The other day I was chatting with a retired rodeo cowboy friend, boasting about how I had walked a minimum of ten kilometers a day during my recent holiday.
He gave me a point blank look, completely unimpressed, and responded, “Walking is for when your car breaks down or your horse drops dead.”
While I thought walking at least ten kilometers a day was an impressive achievement, my friend did not seem to agree. And so it is in the political arena, where tactics are utilized that do not always impress the Canadian public.
Years ago Austrian psychologist, Sigmund Freud, developed the theory of psychological projection. During his sessions with patients, Freud noticed that they would sometimes accuse others of the same misdeeds they had done. A classic example would be a woman who had been unfaithful to her husband, accusing her husband of cheating on her.
Karl Marx, who had studied law and philosophy, said, “Accuse your enemy of what you are doing, as you are doing it, to create confusion.”
Unfortunately, this is a tactic we see frequently in the political arena. One political figure accuses his/her opponent of what they’re guilty of, and puts their own people in charge of the investigation. The media usually adds to the confusion by diverting attention to the newly accused party. Meanwhile, the opponent has to go through the lengthy process of proving they aren’t guilty, but by the time they have proved their innocence, the guilty party has had time to destroy all the evidence against themselves, the public has become confused, and the original accusation is long forgotten.
Sound familiar? It should, because Andrew Scheer’s March 29 statement, in part, accused the prime minister of political interference, of lying to Canadians and of corrupt conduct in relation to the SNC-Lavalin criminal proceedings. But, instead of being transparent regarding the SNC-Lavalin case, Prime Minister Trudeau threatened to sue his opponent. Here’s what the Prime Minister has said:
“We are going to have an election in the coming months, and you can’t be inventing things. You can’t be lying to Canadians, and I think highlighting that there are consequences, short-term and long-term, when politicians choose to twist the truth and distort reality for Canadians. It’s not something we’re going to put up with.”
“What we have, right here, is a political party that does not want to talk about the economy, that does not want to talk about the budget, that does not want to talk about climate change, that just wants to play politics and attack us.”
Both Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx would be impressed with this prime example of the use of psychological projection. But much like my retired rodeo friend, who was not impressed with my daily 10 km walk, Canadians are not impressed with our Prime Minister’s use of psychological tactics to divert attention away from the evidence against him. Not only evidence in the SNC-Lavalin proceedings, but glaring evidence of extreme Canadian debt and a carbon tax that is more of a problem than a solution. The use of psychological projection won’t be able to divert attention away from any of those issues.
It might be good to refresh our memories about the definition of responsible government: it refers to a government that is responsible to the people of Canada. Unfortunately, the use of psychological projection is not a characteristic of responsible government.
I’ll conclude with two quotes which I found interesting. The first is by Ronald Reagan, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
The second quote is by a British author, “Being adequately informed is a democratic duty, just as the vote is a democratic right. A misinformed electorate, voting without knowledge, is not a true democracy.”
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