Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 28, 2016
Justin Trudeau’s fight with the forces of Brexit and Donald Trump
Six months ago, Justin Trudeau went to Davos, Switzerland to pitch the World Economic Forum on a vision of shared prosperity, proper leadership and embracing diversity.
A day later, David Cameron appeared on stage and tried to explain why he was preparing to plunge Britain into a referendum over its membership in the European Union.
“Now, some people ask me, ‘Well, why are you holding a referendum?'” he acknowledged, after explaining that his aim was for Britain to remain within a “reformed” EU.
“I think it’s absolutely essential to have full and proper democratic support for what Britain’s place should be in Europe and that’s why we’re holding the referendum.”
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If Cameron is invited back to Davos next year, it will be as a former prime minister. He will no doubt be asked to reflect on how and why his deeply divided country decided to remove itself from the European experiment in common cause, possibly precipitating the breakup of the United Kingdom in the process.
There is possibly a lesson here in how one should be careful and cautious when conducting national debates about foundational matters (like, say, electoral reform).
But there are, as well, hints that what happened in Britain on Thursday night was driven by economic exclusion, political alienation and fears about immigration. Precisely the sorts of things Trudeau has seemed eager to be seen as standing against.
“Simply put, everybody needs to benefit from growth in order to sustain growth,” he said in Switzerland.
“I believe in positive, ambitious leadership,” Trudeau explained. “We need to trust citizens.
“We need societies that recognize diversity as a source of strength,” he added. “Not a source of weakness.”
His is the government of the “middle class” and “real change” and 25,000 Syrian refugees.
Back in January, Trudeau’s appeal to diversity seemed like an implicit response to Donald Trump. And it now seems like a warning about Brexit.
Indeed, it seems the U.S. election and the British referendum have something in common.
And now in between the two riled colossuses of the English world, there is genteel Canada, probably striking some kind of yoga pose, possibly about to be overrun by fleeing Brits and Yanks. (Source: CBC News)