Print this page
Thursday, 18 April 2013 11:10

Harper’s distance has allowed Trudeau to step forward

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Justin Trudeau is the new Liberal leader. Wow, what shock. What drama. Yawn. The only thing keeping Trudeau from becoming the leader of the sinking S.S. Liberal was Trudeau himself...if he actually wanted the job.


With the endless comparisons to Pierre Elliott, it was just a matter of time before the Justin coronation was going to take place. It was basically just that this past weekend as the 41-year-old won on the first ballot with nearly 78 per cent of the vote.
Unless you are a hardcore federal Liberal supporter, did anyone see anyone else having a chance? Other than political junkies, did anyone know the names of the other candidates let alone what their platforms were?
Trudeau has been described by critics in the national media as being too young, too inexperienced and some may whisper a lack of political savvy enough to be a leader. 
Interestingly, it’s those same critics within the media who can’t stop talking about him. In some cases this doesn’t apply, but it’s always said in the media field, any publicity — negative or positive is always good publicity. If the media stops talking about you, then you are no longer relevant.
Those who truly believe Trudeau can’t be a good leader may be mistaken. Time will tell whether he can be effective politically when it comes to decision-making in regards to foreign policy, and domestic issues such as economic and the federal governments relationship with the provinces, especially Quebec.
However, no one can deny Trudeau can turn on the charm and become the media darling such as his father was, albeit in a slightly different manner.
It would be hard to picture P. E. Trudeau in a boxing ring with Ed Broadbent or Joe Clark, but the fact that the youngest Trudeau was able to win was based on the fact Trudeaumania 2.0 has been occurring since the infamous charity boxing match with now-former senator Patrick Brazeau. Brazeau, who was built more like a boxer, was stopped in the second-round with a TKO. That hit subsequently K.O’d everyone who thought they had an opportunity to take over the Liberal party leadership from the in-over-his head Michael Ignatieff.
Trudeau since then has been charming his way across Canada, promoting his handsome mug and very much showcasing the charisma his father had.
Getting his face everywhere, he shook hands, kissed babies and glad-handed anywhere he could fit into his marathon schedule.
Trying to promote openness and despite his lineage, that he is like any Canadian, Trudeau is doing his best to be the polar opposite of current Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
If you believe the political and economic experts, Harper has been good for Canada in that on a global stage, Canada’s economy seems to be relatively healthy. However, it’s not perfect and the fact Harper comes across as distant, cold, and he’s flipflopped on a few issues such as Senate reform has Harper as the politician voters will reluctantly support because there’s no other viable option.
The fact Harper doesn’t speak to Canadians regularly and has built a wall around himself from the voters and the media is effective in controlling the message, but makes voters suspect he’s hiding something. If something goes wrong with the economy, voters will think twice about giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Hence, that is why the NDP with Thomas Mulcair has been garnering more support recently.
Some people will never vote for Harper, let alone Conservative. With the ultra-controlling Harper shutting out everyone from his ivory tower, the Ottawa press gallery reported some backbench MPs are becoming disillusioned with the Prime Minister’s iron fist after some private members’ bills on abortion were unexpectedly squashed.
With Trudeau as leader, the federal political scene is now a high-school popularity contest. The popular, charismatic leader vs. the intellectual, albeit wet blanket-personality.
The question is: do the the Liberals just want a popular, great speech maker who oozes charisma (see: Obama, Barrack) and let the behind-the-scenes bureaucrats and policy makers tell him what to say or is Trudeau the real deal and no one is giving him enough respect for his political intellect?
Give Trudeau credit: he was more than smart enough to know how to get the federal Liberal Party leadership job. Time will tell if his image can grab the brass ring too.
If you think Trudeaumania 2.0 is all hogwash:check out the Forum Research Poll released April 17. Reuters reported that voters’ support has the Liberals at 43% and the Conservatives at 30%. It’s early following all the Justin hype but it makes you wonder...
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Read 1171 times
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor