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He Came. He Saw. He Disappointed. Trudeau’s Visit to McGill

Justin Trudeau’s visit to McGill on Tuesday was one of those rare events on campus where students of all political stripes could agree on one thing: Trudeau is a joke. 

Mr. Trudeau started off with his standard stump speech on his favourite theme: cynicism in politics.  Cynicism and negativity in politics are topics that optimistic and hopeful students want to change.  However, if one were to poll university students asking them what their biggest fear is, it would not be that a bunch of people in Ottawa like to shout at each other and make fools of themselves.  Instead, they would probably say that they fear not having a job in the all-too-near future.  While Mr. Trudeau did talk in very broad strokes on the need for more income equality for the middle class, he offered no policies on how to achieve it.

Normally, any examination of a candidate’s appearance on campus would include an examination of the various policies that were presented, along with a discussion of how they would affect students.  However, this would be impossible to do for Mr. Trudeau’s visit, as he offered no specific policies on almost any topic.  He did comment on education, saying that he would strive to send 70% of high school graduates to post-secondary education.  And yet when pressed on specific policies that he would implement to achieve this goal Mr. Trudeau was only able to provide vague references to bursaries and scholarships that he would help create.  That is a platitude, not a policy, offering no assurance to Canadians that he can actually achieve his goals.

His supporters on campus were also unable to provide solid arguments in his favour.  After the talk one of Mr. Trudeau’s main campaigners on campus described him as the national unity candidate.  He might as well call himself the pro-kittens candidate. There is not a single federal politician opposed to national unity, although various politicians might define “national” and “unity” in different ways.  Beyond that, candidates who really want to advocate national unity do not say they would support a sovereign Quebec.  Even ignoring that egregious statement, national unity is not something that a winning candidacy can be based upon, certainly not when every candidate in the race agrees on it.

Another issue is that nothing in Mr. Trudeau’s talk showed how he would be a better party leader than the other Liberals, let alone why he would be a better Prime Minister than a Conservative or New Democrat. Mr. Trudeau said that he would “crowd-source” and develop policies that the public seemed to want rather than offer any of his own, feeling that that would be too arrogant.

The problem with not wanting to act as if he were “smarter than everyone who ever came before (him)” is that Canadians generally want the Prime Minister to have the experience, leadership skills and intellect to make decisions on their behalf.  Trudeau’s emphasis on crowd-sourcing underscores the fact that he has no unique skills or accomplishments to tout.  Teaching is admirable, and a great public service, but the skills required to stand in front of thirty children and rote teach French verbs conjugations are very different from those needed to lead Canada through the myriad challenges that it will face in the coming decades.

The future Liberal leader needs to be someone who has the ability to create a message and then deliver it to Canadians.  The previous experiences with Mr. Dion and Mr. Ignatieff show that the other parties will magnify any cracks, actual or perceived, in a candidate’s leadership skills or personal integrity through attack media.  Mr. Trudeau has thus far not shown that he can stand up to these attacks, or that he has something unique to provide for Canadians.  Liberals must quickly decide whether electing a candidate based on his genealogy is a good thing, or whether more substantial qualifications are necessary to lead our nation.

-Matthew Cressatti

 

(Featured photo: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike  Justin Trudeau, Creative Commons, Flickr)

About M. Satti

Matthew is a second year student at McGill University. He is studying history and political science, with an emphasis on European history after 1815 and Canadian politics and public policy. He can be contacted at matt.cressatti@bell.net or on Twitter at @cressatti13

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2 comments

  1. He came. He Saw. He presented his views as if
    they were truth.

    Matthew Cressatti’s addition to the McGill blogosphere was one of
    those rare events in Montreal political discourse where students of all political
    stripes could agree on one thing: the writer of an article had absolutely no
    prejudice or bias whatsoever.

