13 June 2016

On political leaders

I have been comparing our current leader with one from the past.  The comparison is not flattering for our contemporary.

I think of previous Liberal Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.  Pearson did much that I disagree with, but there are some things about him that I admire, and the thing I admire most is how he tried to convince his fellow veterans to accept the new flag.

Pearson ran into tremendous opposition from the veterans regarding the change of the flag.  For them, men had fought and died under the old flag, and that made the old red Ensign sacred.  Pearson, himself a veteran of the First World War, disagreed, and he did something which, to me, is incredible: He traveled the country visiting legion halls across the country to address the veterans and explain that, even though he understood how and why they felt as they did, he believed adopting a new flag was right.  He went into the places where he was opposed the most, to speak to the very people who opposed him the most, to try and build consensus.  Ultimately, he failed, but the fact that he tried at all seems to me incredible.

And then there's our current leader.  The man who promised to bring more democracy to Canada is hell bent on bringing less.  He rules by fiat, grows impatient if parliament is not working as quickly as he wishes, and will allow no dissent in his party.

Pearson tried to build a consensus because he believed what he was doing was right.  Pearson had convictions and he acted upon them.  What convictions does Mr Trudeau have?  What are the beliefs that drive him to act?

Trudeau believes that it is 2016.  Last year, he believed it was 2015.  Next year, he will believe it is 2017.  In the future he will not believe what he believes today, yet he insists on changing today because it is today, and will change tomorrow because it is tomorrow.

These are not the convictions of a leader.  They are not the convictions of someone who believes in truth, or right, or wrong, but of one who  believes in the current fashion.  Our leader is no leader, but a mere weather vane, pointing out the direction of each ill wind that blows.

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