Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Even for a government filled with politicians who assume they are Canada’s natural governing party, the arrogance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals is out of control.
No one questions their right to govern. They have a majority.
But their increasing attempts to demonize and delegitimize not just their political opponents, but even opposing points of view, is an affront to democracy.
In recent days, Liberals walked out of Parliament’s status of women committee because they refused to recognize its new, duly constituted chair, Conservative MP Rachael Harder, solely because they disagree with her views on abortion. Not only is this anti-democratic — Harder answers to the voters of Lethbridge, Alberta, not the Liberal caucus — Trudeau shamefully endorsed what they had done.
Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, called on Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer not just to rebuke Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak — which is fair comment — but to throw her out of the Conservative caucus, for expressing her view that residential schools did good as well as harm. Bennett wants Beyak declared a political leper, literally, for thought crime.
Liberals on another parliamentary committee considering their M-103 “Islamophobia” motion insulted and attacked my Sun Media colleague, Tarek Fatah, who appeared as a witness and who has devoted his life — often at the risk of death — to opposing Islamist tyranny and terrorism. Why? Because Fatah has criticized M-103.
This committee is chaired by Liberal MP Hedy Fry, who once falsely accused white people living in Prince George, B.C. of burning crosses on their lawns.
Even when the Liberals have a legitimate grievance — for example Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna justifiably calling out Tory MP Gerry Ritz for demeaningly referring to her as “Climate Barbie” in a tweet, the irony that McKenna describes Canadians who disagree with her about anthropogenic climate change as “climate deniers” — a phrase used by self-described “environmentalists” to compare them, outrageously, to Holocaust deniers is lost on them.
The great Conservative thinker Thomas Sowell described the attitudes the Liberals are demonstrating in his 1995 book, The Vision of the Anointed, on the dangers of a “progressive” liberal ideology run amok.
“What a vision may offer, and what the prevailing vision of our time emphatically does offer, is a special state of grace for those who believe in it,” Sowell writes. “Those who accept this vision are deemed to be not merely factually correct, but morally on a different plane. Put differently, those who disagree with the prevailing vision are seen as not merely in error, but in sin.”
It is this arrogant and contemptuous attitude that Trudeau and the Liberals are increasingly displaying — not just that their political opponents are wrong, but that they are evil.
Mid-term polls should always be viewed with caution, but if there’s a canary in the coal mine for the Liberals, it’s found in two surveys released last week.
In the face of what until now have been unrelenting polls showing the Liberals well ahead of the Conservatives, Forum Research found the Tories now leading 39% to 35%, while an Angus Reid Institute poll found almost half of Canadians surveyed — 45% — say it’s time for a change in government, compared to 34% who disagree and 22% undecided.
Perhaps pride goes before a fall.