Opinion

Please Advise! Justin Trudeau Needs More Liberals! More!

Two estranged Tories are not enough for the young redeemer of political souls.

By Steve Burgess 18 Feb 2015 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor's note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

I am seeking new recruits for the Liberal Party of Canada. Know anybody?

Yours,
Justin Trudeau

Dear Justin,

Sure Justin, I know some people. How about Phil Kessel? Plays for the Leafs. Bit of a malcontent, slacker, poster boy for a team that's collapsing on the ice and toxic in the locker room. Or maybe Kanye West? Guaranteed to crash any press conference you hold to declare that those middle-class tax cuts ought to go to Beyoncé instead. They sound perfect for you -- perfect in the sense that both have pulses and name recognition. How about Silvio Berlusconi? Pretty sure he's not busy.

Or perhaps I have misunderstood your motives for welcoming former Tory MP Eve Adams into the Liberal fold. Adams has a history that does not seem to mesh with the sunny image you project for the Liberal party. There were the accusations of campaign misconduct and that unfortunate incident where she blocked the vehicles of peons at a gas station so that she could demand a $6 car wash refund. Not to mention her recently abandoned support of all those mean-spirited Harper policies that now apparently make her weep with helpless rage. To such political classics as "I have decided to spend more time with family," and "I did not have sex with that woman," add "I have suddenly discovered I belong in the party of Lester B. Pearson and Jean Chrétien."

Adams does not look like a typical Liberal. But perhaps that's the point. Perhaps you're not just any political messiah, Justin. You're Jesus Christ himself. You were certainly born on the right day for the gig, and like the Christian redeemer you offer divine forgiveness for any lost soul who repents. Confess your sins, invoke the blessed name, and you too can enter the kingdom of Liberal. Fall on your knees, Rob Anders! You too, Conrad Black!

Ultimate insiders

Of course that's not what the cynics -- oh, those miserable, twisted souls -- are claiming. They are suggesting that when it comes to party invitations, Ms. Adams was really a +1. It's her main squeeze Dimitri Soudas you were after. At first blush that's another puzzler, since Soudas is the sort of guy most people would move away from on the bus. As former Conservative party executive director and director of communications at the PMO, he was seen as a Harper hatchet man, a political cutthroat. But recruiting Soudas does make political sense. After all Justin, if you found out there was a fly on the wall of the PMO you'd probably want to make friends with it. Make it feel comfortable -- put out the welcome dumpster, find out its favourite carrion, maybe arrange for 9,000 daycare slots. This situation is similar. Soudas was the ultimate insider.

What terrible secrets might Soudas reveal about Stephen Harper? What rancid beans might he spill? Harper's nightly reports delivered on bended knee to a hologram of Dick Cheney? His onstage lip-syncing to Sweet Child O' Mine? His favourite recipe for stir-fried polar bear? His monthly couples counselling sessions with President Putin? His diabolical plan to harness the hidden gravitational power of cosmic dark matter to bend the entire universe to his will? His Pinterest account?

At any rate Justin, the important thing for you is: two new Liberals. Two more paid memberships. And kudos to you for welcoming more people into your big tent. It seems that under your kindly leadership the Liberals can offer sanctuary to so many weary and rootless wanderers seeking refuge, so many unfortunates who find themselves with nowhere else to go. Which reminds me -- have you spoken to Ezra Levant lately?  [Tyee]

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