The federal Liberals must be in bigger disarray then they let on, meaning their internal polling must actually hint at defeat at this point. Denying the connection between the arrests of Canadians in China to our regime’s boneheaded arrest of one of their corporate darlings isn’t actually a smart strategy, but neither is trying to bullshit spin this as China arresting people at random, which makes zero sense and is a disrespectful tone to take with a now adversary. The Chinese regime are strategically targeting knowledgeable people that they can squeeze for intelligence in order to find more weaknesses in Canada’s armour to form a second, and more painful wave of political and economic attack. This dark turn does not bode well for the Grits.
Neither does floating around the electoral bribing with Basic Income, which doesn’t work. The bribe – and it is a brazen bribe – acknowledges that the employment scene in this country is weak and there is no solution forthcoming. It is an admission that there are no jobs for those who got hit by US tariffs and Saudi rage, and now Chinese rage.
It won’t work for two other reasons: one, people who have lost their jobs in this latest mess had high-paying ones with big benefits. The money they will receive from the feds will not even cover their mortgages. If the move is to assure those people, they are not going to be grateful: they will be enraged, and that works for the Conservatives as the Right are experts in harnessing electoral humiliation and rage to win seats.
The other reason is for those who are already poor and would get a lift from Basic Income, they are going to get greedy and entitled – and then start looking at the NDP – the same way Ontario did during the last election. Basic Income was a Liberal strategy, and Kathleen Wynne went too far Left, energizing, then radicalizing the awakened NDP base, who were more than happy to promise bigger money giveaways. Andrea Horwath came off as a game show hostess for the Price is Right more than an actual politician. No one cared what the Grits in Ontario promised: they just figured the NDP will price match and then give more free money in the bargain.
That means this current federal regime is clueless. They have no idea who is their base. The Liberals are usually known for being The Government Party because they understand the bland and dickless mindset of the Middle Class who follow a Zero Risk playbook. The Grits, when they are done right, so to speak, look like the headless mannequins at the Men’s Department at the Bay: they are non-offensive as they project a semi-dignified, somewhat cheesy, but non-threatening buffet of goodies to their voters that is not too tacky, passé, low-class, or out of their budget. Trudeau Senior did a lot of chest-thumping, but his policies were merely a little more daring Anglo-Franco fusion of middle class-appealing offerings presented with a little more panache that was quite the global fad in the day. He brought in a little bit of a more international flair, but he never strayed too far from the Middle-Class base. He added some more colour and texture to the ambiance, but it was always about “rights” and what people were going to get; he never made them anxious by bringing up “responsibilities” of what they owe others and their regime.
Jean Chretien was the last federal Liberal leader who got the recipe book. Paul Martin was too fixated on “avenging” his dad to get the finer nuances – and while knowing how to calculate who is owed what as you settle debts makes for a great finance minister, it makes for a poor prime minister. That singular personal vendetta focus was too grim and off-putting to the Middle Class who honestly think it is all about them and maintaining an acceptably perky façade. Then back-to-back numbskulls Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff were too in love with their own sophistry-laden thoughts to see reality, and their selfish and disconnected ways made serious damage to the Liberal brand, as the then-Jack Layton (he is #29 on the List of People Everyone Should Know) NDPs had their glorious Orange Crush and became the official opposition.
Layton was dying, but he was unleashed as he worked and fought with passion, even if it meant he was hastening his own demise, and understood what the Liberals had forgotten.
That he knew he’d never reap the rewards of his efforts made him a beloved altruist, and that subversive, yet true heroic act put the Grits to absolute shame. Their healthy leader didn’t get what the NDP’s dying one did. The charmingly roguish Layton transmuted into a political Terry Fox, and the Liberals couldn’t compete with that singular beautiful and moving legacy of benevolent gravitas who had every reason not to care anymore, but did with every grain of his being. That quality is beyond rare, and yet Layton personified it perfectly. Layton moved into the eye of emotionality and took those elements to create something bigger than himself for others, while the now misnamed Grits kept moving away from those raw emotions to keep them at arms’ length as they tried to create an impenetrable fortress where they could haughtily rule forever without having to bother with pesky things such as facts or debate.
