EDITORIAL – Why can’t we accept a compliment for our prime minister?


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

“Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods.”

— Rolling Stone magazine

AW, C’MON Canada, can’t we accept a compliment once in a while?

Our prime minister is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and a lot of Canadians just can’t stand it. They feel it necessary to get all indignant about it, pointing out Justin Trudeau’s spotty record.

He doesn’t deserve accolades from the iconic American rock magazine, they insist.

Oh, loosen up.

“Why can’t he be our president?” the magazine plaintively asks in the cover headline. It calls him the “Northern star.”

Some Canadian media have found it necessary to get huffy about some factual details in the story such as references to the “Liberty” party and the “Royal Canadian Mountain police” and minor misunderstandings of the Canadian electoral system.

And, of course, we in Canada feel it necessary to bring up pipelines, electoral reform, the struggling commission on indigenous women, Elbowgate, and Omar Khadr. We needn’t worry, because Fox News is happy to remind us. One commentator from the rightwing American TV network called Trudeau “horrible” in response to the Rolling Stone story and the Khadr settlement. (Conservative MPs, of course, have lately been crossing the border to trash Trudeau over the Khadr affair, with Fox News happily giving them all the attention they want.)

There have even been the inevitable calls for boycotts of the magazine from Donald Trump supporters who aren’t amused by the way it compares Trudeau to their president.

It’s just a magazine, for heaven sakes. The Rolling Stone piece, by the way, doesn’t ignore Trudeau’s mistakes, listing them off quite efficiently.

Maybe we need to remind ourselves, though, that we have it pretty good with Trudeau. When you think about Trudeau vs. Trump on climate change, immigration, gender equity, abortion, marijuana, health care, the opioid crisis, where would you rather be? Would you rather have a leader who’s likeable and makes some mistakes, or a lunatic who governs via daily Twitter rants? One who marches in Pride parades or kicks LGBTQ soldiers out of the military?

Maybe there’s so much negative reaction in Canada to the article because Canadians have trouble taking a compliment. Will we ever forgive Justin Trudeau for being good looking?

About Mel Rothenburger (6398 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on EDITORIAL – Why can’t we accept a compliment for our prime minister?

  1. Well said Mel.

  2. Susan Lacourciere // July 30, 2017 at 11:22 AM // Reply

    Well put Mel Rothenburger! We Canadians have work to do when it comes to our own image and these times of such a huge contrast (understatement) between our leaders is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our values and what it means to be Canadian. A prime minister like Justin Trudeau both puts us on the global map and reflects those values world wide in the process.

  3. R A George // July 28, 2017 at 5:02 PM // Reply

    They might as well be in ” The Mountains” at least around here.

  4. It takes a lot ( believe it or not ) to be selected for the cover of Rolling Stone. And to be envied by the US is indeed an accomplishment.

  5. Lee Kenney // July 28, 2017 at 8:53 AM // Reply

    Rolling Stone, established 1967, as a record of our times, it is not just a music magazine ! On the cover of Rolling Stone, more than just a song title, imho !

  6. Lynne Jorgesen // July 28, 2017 at 8:09 AM // Reply

    Well put, sir!

  7. Cindy Ross Friedman // July 28, 2017 at 7:21 AM // Reply

    We have it pretty good with Canada, too.

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