Tools
Change country:

Justin Trudeau Disappointed Me. I’m Still Voting for Him.

Let’s start with what’s undeniable: Justin Trudeau has achieved a progressive’s wish list of policy accomplishments. Since becoming Canada’s prime minister in 2015, he has raised taxes on the rich, legalized marijuana, put a rising price on carbon, renegotiated NAFTA, centered women’s rights in the country’s foreign policy, reduced child poverty to its lowest level in decades, and resettled tens of thousands of refugees. By any measure, Trudeau is the most progressive leader of my lifetime. So why don’t progressives—even ones, like me, who have worked for him—love him?

The answer is complicated. Canadians go to the polls on Monday in an election that Trudeau called from a position of strength. He was hoping to ride his array of policy achievements to turn his minority government into a majority one, but a new wave of the pandemic—Canada’s fourth—has changed his prospects.

The public has not been enthusiastic for an election; my progressive friends, close observers of Canadian politics, have mostly tuned out. In fact, the only people energized by this campaign are the angry mobs trailing Trudeau at his rallies, shouting obscenities at him, even throwing stones at the prime minister. They hate Trudeau as much for his support of vaccine passports as for the multicultural project he champions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, Trudeau has been struggling. His poll numbers have dipped. His main opponent on the left is viewed as more trustworthy. The primary national rival to his Liberals, the Conservative Party, has seen a surge of support. Trudeau looks frazzled and defensive trying to explain why he called an election at all. The air of inevitability that characterized his previous victories, in 2015 and 2019, has dissipated.

I am in a unique position: I was a foreign-policy adviser in Trudeau’s first administration and supported him without reservation. Trudeau had swept to power with an ambitious progressive platform. He took his beleaguered Liberal Party, which had been reduced to the third-biggest party in Parliament, to an overall majority, a remarkable and, in Canada, unprecedented rise. I felt inspired and hopeful after that election, as did many young people. A new generation of progressive leaders was coming to power in Canada. Trudeau was admired around the world not simply for saying all the right things from a progressive point of view, but for his platform and the diversity of his cabinet. And I saw that, even in private, Trudeau was hardworking and well informed; he asked the right questions and was sincerely committed to the progressive agenda.

[Read: Justin Trudeau’s feminist brand is imploding]

Over the past six years, he has compiled an admirable policy record, but this has been overshadowed by a number of political and ethical scandals. Trudeau got into an entirely unnecessary turf battle with his own attorney general over a criminal prosecution involving corruption at a major Canadian company. (The prime minister was found to have broken conflict-of-interest rules, his second violation of ethics laws.) During the 2019 election, photos of Trudeau in blackface surfaced. His Liberal Party lost seats in Parliament and the popular vote. It still managed to hold on to power, but not by much. The outcome this time around could be worse. Whether the Liberal Party hangs on to government comes down to whether progressives rally around Trudeau, abandon him for less flashy alternatives on the left, or, disenchanted, stay home entirely.

This election poses a dilemma for Canadian progressives—one which center-left voters face in the United States and, indeed, much of the West: When do you support someone whose policies you overwhelmingly agree with, but whose personal choices are not to your liking? When do you keep the personal and the political separate, and vote solely for platform?

These questions are not abstract; they carry serious consequences. If the other side wins, then all our cherished progressive policies go out the window. At the same time, we cannot be completely amoral, the way, for example, many supporters of Donald Trump are—evangelical voters and country-club Republicans alike who looked past Trump’s financial and moral shortcomings because he promised to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices or cut taxes for the wealthy. A line has to be drawn somewhere. Progressives must demand integrity from our leaders—especially on issues such as diversity, respect for women, and corruption.

When I worked in government, I would often ask young people what they really thought of the prime minister. After all, Millennials and progressives were the reason Trudeau had won in 2015. Every person I spoke with, even those who disagreed with Trudeau, wanted to like him. They wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. But many were skeptical. Something about Trudeau rang false to them, or seemed too scripted, which became an issue when Trudeau’s personality faults came to light.

[Read: Justin Trudeau falls from grace]

One common occurrence on the left is the search for infallibility in our politicians. We want ideological purity and an unimpeachable record clear of misdeeds. In the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama warned progressives about “circular firing squads,” in which people who agreed on most issues took morbid pleasure in pummeling one another. This is perhaps the greatest failing of the modern left: We seek moral perfection in a world of politics where compromise is the cost of doing business. Run afoul of progressive dogma or say the wrong thing, and one is liable to get canceled.

