Trudeau leadership campaign marches west
Not many Canadian politicians can draw in nearly a thousand people to cramp together in a room for a speech, but with his leadership campaign starting with a bang, expect to see more from the boy wonder, Justin Trudeau.
Fresh off giving the biggest speech of his life to announce his bid, the Liberal MP continued his march across the nation with a stop in Richmond.
“The Liberal Party did not create Canada, Canada created the Liberal Party”
Trudeau cemented himself as a realistic candidate by addressing the major issues at hand for the future of the party and the country. He pledged to take the Liberals to a place where they had once been the peoples “vehicle of choice…the platform for their aspirations”. He stated that with this attitude they had been able to establish Medicare, create a robust economy, and maintain an independent foreign policy.
In a shot against the Harper government, Trudeau called for Ottawa to develop the “revolutionary” idea of creating fact-based policy rather than using facts as justification for ideological policy. As a member of the third largest party, he was also poised to bring down the Thomas Mulcair’s party at the same time.
“What’s the response from the NDP? To sow regional resentment and blame the successful. The Conservative answer? Privilege one sector over others and promise that wealth will trickle down, eventually.”
As the member of Canada’s centrist party, he promised to lead the party, to listen to, and trust, the populous in all sectors, and to strengthen the middle class.
"It is the middle class, not the political class, that unites this country.”
The BC connection
Whenever Justin Trudeau campaigns in the west coast, he reflects on his roots in the province, especially with regard to his political roots––but not of his fathers. Pierre’s son was also Margaret Sinclair’s son; whose grandfather James was a prominent Liberal Member of Parliament in Vancouver and Minister for Fisheries.
Margaret was present at the speech as well, distracting cameras until her sons entrance. She told reporters that it was time for younger individuals like Justin (who is 40) to take a chance at leadership of this nation.
While all eyes have been on Trudeau, already a front runner for the April vote, the party is desperate not to hold a coronation for its next leader. Despite no other candidates catching the same amount of media attention so far, the campaign doesn't officially begin until November 14.
Other candidates rumoured to pose a serious challenge to the front runner include:
- Marc Garneau; MP, former Astronaut and former Naval Captain. Garneau has so far been inefficient at gathering a competitive team of campaign operatives, so an announcement has thus been delayed.
- David McGuinty; MP, Critic for National Resources, and brother of Ontario Premier Dalton.
- Martin Cauchon: Former MP and Chretien cabinet minister, lawyer in Montreal.
- George Takach: Toronto-based technology lawyer.
- Deborarh Coyne: Toronto-based constitutional lawyer, cousin to Macleans Editor Andrew Coyne, and father to Pierre Trudeau’s only daughter Sarah Elizabeth.
It is in the best interests of the party for there to be a heated, competitive race between these, and many other candidates. The Liberals are sitting as a third party, and have suffered from a revolving door of leaders, creating a lack of stability and clarity to voters. The New Democrats and Conservatives built a foundation around their leaders for many years, and they did not begin with success under Jack Layton, or Stephen Harper.
If the Liberal Party wants to be relevant again, they need to have a proper process of competition between their leadership candidates, so that the conclusive winner will be a hardened veteran of campaigning.
That winner will have to understand that their lifespan won’t last just one election either; they will have to be in it for the long haul, through a series of election losses or victories.
The Liberal Leadership Campaign begins on November 14, and will come to a conclusion at the party convention on April 14, 2013.