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“The Liberals have mastered the art of changeless change,” says Martin Lukacs in his Justin Trudeau’s Secret Playbook video. “It’s actually part of a calculated and dangerous strategy and the secret to Trudeau’s success.” He calls the playbook The Trudeau Formula.

The secret playbook behind Justin Trudeau’s success
Aug 24, 2021

The Trudeau Formula of Changeless Change

The Trudeau Formula is very much in evidence in the way the Liberals are handling the issue of climate change. They have mastered a tactic summed up by former Liberal advisor Warren Kinsella: “Find a parade, and get out in front of it.” Which is exactly what Justin Trudeau did on September 27, 2019 when he marched with thousands of Canadians asking their government—of which he is the leader—to be more ambitious and bold on climate.

“This is the Liberal trick to simulate “real change”: adopt the language and the symbolism of social movements, without doing anything to actually challenge the status quo,” says Lukacs.

The Trudeau Formula has six steps:

1. Strike a quiet bargain with the corporate elite: They’ll wink to the elite, and then pose as anti-establishment to the broader population.

2. Simulate transformative change: The Liberal trick to simulate “real change”: adopt the language and the symbolism of social movements, without doing anything to actually challenge the status quo.

3. Co-opt civil society: They disconnect leaders from civil society by recruiting them to the party or dangle funding in front of some groups to ensure they don’t rock the boat or shower others with attention and even personal rewards if they’re willing to take their organizations in Liberal-friendly directions.

The Liberals Have Mastered The Art of Changeless Change, Below2C

4. Cherry-pick a progressive agenda: To take the wind out of the sails of radical change, the Liberals cherry-pick elements of the progressive agenda, then usually water down the demands or endlessly delay their implementation.

5. Act as a trojan horse for corporate interests: While Liberals drag their heels on truly liberatory measures, they disguise their pro-corporate agenda as progressive and then smuggle it past unsuspecting voters.

6. Invoke the Conservative Bogeyman: When the shine wears off, Liberals deploy their electoral escape hatch: they demand voters back them “strategically” as the last defence against Conservatives. (Six steps sourced from The Breach)

The Climate Election

Half way through the current election campaign, climate is one of the top issues among Canadian voters.

In a personal email exchange, a climate colleague writes that “the Liberal [climate] plan is the best we can hope for in this election. O’Toole [and the Conservatives] will very cheerily build pipelines, criminalize anyone who objects, and scale back our Paris target—and by blowing up Article 4(3) [Nationally Determined Contributions] of the Paris Agreement, set a precedent for any other country to do the same.”

In many ways, climate voters must choose between the lesser of two evils—the Liberals or the Conservatives. And so, we are left with invoking point #6 of the Trudeau Formula—the Conservative bogeyman tactic.

The Liberal climate plan is far from perfect but as we head into another minority parliament—if the polls are right—we will have the power to push for more as we did during the Bill C-12 parliamentary review process leading up to the adoption of the Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.

(If you follow Canadian politics, The Trudeau Formula is a must-read.)

Election 2021 Is All About Climate
Canada: Climate Change and the Muddled “Moveable Middle”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Creative Commons License

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  1. To paraphrase, here is Nate Hagens take on climate change, which he argues is a symptom, not a cause of our predicament.
    Climate change poses huge risks for humanity and our planet; ironically, we are part of the problem. There are no direct ways of solving climate change given the rise of a gluttonous human superorganism expecting simplistic climate change goals aligned with economic growth.
    For last 50 years, global economic growth has created this voracious human superorganism hungry for more of everything. Citizens have come to believe that billionaires and politicians are in charge. The reality is that the superorganism dynamic driving growth is currently drowning out the wishes and plans of politicians and elites.
    We are now swept up in a perfect storm of challenges with no easy answers. Consequently, political discourse does not intersect with the real policies we are going to need. Seeking public support, politicians share with us popular promises, myths, that are disconnected from our biophysical reality.
    For those who hesitate to accept a disconnect between politics and reality, try to imagine these scenarios – leaders accepting the end of economic growth; deep cuts to energy and material use; denying limits of our biophysical reality; daring to tell citizens the truth.
    “The interventions that society will truly need cannot be voiced because the superorganism dynamic of simple goals aligned with growth stand between leaders and the public”

    To find abundant evidence of Hagens’ scenario, read the Liberal Platform.

    • Again you’ve hit the nail on the head Frank. The disconnect between politics and reality is on full display during the current election campaign. Each party promises to solve climate change, accelerate economic growth, daycare, cure mental illness, increase housing – the list is endless but the resources are not.


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