Canadian politics: Trudeau factor and Liberal Party

Canadian politics: Trudeau factor and Liberal Party

Montreal : Canada | Oct 01, 2012 at 4:45 AM PDT
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Justin Trudeau: Canada Second

After years of decline in popularity of the Liberal Party, with the most devastating decline in last year's election, the Liberal Party has renewed hope. Justin Trudeau, member of Parliament for the Montreal Papineau Riding, is expected to announce his candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Liberal Party old tired party-void of ideas

To most Canadians the Liberal Party has become the old tired party, which has become void of ideas and lacks younger leaders with a new vision for Canada.

Enter Justin Trudeau and it appears that the Liberal Party elite, although not totally comfortable with the young politician, is interested in his "rock star value."

The Liberal Party in recent years, since Jean Chretien's retirement, has had a series of coronations, which proved disastrous. Paul Martin, although a successful Finance Minister, did not resonate with Canadians and was soon defeated. He was followed by Stephan Dion, who was defined by the Conservative Party as a tax-grabber and was defeated on his carbon tax proposal.

The final candidate to face Stephen Harper in an election was Michael Iganatieff. Seen as an aristocrat and former professor and broadcaster in in both the United Kingdom and Harvard, Igantieff was an outsider, who was defined as not being in touch with ordinary Canadians. Try as he may, pictures with baseball caps, Bar-B-Qs, and drinking beer out of a can, he could not connect with Canadians. The Liberal Party suffered a devastating loss, only getting third party status after the May 2011 election.

Since then the Liberal Party has had an interim leader, Bob Rae, who was a former New Democratic Party premier of Ontario. He is reputation has preceded him as the premier who handed Ontario an $8 Billion deficit. He has decided not to run for the leadership of the party.

Thomas Mulcair building his brand

The New Democratic Party had its most successful election in May 2011, with Jack Layton's orange wave it achieved electoral success in Quebec and became, for the first time in its history, the official opposition. In a humdrum leadership campaign Thomas Mulcair was elected leader of the party and Leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament.

Polls have seen the party close the gap with the governing Conservatives and in the long run the party expects to defeat Stephen Harper and his Conservatives.

That aim is not out of the realm of possibility. Mulcair's party offers similar policies as those of the Democratic Party in the United States, with a Canadian flavour. Whether or not the party can make any headway outside of Quebec, which means winning in Ontario and the praries, remains to be seen.

There has been some talk of a merger with the Liberal party, but both parties have rejected the idea for the moment.

The Trudea factor - Worth taking the risk

Although Justin Trudeau, who is the eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Eliott Trudeau, is for the most part dismissed as a serious politician by the Liberal Party elite, they can all agree that he can attract people in a room.

The elite considers his charisma and in a strange way liken his candidacy to "American idol."

Trudeau has street appeal and has no difficulty connecting with the man or woman on the street. Most believe it's not that Trudeau is stepping up to the plate for the leadership, but the fact that he is applying for thankless job that no one wants.

"Justin's brand is very much his ability to leverage the generational change. He's 20 years younger than Mulcair, and he seems 20 years younger than Harper. Love him, or hate him, he has a brand that's recognizable," says one Liberal Source CBC

Despite the fact that Trudeau is sometimes unpredictable and shoots off his mouth, many in the Liberal Party believe that Trudeau is worth taking the risk.

According to one Liberal strategist, it is not known where Trudeau stands on the major issues of the day, like the economy, bilateral relations, the status of natives, on what he would do in Afghanistan. No one has seen Trudeau address these issues.

Trueday can define himself

Should Justin Trudeau win the Liberal Party leadership, he has almost two years to define himself. His task will be to start defining himself before the Conservative party does it for him.

Trudeau represents generational change within the party and may just revitalize it. Failing new ideas, a fresh breath of air and an energetic campaign to differentiate itself from both the Conservative and New Democratic Parties, it could be the demise of the Liberal Party.

Trudeau offers new hope for the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau will have to convince Canadians that he offers renewed hope to Canadians.

Despite Trudeau's star power that will not be an easy task, especially in the resource-based economies of Western Canada. His candidacy will make Canadian politics interesting again.

Justin Trudeau Bio Wikepedia

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Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau is expected to announce his leadership for the Liberal Party on October 2nd.
Karl Gotthardt is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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