe and Mail as a falsifier. A shut Parliament is an efficient Parliament.
“The finance committees were filibustered or shut down, and documents withheld from the frigid gaze of the forensic MP Pierre Poilievre. Speaking of this gentleman, we think most of Canada would agree that a chance to earn a Pierre Poilievre-free Parliament is, in itself, enough to justify dropping a dozen writs.
Then there was COVID. A mere plague, we know
“There is more. Your splendid orations on the steps of Rideau Cottage, those exemplary performances under the circus Tent of Commons will earn a special place in the records of Hansard. There will be gilded pages to mark your towering eloquence while flooding out those early morning sweeps of cash and grants.
“One man, alone, coming daily down the steps of the cottage to drown the entire federation in vast, unimaginable billows of loot. These were great leadership moments. John A. Macdonald was a piker in comparison. He only founded a country. You just dropped a vowel, and funded a country.
“Quebec you made, by Parliamentary motion, a nation. Such a generous Confederal gesture. And the approval of that very distinct province as unilingual has to stand as a magnificent buttress to every French immersion class in the rest of that ‘other’ nation — the bit left over from Quebec.
“You genuflected to Joe Biden’s first-day guillotine of the Keystone pipeline. Proudly for us, you hardly raised a whimper.
“And this of all your achievements is the most exemplary: not only standing up to, but shutting down the oil barons of Alberta. “No pipelines for you.” That was your clarion call to that Alberta crowd, who are not really Canadians in any full sense anyhow. At least judging from federal policies under your government.
“And besides, Alberta is not an independent nation, not like some unilingual dominion to the east. (Though this may be an unspeakable fly in the national ointment, the day is not long off when it may wish to be.)
“Thanks also for Muskrat Falls and the billions of dollars sent down home. Five Liberal backbenchers and the Cabinet’s No. 1 nomad, Seamus O’Regan, will never find thanks enough for the gift.
“Only two years in, we are suffused with admiration for your magnificent handling of every emergency. Such deftness and finesse is within your gift.
“Has there been a bit of political carpentry so exquisite as the sawing off of Jody Wilson-Raybould from her justice portfolio? So neat, so clean. Not every male-feminist-woke prime minister, pledged to the restoration of Aboriginal dignity and presence, could manage that with your aplomb. At her excision there was hardly a tear from the diversity-is-my-strength prime ministerial eye. Such self-control.
“So bring on the election prime minister. We are all lined up to applaud. There cannot be a majority large enough to acknowledge the wisdom and skill of the past two years. If it were permissible we should import people to swell the numbers.”
This election, if we should have it, will be an effulgence of the greatest vanity the nation has ever seen.