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Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:38 am    Post subject: Amid shouting and jeers, Trudeau insists on etiquette ... Reply with quote

Amid shouting and jeering, Trudeau insists on a little etiquette

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got a rough ride during an event with young workers in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Aaron Wherry
Parliament Hill Bureau

"You're acting like Harper!" yelled one member of the crowd, drawing out the former prime minister's surname.

Justin Trudeau was explaining his consideration of the Trans Pacific Partnership. And now the voice of outrage had gifted the prime minister a chance to score a point.

"Actually, the approach that I'm choosing to take is one in which I am sitting here," he said, shrugging and then gesturing towards the room, "engaging with you, listening to you, working hard on understanding..."

Some applauded.

But on stage at the Young Workers' Summit, an event organized by the Canadian Labour Congress, Trudeau was receiving something less than a unanimously warm welcome. Rather, he was jeered and, in some cases, angrily questioned.

"It doesn't mean we're always going to agree on everything," he cautioned. "But it does mean that we should keep talking."

On that note, the prime minister returned to a question of etiquette that obviously bothered him: that some in attendance had turned away from the stage.

Shortly after Trudeau arrived on stage Tuesday morning — jacket off, shirt sleeves rolled up — some number of those young people in attendance stood and turned to face the other direction, literally turning their backs in a suggestion that the prime minister had figuratively done the same to them.

"It is a little bit frustrating for me to come in, sit down and look forward to hearing from you, talking with you, and seeing a room full of people who are standing in a way that shows they're not listening to me, that you don't want to engage," he said at the outset when the protest began. "And I think it reflects poorly on everyone who does want to listen and engage."

After rebutting the TPP heckler, he repeated his stance. And when one of the back-turners was later given the microphone to ask a question, Trudeau insisted he turn back around to face him.

When that young man, after turning and stating his question, turned to face the back of the room again, the prime minister refused to answer.

In his insistence on showing respect for an invited guest, there was perhaps something of his father's confidence and manner (though this was not nearly the stuff of Pierre Trudeau staring down rioters at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste parade in 1968).

But there was also some novelty to the sight and sound of a prime minister being yelled at.

And for Trudeau, it is likely the case that the yelling has only begun.

The risk and reward of facing the public

The prime minister remained otherwise good-natured and spoke at some length. He smiled and seemed basically comfortable with the prospect of a hostile crowd.

To their credit, no one in the crowd threw pumpkin seeds.

But New Democrats were happy to report to the House of Commons at question period that the prime minister had been jeered and mocked.

The Liberal wager must be that it is still better for Trudeau to be seen putting himself in such situations, particularly if he is able to do so without embarrassing himself too egregiously.

There is also, of course, an argument to be made that it is simply better for democracy. That a prime minister should not be shielded from the complaints and concerns of the public. That he is not entitled to go about his time in office proceeding from one hermetically sealed production to another. [....]

It sounds to me like Trudeau tamed the crowd. He shows us his effectiveness in such situations. He seems to want to engage, to understand the other -- but what gets back to the people who write the reports and sketch out the solutions? Probably nothing.

Still, it's to Trudeau's credit that he does these sessions, and it's nice, in these tranquil times when he only has to explain why the promised increase in economic activity hasn't happened yet ... if that ... but if it doesn't get back into the cabinet room, it's just a PR gesture.

The group -- the Young Workers' Summit -- are recruits into the labour bureaucracy. They are young guys full of piss-and-vinegar, trying to get an easy ride by becoming a business agent for the union, or some other such sinecure. The main thing in this crowd in loyalty. Intelligence is OK, but not required. They are probably being stirred up by the union because they want to oppose the TPP deal down the road, and in waltz's Trudeau, and takes it on.

Good for him.

[Wouldn't it be great to know how the argument went? What facts changed the Young Worker's minds? And what fears did the Young Workers bring forward? The report spares us that worrying information.]

This is something worth watching. If we are on the edge of a global recession, as seems distinctly possible, how will the Liberals react? Will they slow down on immigration, for example, to protect labour? Will they continue to go face-to-face with discontented groups, and will they try to find real solutions?

Or is it just part of a permanent political campaign?

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it all doesn't surprise me , I had picked up early that trudeau didn't handle criticism well or wasn't used to it coming his way . when he was asked serious questions during question period or thru reporters .
his whole life he hasn't had to deal with a lot of criticism and he isn't used to dealing with it or having to provide an answer to explain his actions
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Amid shouting and jeers, Trudeau insists on etiquette ...

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