The Titular Mr. Trudeau as Neoliberal Toady
Frolicking down the road to global feudalism
In the world of politics there is actual power that real leaders exercise. Then there is titular or nominal power that the Queen and her Canadian representatives practice. In Canada and elsewhere we are seeing politicians, so-called leaders, retreating from exercising real power and becoming titular heads of state, pursuing safe carefully circumscribed issues, free from political risk. All the while, practicing the politics of abandonment; disregarding and scorning the public good.
We see this trend in the issues they choose to run on. When Justin Trudeau announced his candidacy for the leadership of his party his lead issue was the legalization of pot which his government is fervently pursuing.
Oddly enough, CPC leadership candidates Maxime Bernier and Michael Chong led off their leadership campaigns by announcing their love affair with the privatization of public assets which is de rigueur for any politician; and quite acceptable as the public has yet to catch on that privatization is a wonton pilfering of the public purse. Once in office Trudeau was quick to reveal his own allegiance to privatization as his government is creating the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
Andrew Scheer won the leadership race, probably because he was the least Harper-tainted candidate, having been the Speaker of the House. With Scheer it appears we are back to the good old stand-by that conservatives are addicted to; the abortion issue. No lofty aspirations for a new and better Canada here, just the same old internecine bickering they love so much. Nor does it help the CPC is a pallid discombobulated mimic of the Republican Party to the South.
As for the NDP, their leadership race is ongoing and we won’t know for a while if they are going to join this ad hoc club of titular toadies or really try to make a difference.
The Greens may have new impetus in the 2019 federal election as the hopeless Liberals have handed them British Columbia as a potential power base.
Being a titular leader requires great skill at back-peddling from a long list of election promises, including hard work and progressive values, so quickly discarded and replaced with risk free, motherhood issues that leave our politics a game of trivial pursuit. Where politicians become redundant, their role becomes increasingly ceremonial and celebrity driven. More than ever politics has become a sleight of hand practiced by artless dodgers. Our dynamic nationhood is preoccupied with insipid parochialisms and denialism apart from the real world.
How is it that politicians allow themselves to become so redundant? Globalization is the operative word and Neoliberalism is its tool. Politicians of every ilk are expected to abandon their publics in service to the market driven economy run by banksters and trans-national corporations. The veiled hand of Neoliberalism prevails over governments as they are tutored in the ways of Neoliberalism as manifested in initiatives such as the Canada Infrastructure Bank, The Trans Pacific Partnership, and the NAFTA. All are really designed to impoverish the public sector to the benefit of the private sector. Rather than actually exercising power, governments become acolytes to power.
Neoliberals love pipelines, tar sands, endless warfare, deny climate change and will condone any amount of environmental degradation to maintain their profit margins. All the while conscripting titular toadies to do their bidding.
By this invidious process political parties are stripped of their identities and relegated to a minor role-trivial pursuits and safe issues. That the present government is accused of being a clone of the previous government is not by chance. As their options narrow they become mimics of each other.
Federal elections become no more than sham exercises about which party can dupe the public long enough to get back into office and revert to their role as purveyors of Neoliberalism, leaving in their trail a long list of promises they had no intention of keeping.
An unstated reason the PM backed away from electoral reform is that it would have been a major correction of our democratic deficit; the oligarchs of Neoliberalism want democracy gutted, and governments marginalized.
We might also hold this government to account for an egregiously unfair tax structure.
Neoliberalism has been on the rise for the past thirty years to where it is now the all-pervasive global ideology. In that time political elites have allowed too much of their power to be usurped by the private sector. The public good has been abandoned, political elites become redundant,and a new supra level of global feudal governance has been introduced by stealth. Our political and economic elites have been more than accommodating in selling out the country. There is a balance to be corrected and we need strong and determined leadership to do it.
So goes Canada, so goes France
In the recent French presidential election Emmanuel Macron won. He is the political protégé of outgoing president Francois Hollande, a socialist convert to Neoliberalism and a Washington toady. Macron, a millionaire banker, has already made it clear he won’t be around politics long. It is only a whistle stop for him as he wants to go back to the private sector where the real money and power reside.
Upon winning, Macron was immediately compared to Justin Trudeau as yet another young photogenic Western leader. There was though, no mention that both are Neoliberals, both titular, and both acolytes.
Paris based American journalist Diana Johnstone provides us with a perceptive analysis of the French election: Here. For the astute reader there are many parallels to be drawn between the two countries and the leaders, as both frolic down the road to global feudalism.