Justin Trudeau says he admires China – Is this his “Sarah Palin moment?”

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Wednesday November 6, 2013 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Conservatives have long been pushing the narrative that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is "in over his head" and doesn't have a good grasp of policy.

I think it's a good bet that they'll be using this story to help them reinforce that talking point.

According to Sun News' David Akin, at a Ladies Night event in Toronto, Trudeau was asked: "Which nation, besides Canada, which nation's administration do you most admire, and why?"

Here's is his odd response:

"You know, there's a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we need to go green fastest...we need to start investing in solar.' I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted that I find quite interesting.

But if I were to reach out and say which...which kind of administration I most admire, I think there's something to be said right here in Canada for the way our territories are run. Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are done without political parties around consensus. And are much more like a municipal government. And I think there's a lot to be said for people pulling together to try and solve issues rather than to score points off of each other. And I think we need a little more of that.

But Sun News can now report that I prefer China."

Trudeau was right: Sun News is reporting that he prefers China.

And so are others — lots of others.

In the House of Commons on Friday, Tory MP Paul Calandra said this in response to an unrelated question.

"[Trudeau] talked about admiring a dictatorship, Mr. Speaker," the prime minister's parliamentary secretary said.

"Let me get this straight. He's talked about policy, he supports the status-quo in the Senate, he supports dictatorship, he wants a carbon tax and wants to legalize marijuana."

The NDP followed up with a statement posted to their website. Here are some excerpts from that:

This isn't the first time Mr. Trudeau has expressed a soft spot for China's dictatorship.

Evan Solomon: But you don't think a state-owned enterprise from the Chinese government is any different that, as you say, a Scandinavian country?

Justin Trudeau: I think the concerns are going to be similar.
- CBC The House, December 1st, 2012

Mr. Trudeau believes the issues with state-owned companies from China, with its much weaker court system, are the same as dealing with state-owned companies from democracies like Norway.

Canadians deserve better.

While Justin Trudeau does his best to let out his inner Sarah Palin, and shows Canadians not to trust his instincts, Canadians know they can trust Tom Mulcair to hold Conservatives to account for their scandals and mismanagement.

[ Related: Is Justin Trudeau’s “Justin Unplugged” event sexist? ]

Many have also taken to Twitter to mock the Liberal leader.

And then the National Post's Andrew Coyne came back with another classic quip comparing Trudeau's response to another odd response.

Alas, Trudeau responded to the Twitter buzz with this response to tell Canadians what he 'really' meant:

The 'real' video clip of Trudeau's answer about admiring China can be seen here.

If you don't get a chance to watch it now, don't worry. There's a good chance that it will soon appear in a Conservative Party attack ad.

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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