The Ottawa trucker protest reveals the ugly side of federal politics

The Ottawa trucker protest reveals the ugly side of federal politics

By Shachi Kurl, President

One may forgive my skepticism over whether the police action in downtown Ottawa Friday truly represents the end of three weeks of ludicrous miasma, a period defined by the terror of air horns and the defiance of bouncy castles.

Still, we can count on some certainties. The first is that if the denizens of the nation’s capital truly regain possession of their city, the same politicians who stood mute or missing in action will be the first in the ByWard market to declare: “Mission Accomplished.”

This certainty will be followed by an even further lowering of the already abysmal tone we have seen from our national leaders, who have spent the better part of a month in a toxic cycle of finger-pointing and blame.

There have been dizzying twists and turns to be sure: remember that Erin O’Toole was leader of the Conservative party when these protests began. But I am still reeling from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s deeply hurtful, offensive and arrogant comments to Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman (who is Jewish) in the House of Commons Wednesday, when he said her party stands with “people who wave swastikas.”

The latest breathtaking display of the ugh factor, the casual hurling of these words so unbefitting a national leader of a pluralistic western democracy, goes some way to explain why two-thirds of Canadians believe Trudeau has worsened, rather than helped, the situation lately. It leaves me in no doubt of why three-in-five people in this country feel as disengaged from their federal government as they do, or why they are near-evenly divided over whether they feel Canada’s system of government is a good one.

Trudeau once distinguished himself with the ability to effortlessly communicate via feel-good symbols and imagery. He now unabashedly, unapologetically doubles and triples down on the politics of inflammation.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site where it was initially published.

Image – Jean Levac/Postmedia