A prime minister better known for his charisma than his policy achievements proroguing parliament to ride out a political storm. Sound familiar?
No, it is not Boris Johnson, but the quintessential liberal heartthrob Justin Trudeau.
When Johnson suspended parliament a year ago, Nicola Sturgeon immediately branded him a ‘tin-pot dictator’. Mr Steerpike will wait with bated breath for a similar SNP comment on the Canadian PM.
Trudeau’s decision to prorogue parliament amid concerns over his conduct has sparked much controversy, and means that the hearings into the issue by the Canadian parliament’s ethics committees will not be able to resume until 23 September.
Even the accusations against Trudeau in this alleged prorogation cover-up have a familiar background to those against Boris, with concerns raised over a multi-million coronavirus relief contract being awarded to a charity that his wife, mother and brother have all received speaking fees or travel expenses for.
Despite his proteststhat ‘nothing of this program was in any way going to benefit any members of my family,’ Trudeau has apologised for failing to recuse himself from his cabinet’s decision and ignoring his personal links to grant the contract to the WE Charity.
But there is one thing that Trudeau does not appear to share with Johnson: loyalty to his ministers. Just as Johnson appeared to reject the resignation of Gavin Williamson, Trudeau accepted the resignation of finance minister Bill Morneau over the WE Charity scandal.
Trudeau appears happy to resign his views to the past too. Ahead of the 2015 federal election, Trudeau’s Liberal party promised not to ‘resort to legislative tricks to avoid scrutiny’ or use prorogation to ‘avoid difficult political circumstances’. The Canadian PM even tweeted ten years ago that he was ‘Marching against prorogation in Montreal. You know it’s a good day when even the Communist Party comes out for democracy’.
Mr Steerpike wonders whether Trudeau will be heading out onto the streets with communists once again in protest at a government using prorogation to ‘avoid difficult political circumstances’…
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