Rex once called Pierre Trudeau the "greatest Canadian ever," but he has some choice words about the recent musings of his eldest son, Justin.

Read a transcript of this Rex Murphy episode

Justin Trudeau's Canada

Thursday, February 16, 2011

Justin Trudeau might want to recall he’s the member of a much-wounded third party. His recent addled musings betray a much more entitled vision, with the Tories as evil usurpers and Harper as a bogeyman worse even than the horror of separatism itself.

So when Justin speaks of looking at Canada in its current state and not seeing his Liberal values looking back at him (though why his should have such supremacy is oddly troubling) he shouldn’t blame Stephen Harper so much as the battered, rejected hulk the Liberal party has become. The great Red machine has become the Costa Concordia of Canadian politics.

Further when he goes on incontinently about the nightmare, I quote, of ‘Stephen Harper’s Canada, banning abortion and same sex marriage and... 10, 000 other things,' unquote, it’s worth asking, what movie is playing when only Justin is in the theatre?

Finally, when he puts that in the context of (quote) he ‘always says, if at a certain point, I believed that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper... maybe I would think about making Quebec a country.’ (end quote)

When we hear Justin Trudeau telling us when separatism is an option! I think we’ve left movieland altogether, and Canadians are spectators of an eerily private drama, in which Justin Trudeau is the author, the actor and the audience.

There’s a deep sense of special privilege and self-righteous fantasy playing through these remarks.

Essentially he’s saying: If Canada doesn’t conform to me and my values, why then Canada must be wrong, or have been taken over by ‘evil Harper forces.’

It really is difficult to believe the son of Pierre Trudeau, who saw separatism as absolute anathema, who fought it with every nerve and despised it that the son could find himself -- even in a rhetorical feint -- offering separatism as solace or escape.

In extenuation he suggested he has to say things in a bizarre, strange or provocative manner to get people to pay attention. Please!

Justin Trudeau twirling his pirate's mustache gets more attention than Johnny Depp twirling his. Brad Pitt eloping with Kate Middleton might knock him off the front page, but only if Paris Hilton was giving the bride away.

This country’s celebrity politician has the people’s attention whenever he wants it.

Two things: Canada is not Stephen Harper’s to maul. Canada is bigger, stronger and deeper than Stephen Harper. Here’s a shock – it’s bigger and stronger than Justin Trudeau as well. Bigger than all the politicians.

Secondly, and perhaps more to the point for the camera-caressing Justin: Canada is not your mirror. It is not meant to match the face looking into it.

If as you say you do – you look at Canada, and you do not see yourself in the values reflected there – then maybe the fault is not the mirror, but in the hand that’s holding it.

It is pure hubris to believe your values are the litmus of everyone else’s nationhood.

Finally, no one’s accusing Justin Trudeau in his first or third person, of being a separatist – except, well – carelessly, Justin Trudeau himself.

For The National, I’m Rex Murphy.