Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 13, 2023
Trudeau and Poilievre’s Actions Undermine Democracy and Reputation
The resignation of David Johnston, Justin Trudeau’s special rapporteur on foreign interference in Canadian elections, is a testament to the erosion of trust in our democratic institutions. Rather than addressing the issue of foreign interference head-on, Trudeau’s decision to delegate the responsibility to Johnston and his subsequent shielding of himself from the decision-making process is a clear evasion of accountability.
It is disheartening to witness Pierre Poilievre, the Official Opposition Leader, launch unfounded and relentless attacks on Johnston’s credibility. Poilievre, who himself was appointed as a cabinet minister by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is now attempting to discredit a man who was deemed impartial enough to serve as governor general and swear Poilievre into his own cabinet. The hypocrisy is glaring, and these attacks have not only derailed the investigation but have also distracted us from more pressing matters at hand.
Let us consider the political affiliations of Johnston’s predecessors. Ray Hnatyshyn, who served as governor general, took orders from Prime Minister Brian Mulroney while serving in his Progressive Conservative government. Romeo Leblanc, another former governor general, engaged in the blood sport of politics as a minister for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau before rising above politics when recruited for the role. Yet, we question the credibility of Johnston, who has remained detached from partisan politics throughout his career. The facts are clear, but they seem to hold little weight in the face of baseless accusations.
Critics have defenestrated the report prepared by Johnston and Block, while the media, unfortunately, have largely defiled their work. The currency of impartiality, which is essential for a thriving democracy, has been debased by these unwarranted attacks. Instead of engaging in a constructive dialogue on foreign interference, the opposition and media have chosen to make a meal of our elders, tarnishing the reputation of distinguished individuals who have dedicated their lives to public service.
Johnston’s resignation highlights the highly partisan atmosphere surrounding his appointment and work. It is a somber reflection of how divisive politics can hinder the objective of building trust in our democratic institutions. Rather than embracing his expertise and recommendations, the opposition parties accused him of bias due to his personal ties to Trudeau. The focus should have been on addressing the issue of foreign interference, but instead, it became a platform for political mudslinging.
Trudeau’s association with Johnston and their personal ties have become the source of intense scrutiny. While it is crucial to ensure transparency and accountability in governance, it is unfair to taint the reputations of distinguished individuals based on mere associations. Members and directors of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, a respected institution, have also faced undeserved negative attention due to their affiliation with Trudeau. This pattern extends to various other individuals who have been touched by their association with the Prime Minister, leading to unwarranted controversy and reputational damage.
In the case of Johnston’s resignation, it is regrettable that a capable and esteemed Canadian made the decision to accept a role that ultimately became embroiled in controversy. However, it is essential to recognize that the responsibility for this outcome lies with Trudeau and Poilievre, whose actions and attacks have undermined the credibility of our democratic institutions.
As Canadians, we must demand better. We must hold our leaders accountable for their actions and ensure that our democratic processes remain robust and untainted by political gamesmanship. It is only by upholding the principles of integrity, transparency, and impartiality that we can safeguard the trust and confidence of the people in our democracy. (AI)
From sketch to finish, see the current way Graeme completes an editorial cartoon using an iPencil, the Procreate app, and a couple of cheats on an iPad Pro. If you’re creative, give editorial cartooning a try: