It was a political showdown that revealed what we already know: Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s Conservatives can’t take a fair fight. Yesterday, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau convincingly defeated Harper-appointed Tory senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing bout here in Ottawa.
The Fight for the Cure match was broadcast live on the Conservative-cheering Sun News Network.
The eldest son of former PM Pierre Trudeau risked his reputation and embarrassment. For weeks, the media had speculated that he’d lose the fight. That he’d be injured. The senator from Maniwaki, Quebec, is a karate black belt. He has also served as a reservist in the Canadian Forces.
Then the upset. In the second and third rounds, Trudeau repeatedly exiled the senator to the corner with a series of intelligent blows.
You wouldn’t think this was the same Brazeau who’s served in the Canadian Armed Forces. The holder of a 2nd degree black belt in Karate.
But Trudeau’s furious fists were the fists of a protester too. Trudeau wore the KATIMAVIK logo on his shoulder. An obvious political statement. The Conservatives announced in the 2012 federal budget that they would cut funding to dozens of community groups and essential services. The KATIMAVIK, a program that helps “young Canadians with the opportunity to volunteer in community development initiatives across the country and develop valuable, transferable employment skills”, is one of the victims.
And yet, we should have seen Trudeau’s victory coming. He heralded it when he entered the ring accompanied by K’naan’s hit song, “Waving Flag“.
Brazeau faces further humiliation when the fighters return to Parliament Hill tomorrow. Before the contest, they made a side bet that the loser would shave their locks. The Tory senator will now have his locks chopped off in the foyer of the House of Commons. Historically, First Nations warriors cut their hair as a sign of shame.
As if that wasn’t enough, Brazeau will also be forced to wear a Liberal jersey for a week.
Brazeau has challenged Trudeau to a rematch. I don’t think so. The half-closeted “next Prime Minister of Canada” should focus on the bigger task ahead: defeating Harper.
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