Once hailed as the perfect political antidote to Donald Trump, Trudeau seems now to be demonstrating he’s the even more preposterous politician.
With his popularity on the slide, Canadian voters are belatedly asking if there’s any real substance to their superstar premier and why no one heeded the warning signs.
The son of former premier Pierre Trudeau and his wife Margaret, the notorious party girl and Rolling Stones’ groupie 30 years her husband’s junior, Justin became the chattering classes’ favourite pin-up when he became PM in 2015, aged just 44.
The epitome of a ‘PC PM’, he wanted to save the planet, welcome immigrants and legalise marijuana, all while demonstrating his yoga prowess.
Here are 10 reasons why Justin Trudeau gets on my nerves:
1. India has accused Trudeau’s government of being too soft on Sikh extremists in Canada who want to establish an independent state — hence Modi’s failure to show. Undeterred, and in a bid to impress Canada’s half-million Sikh voters, Trudeau opted to pepper the India trip with unending photo-ops. It proved too much for some. From the gaudy costumes straight out of a Bollywood wedding to the toe-curling burst of Bhangra dancing, it was a state visit India would rather forget.
Sri Harmandir Sahib, known as the Golden Temple. Sacred to Sikhs and open to everyone. I don’t think I will ever forget this. Our cabinet ministers, MPs, Sophie and I were profoundly honoured by the welcome & hospitality today. 🇨🇦🇮🇳 Sri Harmandir Sahib, le Temple d’Or. Sacré pour les Sikhs et ouvert à tous. Je ne crois pas pouvoir l’oublier un jour. Nos ministres, députés, Sophie et moi sommes profondément honorés par l’accueil qui nous a été fait aujourd’hui.
2. Once hailed as the perfect political antidote to Donald Trump, Trudeau seems now to be demonstrating he’s the even more preposterous politician.‘Is this choreographed cuteness all just a bit much now?’ huffed one Indian politician who summed up the feelings of many. ‘Also, FYI, we Indians don’t dress like this every day, sir, not even in Bollywood.’
Why does Justin Trudeau in India remind me of Michael Scott at Kelly’s Diwali party?? pic.twitter.com/MoLqqvhqZr
— Diana Edworthy (@DianaEdworthy) March 2, 2018
India columnist Ajit Datta summed up Canada’s Justin Trudeau perfectly.
“Justin Trudeau is a mascot of everything that is wrong with the world today.” pic.twitter.com/wQo8MUKGqd
— /pol/ News Revenge (@polNewsRevenge) March 8, 2018
3. From the moment he arrived in Delhi to be greeted, not by Indian PM Narendra Modi, but by a junior agriculture minister in a calculated snub, Trudeau and his equally photogenic wife and children brought embarrassment on themselves as they rubbed shoulders with a Sikh extremist, posed in ‘traditional’ Indian robes and begged for selfies with film star.
4. Even before Trudeau made a twit of himself in India, his critics were warning against the global adulation he was generating. The ‘Selfie PM’ isn’t just a preening, smug show-off ‘more interested in perfecting his pout than his policies’, they said, he’s also a hypocrite who repeatedly reneges on pledges.
5. Detractors say nothing sums up Trudeau’s zealous political correctness than his patronising put down of a woman at a political meeting in Alberta earlier this month. After she used the word ‘mankind’, he felt moved to correct her.
‘We like to say “peoplekind” not necessarily “mankind”,’ he said. ‘It’s more inclusive.’ The crowd cheered, smiling piously, Trudeau added: ‘We can all learn from each other.”
6. His later claim that he was joking wasn’t convincing. After all, this is the man who created a ‘gender equal’ cabinet (same number of men and women) when elected, not on merit but ‘because it’s 2015’.
7. He also supported a Canadian Senate bill to make the country’s national anthem gender neutral by removing the word ‘sons’ and has written earnest essays for women’s magazines on how he will turn his two sons into sexism-fighting feminists.
8. Trudeau has a tattoo of a raven with a globe on his shoulder which he tweeted in 2012. The raven was designed by an artist of the Haida, an indigenous folk of British Columbia.
The Haida said they were ‘proud’ of Trudeau’s tattoo after he promised a ‘new’ relationship with indigenous people — but that was before his government approved a $36billion natural gas project that threatens the breeding grounds of one of the province’s biggest salmon runs. The Haida now vehemently oppose the idea and accuse Trudeau of ‘cultural appropriation’ by sporting the tattoo.
9. Feminists have also accused him of treachery by demanding the government rewrite ‘Discover Canada’, the citizenship guide given to all immigrants before they take a citizenship test. He wants to remove a line saying Canada doesn’t tolerate any barbaric cultural practices — on the grounds that condemning the brutal practice of female genital mutilation discriminates against Muslims.
On the same day he talked about ‘peoplekind’, it emerged Trudeau’s government had brokered a $233million deal to sell 16 combat helicopters to homicidal Philippines dictator Rodrigo Duterte.
10. Critics on the Left say Trudeau is a hypocrite who rarely lets his pledges on the environment, world peace and human rights get in the way of pragmatic politics.
In climate talks in 2016, he bullied the rest of the world into accepting tougher goals for fighting global warming.
Yet at home, he’s pushed for huge new oil pipelines through Canada and the U.S. to harvest more from Alberta’s tar sands — one of the world’s most environmentally-damaging ways of extracting oil.