Purity tests exist on the right as well, but they are not about character. Instead, the right moralizes internally over who is tougher on crime, on immigrants, on China, on owning the libs. Trump likely cannot recite a single Bible verse and has a perverse history with women but still won 81 percent of the white evangelical vote last year. His handlers seemed to understand that Trump was but a mascot for a right-wing agenda. As Trump’s then–chief adviser, Steve Bannon, told Vanity Fair the year Trump was elected: He is “a blunt instrument for us. I don’t know whether he really gets it or not.” The question of character doesn’t even come up. Trump’s base is unfailingly loyal, willing to overlook even grotesque personality defects in service of its policy wishes.

Perhaps a better comparison for Trudeau is another Republican president. When I think of the prime minister now, I see him not as a dashing JFK figure but as a Ronald Reagan of the left—a former actor and drama teacher who compellingly serves as chief spokesperson for the progressive agenda. Trudeau might fumble his words at times, and stumble into controversies, but he plays the part well—and gets the job done. That ought to be part of the moral calculus in supporting him: Trudeau is an effective leader whose policy accomplishments are worth his personal failings.

[Read: The woke will always break your heart]

Progressives like to say we are different. We hold our leaders accountable, even at the risk of losing. We take pride in living out our politics in deeply personal ways, defending our beliefs when they are tested. Trudeau knows the power of such idealism. He ran for election describing himself as a feminist, took a knee at a Black Lives Matter rally, and openly condemns systemic racism.

But progressives also want bold action. On this, Trudeau’s record is strong. The answer to his lagging numbers could be to discard the moral posturing entirely, double down on what he has already delivered, and push for even more ambitious policies, especially for working-class voters. It won’t refurbish his brand, but it would remind people why they supported him the first time.

Justin Trudeau has disappointed me in numerous ways—the ethics scandals, the dress-up photos, the glacial progress on climate change, and the delayed reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. But on election day, I will still cast my ballot for him, not out of religious devotion to the left or because I view Trudeau as infallible, but because politics requires compromise to deliver change. The future is on the ballot, as are policies that will affect generations to come. Moral perfection can wait. A country still needs to be governed.


