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KINSELLA: Trudeau ad actually a load of hooey

Made Canada great again?


Let’s say you are a big advertising executive. You’ve got a big office, all glass and chrome, and a great view of Parliament Hill.

One sunny morning, some Liberal Party apparatchiks come to see you. They want you to look at their idea for the party’s 2019 campaign advertising. One of the factotums reaches into his/her shiny new government-issue briefcase. He/she holds up a black and white, close-up photo of Justin Trudeau.

At the bottom of the photo, these words: Actually Made Canada Great Again.

“What do you think?” the lead Grit fart-catcher asks. “Isn’t it great?”

Abruptly, the room wheels around you. It suddenly feels warm. You can’t breathe.

The ad, as it turns out, doesn’t yet have the official imprimatur of the Liberal Party of Canada on it, but it’s been popping up – like a summertime weed, perhaps – on the social media of assorted Liberal candidates and enthusiasts. They all think it’s great. They all think it’s true.

Justin Trudeau ad with the words “Actually Made Canada Great Again.”

It’s a take on Donald Trump’s (in)famous 2016 aphorism, of course: Make America Great Again. Back then, it worked for Trump in the electoral college (where he won) but not so much in the popular vote (where he lost). Whatever your point of view, however, it’s become one of the most memorable bits of political slogan-making in history.

Various American tall foreheads have felled entire forests to pen studies about that phrase. Their considered view? It worked because of that word “again.” Without “again,” it would have simply been “make America great,” which is what every politician says.

It’s the addition of the word “again,” the pointy-headed intellectuals claim, that transformed Trump’s phrase into something truly magical. It harkened back to an earlier, better time, when dad was dad and the boss, mom, stayed home and made apple pie, and the 2.5 kids understood that they were to be seen and not heard. Oh, and no dusky-skinned minorities, Facebook or CNN allowed.

When Trudeau’s minions use it, however, it’s a bit different. They affixed “actually” to the front end, did you see that? That’s their clever way of dissing the Mango Mussolini down south, without actually coming out and doing so directly.

And that, of course, is quite representative of how Trudeau has conducted his entire relationship with Trump. Despite being called a liar by the Liar-In-Chief, despite being denigrated and dismissed on everything from a new NAFTA to defence to China, Trudeau has uttered nary a critical word about Trump.

So, that wee word “actually” is as harsh as the Trudeaupians are prepared to get: i.e., Justin “actually” made a country great again. Donald didn’t.

But, um, no. Justin didn’t. He said he’d balance the budget – he didn’t. He said he’d have super-duper bestie relations with the provinces – he doesn’t. He said the last election would be the last one contested under first-past-the-post rules – but that was a fib. He said he’d reconcile with indigenous people – he hasn’t (ask Jody Wilson-Raybould about that). He said Canada would have a vastly improved international relations – but the aforementioned China and America would likely disagree.

And so on, and so on. The notion that Trudeau has “actually made Canada great again” just ain’t so.

You scan your shiny downtown Ottawa office. You look for an escape route. The ad the smiling Liberals are holding up, the one they are showing you, isn’t just bad – it’s a load of malarkey, as Joe Biden might say. It’s hooey.

Then you remember who your guests are. They’re Trudeau Party folks: They see disagreement as treason. They see criticism of them as attacks on Canada.

You ease back in your big armchair, and say what the Trudeau folks always say about themselves:

“It’s great!”

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