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Canada How contending with Trump might help Trudeau move past the India debacle

12:01  08 march  2018
12:01  08 march  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Thomas Walkom: Justin Trudeau’s India trip accomplished its objective

  Thomas Walkom: Justin Trudeau’s India trip accomplished its objective Thomas Walkom: Justin Trudeau’s India trip accomplished its objectivePrime Minister Justin Trudeau’s state visit to India has been labelled a total disaster. It wasn’t.

But if things seem to get out of hand with the Trump administration, he might only confirm the doubts that were raised by that debacle . Liberals lose their lead in the polls after Trudeau 's India trip. Canada considering targeted response if U.S. moves ahead with new tariffs.

The prime minister who went to India and made some questionable wardrobe decisions is the same prime minister whose government has been commended for its The phoney war over carbon pricing might finally be coming to an end. Trudeau government should help those hit by Trump tax: MPs.

Justin Trudeau wearing a suit and tie: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in New Delhi, India on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.© Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in New Delhi, India on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.

The prime minister who went to India and made some questionable wardrobe decisions is the same Justin Trudeau whose government has been getting good reviews (so far) for its handling of Donald Trump.

And that suggests a potential source of political redemption — or possibly even greater peril — for a suddenly vulnerable PM whose country is bracing for the fallout from an unpredictable president's latest fit of pique.

To understand why Trudeau's eight days in India may represent his government's lowest point to date, it might be useful to look back at a memo drafted by the prime minister's advisers earlier this year to explain why his communications and tour staff would soon be reporting to a single manager.

Trudeau stands by official about India trip

  Trudeau stands by official about India trip OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau is standing by a senior government official who suggested factions within the Indian government were involved in sabotaging the prime minister's visit to India last week. But he's nevertheless accepted the offer of Liberal backbencher Randeep Sarai, who's taken responsibility for inviting an attempted murderer to events with the prime minister in India, to resign as the chair of the party's Pacific caucus. During his first But he's nevertheless accepted the offer of Liberal backbencher Randeep Sarai, who's taken responsibility for inviting an attempted murderer to events with the prime minister in India, to resign as the chair of the party's Pacific caucus.

The prime minister who went to India and made some questionable wardrobe decisions is the same prime minister whose government has been commended for its handling (so far) of Donald Trump . That suggests a source of political redemption – or greater peril – for a suddenly vulnerable Justin Trudeau .

The campaign to contend with Trump . That effort looked to be what other Trudeau government If he handles the Trump file well, memories of India might fade. But if things seem to get out of hand with the Trump administration, he might only confirm the doubts that were raised by that debacle .

"This decision reflects the obvious reality that our communications and visual identity as a government are one and the same," Katie Telford and Gerald Butts, Trudeau's chief of staff and principal secretary, wrote to staff in January. "To put it a different way, as [director of research and advertising] Dan Arnold might say, 'pics or it didn't happen.' "

In the case of India, the "pics" turned out to be of Sophie Gregoire posing with a man convicted of the attempted murder of a former Indian cabinet minister, and of the prime minister himself ostentatiously outfitted in traditional attire .

Journalists and opposition politicians have been asking hard questions about Jaspal Atwal's appearance beside the PM's wife at an event in Mumbai, and a Trudeau government official's subsequent suggestion that Indian officials were somehow complicit in Atwal's invitation.

Liberal MP apologizes for inviting convicted would-be assassin to Trudeau's India receptions

  Liberal MP apologizes for inviting convicted would-be assassin to Trudeau's India receptions The Liberal MP who invited a man convicted of attempted murder to dine with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his trip to India has apologized and resigned from his party's Pacific Caucus. Backbencher Randeep Sarai, the member for Surrey Centre, had claimed responsibility last week for inviting Jaspal Atwal to a pair of high-level receptions on the trip that ended last weekend.

The prime minister who went to India and made some questionable wardrobe decisions is the same prime minister whose government has been commended for its handling (so far) of Donald Trump . That suggests a source of political redemption – or greater peril – for a suddenly vulnerable Justin Trudeau .

CBC News 9d ago. Trudeau 's image took a hit in India , but he could redeem himself dealing with Trump 's tariff threats. cbc.ca/1.4565696 @AaronWherry.

But this is mostly about the clothes, isn't it?

a group of people posing for the camera: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, daughter Ella-Grace and son Xavier visit Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad on February 19, 2018.© Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, daughter Ella-Grace and son Xavier visit Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad on February 19, 2018.

Trudeau's image takes a hit

According to Abacus Data, the percentage of Canadians who believe Trudeau is doing a "poor" job of representing Canada internationally has jumped 16 points since last fall. That surely has something to do with the fact that the "visual identity" of Trudeau recently became tarnished by claims that he looked silly and self-indulgent while representing Canada in India.

