Bernadette Jordan couldn’t have asked for a better audience last night in Beach Meadows.
Queens County’s Member of Parliament held a well-publicized town hall at the Seaside Centre. Only 20 people showed up — and not one of them voiced a serious complaint about the Trudeau government.
Talk about a smooth ride.
It’s not as if the rookie MP controlled the agenda for the meeting. On the contrary, she crowdsourced the topics for discussion from the audience. Jordan was game to discuss any federal issue people wanted to tackle.
So where were all the keyboard commandos who relentlessly skewer the federal Liberals on Facebook? Where were the environmental advocates concerned about the Trans Mountain pipeline? Where were the fiscal conservatives worried about taxes, deficit and debt? Where were the people upset with the government’s numerous broken promises?
None of these people were at the Seaside Centre last night. Or, if they were, they did a good job hiding their displeasure with the current state of affairs in Ottawa.
The Beach Meadows town hall was the 32nd one Jordan has held since taking office. That’s worth noting and commending. Our MP isn’t popping her head up just because an election is on the horizon. She’s been making herself available to critics ever since she was elected.
But for some reason those critics refuse to show up and be counted. I guess it’s easier to blast away on social media even if online comments, more often than not, get buried in the digital morass.
Most people at the town hall were content to visibly agree with Jordan, nodding their heads at the appropriate moments. I give credit to the two or three who had the ounce of courage needed to suggest there might be room — just a tiny bit of room — for improvement.
An example of this came when someone mentioned Canada’s diplomatic kerfuffle with Saudi Arabia. One of the audience members told Jordan it seemed “odd” the Trudeau government was chastising the Arab country on human rights after approving a $15 billion arms deal with it in 2016. (He didn’t say it was “wrong” of course; just “odd”.)
Bold though he was, the audience member didn’t remind Jordan the majority of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudia Arabia. He didn’t point out that 9/11 led to Canadian participation in a bloody war in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of 159 service personnel and left many more wounded. Nor did he mention that Saudi Arabia, with American backing and weaponry, is currently slaughtering innocent civilians in Yemen. I guess outlining these facts would have been considered rude under the circumstances.
When the town hall began, Jordan informed the audience it was fine to disagree with her as long as people weren’t “disagreeable” in making their points. She could have easily dispensed with these instructions, as no one disagreed with a word she said.
Perhaps that, in itself, would have been too disagreeable.