The federal Liberals’ deserved defeat should have put the Grits on notice. Layton tapped into something unspoken, yet important, but instead of learning the importance of what they were now missing in a leader, the Grits got their little noses out of joint, and took a very different – and opposite track, all while trying to spin a narrative with a product that did not fit the goods, hoping no one would notice the ideological cribbing as the Grits co-opted Layton’s message, but have it spewed from someone who had none of the gravitas.
Hence, strutted in JT, the Jive Turkey, who has no idea what’s going on, but has the air of a sheltered rich and entitled kid who slums it by hanging around street corners of middle-class neighbourhoods because the overworked and underpaid nanny finally says fuck it. But being conniving isn’t the same as being cunning. Worse, the reasons he got elected were shallow: Canadians like nepotistic leaders, mistakenly seeing them as acceptable and respectable luxury brand items; he was youngish and average-looking, like your typical middle manager at some Toronto advertising company, not harsh or wrinkly; and he was vain, but not in a too off-putting way. At least he was willing to take selfies with Canadians with a smile, and not just mug all by himself with a fishy face; hence, seeming accessible and not too insane, nor intellectually intimidating to an average middle-class person.
He had enough novelty to gain attention and seem trendy, but was familiar enough not to threaten the middle-class narrative of themselves that new high-rise condo ads have perfected with overly-processed and sexually ambiguous twentysomethings with gummy grimaces holding a glass of champagne in tacky Winners’ dresses and Bay suits having a cocktail party in their chrome-themed kitchen, which apparently is the swankiest room for entertainment purposes in a middle-class family high-rise condo.
Stephen Harper was camera-shy, stiff, not a gummy smiler who holds cocktail parties in his kitchen, a little too smart for his own good, and a wonk – in the cosmetic comparison, Trudeau won the best cocktail party in your kitchen contest by default, and that’s all that mattered.
Those few camera angles clinched the victory as did having homely veterans behind the scenes do all of the work, but the promise to legalize weed – so that no softcore rebellious dumbass middle-class kid caught smoking in the boys’ room was going to have an arrest record to shame the parents and drain their bank accounts so they couldn’t go on another bragworthy winter vacation to Seaworld – was the failsafe. The free baby-money didn’t actually get those traditional non-voters to the polling stations, but it seemed as if it did. The latter promise would prove to be trouble later on.
That means Trudeau took a gamble, was completely dependent on the circumstances, and the roulette wheel landed on his number, and in cases of beginner’s luck, he misread the signs, thinking he was cunning enough to win something that mattered.
But everything hinged on having a Democrat in the White House in the US. Everything, and that’s why the Grits went into big-ass debt the second they took office, and they gambled big on the roulette wheel, betting money they didn’t have thinking they had a sure thing and were being bold on a safe bet. Every plan was based on the calculation that Hillary Clinton was going to win in 2016, and there was no way that she could. Only someone who isn’t a realist would have thought she had a chance, and like Clinton who had no concession speech planned, the Grits had no other plan should the inevitable happen.
And there was absolutely not only no Plan B, the Grits never revised the plan once Trump won, nor when he let the world know what he thought of us. They stuck to a script that didn’t apply to reality, either being too lazy, stupid, arrogant – or all three – to lose the cursed script and use their brain cells. They still don’t get that their TORTEE script is situational, and not universal.
But the disconnect was costly as it broke a global spell, and it no longer matters what happens in the US, even if Mike Pence were to assume the presidency. Canada was always seen as a satellite of the US who had the Americans’ ear. We were the indirect backdoor should the US have a particularly tough bouncer at the front door. We were once the “sure thing.”
Until that theory was flushed down the toilet. Then all bets were off. One slip up proves that there are exceptions to the TORTEE, and that’s a fatal error.
Now that there is a risk that the route isn’t secure, we saw our fortunes rapidly eroding. The powerful countries that once indulged us are now cutting their losses. They have no reason to bother with us anymore, and are looking for any pretence to do it, while the Grits keep helpfully obliging.
