40-year-old Justin Trudeau's has plunged into the deep end of the national political swimming pool. The flashy Trudeau offered a more philosophical /cerebral side to the public at yesterday’s announcement.
The twice elected Member of Parliament is the font-runner. The surname Trudeau is gold in the Canadian Liberal Party. I have written several blog posts about Justin since he was elected; discussing his potential as a leader, his strengths and his weaknesses.
I have attended several events where he has spoken. He has the persona, the star power and the energy of Trudeau, but I wonder if he has the experience needed for the job of rebuilding the party and becoming Prime Minister. These are the same questions that were posed about his father, Pierre, who captured the leadership and the Prime Minister’s Office in 1968.
That said much has changed since the single, sandal wearing elder Trudeau, with his sports car and ascot, arrived in stodgy Ottawa. He represented a big cultural shift in the post centennial Expo Era. When it came time to replace Lester Pearson, Trudeau represented a huge change in how politics was done in Canada. This was the birth of the short-lived phenomena called Trudeamania.
Trudeau arrived in Ottawa in 1965 as one of the so called “Wisemen”. He, Jean Marchand and Gerard Pelletier were recruited to strengthen Canada’s presence in Quebec and the French presence in Canada.
He was taken under Pearson’s wing and made the Prime Minister’s parliamentary secretary where he was very engaged in the Bi &Bi Commission. He only came to national prominence when he be joined the Cabinet in 1967.
He was hurled into the spot light as Justice Minister when he reformed the nation’s divorce laws. Remember the phrase “The state has no business in the nation's bedrooms." He was French, English, an intellectual, exuded competence and Canadians “dug” hum. The perfect combination for the moment.
Justin has held some low level shadow cabinet posts — youth, amateur sport, immigration. He has not been provided with much of an opportunity to prove his leadership grit. The elder Trudeau was 46 when arrived. The younger was 36. However, the younger is generating a lot of buzz, from coast to coast.
Here are some links to stories, and opinions from across the nation about Justin Trudeau’s splash into the National Liberal Leadership Campaign.
Daniel Leblanc: Trudeau high on ambition, short on answers
Lee Berthiaume, MontrealGazette: Justin Trudeau to run for leadership
Stephen Maher: Trudeau will be wild card
Geoff Simpson : GLOBE & MAIL But what does Trudeau stand for ?
Joe Warmington:TORONTO SUN: Don't underestimate Trudeau again
Greg Weston: CBC: Trudeau can fill a room, but can he win an election ?