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 rumps...you'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.