Spotlight on a potential prime minister
Daniel LeRoy | Fulcrum Staff
Illustration by Mathias MacPhee
JUSTIN TRUDEAU. NO matter which province they live in, anyone who has taken an eighth-grade Canadian politics class will recognize the name. They’ll also attach the thought of this man to the golden age of Canada. When we hear the name Trudeau, the bright red colours of the Liberal Party come to mind. We recall the image of Pierre Elliott Trudeau sitting at the table with Queen Elizabeth II, bringing into existence the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with our beautiful red and white flag waving in the background. We think of a man who brought in the Multiculturalism Act and the Official Languages Act, oversaw the first Olympic Games in Canada, and faced the worst acts of terrorism on Canadian soil since the Fenian Raids of the 1860s, with the Front de libération du Québec [FLQ] crisis. Just seeing a photo of Pierre Elliott Trudeau is a moving reminder of all he did for this country—a reminder of his conviction for a united and distinct Canada.
In short, if Justin Trudeau wins the Liberal leadership contest, you won’t be seeing any ads of him “rolling up his sleeves” to present himself to us, unlike the new leader of the official opposition, Thomas Mulcair—those won’t be necessary. But should we really be allowing ourselves to become so incredibly reminiscent to the point that we give a default electoral landslide to a candidate just because his father inspired us?
A snap Forum poll taken a couple of weeks ago gave the New Democratic Party 35 per cent of the vote, 31 per cent to the Tories, and 21 per cent to the Grits. When Forum asked the same people who they would vote for if Trudeau were the Liberal leader, the Liberals’ 30 seats rose to a total of over 160, giving them a comfortable majority government. Quite the difference one man can make.
But is it really the man that provoked this change of opinion? Or is it the name? Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t vote for Trudeau because he isn’t his father; I’m saying that this is the reason we should vote for him. We should get to know Trudeau outside of his father’s shadow and legacy. Who is he? What makes him tick? What are his grand visions for our great land?
It is more likely than not that Trudeau-mania will sweep our country again in 2015. I just hope that if this 40-year-old man becomes our 23rd prime minister, he will be able to whip out a vision worthy of our great nation. With environmental degradation worsening at an alarming rate and the confluence of other issues plaguing an otherwise great country, like national depression rates at 25 per cent, we deserve more than a prime minister who simply reminds us of a glorious past. We deserve a prime minister who can create a glorious future.