To be fair to our politicians, they are in a very tough spot with this COVID-19 pandemic. We are in uncharted waters here and there appears to be no right answers.
To overreact could mean causing economic and social damage which may take decades to recover from.
To under react could be to let a virus potentially overwhelm our medical services leading to untold deaths and misery which may have been prevented by proper intervention.
The pressures on both sides of the issue are huge and no leader of any political stripe wants to take the wrong approach. The stress must be immense.
The wisest course is generally to listen to the experts and defer many choices to them. In Alberta Jason Kenney has deferred to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, (our Chief Medical Officer) when it comes to reactions and decisions on the crisis. Various other civil servants and bureaucrats are surely advising leaders at every level of government too and hopefully leaders are heeding that advice.
So if the key decisions are actually in the hands of bureaucrats, what is the role of our political leadership?
They need to lead!
This is a tremendously important role. Panic is one of our greatest enemies right now and the best defense against this enemy is strong political leadership.
People are afraid and confused. We need to know whats going on and what we need to do.
We need our political leadership to communicate to us confidently and concisely with calm and measured authority.
Naheed Nenshi did a masterful job during the flood crisis in Calgary and Rachel Notley’s leadership during the Fort McMurray forest fires was fantastic.
Now that we are facing a global crisis on a level never seen in our generation we need strong federal leadership more than ever and let’s face it, we don’t have it.
I truly hoped that Justin Trudeau would find his feet and shine in this crisis. The state of the country is more important than any partisan dislike I may have of him and his party.
I have found myself disappointed to say the least.
The federal government still hadn’t really pulled out of it’s leadership crisis with the illegal blockades around the nation when this new crisis took over and Justin is as ill prepared as ever to deal with it.
We are getting slow, disparate and limited communication from the federal government right now. It looks like they have been crippled by indecision and they have terribly bungled on the screening issue at airports while communicating that they had it under control.
On Sunday, the government put out a teaser of a release saying that more was to come in a conference today. What the hell is with that? The crisis is here and now. If you have something of fucking substance to say, say it now!
Today’s press conference was a debacle. It began nearly 40 minutes late and by the time Trudeau began with his statement, pretty much all of what he was announcing had already been leaked.
This is hardly instilling confidence among the citizenry right now. If our Prime Minister can’t even manage a simple news conference, how the hell can he manage this crisis?
It is time for leadership to arise from within the federal Liberal Party. They need to deal with their weak leader for the sake of the nation. I don’t know if it will mean taking Trudeau aside and beating sense into him or pushing him aside and letting somebody competent take over the role but they can’t let Justin keep drifting along as he has been during this last couple months.
Justin Trudeau has never been a great communicator and in this last few months he has gotten far worse. He appears to prioritize his time with hiding from the public and handing off responsibility to others whenever possible. I don’t know if he has personal issues going on or if its a case of internal party turmoil but we simply can’t have it anymore.
The world is in for a rocky ride in these next few months. Countries with strong leadership will be better able to weather the storm. If Canada doesn’t deal with Trudeau soon, we won’t be among those aforementioned nations.
I hate to think of the unnecessary damage that will be caused if we refuse to fill the federal leadership void that we are suffering under right now. Let’s hope that some of the powers that be recognize and deal with this soon. We can’t afford to let it go on like this.