Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vaccine rhetoric, his motives for the upcoming election, and his fitness to lead Canada were called into question during a podcast.

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Storied Canadian journalist Rex Murphy recently appeared on Jordan Peterson’s podcast to talk about the Canadian election and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In an episode entitled Justin Trudeau and the Election that Should Have Never Been, the two Canadian intellectuals discussed an array of what they consider to be the failures and motives of Trudeau during his time as PM.  

In Murphy’s opinion, calling an early election was a risk by Trudeau, that a politician would only take if he wanted to gain a majority of the parliament if he presently had a minority. However, with a compliant House of Commons, Murphy thinks that Trudeau has called this election because soon enough Canadians will grow sour of Trudeau when the pandemic slows down. “All that money going out, not being accounted for, parliament not exercising its functions … Is it possible that the Trudeau government is really, really worried that when the pandemic slows down … I think there was a fear that if he [Trudeau] remained in minority … and the press could get off that one topic [COVID] … they would start to look at the record of that spending.” 

Peterson opined about the purpose of the election and expressed confusion at what the political leaders believe. In his opinion, the federal leaders’ debate was a failure, and Conservative Party of Canada candidates failed to make a conservative talking point. “Erin O’Toole, the putative conservative, ceded the conceptual territory so that half the debate was taken up on climate change and reconciliation. And only a quarter of it on ‘affordability … ’ that means the economy, that means the entire business of governance … Is climate change really that crucial a crisis right now?” 

Murphy went on to say that he believes the government has “herded” Canadians by using the pandemic as a tool to do so, and that the demands of the lockdowns and restrictions have conditioned Canadians to give up on normal democratic functions: “The pandemic in certain ways is almost a preparatory course … if you have a good enough cause, you can build up the administrative state to heights never seen before.” 

He also commented on Trudeau’s rhetoric surrounding vaccines during the campaign. “Mr. Trudeau goes around like a spin top, he’s now onto this thing about vaccination, and that if you have a disposition or a set of arguments … they’re now ‘anti-vaxxers … ’ and he’s really coming down on them.” 

Peterson agreed with Murphy’s sentiment and said “a leader should be in some sense agnostic about such things.” In addition, Peterson doubled down on his stance in the vaccine debate and said, “I’m vaccinated by the way … I’m not saying that because I’m proud of that or anything, just, that’s what I did. People don’t want to do it, there are people in my family who don’t want to get vaccinated, that’s your right. A fundamental right, I would say, guaranteed by the UN.”  

The two authors also discussed the state of conservatism in Canada. “I’ve seen this time and time again with conservatives, they don’t notice when they’ve been beaten to begin with,” Peterson said. He went on to speak about the debate and how the way that the conservatives did not object to the format or the questions was proof they were unprepared or unwilling to put forth genuinely right-wing positions or talking points.  

Peterson referred to the absence of Maxime Bernier from the leader’s debate as “stunning,” and both interlocutors criticized the methodology of the debate put on by the Trudeau-friendly media.  

In the end, Murphy offered his unfiltered opinion on Trudeau, saying, “The capacity is not there. If you contrast him with Stephen Harper or his father … the contrast between the capacity, the range of knowledge, the depth of personality, it’s really something else.” 

He called into question Trudeau’s preparedness for governance. “The preparation is not there,” he said. 

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