Rex Murphy: Cringing, Back-biting and Spineless

Jordan Peterson and Rex Murphy: Jagmeet Singh is an empty suit, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

The NDP leader is sacrificing what his party stands for in order to keep Justin Trudeau in power

Published Feb 10, 2023  •  Last updated 3 days ago  •  8 minute read1749 Comments 
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks in reaction following the release of the federal budget, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, April 7, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean 

Is there a single Canadian anywhere in our tranquil Dominion who truly believes he or she knows or understands what the NDP’s leader Jagmeet Singh is doing — and has done?

Does Singh himself? Is there even anyone in the whole NDP caucus who can explain, let alone justify, their leader’s unprecedented actions?

Mr. Singh has struck a bargain with PM Justin Trudeau and its point, and its logic — not least from the point of view of the NDP itself — is inexplicable.

This state of affairs is certainly not what Canadians contemplated, expected or wanted when last they voted. What are we to make of this strange binding, effectively the dissolution of the historic NDP into a mere segment of parliamentary scaffolding propping up the Liberals and Mr. Trudeau?

What is currently in place appears to be, insofar as it is comprehensible at all, a deal struck between two men, rather than a compact between two political parties. This is certainly not what Canadians expected or wanted when they last voted, and failed to provide Trudeau with the majority he believed to be his due, and it is far from obvious how the NDP stands to profit.

This all suggests or even indicates that Mr. Singh is incapable of negotiating even on his own behalf, as he appears to have gained very little, while ceding everything. How — given this demonstration of utter ineptitude — can this man possibly be trusted to act wisely on behalf of his party, let alone the country?

It is a strange and singular amalgam, this novel coalition which is not — both parties swear — a coalition. What are we to make of the current circumstances of Canadian governance?

Normally, when a lesser party aligns with a greater, the lesser leader (certainly a plausible description in this case) is rewarded with a seat at the cabinet table and with something approximating a formal and public agreement about the formulation of a joint policy. Neither of which are Singh’s. He does, however, retain the full power to Tweet.

Moonlighting as opposition on Twitter; Employed full time as buttress and support in the House

Perhaps the most egregious feature of Mr. Singh’s leadership is his heroic capacity for savaging Mr. Trudeau and his government — on Twitter — while, at the same time, offering himself and his party as its Praetorian guard — in Parliament. A leader divided against himself, like Abraham Lincoln’s famous house, cannot stand (for anything.)

Without Jagmeet Singh the Liberals and Mr. Trudeau could not and would not survive as a government. Singh underwrites the Trudeau Liberal’s legislation. He guarantees their hold on power. He protects them from losing a vote in Parliament. Then, playing Mr. Hyde to his own Dr. Jekyll, he decamps to Twitter — daily — to bemoan the cynicism, failings, and carelessness of the selfsame Mr. Trudeau and government.

The hypothetical leader of the hypothetical NDP evidently either does not understand the concept of self-contradiction, or believes that being Jagmeet Singh means the concept simply does not apply. On the matter of politically having your cake and eating it too, Jagmeet Singh is his own bakery.

Singh also frequently voices, without apparent self-parody, frequent assertions that begin with the phrase … “When I am Prime Minister.” That happening occupies the same order of likelihood as the ascension of Ezra Levant to President of the World Economic Forum.

Does Singh believe that this is possible? In such a case, he inhabits a realm of Dali-like surrealism, next door to outright delusion. Is there a single person in the whole country who believes that the NDP has even the shadow of a ghost of a chance of (ever) forming an actual government, nationally, either majority or minority?

The brute fact of such self-evident impossibility doesn’t stop him from mouthing shameful statements of manic self-aggrandizement in the House itself:

And re-committing the folly on Singh-Twitter:

It is also the case (and this could in principle provide a rationale for what Singh is doing?) that the Trudeau government has moved so very far left — encroaching upon or even subsuming the vision of the NDP — that the NDP has been left with no point or purpose. It is far from obvious, for example, that even the socialists would go so far as to demolish Canada’s energy, forestry and agricultural sectors, simultaneously, with anywhere near the careless enthusiasm and ideological commitment of Steven Guilbeault and his charismatic, ambitious, WEF-affilliated-strutter-on-the-world stage and ideologically-addled climate-catastrophe-proclaiming great carbon-tax-wielding leader.

What year is this?

And what are we all to make of statements such as this (and we’re genuinely asking the followers of the once-truly-working class-voiced NDP—the NDP of Tommy Douglas and Jack Layton)?

“Give me that old-time (anti-capitalist) religion”: the long-stale rhetoric of the 1960’s junior faculty lounge in post-Covid, inflation-devouring 2023.

Here’s another. Remember, this is the man (and, hypothetically, the party behind him) literally keeping the Trudeau government in power:

We’re back to the Jagmeet Singh two-step: deplore the Liberals on Twitter: adore them in the Commons.

