As much as I would like it to be otherwise, I really think that any optimism that the Liberal government would be significantly different from the Harper government on some of the most substantive issues, has turned out to be misplaced. I understand why a number of progressives are having a hard time letting go of their hope for Trudeau, but that hope is beginning to look increasingly naive. There is no doubt that Trudeau brought a different tone to government, and on foreign policy, though he has yet to face a significant test, he certainly seems like an improvement on Harper in a number of ways. However, on healthcare, energy and the environment, native issues (and this a particularly painful one to face), and on the neo-liberal trade approach, Trudeau is really so close to Harper that there is little to choose between them.
Here are some interesting stories concerning this difficult dilemma -
On the Economy - Thomas Walkom has some interesting observations.
On Progressive politics - Tom Parkin has this to say.
On the Precariate - Bill Morneau (who is married into one of the richest families in Canada) tells the rest of us we just need to suck it up.
On Native issues - Dene Moore reminds us that indigenous leaders are already giving Trudeau a failing grade. And you can hear Murray Sinclair saying that Trudeau is breeching the "Indian residential schools" settlement.
These are just the articles I found in a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, to see a startling example of how the Liberals are mimiking the Conservative's arrogance and total lack of concern for real people's lives, we only have to look at what Liberal MP Nick Whalen had to say.
I know a few progressives are desperately trying to give Trudeau and the Liberals the benefit of the doubt. But in my experience, governments veer further away from their promises as time goes on, not closer. I think it is little short of folly to imagine that Trudeau isn't another neo-liberal who, despite his smiles and selfies, is quickly making it clear that three years from now, working-people, indigenous people, and the environment will be little or no better off than they would have been under the Conservatives. (Granted, of course, that the Conservatives might have gotten considerably worse if they had actually won another election)
I am willing to give kudos to Trudeau for steering us away from the racist rhetoric that the Cons were, and still are, spew. On the issue of democratic reform, we will just have to wait and see.