Trudeau’s verbal porridge and serene smile have carried him along. Until now: Neil Macdonald

CBC News
Justin Trudeau James Alexander Michie

Trudeau could have answered his former justice minister fact for fact. Instead, his statements have been as stilted and contrived as the optics. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

He either doesn’t think the public deserves a straight answer, or just isn’t capable of delivering one

If you’re looking for some instructive reading, go look up an aggregation of utterances by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Some are already famous for their loopiness: budgets balance themselves, the government shouldn’t call honour killings barbaric, we need to rethink the definitions of space and time, we should say “peoplekind” instead of “mankind” (he may actually have been making fun of himself with that one).

Most, though, are just syrupy, unmemorable banalities about values and optimism and respect and caring for one another.

Like this masterpiece of tautology the day he was sworn in as prime minister: “The diversity that makes this country so strong is a diversity of views that will carry us forward.”

Trudeau’s happy blather was digestible enough at first, particularly after nearly a decade of Stephen Harper. Like tapioca after heartburn. But as it kept coming, picked up and amplified by his cabinet ministers, it began grating on the nerves, the way retail Christmas-carol Muzak does by late November.

Eventually, it became clear that our prime minister didn’t really have much else to say. He relies more heavily on talking points than any Canadian leader in my memory (40-plus years), his answers swollen with extraneous words and catchphrases crafted by his messaging experts.

Meaningless talking points

He and his ministers are capable of answering nearly any question with some vow of support for “the middle class and those who are working so hard to join it,” an annoyingly meaningless phrase that’s become a banner for his government.

In any case, this verbal porridge, delivered with a serene smile, has carried him along. Until now.

With his government sinking into a self-inflicted crisis, it’s beginning to appear that Justin Trudeau simply doesn’t have the intellectual acuity to cope.

Look at his response to the testimony of Jody Wilson-Raybould last week. She had just finished delivering a measured, unambiguous indictment, accusing him and his staff of attempting to pervert justice for political gain.

Read more.

Source: Neil Macdonald | CBC News

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