Perhaps that tweet is fair game in terms of criticism. It makes sense that the very party that pressed for so long and so successfully for public health care would oppose any manoeuvres that, it might be argued, undermine the universality of that endeavour. This is independent of whether or not that claim is true, or whether or not that selfsame public system is now demonstrating its unsustainability. This has become blindingly obvious to anyone who has had to go to an emergency room and sat for hours and hours before a consultation. The average surgical wait time in Canada is now, after all, six (!) months.

But this terrible privatization travesty could simply not occur if the mysterious Mr. Singh just stopped supporting his — his what? His peer? His friend? His frenemy? What is the nature of their relationship? A fair and necessary question.

And a little history of big legislation

Just what is the New Democratic Party, under the well-tailored suzerainty of Mr. Jagmeet Singh?

We all know what it used to be. The trope may be tired, but it remains true — the NDP of Tommy Douglas was, outside Parliament, the earnest and living embodiment of the working-class champion. Inside that same Parliament, it was the fearless critic of the dynastic Liberals — and (this is a big conjunction) — the intense guardian of basic Canadian civil liberties.

This worthy and necessary role was never no more so exemplified than in 1970 when the earlier Trudeau brought down, in one terrible sweep, the harshest legislation outside wartime that the country has ever seen: The War Measures Act. As response to the terrorist FLQ’s kidnapping and murder of Quebec Minister Pierre LaPorte — as response to what the government of the day termed an “apprehended insurrection” — this measure, extreme as it was, met with wild support from most Canadians outside Quebec and powerful support even within that province.

A genuine crisis. A pervasive national mood of anxiety. A decisive, no-nonsense leader. Who could possibly object, at that time and place, to a decision to employ the big guns?

Here’s who: A singular leader, of a singular party who, in the Commons and outside, challenged this necessity, and raised full alarm; who questioned the War Measure’s Act the suspension of civil liberties, especially its extensive granting of power of arrest and detention without warrant or charge. Who stood alone against the whirlwind?

It was Tommy Douglas. In the very moment when it was most arduous and, politically, near-suicidal, Douglas adhered to the fundamentals of his party’s platform, stayed with principle regardless of popularity, and provided the deepest example of what an opposition party, this opposition party — the NDP — was all about.

Then, so many years later, another government, headed by another Trudeau, in circumstances far less volatile, with pitiful or even non-existent justification, without even an edge of the atmosphere that prevailed in the FLQ crisis, brought in legislation equivalent to the War Measures Act.

What for? Against a convoy of truckers. To stop a traffic tie-up in downtown Ottawa, and silence the honking of horns.

How did Mr. Douglas’ current avatar — today’s leader of the NDP, the putative party of conscience — respond to imposition of the Emergencies Act in 2022? What did Singh have to say about the suspension of civil liberties, the raid on bank accounts (the first time ever so deep an invasion of citizen sovereignty occurred in this country) the hysterical denunciations of a truly and self-evidently blue-collar workers’ protest? Did he protest? Did he stand up for the workers — by all reasonable standards, the true constituents of his party?

No. Quite the contrary. He denounced those his party purports to represent. He endorsed the Liberal executive order. He returned the younger Trudeau’s false, feeble echo of the elder Trudeau’s decisiveness, welding himself and his party to that decision.

Why? Because since the opportunistic Covid election, Mr. Singh has “transitioned” from NDP leader to Liberal enabler. He has in fact armed the frightfully woke minority Liberal government, the most egregiously incompetent administration (airports, passports, oil and gas, etc. etc.) in living memory, with protection against any possible challenge in the House of Commons.

He is in political cohabitation — without any of the benefits of a true marriage — with the very party that the party which was once the NDP kept guard over and tested inside and outside the Commons; all the while giving voice to the too-frequently passed-over and disregarded blue-collar citizens of Canada.

The party of the left has degenerated into its own parody. Its most committed acolytes are now not the working class, from which it originated, who are now turning in large numbers to what was once and was known to be and even accepted as the party of big business, the Conservatives. The leader of the NDP is even more an actor than our current Prime Minister, with less of the charm (no matter how much it pains us to admit it: Justin is well-mannered and can be charismatic) and much less of the intellect and competence (same pain applies).

What has the NDP become, under Jagmeet Singh? A wing; a side-car; a crutch to the establishment, a cringing, back-biting and spineless supporter of the increasingly deranged practices and insane economics of the present-day Liberals.

Elected as a figurehead of inclusion; campaigning as a pseudo-celebrity; in bed with the Liberals; incapable of putting forward any concrete policies, let alone a vision; propping up a scandal-ridden, corrupt, ideologically-addled regime, hell-bent on destroying the last vestiges of Canada’s economy and international reputation: can anyone at all answer the question: Who is Jagmeet Singh, and what the hell is he doing?

And Tommy Douglas — by some measures the most well-respected political figure in Canadian history — spins away sadly/madly in his grave.

National Post

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