Reporter: Matthew Jordan
Opponents of Justin Trudeau cast him as a mirthless politician, someone who rode superstardom to the top ranks of the Liberal party.
Touted as ‘clueless’ in regards to what is needed to run Canada, he is often ridiculed for his thin answers on policy, the wave of fanaticism carrying him to an election win, and lacking the leadership qualities a party needs to run on a federal level. “Trudeaumania 2.0” as it has been so scathingly dubbed.
But Justin is not his father, nor is his father what the Liberals need in 2013.
The federal leadership race for the Liberals is a chance to exceed the boundaries of conventional politics. Justin Trudeau is a leader the Liberals need to regain the national spotlight, a leader who can polarize a nation so desperately torn between big business oligarchs, a struggling middle class, and a poverty line that is so dangerously close to being crossed, with viable career paths being replaced with part-time positions.
Politics has been somewhat stale in this country for some time. According to Statistics Canada, the most recent federal election saw just 61 percent of the population come out to vote, the third lowest turnout in election history. Furthermore, the majority of the voters who did show up are grouped in the 55 and older bracket, while youth turnout wallowed at barely half of that. If Trudeau can achieve one thing in his run, it will be to get youth interested in voting, as they are a demographic that is so poorly represented in today’s government. Trudeau’s run alone has brought in 150,000 registered liberals to the Liberal party, numbers that now rival those of the NDP and are inching ever more close to the Conservative stranglehold as election front runners.
It’s statistics like these that have the opposition scrambling to produce attack ad campaigns.
But while they’re sniffing through old media footage for gaffes, let’s examine Trudeau’s qualifications. Trudeau has been an elected member of parliament for his riding of Papineau since 2008, a seat that was incredibly difficult to obtain, as the Bloc had long dominated it.
A democratically elected official, he immediately achieves the same qualification all candidates for federal leadership are required to meet.
He chaired Katamavik, an organization geared at engaging youth across the country, and maintains his working life in teaching.
These things may not come across as something sought after in a prime minister, but they may be much more realistic foundations than the corporate backgrounds that have consistently appeared in Canadian leadership, and have put the country where it is today.
This is a chance for the Liberals to evolve into a party that can carry Canada forward.
In the Liberal leadership debate in Toronto, former candidate Marc Garneau chided Trudeau by saying, “…pulling people together is also very important, I agree with you, but you also have to have a track record of making tough decisions.”
Trudeau quickly responded by
saying, “You have to have a track record of winning.”
Canada needs a prime minister who can bring together this country for the benefit of every citizens, and that may just be overly judged, under tested, yet totally exciting Justin Trudeau.