Trudeau: The Education Of A Prime Minister

Item Information
Item#: 9780771048951
Author Ivison, John
Cover Hardback

From one of Canada's most popular and connected political journalists, an unblinkered warts-and-all look at Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government's record in power. A must-read as we head into the 2019 federal election.

Canadians are becoming increasingly divided about their chameleon prime minister. Justin Trudeau is looking less like a transformative prime minister and more like he just plays one on television. When he entered politics, he came across as a frivolous person with no fixed principles. Now, he presents himself as a conviction politician. But is he real or phony? What motivated his metamorphosis--belief or opportunism? More prosaically, he appears a man of good intentions but in 2019's election, he will be judged on results. And those results have been disappointing for many, even in his own party. The ballooning deficit, buying the Trans Mountain Pipeline, his disastrous trip to India, the implementation of a carbon tax, and the increasingly frayed relationship with China has done him and his party no favours. Most recently, and perhaps most devastatingly, the egregious missteps involving SNC-Lavalin's legal fate, and the subsequent resignation of two top ministers and his principal secretary, have raised serious questions about the Prime Minister's integrity and his respect for the rule of law. As political columnist for the National Post since 2003 and Ottawa bureau chief for Postmedia for the past three years, John Ivison has watched Trudeau evolve as a politician and leader at home and abroad. Since first interviewing him in 2006, they have sat down on a number of occasions since. It has been a fascinating transition that has not been fully captured by any writer. This book will trace the palimpsest of the man, now barely visible beneath the talking points, virtue signaling, and polished trappings of office. Ivison concludes that he has always been manipulative--good at understanding the feelings of others and playing on them. It has made him a formidable politician but one who may yet be undone by raising the bar too high; by promising to transform a country that was designed to withstand change.

One of the central contentions of this book is already apparent: that Trudeau's greatest strengths are also his greatest weakness; that the famous name, lifetime of privilege, and impulsiveness are as liable to hurl him from office as they were to get him there in the first place. The shift from the aspirational left to the identity left is a costly move away from popular sentiment such that the vast majority of Canadians would be more comfortable with a governing party that merely promoted Canada as the best place in the world to live, to earn an income and to build wealth and businesses.