Let's review the week that was for the man whom the polls say is going to be the next Prime Minister of Canada.
Proving once again that his handlers should never, ever let him stray from the script, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suggested to a crowd in Hinton, Alberta that instead of dropping bombs on Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, Canada could better serve terrified refugees fleeing for their lives by advising them on how to survive a cold winter. He actually said that. Send 'em a Tim Horton's gift card and some Hudson's Bay blankets and they'll be all set, eh? The mind boggles.
In a far more cynical move, Trudeau suspended two members of the Liberal caucus on the basis of anonymous complaints about "personal misconduct". He refused to disclose the nature of the allegations and reportedly went public over the objections of the alleged victims in a blatant sop to the new social climate created by the Jian Ghomeshi scandal. Seizing on the prevailing sentiment of the moment that due process is overrated, Trudeau pandered to the notion of giving accusers the benefit of the doubt over the accused, and he did it at the expense of two family men without specifying the charges or consulting the victims. That's not a savvy politician as much as it is a shameless opportunist.
Trudeau's numerous other blunders have been documented here and elsewhere so I won't revisit them. It actually pains me somewhat to criticize him, because he's a good friend of a good friend, and there's something to be said for loyalty. I've socialized with Trudeau on a number of occasions and I like the guy. Compared to many others born into wealth and privilege, he's approachable and down to earth. I'm acquainted with him to the point where if my dinky little blog caught his eye, he might feel a sense of betrayal at public criticism from someone with whom he's always been on friendly terms. I know I would, but I'm not running for the highest office in the country.
If we're shallow enough to elect someone as Prime Minister on the basis of a last name and the cut of his jib, we're going to get what we deserve. A statesman needs to be many things that Justin Trudeau is not - experienced, measured, sage and sensitive. Trudeau has demonstrated repeatedly in his words and actions that he's not qualified for the job. The consequences have been minimal because his influence is limited by third party leader status, and the Liberal-friendly mainstream media downplay or flat-out ignore his mistakes (only Sun Media reported the "parkas over bombs" foolishness).
Trudeau's shortcomings would be magnified a hundredfold as Prime Minister. Canada's reputation and clout on the world stage would suffer accordingly, and domestically we'd be in the charge of the political equivalent of a cool babysitter. He'd be great for a couple of hours, but before long, we'd start to wonder when the grownups are coming back.