Doorstep Postings: In the name of God it’s time for Justin Trudeau to go, now that the Liberals lost St. Paul’s

Don Stewart, the victorious Conservative candidate in St. Paul's, with Thornhill MP Melissa Lantsman on byelection night at Café Landwer in Forest Hill Village. (Credit: @MelissaLantsman)

This is a special edition of Doorstep Postings, the periodic political commentary column written by Josh Lieblein for The CJN, covering the aftermath of the federal byelection in the St. Paul’s riding of Toronto, where Conservative candidate Don Stewart defeated Liberal candidate Leslie Church—and the 82 others on the ballot.

The trouble with Justin Trudeau has never been any of his own considerable failings as a person and as a politician. He may be an utter nullity who imagines himself to be vastly more intelligent than he is, a (possibly willing) patsy for the real powers that be, a vainglorious one-trick-pony narcissist, and someone who expects to be showered with praise for doing the basic everyday things expected of most people.

But in a nation which imagines itself to be a democracy, where there are supposed to be checks and balances on any person, group of people, or institution, the ascension of a dullard like Trudeau to the prime ministership shouldn’t end up paralyzing the country. 

We love to bash the U.S.A., but that country does not come to a dead stop because of the depredations of Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the way we have ever since the Liberal poll numbers cratered sometime last year. But believing that America is on its last legs because their leaders are decrepit and old is itself a tell; as Canadians, we imagine that the quality of the POTUS is the measure of that entire country.

If we didn’t think of this particular PM as some semi-regal figure, then the notion of spending an entire year debating whether he’s going to quit instead of getting on with the job of getting rid of him would be unthinkable. We would not have the likes of Mark Carney skulking about trying to pretend he’s not trying to stab Trudeau in the back. We wouldn’t have columnists and talking heads and pollsters and other hacks trying to make it too uncomfortable for Trudeau to keep “governing” instead of coming right out and saying that it’s time for him to go. There would be no dated, busted, moldy references to Trudeau talking “a walk in the snow” in the middle of this current heat wave—or people quoting the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” a song released a few weeks after Justin’s dad signed the Constitution Act.

I’ve sat through countless meetings where party faithful schemed to remove conservative premiers, mayors and opposition leaders. The loss of a safe seat in a byelection—which officially happened shortly before 4 a.m. on Tuesday—doomed John Tory, Michael Ignatieff, Stephane Dion. Never-weres like Andrea Horwath, Tim Hudak, Thomas Mulcair and Steven Del Duca either bowed out or walked wounded through the remainder of their benighted terms after they lost. To say nothing of all the successful leaders who got when the getting was good: too many to enumerate here, even though they knew that their parties would be obliterated for a generation or more after they quit.

This is democracy. It’s sometimes messy, and people get their feelings hurt and hopes dashed. Good times do not last forever, and we cannot rely on propaganda to pretend everything is OK. Or so we thought, before Justin Trudeau. 

Yelling about Trudeau the dictator, Trudeau the fascist, Trudeau the entitled technocratic autocratic nepo baby… it only gets you so far. The issue is not that Trudeau is any of those things. It’s the enablers. It’s always been the enablers. Canada has no shortage of dreamy idiots, blank screens onto which people project their hopes and dreams and spend their last dollar trying to make them into reality. But the willing, deliberate, intentional, decades-long mythologization of Justin Trudeau as the rightful princeling whose life mission was to convince the world that it’s got a fever and the only prescription is more Canada puts all of those side hustles to shame forever. Some of us saw through the charade. Too many others wanted the lie to be real so badly that they deliberately convinced themselves it could be true. 

If you believe in a God, it’s best that there only be the one. At least, that’s what Judaism posits. The thinking is that the more Gods you have, and the more divine or semi-divine figures you invent, the more likely it becomes that you start believing that anything or anybody could be God, even a prime minister with an origin story. You, for example, could become like a God because you believe yourself to be on the right side of history, or get caught up in some collective hysteria in the hope that you will be redeemed and the world will be transformed and perfected as a result. If you ignore the obvious problems presented by whatever fad is currently trending, maybe people will ignore your obvious problems as well. Maybe the illusion will last forever. Maybe you will continue to fool all of the people all of the time. Many people pass their entire lives believing this. There are many Jews who get caught up in these beliefs, too.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, it’s usually some Jew, somewhere, who ends up popping the bubble. Last night, the Jewish voters of St. Paul’s played a major role in popping the Trudeau bubble. This happened, in part, because among the PM’s many delusions was the idea that he could talk out of both sides of his mouth, placating Jewish voters at the same time as he placated voters who want to see those Jewish voters diminished, damaged or dead.

There are many Jewish Liberals, some in caucus and some without, who are still believing the lie. Jewish Liberals who still think that Canada’s problems can be fixed, or at least papered over, with ‘mutual respect’. Jewish Liberals who offer up veiled threats like, “Imagine what would happen if we weren’t at the table!” As if there isn’t an obvious effort to actively remove us from the table—which will continue until it is eventually successful. It’s up to these Jewish Liberals to get to higher ground before the tide sweeps in. For we have come to the point where enabling this prime minister and the starry-eyed vision of Canada he represents has become a self-harming act of willful blindness.  

It’s not too late to wake up. 

Josh Lieblein can be reached at [email protected] for your response to Doorstep Postings.