Justin Trudeau: My fair Liberal

By Ezra Levant, QMI Agency

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during at a press conference following the derailment of a train in Lac Mégantic on July 8, 2013.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during at a press conference following the derailment of a train in Lac Mégantic on July 8, 2013.

Justin Trudeau has been an MP for five years, and leader of his party for five months. So last week, at a press scrum in Prince Edward Island, reporters asked him why he hasn’t released a set of policies yet.

What does he stand for, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?

Trudeau answered that his lack of substance was actually proof of having a great amount of substance — so much, that it’s just not ready for anybody to see yet. Coming up with party policy, he said, “is not something to take lightly. It’s not something to reel off because people want answers.”

His shallowness was proof of his depth. Only reckless know-nothings like Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair “reel off” answers to the world’s questions — taxes, jobs, Syria, oilsands, whatever. Truly thoughtful thinkers like Trudeau take their time. Could he get back to them in 2015?

But the Parliamentary Press Gallery was uncharacteristically skeptical. They pressed Trudeau again, but he stayed on message: “I’m not going to shortcut that process which is a serious and responsible process just because people want to know right now and they’re impatient to know in the right time. We will be responsible about how we approach this.”

Got it? Asking Trudeau what he’d do about foreign policy or jobs or taxes is irresponsible. What’s responsible is for us to trust Candidate Zoolander while his private tutors teach him the difference between Gaza and Gyoza.

This lightweight clotheshorse, this former substitute drama teacher, this dabbler who suddenly decided at 40 to grow up and get a job — as our prime minister! — needs just a bit more time to study his briefing books, before Liberal staff let him answer any questions. He needs more time to figure out what he believes in.

This may be frustrating for reporters looking for Trudeau to “reel off” answers on current events. But it’s a good time to experiment with what Trudeau actually knows about on his own, before he learns to repeat his official lines. It’s like My Fair Lady, where Professor Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can teach Eliza Doolittle to speak like a proper lady, instead of in Cockney slang.

With Trudeau, it’s in reverse: The Liberals are trying to teach this silver-spoon rich kid how to talk like a regular Canadian. You’ll probably hear less about marijuana and more about jobs.

So what he says now is who he really is.

That’s why Trudeau’s extremist call for the total legalization of marijuana is revealing. It shows how disconnected he is from the world of regular dads, many of whom are drug-tested at work. And from regular moms, who are terrified of their kids being peer-pressured into taking up drugs at school, to be “cool.” What Trudeau says now shows what’s normal in his world of rich, louche elites.

In the 1993 election, Kim Campbell was that year’s Justin Trudeau, just 46 years old (Trudeau will be 44 in the next election). Campbell was a lawyer, a former justice minister, a woman of some accomplishment. But she pulled a Trudeau. “An election is no time to discuss serious issues,” she said. It was a turning point for the campaign. She was mocked as a lightweight. She lost.

If only Campbell was more like Trudeau — just a touch prettier, just a touch richer, with a father just a touch more famous — she might have won.