June 16th, 2015

Real Change is too hard for Trudeau Liberals

As Justin Trudeau races to make desperate promises to do things differently, let’s look at his real record.

The same Liberal leader who forced his caucus to stand with Conservatives and vote for bill C-51, knowing full well it could be used to stifle dissent, has had a troubled relationship with democracy from the start:

  • April 6, 2013 - As Justin Trudeau is crowned Liberal Leader, he promises open-nominations.
  • What followed was one nomination controversy after another, with Trudeau’s team facing stinging criticism for their divisive tactics and hypocrisy.
  • Christine Innes ends up suing the Liberals; lawyer David Bertschi was barred from running against Andrew Leslie; riding association officials resign in protest in Brant; Zach Paikin withdraws his nomination bid in protest; and in Don Valley North, the deck seemed to be stacked in favour of Rana Sarkar.
  • Culminates in one of the most cynical floor-crossings in recent memory, with Eve Adams becoming a Trudeau Liberal … with long-time Conservative operative Dimitri Soudas in tow.
  • June 11, 2013 - In public, Trudeau announces he wants to open up the secretive Board of Internal Economy, supports NDP motion.
  • Behind closed doors, Trudeau’s Liberals block all efforts to do so, then they turn around and use the BOIE as a kangaroo court to attack New Democrats.
  • December 4, 2014 - Liberals claim they’re open to proportional representation.
  • At the first opportunity, Trudeau joins with Conservatives to vote down the NDP motion that would have made the next election the last one before we change to the more democratic system of proportional representation.
  • October 23, 2013 – The NDP proposes concrete measures to cut down on partisanship, corruption and waste in the Senate, something Trudeau had paid lip service to.
  • Trudeau votes against interim measures to clean up spending and partisanship in the Senate.
  • December 4, 2014 - Trudeau flip-flops, announcing with great fanfare that Liberal Senators will be expelled from his party.
  • Liberal Senators become “Liberal Senators,” and it’s immediately clear that these changes are cosmetic. These Senators continue to campaign for the Liberal Party, and Liberals continue to oppose changes that would cut down on Senate waste.
  • Justin Trudeau’s plan for ‘fixing’ the Senate calls for the Prime Minister to continue appointing unelected, unaccountable Senators. It’s the status quo by a new name.

Not so long ago, there was another Liberal leader who also promised a new way of doing things.

Paul Martin promised action to address the democratic deficit by empowering MPs; he pledged to fix the Access to Information system, and he said there would be a new process for government appointments.

And then he went on to break every single one of those promises in government.

Now Justin Trudeau is promising Canadians he’s going to do things in a new way, while acting in the same old style. It’s the oldest Liberal trick in the book.

Canadians deserve better.