To crib a thought from Justin Trudeau’s late father, the universe did unfold, but not quite in the way it was designed for his son over the weekend.
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?" – Robert Browning.
That may be a viable proposition in poetry, Mr. Browning, but it does not work in politics, where a reach that exceeds one’s grasp means expectations have been created but left unfulfilled.
Just ask Justin Trudeau. Unfulfilled expectations are his Achilles’ heel as he struggles to raise the Liberal government out of its midterm slump.
Caroline Mulroney has a bright political future. She may be premier of Ontario one day, if such remains her ambition. But now is not her moment.
Her name was the first out of the mouths of television pundits in the hours following the stunning demise last week of Patrick Brown as the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives – the man oddsmakers were touting to win the provincial election in June. But Brown is gone, his career ruined by exposure of his alleged penchant for inebriated teenage girls.
John Diefenbaker waggled his finger sternly across the aisle as he instructed the Liberal government of the day in 1968: “It is a long road that has no ash cans.”
While the provenance of Dief’s metaphor is obscure, his warning was clear. You think you know what you are doing, but don’t get so full of yourself, so convinced of the rightness of your course that you do not see the obstacles littering the road ahead.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his present-day Liberals must surely understand the Chief’s message. Their 2017 has been full of ash cans.
Back in the mists of time, a half-century ago, there was a majority Liberal government that went though the same sort of mid-term pain that Justin Trudeau’s government is experiencing today, as its poll numbers slide, ministers stumble, key policies unravel and the opposition, smelling blood, circles impatiently.