Until Trudeau won, we were US-lite, or Diet America. We were the diffusion label of the haute couture luxury brand known as the United States of America. Once the A-list line repudiated the B-list, we were seriously fucked. The sky isn’t going to fall, but the ground eroded, and the bottom line is the only thing that counts.
And yet, we have a regime behave as if none of this is happening, making the situation worse, and now alienating province after province in the bargain.
This reminds me a lot of Clinton’s sorry excuses for losing the election: blaming Russians (external) and Comey (internal) for her loss. Asshole, do you think the external and internal machinations magically stop once you are president? What kind of dumbass motherfuckery are you puking, you moron? Memo to Clinton: that was part of the final exam, and you failed. You have to show voters that you eat those vipers for breakfast in the real world, and then use their bones to make your crown, and mace that looks suspiciously like a sex toy. Grow up, you worthless idiot, and grow a pair of ovaries.
And now we have a prime minister who can handle neither externals nor internals. So, what are you good for?
Now, at this point of the game, you have to fully admit to fucking up. Everyone can compare Canada pre-Jive Turkey to now, and do the math. There are too many minus signs and the equals sign is right around the corner with no plus sign in sight.
Trump-bashing doesn’t do anything. Minions bad-mouth their overlords all the time. They still are minions and their overlord is still their overlord.
You still have bupkes.
Once you own your mistakes, ironically, you are no longer saddled with them. Your problems no longer own you. You own them, and you can do with them whatever you want. You can fix them, throw them away, whatever. You have control.
If I don’t own something, I cannot alter it or get rid of it.
I am stuck with baggage that I cannot touch. I call dibs on them, they are mine.
At this stage of the game, if the Grits were intellectually competent, they’d re-invent everything.
But as their narrative is that they do not possess any Responsibility nor Flaw, they have to stick with their course with their worthless script, no matter how far down into Hell they drag this country.
And this is basic math: if you have 0, you have nothing to plug into any equation.
And the Grits have nothing but ideas they are stealing from the NDP, thinking that free baby money worked the last time for them. However, Wynne did this brazenly to the perpetual chagrin of Horwath, but she did it so many times that all she managed to do was energize the Left’s base, and the Grits were always Centrists. It was a big tactical mistake to leave the centre core because they had no competition there, and now they had a bigger brand that could best them because the Centrists look too bland to the Leftists. Wynne gave Liberal votes to the NDP, sinking their chances at re-election. It is like a burger joint trying to compete with a pizza parlour by getting rid of the food they have perfected and then going for something they have little expertise in creating what their rivals have mastered and already have the base who are loyal to them. The outcome was a foregone conclusion.
The troubles for the Grits didn’t end there. The people on the Right got radicalized, and weren’t going to stand for their tax money to be wasted on their rivals, and you cannot actually blame them – so they got a more Rightist option – far harder right than the pantywaist they conveniently turfed out – and Doug Ford won a majority, something no one in the Grit’s war room foresaw. This was the expensive steak house, and it’s there for people who don’t want pizza or a lower grade of meat with filler bread crumbs.
And instead of learning from Wynne’s debacle – her federal cronies picked up her playbook and are now using it because they have no Plan B, no vision of the future, no momentum, no follow-up policies, and no possession of the troubles they created.
All the federal NDP have to do at this stage is vow to out-bid the Grits: whatever the Grits offer, the NDP can promise to triple it. The Grits will put all of it on the table, and once that happens, people will comparison shop. You don’t go to the Red store or the Blue store for the things the Orange store is famous for carrying. The End.
This is truly unprecedented in Canadian politics that a reigning federal Liberal regime is floundering that badly given the lack of competition, majority status, and that they are only one term into the game. The Liberals are the centrist option, not the leftist; they are not going to co-opt the NDP votes; they are merely giving free advertising to them, as the subtext is that they are conceding that the NDP were correct all along, and the Grits were wrong. Wynne proved it in the last provincial election.
Under any other circumstances, there should be a second arc to the federal Grits’ political narrative.
Except there isn’t, and there should have been hints of it by now.
