Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Canada discussed on BBC World Service
I'm Julia Moroco with weekend, and I have to guess would be for the rest of the program to offer their thoughts and perspective on the news of the day. Diane Roberts is here. Professor of creative writing at Florida State University or political commentator and political columnist for the Petersburg times. And George Parker is here political editor of the London-based financial times. Welcome to both of you morning, mourning their morning Daniel sometimes in the US sometimes in the UK. So what brings you to the UK this time? Well, I'm going to go up to the north of England and hide and right. But there are times when I just feel the need to get out of Trump planned and fat happened. So I got to come over on very lucky. What's on the writing agenda? Just now you'll be sorry. You asked him. I'm writing a series of essays on white women. I'm very interested in the fact, the white women did vote for Donald Trump by a small majority, but a majority, and I'm thinking about how my God, I don't know anybody whiter than me. And I was raised in the south where we think about white women are supposed to do in the most lavish way. So I thought I'd really better write some things about everything from sororities to learning to sit in a hoop skirt, and how widely travelled have you had to be in order to do that. In my brain is where most of it comes from and research. But really, it's it's all these things I will be saying true of most of American to certain extent in Britain and western Europe. But the American South is where all of America's neurosis and historical freaks are given the most. I guess the best vocabulary. I mean, we have such a highly developed by Cavalieri for it. It's all stuff that everyone does. But we talk about it all the well all the time like class, we will sit around talking about class, which messed Americans will not Dave since the official line is we ain't got no class system when we do in a big way, we may return to some of those themes a little later on Georgia's the political edge with financial times. You can't be very busy tool. Let's say father's fossilising travel schedule and being with the prime minister around the world. But to be honest Brexit has become such an all consuming thing for us that we are routed to Westminster apart from the occasional trips over to Brussels. Wipes out most of you will weekends. I think the general public getting bored with it. But as journalists I'm afraid to say it still remains quite a riveting story. It's the best kind of story in a way because we don't know how it's going to end. So it's fascinating bronchitis. Consumed virtually all of my time apart from my -cational breakouts. The Westminster bubble to go down to sell hers. Part was Crystal Palace play football. Right. I shan't ask you in that case yesterday. But on that point. Interesting point about the fact that it's fascinating for journalists to cover Brexit because of its complexities and the uncertainty as to where it goes. But the wider public is I think you said bored or frustrated or whatever it is. How do you cross that divide because it's clearly a dilemma for all of us. Yeah. Industry. I think Theresa May sums it up in a speech on Friday said let's just get it done. I think that's probably the mood of the public. Now, this has been going on for two and a half years people talking about people, lots of people, I think think we've left already which of course, we haven't don't go chasing Rx season contents stand while the politicians don't just get on with it. So yes, I think the public of frustration by it. I think there's probably a morbid fascination about where this leads because it could breakfast such a powerful force and British pokes lots of other things happening in the labour party's splintered, a pip seven or eight LeBron piece of left to join a centrist group. Let's talk about these types this morning about whether Theresa May, the prime minister might have stand down to get a deal through. So there. All sorts of spin offs as far as journalism is concerned. It depends for the financial times a lot of people are making or losing money on the back of Brexit. So our readers actually still love, and we we could measure this every single week. Brexit is the story that is most read in the financial times, I suspect for more general readership than people might became up. Don't exhaust all your thoughts on that subject. 'cause we'll return to that a little later as well. Diane roberts. George Parker with me. If you have any thoughts by all means get in touch for the World Service Facebook page, we're going to turn our attention to political problems. Elsewhere the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has found himself embroiled in something of a crisis that could threaten his re-election this autumn. He's liberal party has been on the defensive for a month over allegations from a former minister who subsequently resigned that she was put under pressure to help. One of Canada's biggest employers avoid a trial for corruption. SNC Lebanon is a construction firm facing allegations that former executives paid bribes to. Win contracts in Libya under Colonel Gadhafi's regime, which fell in twenty eleven this week. Another minister, Jane Philpott quit saying she'd lost confidence in how Mr. Trudeau was handling the scandal would after four weeks over chaos and significant falling poll numbers, Mr. Trudeau finally faced the media on Wednesday. This has been a tough few weeks Canadians expect and deserve to have faith in their institutions and the people who act within them. Almost every day as prime minister. I learn new things. So I can tell you without a doubt that I have taken and will continue to take many lessons from these recent days and weeks, but he did not apologize. Branding today in regards to standing up for jobs and defending the integrity of our rule of law. I continue to say that there was no inappropriate pressure. So Mr. Trudeau seen by some as a poster boy of liberal democracy losing his appeal in Canada, and maybe beyond a chassis is executive director of the Angus Reid institute. That's a nonpartisan public opinion research foundation based in Vancouver shoshee, welcome to the program. Thank you for having me how serious is this all look for Mr. Trudeau. It certainly is the most significant political crisis that Mr. Trudeau and his government has faced since taking power in a landslide majority election a little over three years ago, and this is an election year where I would have had said to you six months ago. It looked