Trudeau shows he's no leader
Justin Trudeau. JOEL LEMAY/QMI Agency
Is Justin Trudeau fit to be prime minister?
In some ways that is the question that voters will be asking themselves between now and October, when they cast their votes.
This week Trudeau didn't do much to help stop the line of attack from both the Conservatives and the NDP that he isn't up to the job.
For months the Conservatives have been saying Trudeau is "in way over his head." After initially choosing not to attack Trudeau, the NDP have also begun to target the Liberal leader saying Justin doesn't have the experience to lead.
This week he proved both parties right.
While in London, Ont., for the Liberal Party winter caucus, Trudeau agreed to appear on AM 980 with my friend and radio talk show host Andrew Lawton.
Lawton was a long-time conservative activist before going into broadcasting and his radio show leans towards the conservative point of view, but his interview with Trudeau was nothing if not professional and respectful.
After talking domestic issues for a few minutes Lawton turned to foreign affairs and asked Trudeau about his views of the fight against ISIS. Trudeau said he disagreed with Prime Minister Harper’s take on the issue. Nothing new there, we know that.
Then Lawton asked, "So under what circumstances as prime minister would that be warranted in your eyes?"
This is where Trudeau got into trouble.
"I think it’s warranted if there is a reasonable chance of success, if there’s a way that Canada can offer expertise the rest of the world is unable to provide," the Liberal leader said.
Lawton interrupted and asked if Trudeau really thought Canada and its coalition partners couldn't beat ISIS. Trudeau fumbled time and again to answer that and the larger question of when any combat mission would be warranted.
He never recovered.
What his answers showed though is that Justin follows the long family tradition of hating the military.
Justin Trudeau has no faith in the men and women who wear the uniform and do what the government asks of them to keep us safe. He doesn't think they can beat ISIS, he doesn't think they have the combat abilities needed to help.
Even if you disagree with the strategy of the coalition, you don't say the words Trudeau said this week.
Then again, it follows a pattern.
His father gutted military spending, shrank the ranks of the forces, sent our only aircraft carrier off for scrap and generally held the military in disdain.
Compare that to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
While I think Harper still doesn’t spend enough on the military he has started to re-equip them.
Harper has been under fire all week because Canadian soldiers, sent over to train Iraqi soldiers, returned fire when attacked by ISIS. To the opposition parties and much of the media, this is unacceptable.
Asked about this Thursday in St. Catharines, Ont., Harper didn’t shy away from bragging about Canadian soldiers taking out ISIS fighters.
"Let me be clear: This is a robust mission, we’re there to make those guys effective so they can take on the Islamic state and deal with them. And if those guys fire at us, we’re going to fire back and we’re going to kill them. Just like our guys did. And we’re very proud of the job they’re doing in Iraq," Harper said.
Let me ask you, which of these two men would you trust to not only run the country in uncertain times but effectively command the military?
This week Trudeau ruled himself out of contention for that job.