For as long as Trudeau has been around politics, he has been asked to demonstrate that he is a sufficiently serious person for high office. And even if he seemed to answer that question in 2015, Conservatives have never really let it go.

So, days after he returned to Canada, Conservatives were noticeably excited to see him stumbling through a comment on steel exports during a news conference. A clip of Trudeau's response was pushed out with the comment "Our Prime Minister!" and pinned to the top of the Conservative Party's Twitter page.

India denies any role in Atwal controversy

  India denies any role in Atwal controversy India's Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement Wednesday saying the Indian government had no role in an incident in which an attempted murderer was invited to a pair of events Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended during his visit to India last week. © Provided by thecanadianpress.comJaspal Atwal — a B.C. Sikh convicted of trying to kill an Indian cabinet minister in 1986 — attended a reception in Mumbai but Trudeau's office said a later invitation to a party in New Delhi was revoked as soon as his name was spotted on the guest list.

The prime minister who went to India and made some questionable wardrobe decisions is the same Justin Trudeau whose government has been getting good reviews (so far) for its handling of Donald Trump .

How contending with Trump might help Trudeau move past the India debacle . Trump to give NAFTA talks a 'good, strong shot' after Trudeau warns of withdrawal risks. April 27, 2017. Can't hack it in high altitudes?

Coming so soon after India, that incident may have seemed more significant than it really was. But the Conservatives also were sowing doubt over something that has been seen as a strength of Trudeau's government: its massive effort to plan for, and around, U.S. President Donald Trump and the renegotiation of NAFTA.

The campaign to contend with Trump

That effort looked to be what other Trudeau government initiatives often haven't been: comprehensive, communicative and nimble, paying attention to the details and leaving nothing to chance. The president was gifted with a framed photo , the First Daughter was taken to a Broadway play , Trudeau spoke at the Ronald Reagan presidential library and governors, cabinet secretaries and congressmen have been chatted up incessantly by a procession of ministers, MPs and premiers.

All of that effort was intended to establish relationships and remind power-brokers that open commerce between Canada and the United States benefits both countries. Ideally, that would help get the NAFTA talks to a mutually acceptable conclusion. In the worst case, it might at least insulate the government from the claim that it didn't do all it could to avert trouble.

Has Trudeau reached a tipping point? A new poll shows his support slipping.

  Has Trudeau reached a tipping point? A new poll shows his support slipping. An Abacus Data survey finds the PM’s popularity and Liberal support dipping, with the blame falling squarely on the disastrous trip to IndiaIn the latest edition of Abacus Data’s regular survey, 36 per cent of committed voters said they’d mark the box beside by their local Liberal candidate if e-day were tomorrow, down three percentage points from January. And the prime minister’s personal popularity has fallen even further, with his positive and negative ratings within the margin of error for the first time since the 2015 election that swept him into office.

Analysis. How contending with Trump might help Trudeau move past the India debacle . Last night, Trudeau spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and also discussed the steel and aluminum tariff issue. India trip do-over?

How contending with Trump might help Trudeau move past the India debacle . Trump to give NAFTA talks a 'good, strong shot' after Trudeau warns of withdrawal risks. April 27, 2017. Can't hack it in high altitudes?

Perhaps some of that time and energy should've been redirected toward thinking harder about Trudeau's wardrobe in India, but the diplomatic effort in the U.S. at least suggests this government knows it will be judged on how well it guides this country through the hurricane of Trump.

Signals out of Washington D.C. Wednesday night suggested the Trump administration isn't planning to immediately impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada. If that turns out to be true, the Trudeau government will have grounds to claim a victory.

If, instead, the president decides to push the U.S. into a trade war with its " very smooth " neighbour to the north, Trudeau will be judged on how his government responds — whether it's with calm resolve, retribution or some combination of the two.

But whatever happens with those tariffs, it will be more consequential than Trudeau's choice of formal wear while abroad. If he handles the Trump file well, memories of India might fade.

But if things seem to get out of hand with the Trump administration, he might only confirm the doubts that were raised by that debacle.

Trudeau is planning to visit steel and aluminum workers in three provinces next week. And if he has any doubts about dressing appropriately for this tour, all he really has to do is just roll up his shirt sleeves.


Terrorism is never the answer: Singh .
Terrorism is never the answer: SinghIn a statement posted to the NDP website, Singh is defending his decision to attend a June 2015 rally in California — an event billed as a commemoration to the 10,000 Sikhs who died during an invasion of the Golden Temple in 1984, but which also became a show of support for Sikh separatism.

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