very likely to have been a election for Mr. shadows. Liberals today, I wouldn't say that he's likely to lose. But this is the greatest amount of trouble. We've seen this up until now fairly popular prime minister and fairly popular government face in the course of its mandate. A when you look back. I mean is it possible to identify where the mistakes were made? And by whom overall this. Well, these seem to be exceedingly self inflicted wounds on. Part of Mr. Trudeau and his his entourage. The prime minister's office the PM oh. Look there's two things that we've got to unpack a little bit. First of all what we're talking about which you set up very nicely. The case of SNC Lebanon, the allegations of corruption bribery at millions tens of millions of dollars going towards a very corrupt regime, allegedly, of course, the Gadhafi regime, and this is also a company that had already been censored and had its wrists. More than slapped for paying multimillion dollar bribes to get hospitals built in places like Montreal. And and other projects built around the world. So it's not exactly a company with a very clean record. The government has been worried about the jobs aspect of this. And you heard the prime minister talking about the jobs aspect thousand employed by this company in Canada. Is that right nine thousand employed at thirty four hundred in the province of Quebec. In Quebec is going to be influential swing region four. The liberal party in this coming election. So that sets things up now the challenge, of course, has been the decision as to whether or not the company should be charged under the criminal code as any other company would or whether it should be offered the opportunity of negotiated settlement a DP a deferred prosecution agreement, and these agreements exist and the mechanism for these agreements exist in the United States in the UK. Indeed this scandal actually has shades of the problems that Tony Blair faced in two thousand seven with be over its arms deals to Saudi Arabia. So this in in and of itself, the mechanism is something that is solely the job of the attorney general to make as to do you go with the full prosecution or do you go with the negotiated settlement? Which isn't seemed to be quite as devastating for the coming. Because that way the company wouldn't be barred from bidding on lucrative contracts, hence, the job's piece of it. So we've settled this up. Now Justin Trudeau is accused by his former attorney general and indigenous first nations woman named Jodie Wilson rave old of being inappropriately pressured to make the decision she has been backed up by another very influential cabinet minister at one who was seen as very strong and very competent by the name of Philip. So the allegation apologies for sort of moving things on. But I just wanted to bring my guests in the allegation clearly is one of political pressure here, which he has so far said, no, no, no. I didn't do anything that. I shouldn't have done Diana thought. And then I'll come to you, George. Well, it seems to me that that it is the appropriate pressure. As the minister thought she was under. That's the problem because he can argue that jobs thing. I mean, I guess this is what is inevitable when near the golden boy of North America. I mean, he looks so good in contrast in Canada looks so good in contrast to so many people that this sort of thing is going to take some of the gloss off them. No matter what. And if he's wobbling in Quebec isn't Quebec, his maybe she can tell me that Quebec is his sort of home stomping ground is it not shoshee coming on Georgian yet. He's the a he is the MP for a riding in the province of Quebec the opportunity for the liberal party, which is a centrist center left party in Canada. Is that the other traditional strong parties in that province are collapsing politically, and so there is a major opportunity for the liberals to make gains. That's why this becomes so politically important in an election year, George come in with a thought, maybe about his image. I suppose. Pose as well because you know, around the world, those who are of his mindset look to him a some sort of figure two followed. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, liberals people that don't like Donald Trump internationalised see Justin Trudeau, but like Macron's savior, the Liberal International order, so we're all reaching home from the other side of the Atlantic as we've just been hearing. He's been discovering that politics can be a murky business and Shashi mentioned Tony Blair with. I think there is a comparison there because Tony Blair wrote in to politics to clean things up. They've been sleaze scandals and all the rest of he was going to clean things up. I'm pretty soon he found that doing politics, particularly when you get into the question of overseas contracts, domestic companies operating with regimes around the world who are dodgy to say, the least gets you into difficult trade offs between ethics and jobs, and Tony Blair for himself saying that he was a pretty straight kind of guy which sounds a bit. Like, we might be getting to the same so Turkey with Trudeau just a quick question for what? To what extent this is actually cutting through with the public because I just wonder whether people might be a bit alarmed about what's going on. But by suck their teeth and vote in any events in the elections later this year. Well, that may ultimately be the cases as we all know seven months is a lifetime in politics and most voters don't really get engaged right until the campaign. But if I may let me just explain and further underscore, why this has been such a problem for this particular, prime minister, most people most people are in your to some amount of reprobate sort of dodgy behavior on part of politicians and goodness knows what happens in the back rooms this in and of itself isn't necessarily shocking to Canadians, but the problem for Mr. Trudeau is he so very carefully styled himself in an image of number one, a squeaky clean politician that inspired young people new voters first time voters non voters to come to the polls because he was going to be a different kind of politician who acted with integrity and transparency. And would be pure than the pure and set an expectation for himself that he is not lived up to the other piece of it is the gender piece of it. So you have two very powerful female cabinet ministers. And you may remember our listeners may remember a he made a big meal in two thousand fifteen appointing gender-balanced cabinet and has maintained a gender-balanced cabinet to this point and said I want to put women forward..