I can't exactly put my finger on it, but the PM almost seems detached from the Paris attacks. His speech on friday seemed to lack the normal performance value (he almost seemed shell shocked) and the response since then has been muted. Then this about him talking about global warming, which I can only imagine got a big "who cares". It almost seems as if he is desperate to stay on message and unable to adapt to a changing situation. Maybe it's not the case, but it certainly seems that the PM is having difficulty adapting.
Note- this is not to say that we should "whip out our cf-18s" irrationally, but some discussion on refugees (details on the plan, or reassurance that security checks, etc, will be taken) to reinforce why bringing refugees here is important in light of the attack on Paris would seem to be a prudent action to address real concerns. What is happening appears to be akin to the officer who has to stick to the time line and details vice understanding the intent and end state.
understand the politics of it ...
The Paris attacks came just as prime Minister Trudeau was about to leave for Turkey; the G20 speech was written. His immediate remarks were drafted, very, very quickly by his staff ~ they were OK, not bad, sympathetic but non-committal.
On the airplane some staffers, maybe the prime minister himself, said "What now? Do we need to reboot our policies? Should we keep bombing IS** in Syria? Should we really take 25,000 refugees?"
Gerald Butts (my guess
) said something like: "Everyone sit down and take a deep breath. We don't know
what's going on ... yet. Lee Hsien Loong* and David Cameron* don't really matter; they don't vote, but Lyin' Brian
Mulroney was right, you know: in politics "ya dance with the fella what brung ya."
In our case, the "fellas what brung us" to power don't want to hear about bombing ~ they don't like bombs nor do they like the people who drop bombs. They do like to hear about climate change and they want us to say and do things about climate change ... that matters, not Syria or Paris. We need to stay the course on getting out of the bombing business ... maybe we need to stay there for a bit longer, but sometime after Christmas we need to bring the CF-18s home. Refugees? I don't know. I've head the security briefs given to the prime minister; it may be prudent to slow the process a bit. Our base will not like it but we can blame the security services ... we're being forced to err on the side of caution, and all that. But, for now: we press on as we planned, as we promised
~ we do not
commit to any new military adventures; we can offer some aid and lots and lots of words but we don't want to actually have to do anything ... yet. Remember after 9/11? Canadians demanded that we do something, and we, Liberals, did ~ we sent troops to Afghanistan and in just a few months Canadians were disillusioned with that mission. They wanted out. Our first step is to not commit to going in ... then our second step is get what we already have 'in' out again. Global warming is good; war is bad ... keep telling yourselves that because it is what will get us re-elected. Who knows? Maybe by Christmas El Niño
will be causing havoc in all sorts of places and Canadians will think we were really prescient here."
* Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore is at the right end (other end from Prime Minister Trudeau) of the second row; UK Prime Minister David Cameron is 3rd from the left in the middle row.