Read full article on: theatlantic.com
Texas lawmakers pass new congressional maps that bolster the GOP
Texas Republicans approved redrawn U.S. House maps that favor incumbents and decrease political representation for growing minority communities, even as Latinos drive much of the state's growth.
7 m
npr.org
What to watch on Tuesday: ‘Queens’ on ABC
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | “The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula” returns on Shudder
washingtonpost.com
'Munsters' reboot director Rob Zombie reveals first look at stars
"The Triumph of King Freak" singer Rob Zombie shared a few behind-the-scenes photos from his upcoming reboot of "The Munsters," confirming the cast.
foxnews.com
Buffalo Bills suffer sickening loss to Tennessee Titans with failed fourth-down gamble
The Bills have now lost two games in a row to the Titans, the latest a heartbreaker for Buffalo when Josh Allen slipped on a quarterback sneak.       
usatoday.com
North Korea fires a ballistic missile into the sea in its latest test
Hours after the U.S. reaffirmed its offer to resume diplomacy on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, the North fired a ballistic missile into the sea, the South Korean and Japanese militaries said.
npr.org
Banged-up Justin Turner available to start for Dodgers in NLCS Game 3
Turner is banged up, but the Dodgers are planning on his availability to start Game 3 of the NLCS on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
nypost.com
Nearly 100 unvaccinated staff at Yale New Haven Health lose their jobs
Nearly 100 employees in the Yale New Haven Health system lost their jobs Monday because they failed to get a COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.
foxnews.com
North Korea fires at least one ballistic missile off eastern coast
North Korea has fired at least one ballistic missile from its eastern coast, according to South Korean and Japanese officials. CNN's Paula Hancocks has more.
edition.cnn.com
Bill Gates daughter required guests be vaxxed, get tested before $2M wedding
Jennifer Gates required all guests who attended her extravagant $2 million wedding celebration in Westchester to be fully vaccinated and get a negative COVID test before being allowed into the party of the year.
nypost.com
Philadelphia-area straphangers who may have filmed rape could face charges: report
Authorities in Pennsylvania are working to determine if passengers who witnessed an alleged rape on a suburban Philadelphia train line not only didn't call 911 but may have filmed the incident.
foxnews.com
'He died in my arms.' Twelve months on, a mother's agonizing wait to find out why her son died at Lekki toll gate
When Adesola heard about the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on October 20, 2020, she immediately thought of her son who had earlier left home to join the hundreds of young people protesting against police brutality at the site.
edition.cnn.com
A year on, a mother's agonizing wait to find out why her son died at Lekki toll gate
When Adesola heard about the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on October 20, 2020, she immediately thought of her son who had earlier left home to join the hundreds of young people protesting against police brutality at the site.
edition.cnn.com
Rangers’ Artemi Panarin picks perfect time for first goal of season
Heading into the Rangers’ matchup with the Maple Leafs on Monday, Artemi Panarin had only recorded two shots on net in the previous three games.
nypost.com
One year after Lekki toll gate shooting, victim's mother wants honesty from Nigerian government
It's been a year since Nigerian forces opened fire on peaceful protests at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos. At the time, a CNN investigation into what happened sent shock waves around the world. We found that the Nigerian army had fired live rounds into the crowd, killing and wounding several people. Witnesses also told CNN the authorities blocked ambulances from reaching the scene. Twelve months on, and a judicial hearing is finally expected to share its findings. Stephanie Busari reports.
edition.cnn.com
Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani attend Marvel's 'Eternals' LA premiere
The movie stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani and Salma Hayek as immortal heroes. "Eternals" hits theaters on Nov. 5.       
1 h
usatoday.com
How your fantasy football team can navigate Browns’ injury woes
Nick Chubb missed Week 6 with a calf injury, and Kareem Hunt, already dealing with ankle and wrist issues, left Week 6 with a calf injury of his own.
1 h
nypost.com
NJ school slammed for response when 2 females named homecoming king, queen
A New Jersey high school sparked controversy after its students picked two girls as homecoming king and queen – and administrators reacted by adding two boy winners.
1 h
nypost.com
North Korea fires at least one ballistic missile
North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile from its eastern coast on Tuesday morning, according to South Korean and Japanese officials.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
In an age of self-interest, Boris Johnson's secret COP26 weapon may have to be shame
It's now less than two weeks until Boris Johnson welcomes the world to Glasgow, Scotland, where he will host the COP26 international climate talks at a crucial moment in our planet's history.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
In an age of self-interest, Boris Johnson's secret COP26 weapon may have to be shame
Given the severity of the climate crisis, one might assume that agreement on key issues would be simple. But politics and science have a complicated relationship and, in 2021, multilateralism relies as much on political self-interest as it does on facts.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Foreign policy and muscle cars: Joe Biden and Colin Powell's decades-long friendship
Joe Biden was waiting on a desolate, darkened Afghan tarmac in 2002 when bad news arrived from Washington: He and his entourage were being blocked by the Pentagon from taking a spare seat on a departing military cargo plane.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Out of office and off the ballot, Trump's influence still looms
The two candidates in the Virginia governor's race are talking more about Donald Trump, the former President, than they are about Joe Biden, the White House's current occupant.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Out of office and off the ballot, Trump's influence still looms
The two candidates in the Virginia governor's race are talking more about Donald Trump, the former President, than they are about Joe Biden, the White House's current occupant.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
