...Air strikes and stripped citizenship were Stephen Harper’s policies. Trudeau campaigned against both of them. Having won, he still intends to reverse both policies.
He’s amply within his rights. Canada’s Prime Minister is no more obliged to emulate France’s president than he is to implement his own predecessor’s plans. But it’s a different proposition, isn’t it? The geometry of the situation has changed, now that Harper is no longer an unpopular prime minister against whom Trudeau can play the foil. And whatever happens in the wretched aftermath of the savage terrorist attacks in Paris, that new geometry will haunt Trudeau for some time to come.
Here’s the shift. When Harper was the prime minister of Canada and Trudeau was trying to rally the anti-Harper vote to the Liberal flag in a competitive race, “Stephen Harper” was almost always an excellent reason not to do something. This was most obvious in Trudeau’s speech to the Canada 2020 conference in Ottawa on Oct. 2, 2014, when he announced he wouldn’t support air strikes against ISIS.