    Mr. Cressatti, self-professed gentleman and scholar,
    started off with his standard stump speech on his favourite theme: cynicism in
    politics (as long as it has to do with Liberals). Cynicism and negativity in
    politics are topics that optimistic and hopeful students want to change (unless
    they are being cynical and negative about politicians us optimistic and hopeful
    students don’t like). However, if one were to poll university students (something
    I did not do) asking them what their biggest fear is, it would not be that
    bureaucracy causes fully grown men in Ottawa (location is extremely important
    here and is not used to make the straw man fallacy I am using more believable)
    who are university trained to solve problems with reasoned political discourse
    revert to flinging shit at each other when they disagree. Instead, they would
    probably say that they fear “insert political issue (one that doesn’t affect me
    because I come from a rich family and went to private school) here.” While Mr.
    Cressatti did talk in very ambiguous terms about how Mr. Trudeau spoke in very
    broad strokes, he offered no direct quotes to back up his sweeping assertions.

    Normally, any examination of a blogger’s appearance in campus-related
    news sources would include an examination of the various policies that he
    presented, along with a discussion of how they would affect students who lacked
    any individual thought processes. However, this would be impossible to do for
    Mr. Cressatti’s post, as he offered no specific policies on almost any topic (reverting
    instead to thinly veiled slander). He did note that Mr. Trudeau wanted to strive
    to send 70% of high school graduates to post-secondary institutions. And yet
    when pressed on specific policies (that I don’t care to specify) that he would
    implement to achieve his criticism Mr. Cressatti was only able to provide vague
    references to tried and proven methods of increasing post-secondary enrollment
    – the only specific topic Mr. Cressatti cared to specify. That is a platitude not
    a policy, offering no assurance to Canadians that he can actually write
    fair political criticism.

    Mr. Cressatti
    claims Trudeau’s supporters were also unable to provide solid arguments in his
    favour. Unfortunately, Mr. Cressatti does not seem to notice this undermines
    his opening statement concerning the unanimous hilarity literally every student
    who goes to McGill perceived in relation to Trudeau. He might as well call
    himself the irrelevant and self-contradictory bastion of ethical blogging
    everywhere. There is not a single politician opposed to national unity, except
    the whole party devoted to it that stems from the province Cressatti is writing
    in. Beyond that, Mr. Cressatti uses irrefutable evidence to prove candidates
    who really want to advocate national unity do not make concessions to people who
    have different opinions from conservatives. Ignoring this egregious error, a
    single relevant assertion is something a blog can use to completely disregard
    every other belief that a candidate holds.

    Another
    issue is that nothing in Mr. Cressatti’s (isn’t it really uncouth to
    sarcastically refer to your opponent using formal titles to undermine him?)
    post showed any positive evidence for why Mr. Trudeau would not be a better
    Prime Minister than a Conservative [Note: remember to add the NDP to make
    things fair]. Mr. Cressatti did seem to think using crowd-deceiving and
    fallacious reasoning would help his intentions (something an arrogant person
    would never do).

    The problem with acting as if one were (and I quote from a
    known and valid source) “smarter than everyone who has more than a year and a
    half of a political science degree” is that Canadians sweepingly and generally
    want their political advocates to have the experience, leadership skills and
    intellect to not have to revert to poorly based and prejudiced reasoning.
    Cressatti’s emphasis on the unnecessary nature of primary evidence underscores
    the fact that he has no unique skills or accomplishments to tout. Attending
    McGill is admirable, and a great use of socialist public services like higher
    education, but skills required disagreeing with his Liberal professors and
    completely disregarding the political ethics he is supposed to be learning are
    very different from those needed to produce an insightful opinion concerning
    Canadian politics.

    This future blogger needs to be someone who has the ability
    to create a message and then deliver it to Canadians. [Note: Make sure to
    reread article before posting. Didn’t Trudeau indeed create a message and
    deliver it to Canadians? Just because I don’t agree with it doesn’t mean he
    didn’t do that. Does it?] The previous experiences with Mr.
    People-I-individually-thought-were-stupid-because-that-is-how-my-father-raised-me
    show that gentlemen and scholars from all over Canada will magnify every
    perceived crack that they can successfully exploit. Mr. Cressatti has thus far
    not shown that that he can stand up to attacks by random internet commentators,
    or that he has any unique acumen to provide Canadians.
    People-who-I-will-refute-no-matter-what-proof-is-supplied-for-me must quickly
    decide whether listening to a blogger with a severe lacking of experience is a
    good thing, or whether more substantial qualifications are necessary for
    posting articles on a website people will probably disregard anyway.

  2. Its a pretty one-sided piece…

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