If Vladimir Putin didn't convince you that good pecs and hair do not qualify you to govern, I give you Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime ministerial princeling whose years in office have proven that there is no policy so progressive that he will not back it -- provided he never has to do anything to make it happen.
This was obvious even before Trudeau was elected prime minister in 2015, when he whipped his MPs to vote in favour of a made-in-Canada version of the USA PATRIOT spying bill that he'd spoken out against, publicly admitting that he was abdicating his duty as leader of the loyal opposition and supporting a mass surveillance bill to avoid having "soft on terror" thrown at him during the upcoming election.
Trudeau promised that he would reform the spying powers once he was PM, but he did no such thing. In this regard, Trudeau is indeed Canada's Obama: as a senator, Obama voted to immunize the telcos for their participation in illegal mass surveillance, promising he would still hold the NSA itself to account when he became president, but then he spent eight years expanding NSA spying powers and fighting those who sought to subject America's spies to Constitutional limits and democratic oversight.
With one significant exception, the entire Trudeau administration has been a litany of broken promises: on trade (and NAFTA; on indigenous reconciliation and missing and murdered indigenous women; on selling arms to brutal dictatorships; on rooting out corruption and depoliticising the justice system; and even on refugees.
But if there is one betrayal that has defined the Trudeau regime, its his toxic, deadly capitulations on tar sands and climate change. Trudeau rode into office as the alternative to the Harper Tories, whose hydrocarbon-addicted billionaire backers helped turn Canada into one of the world's leading climate criminals, responsible for exporting the filthiest, most polluting oil on earth, a nation where the science on climate change was literally burned.
But shortly after taking office, Trudeau publicly vowed to burn every drop of oil in the tar sands
Then, even as US investors were pulling out of the pipeline projects that were needed to effect this act of wanton planeticide, Trudeau bailed out the pipeline, nationalising it with billions of taxpayer dollars and then (literally) bulldozing over the sovereign indigenous land-claims that stood in the way of getting that filthy oil to global markets.
Now, Trudeau is standing for election, and his chickens are coming home to roost. There is every chance that he will lose the election to the Tories, whose five years in the wilderness have seen the party transformed from a planet-torching, science-denying front for oligarchs into a planet-torching, science-denying, oligarch-fronting white nationalist party.
Trudeau is so desperate to convince people that good looks and a willingness to at least say the right thing is a sufficient basis for holding your nose and voting Liberal that he appeared on Hasan Minhaj's amazing HBO show Patriot Act, where Minhaj spoke truth to power in the tradition of Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert and the rest of the Daily Show cohort, but even moreso, refusing to let Trudeau weasel and charm his way out of the hard questions raised by his catastrophic term in office.
It's must-watch TV, especially for Americans who harbour romantic notions about Canada as a utopian wonderland. If you've wondered how such a smart, adorable little people as we can be awful enough to elect disgusting grifters to high office, over and over again, look to Trudeau and his band of triangulating, Clinotonian bumblers, who never met a principle that was more important that pragmatism.