Monday, August 27, 2018

The right response on NAFTA

Shortly after the news broke today that the US and Mexico had reached a trade deal, Bernier tweeted:
Now, @cafreeland and @JustinTrudeau, stop fooling around and playing politics. Put supply management on the table, end the retaliatory measures, accept Trump’s offer to aim at reducing all tariffs and barriers, and NEGOTIATE SERIOUSLY. More grandstanding will bring no result.
Compare that to Andrew Scheer's response:
 Thanks to Justin Trudeau, Canada is on the outside looking in while Canadian jobs hang in the balance. His economic failures have ruined Canada’s bargaining position and jeopardized thousands of jobs.
Both responses are valid, but everyone knows that if Trudeau touches supply management, then Bernier's major raison d'etre disappears... and yet Bernier is so committed to his idea of what is right for the country, he's willing to see it done by someone else -- in the OTHER party -- because he believes so much that it's the right thing to do. That's a major policy plank for Bernier. One less reason to vote for his new party if Trudeau is the man that sees it through. I don't see this as an idle challenge or taunt. It seems like a genuine plea for sanity on the trade front.

On the other hand, Scheer's criticism of Trudeau is valid, but given that they couldn't even get to supply management at the convention, what exactly would he be doing differently? If he's still committed to it, then what is he suggesting Trudeau do? It's all well and good to snipe on Twitter, but if you have nothing to offer but sniping, how is that constructive? Trudeau has been abysmal on trade. Scheer's sneers don't make that clearer, but they betray a lack of vision. It's okay to put your idea out there even when it's not election time. If they're good ideas and the other guy uses them, all the better for the country, right?

I'm still not #BernierNation, but Bernier's commitment to what benefits Canada, as opposed to what benefits him, suggests a purity of reason that goes beyond the selfish lust for power that he's been accused of. I'm still not happy with how he went about this. I'm still dubious about the outcome, but there is a sincerity to his words that makes me want to cheer him on, even if I'm not yet ready to come around.



MA said...

You have described my feelings perfectly

Canadianna said...

It's gonna be a long year, MA.

Guffman said...

Bernier - a man of unapologetic principles, and Scheer, a man of poll-tested soundbites.
Scheer is another Paul Martin - weak, ineffective, and always pandering to those he shouldn't be.

I'm waiting to hear what Scheer and Bernier have to say about the Trans Mountain Pipeline news that just came out. Predicting Bernier comes out with a strong statement against the federal appeals court and the endless pandering to First Nations, and Scheer to generically blame Trudeau for everything again, with no mention of First Nations. Just a guess.

Canadianna said...

You know, Guffman— I honestly wish I could argue with you.