In the wake of Justin Trudeau’s decision – and make no mistake, it was his decision – to pay $10.5 million to Omar Khadr, Canadians have erupted in righteous anger.
We can all feel it.
There is something different about the reaction to this decision than previous political scandals.
It’s not just distaste, or even a sense of government corruption.
It’s a sense of being sickened, enraged, and absolutely disgusted with those in power.
And it’s also something else: Across the land, the moral authority of the Trudeau government has been lost for millions and millions of Canadians, and that loss continues to spread.
I’m not just talking about those who usually oppose Trudeau.
It’s beyond that.
The level of anger we are seeing in this country shows that the Trudeau government has crossed a line, and there is no going back.
While we are governed by laws and systems, any law and system is only so powerful as our belief in it. When a critical mass of people in a society stop believing in a system or a law or a government, that system, law, or government begins to lose any power it may have had.
When this happens to a government, it manifests itself slowly at first. The leak of the Khadr payment is a clear example of that process getting underway. Trudeau wanted it fully hidden from Canadians, but someone within the government believed we had the right to know about it.
We can expect to see more of that as time goes on.
More and more people will disregard orders from the federal government in both obvious and subtle ways.
Provincial premiers will start pushing back more strongly.
More and more people will begin demanding more independence from a federal government they no longer trust or believe in.
Many millions of Canadians are surely asking ourselves, “why should I let the Trudeau government take my hard-earned money through taxes when they give Omar Khadr more money than I’ll earn in my entire life?”
We will start seeing the consequences of this loss of moral authority in countless ways over the next weeks and months.
This is not like other political scandals or disputes. A fundamental loss of authority has occurred, and that is a loss the Trudeau government cannot reverse.
Canadians will not forget the disgusting payment to Omar Khadr. And we will not forgive the Trudeau government for it.
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