Three of his political concubines have already quit. Where will it go from here?
A rebellion has broken out in the Trudeau harem, said a friend of mine gleefully last week. Three of his favorite lady MPs have already left, and more may follow. The sultan of that harem obviously has no idea what to do about this, and his efforts to resolve things keep making them worse.
The harem, needless to say, is the half of the Liberal caucus at Ottawa which by decree of the sultan, the Right Honorable Mr. Justin Trudeau, must be female. I dealt last week with the first insurrectionist, the Honorable Ms. Jody Wilson-Raybould, the ex-attorney general. The second was the Honorable Ms. Jane Philpott, the ex-chairwoman of the Treasury Board. Both these attributed their departure to the incompetence of the sultan’s administration. This really hurt the poor man because he deeply wants people to love and admire him. Some plainly have stopped doing both.
The Philpott resignation was terse but also telling. She gave her reason for resigning as the government’s (some-would-say) squalid handling of the SNC-Lavalin case. She writes: “I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations. There can be a cost to acting on my principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them.”
With the third woman to resign, things got decidedly worse. This was Celina Caesar-Chavannes, the ex-parliamentary secretary to the prime minister who answers for him when he’s not in the House. She was not entitled to be called “the Honorable” but she was certainly female. Her criticism did not so much concern the Trudeau style of dealing with the government as with his style of dealing with people. Her accounts in the media of the prime minister’s behavior, after she told him she wouldn’t be running again, sound like the script of a bad soap opera.
“He was yelling,” reports Ms. Caesar-Chavannes in the Globe and Mail. “He was yelling that I didn’t appreciate him, and he’d given me so much.” He promptly apologized, she continues, and she agreed to reconsider her decision. When she approached him a week later, “I was again met with hostility. This stare-down… then him stomping out of the room without a word.
“He came back and said, ‘I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have done that.’ I was upset and left. I was angry.” Ms. Caesar-Chavannes later sounded penitent but wasn’t: “I was angry because this guy holds a lot of power. In the first conversation I asked him to consider the impact on my family, and he didn’t do that.”
She concluded: “I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid and then sign my name in blood to this party politics thing. Maybe politics is not for me, because I clearly didn’t follow what the handbook says I’m supposed to do.” She would remain a Liberal, she said, and continue to support the party.
Columnist Andrew Cohen in the Ottawa Citizen was not less congratulatory. She had broken ranks. She was doomed. Whatever, they may think of the government, both Raybould and Philpott are “finished as Liberals,” he writes. So too, one must assume, is Ms. Caesar-Chavannes
Where does all this leave the sultan? Disturbed, to say the least, but disturbed in particular at some of his viziers. His reflections after both Lavalin case and the harem revolt carried an ominous note: “I regret that this has happened this way, and it’s certainly something we’re learning a lot about. I’m rethinking some of the processes of how we support cabinet and caucus members and how we function as an office. I’m getting outside advice because internal disagreements like this need to be dealt with in a better way.”
Translated, that probably means we should expect big changes in the PMO. Governments seek “outside advice” when their inside advice fails. The Lavalin case put a whole bevy of the sultan’s viziers on display. It wasn’t impressive. One must also wonder how many more women this champion of feminism is going to kick around before reality dawns upon the femisphere that he has conned them. His vaunted support for women is a fraud, in fact Right Dishonorable.
Ted Byfield was founder and publisher of Alberta Report news magazine, general editor of Alberta in the Twentieth Century, a 12-volume history of the province, and general editor of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years, a 12-volume history of Christianity. His column on education appears in The Christians.com, a web journal. He has aslo authored three little books on modern pedagogy: Why History Matters, The Revolution Nobody Covered and most recently The Time is Now. You can order copies here.
“He came back and said, ‘I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have done that.’ I was upset and left. I was angry.” Remember when JWR was told, “He’s in that kind of mood.” We’re starting to learn how to define his “mood(s)”
Ding dong, the witch is dead…