A Canadian scandal that covers all the bases.

AuthorAtkins, Michael
PositionPresident's Note

Let's be clear. The SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal runs deep and is not limited to one event involving Muammar Gaddafi and Libya. As Chrystia Freeland, our foreign minister, is fond of saying, we are punching well above our weight on this one.

It's been a while since a scandal has covered so many bases. If you are an identity politics aficionado, this imbroglio covers women, Indigenous peoples, Quebec sovereignty and Alberta outrage.

Depending on your perspective, the prime minister, in one fell swoop, has wrecked his feminist bona fides by firing a female cabinet minister for standing up to him, hobbled his Indigenous reconciliation initiatives because she is also Aboriginal, and been disproportionately concerned about jobs in Quebec, which means he obviously cares little for jobs in Alberta.

Much of this is a stretch, but understandable, given the prime minister's proclivity for announcing with regularity his immaculate conception (free from original sin). It turns out Justin is normal. He has a temper (a piker compared to Paul Martin); has poor people skills when he doesn't get his way, not unlike his ex-attorney general; seems highly motivated to get re-elected; and is prepared to do weaselly things if necessary (a rank amateur compared to Stephen Harper, who prorogued Parliament conveniently more than once, and winked as his chief of staff paid a $90,000 bribe to senator Mike Duffy to shut his mouth during the Senate spending scandals).

The real problem with Justin is that he isn't authentic. That's why he is suffering so much.

Let's compare him to Donald Trump. Trump is a crook, a misogynist, a compulsive liar, intellectually lazy, uninterested in public policy, a bully and not very smart. He continues to be popular with 40 to 45 per cent of the American people.

Let's compare him to Doug Ford. Doug Ford got caught trying to put his unqualified friend in charge of the OPP because he wanted a big-screen TV in his van and someone to talk to when he travelled. When confronted with the obvious, he hid from Question Period for days, and when he came back he started screaming about the opposition playing politics with his decisions. Crazy, really, but I doubt he's paid any serious popularity price.

The reason is that just like Trump, Ford is authentic. He is who he is and doesn't pretend to be something else.

More concerning with this scandal is the...

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