There isn’t because this clownish regime – which pretended they learned from their defeat at the hands of Jack Layton was an out-and-out lie. It is the same sophistry and the same fortresses with less intellect guiding the party. It would be one thing if the Grits crashed and burned, but they are taking the Middle Class down right along with them, just as their American counterparts are doing on their own turf. Once the Middle Class get burned by their own TORTEE, the humiliation of the new rule burns deep, and they never forgive or give a second chance. Ask the Bob Rae NDPs.
This is a regime that has no control of anything and are flying by the seat of their pants. Their strategy has been an unstable mix of trying to out-NDP the NDP, or tweak Doug Ford who has a loyal base no matter what bullshit the Toronto Star rage pukes about him. That’s no fucking strategy: that’s shit a slacker student thinks up while stoned. The Grits are banking on the lack of competition and counting on the complacency of Canadians to be in equal denial of what’s going down all while thinking that Trump will go away and everything will be reset as the time machine brings us back to October 2016.
Normally, that would be sufficient, except the list of nations retaliating against us keeps growing. The Grits didn’t contain it at Trump; so now it no longer matters what the US does. That ship has sailed.
And we are running out of options and cards to play. The US can live without us. They will either recover in 2019 or crash – and the latter is going to be worse for us than the former because Trump is going to punish the Democrats like they have never felt before, setting off a major depression to seriously weaken them, and starving them of spoiled dilettante deep pockets who will be too busy warding off financial ruin to meddle in political affairs. He knows where their bodies are buried, and has said as much. This turn in the Go game was more than obvious. So, if Trump keeps playing Go with Canada, we drown slowly, but if you finally bring in an able Go player into the fold, you can start to pave a new path away from the game board on our own terms with some resources untouched and still viable. If the US hits a recession with Trump fighting off impeachment – and he has proven time and again to thrive in that sort of impossible chaos, then we go down fast with no time to form a counter-plan to ward off our own catastrophes as the board explodes, and make no mistake: the board was rigged to explode in order to alter the game.
Even if the Democrats were to take pity on us, they are too busy actively destroying their own democracy to settle a petty and treasonous vendetta, pissing away their own resources and goodwill to be of any use to their own citizens, let alone foreigners. They are not cunning because they were hijacked by spoiled and indulged limousine liberals and champagne socialists who have no comprehension of reality or benevolence; they are selfish, greedy, manipulative, egotistical, hypocritical, and disrespectful control freaks who just want a bottomless pit to exploit just for themselves, and those leeches have no intention of contributing one grain or pay their own way. They always frame people who do not give in to their tantrum demands as evil and immoral, but I have yet to see one who talks about what they should be giving others or what they owe. That is the classic misdirection of a gaslighting psychopath, and that is all you need to know.
It was an ill-omen when Trudeau Junior disrespectfully sashayed into India, making a mockery of their culture for his own prolonged demented vanity show, then made a diplomatic mess by inviting their enemy, falsely pinning it on the nation he offended – and then came home with nothing to show for the troubles. Honestly, you do not have to wear a dress to be sympathetic to feminists, or a priest’s frock to show religious tolerance; ergo, leave the national cultural garb to those who own them. Stay away from their closet and just broker a fucking deal. That spectacle was the harbinger for more serious missteps mere weeks and months later.
The Saudis will not forgive. Neither will the Chinese. You cannot look down on countries whose racial make-up is not the same as yours, patronize them as you issue them orders as if they were your indentured servants, and then expect a different outcome when their power is greater than yours, and that’s precisely what the Grits did, never learning from the India debacle. The allies, satellites, and dependents of those nations are not going to rock the boat on our behalf, either.
Folksy, middle-class logic dictates that some hero will come in, fix the problems to our own exacting demands, everything will then work out in the end, and we will win because we are “the good guys” and good guys always win. However, this isn’t a fairy tale. This is a crisis.
I don’t take much stock in polls, but there are too many fires burning, and a regime that insists those infernos are grand and glorious.
The election is too far away to call it, but at the rate this country is going, Canada is in for a very wild and rough ride ahead with a perfect person for them to blame for all of it: the jive turkey they voted in because he seemed safe and nonthreatening to their reality, narrative, and way of life…