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Or is he a coercive progressive?

TROY MEDIA VIEWPOINT: Justin Trudeau is a controversial figure when it comes to his political ideology. In fact, I am not sure if he even has one.

While many have labelled him progressive, some argue he is merely a “coercive progressive.” In this commentary, I will examine the arguments for and against Trudeau being a true progressive or whether his policies and actions can be considered coercive.

First, there is a need to define the terms progressive and coercive progressive.

Progressivism is a political philosophy and movement that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States and has since spread to other parts of the world. At its core, progressivism is a belief in the power of government to enact positive social change and promote the common good.

Freedom free speech authoritarian progressive

Photo by Markus Spiske

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The main goals of progressivism include improving the lives of ordinary people, reducing inequality and injustice, and promoting social and economic equality. This often involves advocating for government intervention in areas such as healthcare, education, labour rights, and environmental protection. Progressives also tend to prioritize individual rights and freedoms, including the right to vote, the right to a fair trial, and freedom of speech and expression.

Coercive progressivism, on the other hand, is a term used to describe the idea of using force or coercion to push an agenda deemed progressive. This idea is not limited to any particular ideology or political leaning but is instead a mindset that can be found across the political spectrum. Coercive progressivism seeks to impose its views on others, often at the expense of personal liberty and freedom. It is, in other words, the antithesis of progressivism.

The impact of coercive progressivism on society can be significant. When a group of people tries to impose its beliefs on others, it creates a divide between those who agree with the ideology and those who do not. This divide can lead to conflict and can be detrimental to the fabric of society. Coercive progressivism can also lead to the suppression of dissenting voices, which can stifle healthy debate and discussion.

Now, back to Trudeau. One of the main arguments for his being a progressive leader is his apparent support for social justice issues such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and multiculturalism. He has made a point of appointing a diverse cabinet, including the first Indigenous Attorney General in Canadian history (although he later fired her for not toeing the line), and has implemented policies aimed at improving the lives of marginalized groups. For example, his government has introduced legislation to protect transgender Canadians from discrimination, and has made significant investments in affordable housing and child care.

However, I would argue that his progressivism is superficial, and that he has failed to follow through on many of his promises. For example, his government has faced criticism for not doing enough to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and for failing to adequately fund Indigenous education and healthcare. Similarly, while he has talked about the importance of combatting climate change, his government has continued to support the expansion of oil pipelines, a move that has been widely criticized by environmentalists.

Moreover, some have argued that Trudeau’s progressivism is overshadowed by his authoritarian tendencies. In particular, his government has been criticized for its handling of protests against pipelines and other resource development projects.

Trudeau has also been accused of silencing dissent and limiting Canadians’ freedom of expression. For example, his government passed a controversial law that criminalized the promotion of “hate propaganda” on the internet, a move that civil liberties groups criticized as an attack on free speech. Similarly, his government has been accused of using its power to shut down protests and silence critics, including journalists and ordinary Canadians.

So, is Justin Trudeau a progressive leader, or a coercive one? While there is no doubt that he has implemented policies that promote social justice and equality, there are also legitimate concerns about his commitment to these issues and his authoritarian tendencies.

Ultimately, it is up to Canadians to decide whether they believe Trudeau is a true progressive or a leader willing to compromise on his principles to maintain power.

I, for one, have no doubt as to the answer.

The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are theirs alone and do not inherently or expressly reflect the views of our publication.

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Troy Media is an editorial content provider to media outlets and its own hosted community news outlets across Canada.