"I don't deny that doors opened up for me. The way I was raised was that I have to work two or three times as hard as anyone else would to walk through that door now that it was opened."
"And I think Canadians get that. There's an awful lot of people who sort of shrugged and said, 'Oh, he has nothing but a name to go on', and found themselves slightly bewildered as I left them in the dust."
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
|Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks with his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau as they arrive at the Commonwealths Heads of Government meeting in Valletta, Malta on Friday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)|
What this man worked at was introducing the Canadian public to the fact that he was making himself available to the Liberal Party of Canada and the position that his father before him held. At a time when he was paid as an elected Member of Parliament to sit in the House of Commons he chose to leave that post and to travel widely within Canada, familiarizing voters young and old with his charisma, his smiling face, his approachability, willing and eager to be embraced and to be photographed.
He was engaged in a campaign to trade on his family name to remind Canadians that his father's oldest son was prepared to take over the political leadership of a country that adored and repudiated Pierre Elliot Trudeau in equal measure. The elder Trudeau was self-assured and certain that whatever his decisions were they were good for Canada. On the international stage he was noticed, a result of his individualistic persona. He, at least, despite the raffishness he affected was intellectually astute even while afflicted with leftist idealism.
His son believes that the 'hard work' required of him to qualify for the position of Prime Minister of Canada was solely to engage people with his personality, a light-hearted and light-on cerebral matter application of celebrity quotient to which people flocked, believing that this Dauphin was ready to assume his position of authority and guide the country into the near future. No 'hard work' associated with intellectual rigour, academic attainment and immersion in a profession that might lead to a high place in the political order of the elite lawmaking type was required of him.
This is a man who believes that the high fees he commanded as a public speaker were justified by his own sterling qualities; he could speak, after all, of the rewards of guiding students enrolled in a private school in the theatrics of emoting and pretending to be what they were not. In this he excels because of the thespian character of his personality. That it is his hallowed name and his father's reputation that fascinates people and gives him an unearned air of authority and command is never acknowledged.
While a Member of Parliament he saw fit to accept speaking engagements with charitable organizations and public institutions that operate on tax funding, charging them top dollar; the very same source that paid his handsome salary as a parliamentarian, and he saw nothing amiss in that kind of engagement. His utterances of vapid nonsense more than adequately demonstrating his lack of knowledge and the nuances involved in international affairs bothered thinking people but not celebrity worshippers.
Like his father and his mother before him, he is given to public demonstrations illustrating the narrow dimensions of his character. Kissing and nuzzling his wife during the solemn ceremonies attending the recall of sacrifices made by the Canadian military during the world conflicts that Canada was engaged in during Remembrance Day observances rather inappropriately pointed to the antics of the self-absorbed in the crowd, a party of two.
This man who cites his 'sunny' outlook on life engages in spiteful observations of the 'mean' character of his predecessor, a man capable of running formidable circles of intelligent conclusions around a fumbling opponent, but it was the fumbling opponent who succeeded in gulling enough Canadians to vote him into majority territory, some 40% voting Liberal who, when the same 40% voted previously for a majority Conservative-led government under Stephen Harper were said not to represent Canada.
"We were not aware of any promotional uses", commented the Prime Minister's Office spokesperson: "Ms. Gregoire-Trudeau would like to use this particular spotlight [the world stage] to promote Canadian designers around the world", and so she did, accepting an irresistible offer from Birks jewellers to wear pricey jewellery to meet with British royalty. Some might consider this shabby decision-making born of either naivete or greed, perhaps combined.
In contrast, former Prime Minister Harper's wife Laureen Harper is a bright, personable woman who used her position to aid charitable foundations, not only as a high-profile fundraiser, but as a volunteer who gave her time and her assistance to the Humane Society and the felines that she loved. The arts community gained as well with her commitment to furthering the well-being of the National Arts Centre as its guiding National Chair. She devoted time and energy to charities like Meals on Wheels Calgary, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, and the CIBC Run for the Cure.
Mrs. Trudeau, on the other hand exhibits tawdry behaviour not only by shilling for jewellery stores but as well her wardrobe provides lucrative publicity for favoured clothing manufacturers. One of her friends, related to an earlier Conservative prime minister, has been enabled to advertise the availability of top fashion at the retailer she represents, thanks to her connections. This entire family, from the gushingly loquacious, self-promoting Margaret Trudeau to her son and daughter-in-law are an embarrassment to Canada.
Surely on the salary of a prime minister, his wife need not depend on 'donations' of clothing and jewellery to make her mark on the world stage; presumably her position and personality should do the trick, but from a husband who sees nothing amiss in trading on his name while denying it to be a factor in his election outcome, and a mother who promotes her son as 'golden', to advance Canada into the future, we're stuck for four long years.