Andrew Ikeman | News Editor
JUSTIN TRUDEAU WILL be the next Liberal to hold the office of Prime Minister of Canada. Think this is jumping the gun? It’s not. Trudeau currently has a 70 per cent favourability rating among Liberals, according to a poll conducted after his candidacy was announced. His closest competitor is fellow Member of Parliament Marc Garneau, who is sitting at 51 per cent. Trudeau has a 40 per cent favorability rating among the general population of Quebec, and a 23 per cent ranking among those who voted Conservative in the last federal election.
Trudeau will be anointed the Liberal Party of Canada’s next leader. He’s young, he’s intelligent, and he looks good in front of a camera. He is the perfect candidate for a party trying to change its direction. The fact that he is the son of one of Canada’s most beloved prime ministers only helps his case. It may not be the driving force behind his election, but it can’t hurt.
In a poll released this past week by Angus-Reid, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was ranked Canada’s greatest prime minister since 1968—tallying 36 per cent of Canadians questioned. His closest competitor was Stephen Harper, with just 16 per cent, followed by Jean Chrétien at 11 per cent. Ironically, Harper also garnered 26 per cent of Canadians’ votes for worst prime minister over the same time span. In another poll, released by Abacus Data, Harper received a 50 per cent disapproval rating.
I am not saying that Trudeau will win the next election, but when you look at the likely opponents, you can’t help but like his chances; he presents a threat to parties on both sides of the aisle. By the time the next election comes around in 2015, Stephen Harper will be in his ninth year in office, and public support may have lagged. If he chooses to resign, who would become the new leader of the Conservative Party? It is slim pickings for the post. The best shot possibly goes to John Baird, the current minister of foreign affairs. The New Democratic Party will look to have a strong turnout, but whether or not their support drops off now that the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP all will have permanent leaders remains to be seen.
Trudeau’s name, youth, and exuberance give him an advantage that neither Harper nor NDP leader Thomas Mulcair can claim. The key in the next election will be the youth vote, and if Trudeau manages to draw us in, he will stand as our next prime minister.