Saturday, 24 October 2015

A little left out of Trudeaumania

Whenever people ask me how I feel about this election I tell them "comfortable" or "good"; not great but "good". That is because I didn’t fall under the spell of this Trudeau. He was just another talented politician to me. As a man of 30 (well in five days anyway) I don't reminisce for the days of Pierre Trudeau. I joined a party that was led by Jean Chretien. For me he was our greatest Prime Minister. As a student of history it was the records of Sir Wilfred Laurier, Lester B. Pearson, and Pierre Trudeau’s chief rival Progressive Conservative Joe Clark that captivated me. Pierre Trudeau was just another Prime Minister. So when Justin entered the political fray in 2008 I admit that I thought he made an impressive candidate, but that was all. And when he chose to run for leadership of the party I had joined eleven years prior I was skeptical. But he had captivated the party. Even those at the party's central office (where I was employed at the time) were already referring to him as a future Prime Minister. However, I just couldn't get on board. I knew he was going to win but there just seemed to be better candidates than this man who had yet to truly be tested. I was big fan of Marc Garneau  (who should be Canada's next Minister of National Defense in my opinion), but I ultimately supported George Takach until he dropped out, spending the remainder of the race on Martha Hall Findlay's team. I marked my ranked ballot with her at the top. Justin Trudeau was second. This was familiar territory for me. I'd supported John Manley than Sheila Copps against Paul Martin..

So here we stood again. More than a decade later we had a Liberal messiah and they were not the individual I had preferred. But that was not the only issue. I watched as Justin Tudeau took the party in a direction that perhaps centralized it's command stucture more than ever before. This was not the type of renewal I had hoped for. What is more I was beginning to wonder if Justin even deserved my vote. But all around me colleagues and friends were really very passionate about this man who descended from Prime Minister to become Prime Minister. Trudeaumania is real but I have never been part of it. Instead it was policy that convinced me to leave my vote with the Liberal Party. It was still the view that the extreme centre is where this country belongs. It was that the Liberal Party was the only party to  even mention education in their platform. It was the utter failure of the Stephen Harper government. And it was Justin Trudeau's demonstration of dedication and humanity to his role. Many have criticized the younger Trudeau as growing up in a bubble; being a silver spoon baby, but there is something about him that truly seems to make him different that the majority of politicians. As a retail politician he is able to connect with Canadians in a way our country may have never seen before.Despite his wealthy upbringing Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair could just not connect to Canadians in the same way. People see a certain humanity in Trudeau. They see themselves. And that is what will make him a worthy Prime Minister.

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