Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday October 19, 2017
For the Trudeau Liberals, a mid-term malaise
At mid-term, the Liberal government is stuck.
A mid-term malaise is not rare, but no new government in recent memory had ascended to power with greater expectations than Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
Now, it needs to recast itself as the progressive government Canadians thought they had elected in 2015, or face significant political threats on both of its flanks.
This is the time in the life of a government when it must face the fact that lofty aspirations have flown head first into the rock face of reality, and much of that will be on display this week as Trudeau meets U.S. President Donald Trump.
The handling of the bilateral Canada-U.S. file had been one of the triumphs of the Trudeau government, but all the strategic nurturing in the world hasn’t stopped the U.S. from throwing NAFTA proposals on the table which many believe are poison pills meant to kill a deal, or from targeting the Canadian aerospace industry with a ridiculous 300 per cent tariff.
Nowhere has the gap between expectations and delivery been wider than on Indigenous reconciliation, part of a sweeping series of pledges Trudeau made on the campaign trail.
Another Liberal promise, electoral reform, was cynically tossed overboard after a long series of sham hearings and questionnaires.
Trudeau’s finance minister, Bill Morneau, has stumbled in trying to sell promised tax reforms, underestimating the opposition from small business and farmers and handing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and his Conservatives a ready-made cause. (Source: Toronto Star)