According to Martin Lukacs, the political tactics that define Canada’s Liberal Party are the promises of transforming society on behalf of the ninety-nine percent while secretly assuring that they have nothing to worry about the one percent. In an interview, Lukacs told Tyee that Justin Trudeau’s, the Canadian prime minister, uses the political approach of serving the powerful. He also said that the liberals act effectively as a kind of shock absorber of anger and dissatisfaction towards the elite (Canadian Press, 2019). In his book, The Trudeau Formula, the essay writer guardian contributor and a long-time investigative journalist, Martin Lukacs, explains what it will take for ordinary Canadians to create transformative solution for the extreme inequality and the climate emergency and why the NDP is failing to take advantage of this political moment
He also describes how Trudeau’s broken promises are creating an opening for Andrew Scheer, a conservative leader of scapegoating politics, and why his main strength is progressive marketing. The backdrop of Lukacs’ excerpt is the looming of the climate crisis on the horizon, obscuring growing inequalities and the brand-driven star power that legitimize the neoliberal status quo (Dembicki, 2019). Therefore, this paper seeks to answer the following questions: what is Lukacs’ central argument? Does Lukacs make a convincing case? What factors contributed to the liberal’s success in BC in 2015? And what is the effect of the prime minister’s controversial decision to shelve his 2015 election promise on the electoral reform is likely to have on the liberal’s re-election prospect?
What Is The Lukacs’ Central Argument And The Evidence Provided?
The central argument of Lukacs is how Trudeau has broken the promises and the way the liberals talk a good game, but they don’t deliver. The liberals talk a good game concerning changing society on behalf of 99%, while secretly ensuring that they have nothing to worry about the 1 percent. They effectively behave as shock absorbers of anger and discontent towards the elite. During the four years of Trudeau in power, he paired the great discursive contortions with a largely status-quo agenda. Also, the grandiose pledges of transformative that Trudeau paired with a celebrity darling status in the international press have ultimately proven not to match up with reality (Canadian Press, 2019). For example, Trudeau promised to reduce global warming to the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris to 1.5 degrees. Accepted with much ordeal, the promise was followed up with announcements of a massive fossil fuel infrastructure.
The major fossil fuel infrastructure was comprised of deep-water gas and oil exploration in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, seismic testing in the Arctic, and a massive liquefied natural gas plant in British Colombia. Another example that shows a disconnection between Trudeau’s words and actions is his high-minded rhetoric about migrants’ and refugees’ offers. While the reality is that Canada has not increased its refugee intake, Trudeau’s 2017 tweet, #WelcometoCanada, contrasted nicely with Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Furthermore, Canada is barring the asylum seekers, who have applied for refugee status in the United States, from seeking refuge and automatically deport them at the border (Dembicki, 2019). To make the matter worse, the liberals established a new ministry of Organized Crime and Border Security in 2018 and put former Toronto Police Chief in charge.
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So on climate, for example, Trudeau was presented as the kind of river paddling environmental Adonis. He pledged that the projects of fossil fuel would not kick off without the consent of communities. But the liberals quietly assured the corporate elite that their interests would be protected while they create these public spectacles of their bold progressiveness (Canadian Press, 2019). So, the liberal party had for years been assuring big oil and gas interests that there would not be any fundamental change to the status quo; at the same time, Trudeau was going around the country and convincing people that he was this great climate hope.
Does Lukacs Make A Convincing Case?
Lukacs makes a convincing case because he has walked through each of Trudeau’s major issues and draws back the curtain on the real story. He says that the liberals realized the consensus was moving away from their preferred method just as the electoral reform sank. Their environmental policy remained very pro-business. Their actions barely met their pro-immigration rhetoric, and they moved to make it harder for individuals to seek asylum in Canada. Their resolution agenda seemed more like complex re-colonization. One part of Lukacs’ excerpt that convinces me most is about how complicit Canada is in international war (Dembicki, 2019). Canada has exported $ 60 billion in Light Armored Vehicles (LAVS) to nations across the world since Trudeau relaxed the rule on arms export. Saudi Arabia is the highest-profile buyer. It is not only engaging in a war in Yemen but also using weapons on its people.
Based on research by Fenton, Lukacs finds that there is clear evidence to demonstrate Canadian weapons are being utilized in Yemen. There are photos shared on social media by the Saudi Arabia soldiers alongside convoys of the weaponized Canadian combat vehicles. A separate video shows a parked giant, weaponized Canadian combat vehicle, a few meters from a Saudi soldier, sitting cross-legged on a carpet next to a small mosque constructed out of ammunition boxes (Canadian Press, 2019). More than 50,000 Yemeni civilians were killed, and around 90,000 children died of hunger within the first two years of conflicts. After the United States, Canada has become the second biggest weapon exporter to the Middle East, under Trudeau.
