Citizen Action Monitor

Removal of Wilson-Raybould, Philpott reveals Trudeau’s crippling flaw, inability to be self-critical, self-aware

PM’s self-confirming bias and misguided moral judgement are a reflection of an unexceptional intellect.

No 2454 Posted by fw, April 3, 2019

My post of December 14, 2018, titled PM Trudeau displays inability to be self-critical, self-aware in CBC News interview was prompted by a December 9, CBC, televised interview, featuring anchor Rosemary Barton interviewing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Towards the end of the interview Barton asked the PM “Do you practice what you preach?” Who would have guessed that this exchange between Barton and Trudeau – lasting 5+ minutes – would turn out to be the most negatively revealing one about the PM.

Trudeau characterized himself as “standing up for the truth,” and for being “irritated when people play fast and loose with the truth or ignore the facts.” However, if one carefully analyzes his answers to Barton’s questions during this brief segment, there is abundant evidence that Trudeau clearly does NOT practice what he preaches.

As I wrote at the time:

Did Rosemary Barton really think she could get the PM to see himself as others may see him? As evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers explains, self-deception “plays a significant part in human behavior. … One deceives oneself to trust something that is not true as to better convince others of that truth. When a person convinces himself of this untrue thing, they better mask the signs of deception.”

We all deceive ourselves. Why should PM Trudeau be any different? Clearly, he has a self-confirming bias. As he said in this part of the interview, he sees himself as “extremely passionate about standing up for what I believe to be the truth and believe in my values.”

Given his cognitive self-confirming bias, and self-deception, Trudeau is inclined to believe those versions of the truth and values that correspond with his own. Whether unconsciously or wilfully, the PM seemingly manages to insulate himself from opposing viewpoints. In other words, he’s just like most of us — with one significant difference — the PM’s self-deception and self-serving bias can have long-lasting, negative consequences.

In addition to the Barton interview, one need only review a sample of past articles critical of Trudeau and his government to find a treasure trove chronicling broken promises, lies, question-dodging, blaming, ignorance, fudging the facts, and much, much more. (See, for example, my post of May 23, 2018, titled: 79 articles expose risks of trusting Ottawa’s handling of the economy/environment/climate file.)


But judge for yourself. Watch this short, Canadian Press video clip of Trudeau explaining why he decided to remove Ms Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Philpott from the Liberal caucus and the Liberal Party, and ask “Is this not a man trapped in self-confirming bias and misguided moral judgement?

My transcript of the PM’s comments appear below the video.

Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould, Philpott no longer Liberal caucus members (1:22-minutes)


When we were elected in 2015 we won because we stood together as a team, which was, to be frank, a change from past iterations of this party. The old Liberal Party was notorious for infighting. People on the same team used to identify themselves not a Liberals but as hyphenated Liberals. My leadership was a commitment to change that. Civil wars within parties are incredibly damaging because they signal to Canadians that we care more about ourselves than we do about them. That’s why I made the difficult decision to remove Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Philpott from the Liberal caucus. We’ve taken every effort to address their concerns. But ultimately, if they can’t honestly say that they have confidence in this team, despite weeks of testimony, face-to-face conversations and phone calls with myself and other members of caucus then they cannot be part of this team.


Andrew Coyne’s article about Trudeau’s removal from caucus

Finally, here is an excerpt of the final two paragraphs of an excellent article by Andrew Coyne that appeared in today’s edition of the National Post. Coyne’s account is well worth reading, and it includes SEE ALSO links to related articles.  By the way, at last count, his piece had received 982 comments.

“It is often said that the coverup is worse than the crime. Worse than a coverup, however, is the kind of open attempt to confuse the issue we have been witnessing. Since his initial, lawyerly non-denial, the prime minister has not much bothered to pretend he did not do what he is accused of — he merely insists there was nothing wrong with it. The object: to corrupt, not just the administration of justice, but our collective sense of right and wrong.

Still, it’s hard to see what is accomplished by this latest bout of thuggery — not only expelling Wilson-Raybould and Philpott, but revoking their nominations. It seems to be motivated by little more than sheer delight in retribution: vindictiveness for vindictiveness’s sake. And yet they are not one whit diminished by it; only the prime minister is.”

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