Why I Can’t Trust Canada’s Federal Liberals and Neither Should You, Advocate, 14/02/2015

Since the news broke early last week, I’ve had my eye on Eve Adams’ switch to the Liberal party and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s announcement that she’ll run in Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s district in north Toronto, the Eglinton-Lawrence riding.* This is a post of purely political analysis and speculation, one relatively intelligent Canadian thinking out loud on the internet about the parties jockeying for control of the country in this Fall’s federal election.

* Just to warn you all, this post is heavy on Canadian politics. It’s also heavy on anger. After it goes live, I’m meeting my girlfriend for a whimsical day of shopping and watching Star Trek on Netflix. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Eve Adams, Canada's latest example of barely
competent political corruption.
Now, if I was in Trudeau’s position, I’d be an entirely different human being. But speaking from my observer’s position, Adams doesn’t appear to be a trustworthy person in any significant way. She and her partner Dimitri Soudas have been Conservative party members and activists all their lives. Now they've had their club membership torn up. For someone who has devoted literally her entire lifetime to a political party, to have left it for their historic, moral political enemy, the Liberal party, must have meant something very serious had happened.

Or maybe not. The press conference where Adams and Trudeau announced her party switch was filled with so many hollow platitudes, it practically echoed. Adams had lately been trying to parachute herself into a different riding association for this year’s election, because her current riding, Mississauga-Brampton South, was going to shrink in a redistricting to deal with population changes. 

Since she lives in Oakville, she tried to get the Conservative riding association for the Oakville-North Burlington district to make her its candidate instead of running in the shrunken riding. She made a fool of herself by barging into its nominating meeting and attempting to railroad herself in as a candidate. She repeatedly interrupted other speakers during the meeting and essentially tried to filibuster it. I don’t really need to say that it wasn’t very effective. 

Perhaps more critically, Adams has faced substantiated accusations that her campaign for the nomination paid people to join the Conservative party in exchange for their support. 

It also seems that Soudas abused his position as executive director of the federal Conservative party to smooth Adams’ way to the 2015 nomination. The exact details of what he did never came fully to light, but this is what got him fired from one of the top staff positions in Canada’s ruling political party. He even said in a CBC interview during the thick of her nomination fight, “I’ll breach any contract that says I can’t help my family.”

No one believes a word you say when everyone who
cares believes that you're a liar.
It sounds like an admirable position of loyalty to the people closest to you, but in this case, it amounted to abandoning basic moral norms about conflict of interest when it comes to the procedures to ensure transparency and fairness in the collective decision process of who gets to become part of the national legislature. He was effectively justifying political corruption as an expression of familial love and loyalty. 

After a year of ridiculous and corrupt dealings of Adams and Soudas to secure her nomination, Stephen Harper eventually put his foot down. Adams was becoming a laughing stock and a humiliation, Soudas could no longer be trusted; they were liabilities. Harper made a decree: Adams would never be a Conservative party candidate at the federal level again.

So she became a Liberal one, running against the popular Joe Oliver in northern Toronto. 

With all these allegations of corrupt behaviour, it makes little sense as to why Justin Trudeau, or anyone in the Liberal party, would trust Adams to join them in an election year. Mind you, she certainly found it easy to secure a candidacy, Trudeau parachuting her into the Eglinton-Lawrence Liberal riding association by a decree of his own.

While Trudeau himself will likely never talk to Soudas, Liberal party organizers will, picking his brain for everything he ever experienced working in the upper echelons of the Conservative party, and Stephen Harper’s inner circle. He’s an intelligence gold mine. It makes perfect sense to do so.

But Eve Adams and Dimitri Soudas are only Liberals by name. The fact that Trudeau, despite his stances on abortion, marijuana legalization, and a host of other social issues, can so easily accept a lifelong right-winger like Adams into his party is a sign that the Liberal party has not changed after its humiliating four years as the third-place party in Canada’s parliament for the first time in its history.

The Liberal party, since the days of its first real super-operative, C. D. Howe, has prioritized power over ideology. Avoiding ideological thinking is fine, but you’re supposed to prioritize value, social and personal ethics. Pursuing power for power’s sake is inherently authoritarian, and doing so in a democratic electoral framework doesn’t block that. 

And yet so many still believe that he has virtue.
Eve Adams wanted to run in a safe Conservative seat so she could stay in power in Canada’s parliament. She pursued such corrupt means to do so that even Stephen Harper thought her too much of a liability, so cut her off. Now she gets to run in one of the safest Conservative seats in the country. As a Liberal.

Trudeau accepted Adams into the party and gave her a seat that she’ll likely lose because he wanted the intelligence of she and Soudas to build their strategy against Harper and the Conservatives. And he’ll probably get enough actionable intelligence to beat them. I almost want to see Soudas’ conversations with the 2010s’ Howes, just because I love that kind of intensity.

But Adams will always be small fry in politics. Everyone who looks into her background over the last four years will see how corrupt she is. She can’t wash the stink of blind, selfish ambition off herself anymore. It’s the same with her fiancé Soudas. The best political snakes are so utterly ambitious and power hungry, they’ll abandon any political ideals for power and the information that will let them win it, while still appearing as a true statesman.

Justin Trudeau, ladies and gentlemen.

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