The ideas that Lucas shared with the Tyee on what it will take for ordinary Canadians to create transformative solutions for the extreme inequality and climate emergency, how Trudeau’s broken promises are creating an opening for the scapegoating politics of conservative leader and why his main strength is progressive marketing, are a convincing case. Unless the social movement put the politicians’ feet to the fire, they would ultimately do nothing (Loreto, 2019). Were it not for movements like the Climate Justice Alliance or the Sunrise Movement, it is hard to imagine the Green New Deal taking off in the way it did, as we saw in the U.S. According to Lukacs, ordinary Canadians have to create a holistic, intersectional social movement that joins the dot between ecological, economic and racial justice; instead of waiting for the new deal climate plan (NDP) to get its act together.
Also, the role of media should be examining liberal truth every corner and assist ordinary Canadians to find where the truth lies. The press should not report anything the prime minister says, for a fact, but be like Martin Lukacs book, The Trudeau Formula (Loreto, 2019). Lukacs creates a compelling narrative of events that have occurred over the past four years, combining information collected from sources with what he is heard and seen directly.
What Factors Contributed to the Liberal’s Success In BC In 2015?
On 19th October 2015, Canadians went to the polls and elected the liberal party leader, Justin Trudeau, at the head of their next government. Some of the factors that led to this success include 1). The perspective of voting the conservatives out of office motivated the Canadians. 2) The success of liberals was perceived as the return of the “natural governing party.” One of the critical questions that will be raised in the aftermath of the election is what extent Harper’s nine years at the helm have changed Canada (Clarke et al., 2019). 3) Liberals promised to reform the electoral system before the next general election. 4) Since 1890, liberals have been part and parcel of Canadian identity, thus had an entrenched political culture. As a result, there has been a long-standing connection between Canadian values and Liberal party policies.
5) Liberals advocated the policies that were opposed by the conservatives, which the Canadians associated with peacekeeping and strong support for the United Nations, such as a national policy of multiculturalism, relatively strong unions, a strong public sector, and an advanced welfare state with well -established regulatory agencies. 6) Despite conservatives’ nine years of absolute commitment to bringing Canada closer to their brand of conservatism, they were still depicted as a threat to Canadian values (Clarke et al., 2019). Their policies reminded many people of politics south of the border and were still considered by many as “un-Canadian”. 8) Liberal Party propaganda and ads were always seen as in bad taste or inappropriate, and they drove estranged Canadian moderates into the Liberal supporters. 9) Throughout the 20th century, the liberals dominated mainly because of their reliable bastion in Quebec, where individuals tend to vote as a coalition.
What Is the Effect of the Prime Minister’s Controversial Decision to Shelve His 2015 Election Promise on the Electoral Reform Is Likely to have on the Liberal’s Re-Election Prospect?
While the 2015 election may well be remembered as the one that pushed the country firmly in the direction of electoral reform, this election raises several interesting questions regarding the evolution of Canadian state in terms of political culture, economic, and demographic policy. ) Liberals promised to reform the electoral system prior to the next general election. Therefore, any controversial decision to shelve the election promise on the electoral reform can result in conservatives’ support to grow, and make them the obvious choice for strategic voting. The prime minister would become a target of campaigns in social media in which he would be depicted as a threat to Canadian values (Wherry, 2017). Without any doubt, the government could have something to worry about. The episode might not become emblematic of a prime minister whose commitments can’t be trusted, if the liberals may fail to keep most of their other promises. Electorates who were invested in electoral reform might have a wrong impression and be deeply disappointed.
The central argument of Lukacs was the way the liberals talk a good game but don’t deliver. For example, Trudeau promised to reduce global warming to 1.5 degrees to the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris. But, the promise was followed up with announcements of a massive fossil fuel infrastructure. Lukacs walks through each of Trudeau’s leading issues and draws back the curtain on the real story. One of the main factors that led to Liberals’ success is the perspective of voting the conservatives out of office. The prime minister’s controversial decision to shelve the 2015 election promise on the electoral reform can result in an increase of conservatives’ support and make them the obvious choice for strategic voting.
Canadian Press. (2019). Did Trudeau keep his 2015 election promises? Mostly, a new analysis finds. Accessed on 15th Oct. 2019 from https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/a-look-at-policy-areas-scrutinized-by-a-new-book-on-the-trudeau-government
Clarke, H. D., Jenson, J., LeDuc, L., & Pammett, J. H. (2019). Absent Mandate: Strategies and Choices in Canadian Elections. University of Toronto Press.
Dembicki, G. (2019). “How Trudeau’s Broken Promises Fuel the Growth of Canada’s Right”. Accessed on 15th Oct. 2019 from https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/09/04/Trudeau-Broken-Promises-Fuel-Right/
Loreto, N. (2019). The Trudeau Formula should be required campaign-trail reading; Canada National Observer. Accessed on 15th Oct. 2019 from https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/10/09/opinion/trudeau-formula-should-be-required-campaign-trail-reading
Wherry, A. (2017). “Trudeau’s promise of electoral reform: From ‘we can do better’ to accusations of betrayal”. Accessed on 15th Oct. 2019, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/wherry-trudeau-electoral-reform-promise-betrayal-1.3962386