The former finance minister on Trudeau, his critics and Canada's future
"Morneauvian" is now my adjective for interesting and really, really carefully worded interviews on Canadian political podcasts.
I've only been listening to the "Curse of Politics" podcast for about a year and a half now, but I was at once struck by 1) the performative dialed-up-to-11 profanity, but more importantly 2) how much the Liberal duo reminded me of Steve Schmidt and his pals on The Lincoln Project. That's a long story. But it's instructive.
And yet I was still pretty amazed at that podcast's tri-partisan vitriol aimed personally at Morneau a couple of weeks back - when the former finance minister's imminent book publication was announced. Surely, I thought, Mr Morneau had deeply hurt this quartet with his policies, or perhaps via a leaked email.
But that wasn't the case. In fact it's just like Paul Wells describes it during the interview: envious of their places within the governing elites of this country (i.e., Laurentian guns for hire), they simply lashed out at an interloper. Viciously. It was almost like watching Global News and CBC reporters - plus a couple of senior columnists - turn on the trucker convoy ("Yobs with delusions of grandeur"). What delicate, almost fragile sensibilites these people have.
And it also illustrates beautifully one of Mr. Wells' proccupations, the idea that this government spends a great deal of time crafting communications when it could be governing. Mr Morneau upset that applecart, or at least exposed its empty bushels. And perhaps that's why Herle et al., were so *ad hominum* in their attacks.
This is a darned good interview. Tell your friends.
Thanks, Paul Wells.
Very worth listening to for anyone concerned about Canada's future. Thanks!
I am sick and tired of seeing this rich, whining, failed FinMin showing up all over my media. Sorry, I forgot about my chateau in France. Give me a break.
It was excellent to get to experience this live in-person. Thanks for hosting, PW!
Loved the scary graph, and the advice about not concentrating too much on re-distributing wealth
The reluctant candidate bit was good too.
Interesting that Bill Morneau suggested that when it comes to Canada's fossil fuel resources we do not need to throw out the baby with the bath water.
Not sure I can get through 42 minutes of this. Does he at any point in book or pod acknowledge that he has the communication and political skills of a damp dishrag? Does he realize that going from rich scion to Finance Minister without any time in the trenches is not, in the end, good preparation for being effective?
A bit off topic, but wondering if you’ll be covering the upcoming Biden visit.
As you wrote previously, 2016 saw the PM turned his government upside down to address the ‘Trump’ factor. Two years after the celebration of Biden’s arrival, I haven’t detected much of a strategy let alone specific moves.
But like Chrétien with first term, post mid-term GW Bush, and Harper with Obama, the counties are headed in opposite policy ends on energy and climate policy. We all know how that ended. Is the third time the charm in terms of getting on the same page? Biden has enough money and forward moment to run his climate & energy agenda another six year. To me, that deserves some serious reflection.
The former finance minister was a terrible communicator. He always sounded like a pile of cliches. I hope his book is better.
A very interesting and revealing interview. It is ironic (to say the least) that Mr. Morneau considers "managing people" to be an "easy" task, even as he criticizes the Prime Minister/PMO for failing to engage and motivate cabinet members. Many business people who run for public office are unable to transition successfully from managing to governing: they really do require two different mindsets.
Excellent interview! No surprises - Morneau sees the world basically in one dimension, through the lens of economic theory and his experience in the business world. That's it. I did not get the sense that he ever seriously examines his point of view critically or takes into account that there should be other considerations. I was struck by his comment about 'increasing the challenge' to home ownership. That may not get votes but I don't think he cares.