Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Despite passing a resolution at the Liberal Party biennial policy conference  offering "unequivocal support" for the Ukrainian people, Leader Justin Trudeau is facing some tough criticism.

Ukraine's ambassador to Canada is demanding an apology for insensitive comments made by Trudeau in an interview recorded last Thursday on the popular Quebec program,  Tout le monde en parle.

The Conservatives have been quick to jump at an opportunity to peg the charismatic leader as thinking that the deadly situation in the Ukraine is a joking matter.   Employment Minister Jason Kenney,  Industry Minister James Moore and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander have set their partisan sights on exploiting the gaffe.

Trudeau's comments that he fears Russia's involvement in the Ukraine situation because they are in a bad mood after loosing in hockey plays very neatly into the Conservative narrative that the young leader is inexperienced.

The Conservatives are fighting for their lives.  Every real and perceived  misstep is an opportunity.

A few years ago Trudeau faced a similar barrage of criticism for suggestions that Quebec separation could be deemed acceptable given the politics of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Bloc and the PQ  pounced on Trudeau and attempted to welcome him into the fold.

Trudeau is still growing into the role but that does not in anyway excuse his unfortunate comments. He wants to be the Prime Minister of Canada. We are a member of NATO, the Ukrainian situation is a powder keg. We can not allow our voice on foreign affairs to be weakened.  

The trick for Trudeau is to find a way to quickly extricate himself from this mess and get back on point.

A quick, simple and sincere apology will do. Delaying or trying to depict the outrage as partisanship will only make matters worse. As James Carville says "Buck Up, Suck Up and Come Back when you foul up"

File this one under learning a valuable lesson in Realpolitik and move on.

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