Skip to main content

An Open Letter to Justin Trudeau

Dear Justin,

Look. you don't know me from Adam's off ox. I emailed to volunteer for you a month ago, and I got a nice welcome letter back with a sentence at the end saying someone would be in touch with me soon.

A month ago.

Now, I'm a nobody. I'm just a  middle aged white male in the vote-rich province of Ontario and I only have one vote, same as anyone else. I was thinking very strongly of not only using it on you, but doing my best to drum up more votes for you.

I read your memoir, COMMON GROUND, and it impressed me. I, too, am a consensus builder, and I'm sick and tired of the current government that thinks consensus is a bad word. (Rhymes with census, that's probably why. Hey, it's no more or less arbitrary than their visceral dislike of other words, such as privacy, constitutionality, and science...) You, on the other hand, are both a wide and deep thinker and you appear to have a genuine knack for connecting with people. In a Canada where the federal government is so disconnected from the majority of its citizens, you seemed to me to be a breath of fresh air. You do not seem to be beholden to any strain of ideology...what matters to you is what works.

Well, Justin, you might want to get working.

In case you haven't noticed, Mr. Harper has been busily frittering away endless tax dollars attacking you. This is nothing new for this PM: he knows no other approach to politics but to slash and burn anyone or anything that opposes him. Doubtless you've heard your voice saying "the budget will balance itself"--in the manner of all political attack ads, the quote was missing the half about commitment to economic growth leading to a budget that balances itself. That's a sentiment most economists, including Mr. Harper, would agree with. But the half-sentence that was used makes you look stupid.

Health Canada has spent seven million dollars trying to scare parents about a plant you want to legalize...a plant that helps millions of Canadians, many of whom are beyond the reach of conventional medicines. The revenue stream from the legalization of this plant would be enormous, and what's more, it would go to government instead of organized crime.

This, of course, is ominously linked to a previous set of attack ads claiming you were going to get all our kids smoking dope. Because it's not as if dope is readily available in every high school in the country as it is. Your plain would make it harder for teens to get dope, right? That's my understanding.

But, see, Justin...I don't see you on my TV or hear you on the radio rebutting any of this. And that bothers me. A lot.

Your party has had two leaders lose to Stephen Harper. The first one, Stephane Dion, was a brilliant man and a terrible politician and his "Green Shift" scheme--which, properly implemented, might have done this country a great deal of good--was vilified and muddied at every turn by Conservative attack ads. Dion didn't bother to defend himself. He bombed. The second leader, Michael Ignatieff, was a brilliant man and terrible politician and he was immediately classed as a foreign egghead by Conservative attack ads. Ignatieff didn't bother to defend himself. He bombed.

Now we have Justin Trudeau. You strike me as a brilliant man and...quite frankly...a terrible politician. Because even with the lessons of Iggy and Dion, both of which should still be stinging Liberal ears and're falling into the same, obvious trap. You're letting Harper define you and you're doing NOTHING to define yourself.

You're in a boxing ring, Justin, and this time the opponent isn't some two-bit Senator but a well-seasoned pol who is supremely skilled at attacking people. It's his life.

DEFEND YOURSELF. You don't have to sink to their level and start throwing haymakers -- yet -- but can you at least put your hands up and block some of these incoming punches? Your inaction is starting to hurt you in the polls: I read today that Harper is within striking distance of another damned majority, despite about seventy percent of the country intending to vote for someone else. (Nice political system we have. Wish somebody would do something about that. I know Harper sure as hell won't.)

You can't do it alone...I see that in your Facebook feed quite frequently, and I agree. So why, Justin, why are you ignoring people who want to help you? Like me, for instance. I'd like to think I have some skills I can offer you, writing being just one.  But you have to convince me that (a) you actually want the PMO and (b) you want me to help you get it. I'll work for free...if I feel my work is valued and valuable.

Come on, man. Canada needs you. Canada needs us.


Ken Breadner


Inquisitor said…
This is a brilliant letter. Canadians could take control of the election agenda if they got organized. I would like Leadnow, Dogwood Initiative and Council of Canadians to consider setting up a block by block education drive to get the important facts understood and discussed on every street in Canada. The facts that people need to know about are things like the bank bail-in that Canada has been covertly pushing. This is changing bank deposits to be classified as bank assets rather than liabilities owed to the depositor. If people saw the documentary history of this, and though about it for a moment - there would be a national outrage.
Inquisitor said…
Kathi Wilson said…
Brilliant? Oh dear. Not by a long shot. Shallow, stupid, a little bit fascist, opportunistic, and, oh yeah, a philanderer (just like good ol' dad). The party of corruption, led by an idiot.
Ken Breadner said…
Kathi: Every adjective you used there is a matter of opinion, except for the last one, which is potentially libellous. Do you have a source for that one?
Inquisitor said…
I do not see Justin as an idiot, but I would encourage him to read the Breadbin letter. Politicians that treat activists' willingness to volunteer, with disdain and indifference, and to think that they can rely only on the major donors - are undermining their community support. This current plague of political strategy may be characterized as idiotic. The Democrats in the States have used this contempt for the base policy during the 2010 and 2014 elections to their peril.

Popular posts from this blog


The question is, how do we respond?

Today's sermon at Grand River Unitarian was both the most overtly Christian and the most overtly political I've yet attended.

It's worth noting that the Christianity was still muted, and was the inevitable byproduct of the guest speaker (the Lutheran chaplain of the House of Friendship), and the politics was the inevitable byproduct of the topic (poverty and homelessness).

I'm still glad I went, because once again today's service cleared up something religious that has bothered me for a long time.

Lutherans believe you are 'saved' -- a concept I have enough trouble with --- by God's grace alone, through faith alone. That's always suggested to me that there's nothing you have to do except believe. And if that doesn't work out for you, well, you're not believing hard enough. QED.

The speaker explained that Lutherans believe everything in your life is a God-given gift, and "so  the question is, how d…

Three Wheelin'

I have written a few times on the single thing that has defined and limited my life more than anything else--my lack of a driver's license.

You people who have them probably take them somewhat for granted. The lack of one tends to manifest in many ways, none of them pleasant and some of them very much unexpected.
Of course, there's the first order consequence: you must rely on others for your transportation. This has several corollaries. Taxis are insanely expensive, but other than inconveniencing a friend or relative, there's no other feasible way to do something as mundane as, say, grocery shopping.  Seeing friends who live across town is doable, but if they live an hour by car away, you're beholden to Greyhound or Via's schedule. (You'd better hope they live in a city big enough to merit a bus/train station).   There is no feeling quite so helpless as when a friend or loved one gets sick or injured in your presence and you can't drive her to the hospital…

Modular Madness

I just got off a week of nights.

It hasn't been all that long, really, since I worked solid graveyard shift. I was promoted to Meat Department Manager at the beginning of September; went to Seasonal and Pets at the beginning of December, and than one day in mid-January I got invited into the manager's office and told "all my dreams are coming true".
What they meant by that was a transfer to dairy and frozen. Which, as longtime readers will know, is what I've been doing since 2001.

This was not a dream come true for me, much less all of them. Don't get me wrong: I like the position. But it's technically a demotion: just as they are in other chains, dairy and frozen here are a subset of grocery. They're called departments but aren't, really.

I've never understood this. Studies show that most visitors to a grocery store will buy something from dairy and/or frozen, and Walmart is just like a grocery store in that regard. I move a lot of product.

Going Moldy....

Show more