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When Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau repatriated the Constitution of Canada in 1982 he created many impasses to progress. In failed attempts to create a made in Canada Constitution, Pierre Trudeau held numerous discussions throughout 1981 with the provinces with a goal to find consensus It was apparently that the new Constitution had gaps and flaws.
By 1982, Trudeau lost patience with much larger personalities than his own in the form of provincial leaders and took a poorly calculated risk in crafting a flawed constitution without full participating of the provinces. The British North America Act (BNA) of1867 was about to become the proverbial “fly in the ointment. The BNA had intentionally defined Canada with most meaningful powers handed to the individual provinces and certain specific powers delineated to the central (or Federal) government.
History would show that Pierre Trudeau was an admirer of the type of strong central power model only found in republics (and/or dictatorships). His (Trudeau’s ) zeal for unimpeded power led to a legacy of discord between various provinces and his Ottawa parliament. Simply put; the provinces having been in control of various issues were not about to hand over power to Trudeau.
There remained mistrust in Pierre Trudeau that lingered since 1970 when he invoked the War Measures Act to quell a situation in Quebec. In truth, the rise of insurrection in Quebec and the evolution of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) were directly the result of Trudeau’s unwillingness and inability to negotiate a lingering number of language based issues that had fermented inside Quebec during Trudeau’s reign as Prime Minister. His strong arm action by placing an entire country under martial law (the War Measures Act, October 1982) made many of us uneasy and even more distrustful of Trudeau – th4e man and Trudeau the Prime Minister, self proclaimed to be an advocate of Machiavelli and an advocate of dictatorial power. His infamous “Just watch me” comments while unleashing martial law were sinister.
Little wonder that the various provincial premiers of the day vested sufficient trust in Pierre Trudeau to create a truly pan-Canadian Constitution for Canada. Thus, we were left with a flawed Constitution and a growing list of unresolved federal/provincial differences.
Within five scant years, in 1987 after the voters had shown the door to Trudeau and a new government was running the show in Ottawa, an attempt by way of extensive federal/provincial negotiations to amended and modify Trudeau’s 1982 Constitution was made. How badly was the 1982 Constitution flawed? Let’s begin with the fact that it had NEVER been ratified by all the Canadian provinces. Even now, Quebec has never ratified the Act as a result of still lingering disputes about language rights.
The Meech Lake fiasco (1987) failed and in the middle of those opposing Constitutional modifications was none other than (now) former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Although no longer a valid participant, he skulked around the perimeter of meetings where he fermented discontent to anyone who would listen. His presence reminded me of a vulture or a withered old relic attempting to hang onto fleeting fame.
Interestingly, there is not one single mention of the words, Prime Minister in the Constitution of 1982. Nor is there any mention of exactly how a country could rid itself of an unfit Prime Minister.
We do now elect Prime Ministers. A Prime Minister is the same as any other member of parliament with one single difference. A Prime Minister becomes prime minister once select by members of his/her political party to become party leader.
AND, I chose the word “selected” advisedly since there was more than a little gimmickry and gerrymandering inside the Liberal Party leading up to the selection of Justin Trudeau as party leader in 2013. To begin with, the tampering of voting rules permitted Justin to actually use votes from non-party members to attain power. It should be noted that the Liberals were destitute and void of potential as the aftermath of their previous scandals lingered.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals rose to power by way of an overwhelming Liberal sweep of parliamentary seats in the election on October 20, 2015. The Liberals had taken 184 of the 338 seats in parliament. An interesting fact lives with the numbers. 68.5% of eligible voters cast ballots. Of that group, 40% voted for a Liberal candidate in the various 338 ridings. By simple calculation, Justin Trudeau had achieved absolute power of a G9 country with only 27% support from the voters (that is 40% of 68.5%). He promised real change and during his first three months, he has exhibited two similarities to his Liberal predecessors. Like his father, Justin has displayed a callous contempt for parliament. He has sat in parliament for a scant 5 days and yet amassed over $3.0 billion in expenses- none debated in parliament nor approved in senate. Additionally, like his scandal plagued predecessors (Chretien and Martin) he has played loose with rules and displayed a penchant to indulge himself at tax payers’ expense (nannies, European junkets with his entourage and use of tax money to vacation in millionaire resorts in the Caribbean.
It leads to an intriguing question: how would Canada be able to rid itself of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?
It is correct to say that any member of parliament can be impeached by parliament. Given the fact that Justin Trudeau’s party holds 184 of 338 seats in parliament that option is extremely unlikely. The 154 opposition members lack the numbers to toss him out. For impeachment to occur, it would require that Cabinet would likely need to decide that he (Trudeau) was an embarrassment and mount a vote among themselves to oust him. That is unlikely since Trudeau has populated his Cabinet with lackeys and toadies who will tow the mark.
How about the Governor General?
The Governor General (GG) is the Queen’s vice-regal designate in Canada. The GG is appointed by the Queen on recommendation of the Prime Minister. Despite the fact that the present GG was appointed on recommendation of the former (Harper) government, the role to GG is largely ceremonial. In theory, the Vice Regal possesses power to act to ensure peace, order and good government, the ensuing media issues alone would be sufficient to dissuade David Johnson’s term in office as Governor General had been extended until September 2017 as a result of instability (minority government) in 2010.
While His Excellency, Governor General Johnson serves in a more or less ceremonial role, as lawyer he is knowledgeable enough as to not permit himself to be pushed by petitions into making history. For the GG to formally request Justin Trudeau’s resignation would be historically significant. At no other time in Canadian history has a Prime Minister been forced from office.
How About the Queen?
For many of the same reasons, the Monarch of Canada (HRH Queen Elizabeth II) would be loath to take such actions. It is correct to say that responsibility for peace order and good government rests with the Queen, there again would be historical precedent to consider.
The present Prime Minister achieved office by way of support from only 27% (see above) of the wishes of Canadians who actually voted for him and his Liberal colleagues. Given the love-affair that “corporate media (newspapers, broadcasters etc), there is little hope that the media would see any fault with Justin Trudeau and ferment discussion about his misdeeds. Alas, the media has long ago abandoned objectivity and to a large extent were cheerleaders to his rise to power.
The term conscience may have an entirely different meaning in the prototypical Trudeau mind. There are more than enough glimpses of a certain grandiose sense of entitlement residing behind Justin Trudeau’s eyes.
By way of spin and fable, the myth of Pierre Trudeau’s regime have become distorted by history. Those of us who are old enough to recall Trudeau senior (Pierre) saw him for what he was – an egotistical buffoon who believed himself to be wiser than the mere serfs he reigned over.
Suspicion is that Justin Trudeau believes that he is of Canadian royal lineage and, as such is entitled to the fruits of war by way of his election. I personally hold no hope that Justin Trudeau will see fault in himself. The tale of Paul (Bible, Acts 26) and his journey to Damascus and the lighting strike that changed his point of view are not likely to happen with any Trudeau.
So what is left?
The most obvious answer to this question is time. Three years, 5 months and 10 days is a great deal more pleasant sounding than the raw number around 1100 days. At that point in time, Canada will again vote. The ensuing period will certainly not be boring and we are all likely to see entirely new chapters written in Canada’s book of scandals. It should be interesting.