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Bill Kelly: Unforced errors can be deadly to a minority government

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference, Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in Ottawa.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference, Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

In the glory days of Rome, victorious generals were accorded a welcoming parade through the streets of the city.

As that general drank in the adulation of the thousands of citizens who lined the streets for the triumphal parade, it is said that a second passenger in that chariot who would whisper in the ear of general to remind him that he was only a man, and despite the adoring crowds, he should not think of himself as anything more, such as divine — or as we might say today, above the law.

We’ve long since given up any hope that such sage advice is given and heeded by the American president, but who, if anyone, is imparting that germane message to our prime minister?

Commentary: Canadians deserve answers on Prime Minister Trudeau’s ties to WE Charity

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Justin Trudeau is a pretty smart guy who has, by most accounts, done a masterful job of addressing the concerns and impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

But the WE Charity fiasco is the third time in the last few years that Trudeau appears to have breached the ethics code of parliamentary behaviour.

Who is the voice who asks, before a cabinet meeting adjourns, how is this going to be perceived by Canadians from coast to coast?

Read more: Recall ethics committee to probe Trudeau family’s WE Charity ties — opposition

Any government, and especially a minority government, should take that into consideration.

Recent polling suggests that the majority of Canadians are supportive of how the prime minister is stickhandling around contentious issues like COVID-19 and the economy.

But he should know that, if unforced errors continue, public support can evaporate pretty quickly.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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