January 6 committee takes aim at Bannon and tries to save Congress' power to investigate
The January 6 committee's anticipated vote on Tuesday citing Steve Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress may be one of the last chances for lawmakers to seek meaningful consequences for former President Donald Trump's attempt to effectively stage a coup.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Jan. 6 committee takes aim at Bannon and tries to save Congress' power to investigate
The January 6 committee's anticipated vote on Tuesday citing Steve Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress may be one of the last chances for lawmakers to seek meaningful consequences for former President Donald Trump's attempt to effectively stage a coup.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Carolyn Hax: She resents her job and her landlady and is planning to ‘disappear’
She can afford to retire and wants to know if there’s any reason she shouldn’t quit her job without notice and abruptly move out of her rental.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Miss Manners: You can’t snub someone who’s already snubbed you
Reader aims to use the ultimate social weapon against someone, but it may be too late.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Hints From Heloise: Memorial service features mementos for the guests
Reader selected a black-and-white photo to remind her of her friend.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Ask Amy: Mom’s needs must take a back seat
Reader deals with husband’s terminal cancer diagnosis, while Mom demands attention.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Top 5 quarterback performances of Week 6: Kyler Murray leads Cardinals to 6-0 record
Second-year quarterback Joe Burrow had another terrific performance for the Cincinnati Bengals in their 34-11 win over the Detroit Lions, but it wasn’t good enough to crack the top five performances this week.
1 h
foxnews.com
Australian state could fire more than 40 police staff for refusing a Covid-19 vaccine
A total of 43 police staff in the Australian state of Victoria have been stood down from duty and could face being fired after they failed to comply with a Covid-19 vaccine mandate, Victoria Police said.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
More than 30 police officers could be fired for refusing Covid-19 vaccine
A total of 43 police staff in the Australian state of Victoria have been stood down from duty and could face being fired after they failed to comply with a Covid-19 vaccine mandate, Victoria Police said.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Texas lawmakers pass new congressional maps bolstering GOP
Texas Republicans approved on Monday redrawn U.S. House maps that favor incumbents and decrease political representation for growing minority communities, even as Latinos drive much of the growth in the nation’s largest red state.
1 h
foxnews.com
Braves wary of relinquishing another NLCS lead against Dodgers
In last year’s NLCS, the Braves won the first two games and extended that lead to 3-1 before the Dodgers rallied for three straight victories to win the pennant.
1 h
nypost.com
North Korea has fired at least one ballistic missile from the country's east coast, authorities say
North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile from its eastern coast on Tuesday morning, according to South Korean and Japanese officials.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
North Korea has fired at least one ballistic missile from the country's east coast
North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile from its eastern coast on Tuesday morning, according to South Korean and Japanese officials.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Dave Roberts defends Dodgers' pitching changes against Braves despite criticism
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says the club is used to criticism over its unique personnel decisions and adds fan critique of NLCS pitching changes is good for the game.
1 h
latimes.com
Homer-happy Red Sox rout Astros in Game 3 to grab ALCS lead
It began, in concept, as a Yankees nightmare. In practice? No one’s suffering more in this American League Championship Series than the Astros.
1 h
nypost.com
Who Is Zalmay Khalilzad? Biden's Envoy for Afghanistan Resigns After Messy Troop Withdrawal
Zalmay Khalilzad was appointed Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation under the administration of former President Donald Trump in 2018.
1 h
newsweek.com
Hannity: Biden 'vilifying' police, medical professionals for not complying with vaccine mandates
Sean Hannity said vaccine mandates are vilifying the exact people who were lauded for their bravery and professionalism during the worst early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
1 h
foxnews.com
Schwarber, Red Sox slam Astros 12-3, lead ALCS 2-1
Tapping his wrist to mimic Correa’s Game 1 celebration, Rodriguez rode four more Boston homers — including Kyle Schwarber's record-setting grand slam — to a 12-3 victory Monday night as the Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.
1 h
foxnews.com
Mary Kay Letourneau felt remorse about relationship with 12-year-old student
An infamous ex-Washington State teacher who raped a 12-year-old student -- and later married him -- was riddled with guilt over their relationship before her 2020 death, a report claims.
1 h
nypost.com
Titans stop Josh Allen on crucial 4th down to hold on for win, fans debate whether Bills made right play
The Buffalo Bills found out Monday night football is truly a game of inches.
1 h
foxnews.com
Tennessee Titans stuff Buffalo Bills on fourth down to win instant MNF classic
The Tennessee Titans stunned the red-hot Buffalo Bills, 34-31, at Nissan Stadium on "Monday Night Football" with a brilliant goal-line stand.      
1 h
usatoday.com
'DWTS': JoJo Siwa beats Amanda Kloots' top score, Olivia Jade shocks in bottom 2 of 'Grease' night
Break out the leather jackets and poodle skirts, "Dancing With the Stars" fans! It's "Grease" night. Find out which celebrity dancer got eliminated.      
1 h
usatoday.com
Kyle Schwarber’s Red Sox tee off on the Astros again to grab a 2-1 lead in the ALCS
Read more
1 h
washingtonpost.com
5 tons of cocaine worth $232 million seized by Portuguese authorities
More than five tons of cocaine worth an estimated $232 million was seized off a 79-foot yacht by Portuguese authorities in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday.
1 h
nypost.com
Federal Judge Allows University of North Carolina to Continue Race-Based Admissions Policy
The judge said that even 70 years after the college's first Black students were admitted, they still experience isolation and stereotypes.
1 h
newsweek.com