“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.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 27, 2019
“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.
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.)
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