Let us admit the hard truth. He is no longer merely the Dauphin. No, not all. Now he is the Sun King! The physical embodiment of the Canadian State in all its frigid and sclerotic glory. Justin I, King of Canada and Defender of the Liberal Faith. Like the absolute monarchs of old he rules over his court - the Press Gallery - summons his minions and intendants from the far reaches of the Dominion - the caucus - and receives humble petitioners:
No one could say the 10 Canadians chosen to get 10 minutes with the prime minister took their jobs lightly.
They were fearless and revealing and they challenged Justin Trudeau on issues that mattered to them and to many others.
The 10 people — from across the country, from different walks of life — were chosen by CBC News for face-to-face interviews with the prime minister last week. Going in, he knew only their first names, where they were from and the topic of their questions. Excerpts were played back to Trudeau Sunday night in front of an audience during a live taping on Parliament Hill with CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge.
Yes terribly brave. None of them however asked the most obvious question of the Prime Minister: Do you really think if your last name was Smith anyone - and I mean anyone - would have ever heard of you, your crazy mother or your morally decadent father? Or perhaps observed that if grandad Trudeau hadn't been such a savvy businessman you'd likely be the Quebecois equivalent of trailer trash. We don't ask such obvious questions in modern Canada. Those questions might hurt someone's feelings. At some point in our national history courtesy was distorted into a cult of deference. What we must defer to is our incompetent elite's increasingly baroque self rationalizations, the most grotesque among them being that this man-child is fit to rule a nation of 35 million. That's what political correctness actually means: Not asking the right questions of the wrong people.
All these fearless questions being pitched by all these carefully screened Canadians have the same underlying assumption. It's the most dangerous assumption of the modern world. There was nearly retired Neil who has spent his life in the manufacturing sector, he wanted to know what Justin would do about his retirement. Then there was Danny from Alberta, worried about being taking along for the more harrowing bits of the Petro Rollercoaster known as the provincial economy. We also heard from Nikki who wanted to know that - as an aboriginal - her life and that of her daughters would be safe and valued.
What do all these people have in common?
Like millions of other Canadians they have no idea how a federal system of limited government works. Canada - to those victims of our public school systems - is a constitutional monarchy operating within a federal system. What government does and is suppose to be doing was laid out with tolerable clarity by Messer Macdonald, Mowatt and Brown a century and a half ago. While drafting our constitutional order they had assumed that as the nation grew richer the electorate would become better informed and more intelligent. If people with four years of formal education - about the average at the time - could understand federalism then surely the far better educated Canadians of the future would have no problem with this fairly simple concept.
The Fathers of Confederation missed on the omnibus on that one.
So to those just tuning into Canadian constitutional theory, here's a brief summary: It is NOT the duty of the Prime Minister of Canada to plan your retirement, secure you a job, mitigate the visissitudes of international commodities markets, keep you safe from common criminals and make you feel special. Criminal concerns are mostly the responsibility of the provinces and municipalities, the rest of your bellyaching has nothing to do with ANY level of government. As an adult it is your responsibility to fend for yourself. If things go badly then rely on your friends and family, that's one of the reasons we have friends and families. If you are bereft of these then appeal to the charitable instincts of your fellow Canadians. It is not Justin Trudeau's job to kiss your bruises and pat your forehead. You will search the British North America Act in vain to find a single reference to scrapped knees and hurt feelings. The Fathers of Confederation assumed they were founding a new nation populated by mature adults and not perpetual adolescents. They never imagined decadence could take hold of a people in mere century and a half. After all it took the Europeans several centuries to get all effete and weak willed.
In particular I would like to address Nikki, the aboriginal who feels unvalued. What is wrong with you? You shouldn't care what other people think. What other people think is their problem. As a matter of practical necessity you must keep the opinions of other people in mind, but to walk around weeping on the inside because someone - somewhere - doesn't like you because of your racial background is idiotic. Racism requires two types of idiots: The idiot who judges people by their race and the idiot who takes the first idiot seriously. Nikki is the latter type of idiot. Does your life matter? Yes it does! To you! And if doesn't matter to you why should it matter to a complete stranger simply because he has a fancy job in a big office? What did you want from Justin Trudeau? A nice hug? As millions of Canadians will soon discover the touch-feely crap does not pay the bills or kill the bad guys. It just delays us from solving the practical problems of life.
If you were to reduce the problems of modern Canada to a single misconception it would be this: That Government is the fount of all wisdom, virtue and fortune. That the state performs in our society the same role that the sun performs in nature. The bringer of light, warmth and even life itself. But if government is to be all things to all people, it cannot be limited by such pedantic concerns as constitutions and the rule of law. The individual chosen to lead the state - whatever his title - must be more than a Prime Minister or President could ever be. Instead he must be something more: A monarch with absolute powers. So this is where history's winding path has taken us. A free people reduced to petitioning the Sun King Trudeau for the redress of every petty grievance imaginable. And there he sits - not in majesty like Louis XIV the original Sun King - but with an empathic crouch on a simple wooden chair, nodding and half smiling as he pretends to understand.