Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott — with the sheer force of their own integrity — have emerged as the most influential politicians in the Canadian body politic. Justin Trudeau has exposed himself plainly as a liar — someone who is willing to repeatedly lie in order to manipulate the electorate, mislead authorities, and to keep a tightly controlled caucus intimidated with a culture of bile and retaliation.
Influence is power in politics, and suddenly these two former Cabinet ministers have all of it. And Justin Trudeau has none of it. His tenure in the Prime Minister’s office is quickly fleeting, and even senior members of the Liberal caucus have suffered shocking losses of confidence — not only in his leadership style — but also in his capacity to lead.
The Nation waits with bated breath in anticipation of how the two suddenly senior statesmen — statespeople? — are planning to wield this unprecedented stature. They are both ambitious and accomplished women willing to risk extraordinarily promising political careers to protect Canada from falling the way of dictators.
Only because they decided to sacrifice themselves, was Trudeau’s coup-de-ta stopped in its tracks. Unless, of course, Attorney General David Lametti decides that his political career inside the Liberal Party is more important than prosecutorial independence, in which case we can expect SNC Lavalin to receive the deferred prosecution agreement.
In recent days, The Chronicle has spoken with several longtime political operatives who see a slate of strategic possibilities for Wilson-Raybould and Philpott’s new axis of power. In fact, every one of the twelve political consultants with whom we talked, all near lust for the opportunity to advise them.
Elizabeth May‘s Green Party extended both women an eager invitation to join her caucus, as did various members of the New Democrats. Both parties badly want Wilson-Raybould and Philpott to join their caucus in senior leadership roles, but their stature easily outshines that of the New Democrats’ Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Managing the micro-politics could be difficult. It’s unclear if Singh or May would be willing to step aside as Leader. Several senior figures in the NDP fear that, if the women join the Greens, it would be felt like a stunning blow to any energy or momentum that the NDP can hope for ahead of elections. They dream aloud of a merger between the two parties — The Green Democrats — suddenly led by a slew of substantial nationally known figures.
Several dissident Liberal Party operatives, some with longtime ties to the newly appointed Treasury Board President Joyce Murray, want the MPs to establish a new center-left ‘Progressive Party’ party on a populist platform focused on supply-side housing policy that addresses affordability, in addition to government ethics, and constitutional reforms that protect the independence of the justice system.
That agenda — housing affordability, government ethics, and the independence of the justice system — would substantially replace the Liberal Party in Parliament, by his analysis, appealing to a ‘disaffected majority’ of Liberal voters.
The SNC Lavalin scandal has badly tainted the Liberal MPs who have been most willing to publicly defend Trudeau. Maryam Monsef‘s mindless nodding behind Trudeau in the House of Commons, as he articulated transparently deceptive assertions, now makes her reelection implausible. Operatives call it the curse of the camera angle and are already using the footage to test campaign spots against every MP who had approvingly gestured behind Trudeau as he lied to Canadians on the House floor.
Bardish Chagger, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons who speaks for the Trudeau government when he is not present in the House, has endured embarrassing footage that makes her look untruthful, repetitive, and resistant to facts.
A Liberal operative from Markham describes the caucus members as “dangerously shallow and doting politicos who lack stature and the wisdom of tenure” that have, historically, acted as a check on the power of the Prime Minister. He argues that the political culture being promoted by Trudeau’s leadership style is built on the kind of bile and retribution that has enabled dictatorships in parliamentary systems around the world.
Now that the Trudeau government is increasingly likely to be ousted in the October elections, many political prognosticators predict that Wilson-Raybould will emerge in the wake of those sweeping losses as the most powerful political figure in Canada — most likely as the Leader of the Official Opposition, he posits.
He only wonders under what Party brand she will decide to lead it.