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PenlessEJ

August 2017

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Dear Justin Trudeau:

I get it, governing is tough. It is hard to set national priorities and to follow through to make sure that they get actioned while ensuring that Canadians feel satisfied in the government working for them. This is not new information however, you might recall that a former member of your cabinet (also a former leader of the party which you now lead) was criticised for making this observation plain during a leadership race by the then Conservative government. It might not be on point to come out and admit that your job is hard (something, something leadership) but the fact is that we all understand, it is certainly not an easy job.

Which is why we could understand why your government would not be able to advance electoral reform before the next election, we get that governing and setting priorities is tough. Look, we have a crisis developing at the national level, and the election of Donald Trump to the south of us as President of the United States should be taken as a sign that we need to take the pains of the middle class more seriously in Canada. Certainly no one would slight you for putting economic prosperity, job security and national unity above electoral reform.

But here is the rub. Rather than stand up in the House of Commons as a leader among your own peers and admit that a promise is consciously being broken you chose to blame Canadians for your own shortcomings. You chose to ignore the very poignant and informative report from a committee that you struck personally to review the issue at hand. You chose to throw not one but two junior female cabinet ministers under the bus. I personally cannot be mad at you for breaking a promise that frankly I never supported in the first place, but I can and am mad at you for continuing your path of lying and blatant disregard for the facts at hand.

The fact is, Prime Minister, that it is clear to everyone (save perhaps for those elected under your banner) that you never really wanted a consensus on electoral reform. Worse off, you never really had a plan. Leadership demands a vision, and you Sir, did not have any sort of vision for electoral reform aside from locking in an election victory under first past the post. And, to add insult to injury, you chose to put two junior female ministers in charge of a file that you never had any intention of completing, all of the while claiming to be a feminist and parading your gender balanced cabinet for all of Canada and indeed the world to see. This is low ball politics and straight up, Canadians demanded and thought that they were getting more from you.

Governments break promises. It is as sure as the sun rising and setting each day. It is hard to set national priorities and the realities of Monday are certainly not the same as Tuesday, which is why we have leadership at the federal level and have top office holders who are charged with making these tough decisions regarding the prioritization of national projects. However, governments do not have to lie. Governments do not have to create grand facades of progressiveness only to tear them down when the rubber hits the road. Your government has consistently failed to meet any sort of expectations that you yourself established during your run for leader of the Liberal Party, your election against Stephen Harper and your Throne Speech that entrenched sunny ways into the new approach. For that I and many Canadians are not just angry but disappointed, let down and disillusioned.

God save the Queen,
PenlessEJ

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