So, what to think of Justin Trudeau, indirectly anyway, vying for the country's top job...
Decades and a generation later, Canadians may again have the Trudeau name on their minds when they hit the ballot box during the next federal election.
Most watchers knew the day was coming but on Tuesday, P.E. Trudeau's son Justin announced he would be seeking the leadership of the national Liberal Party.
That party, however, is but an emaciated, depressed version of its former, gigantic self. And for many, Justin's announcement that he wants to lead the straggly party, is reason for hope. For others, the Liberal Party is too far gone, while others may say Canada has a new, solid opposition and that the NDP, despite all doubts, is actually doing quite well.
But in the end - despite the baggage that comes with the family name and, if only for an instant, we forget that maybe not even Hercules is up to the Herculean task of bringing the Liberal Party back to relevance - does Justin still deserve a chance?
These are the reasons we think he is..
1. He's not his father – It’s hard to find much love for the word Trudeau around these parts. The Trudeau legacy is seen around Alberta as favourably as a rat infestation, only taken much less seriously. There are many things former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said or did that Albertans should feel contempt towards. There’s also a lot that’s been demonized and rhetorically skewed by political opportunism. Feel how you feel, it may serve Canadian voters well to at least acknowledge the fact 40-year-old Justin Trudeau is not P.E. Trudeau.
2. He's an underdog... And everyone loves a good underdog. Love it or hate, his last name carries with it a lot of political currency and his putting that currency behind Canada’s third party – a distant third party. Unlike most of his colleagues in the Commons, he’s closer in years to his college graduation than he is to retirement. He’s a lowly teacher, not an egotistical lawyer, and his political career is, comparatively speaking, short and, so far, underwhelming. If he’s not a political underdog, then who is?
3. He's young – Did we mention he’s only 40? The average age in the House of Commons? 51. And we’re sure his presence there skews the average a little.
4. He's kind of a clean slate – Yes, the mention of his family name is enough to send most senior and middle-aged Alberta men scouring for the foothills. But at the end of the day, the junior Trudeau has done little to either offend or alienate almost anyone – except for maybe hair models or pugilist senators.
5. He’s a bit of wildcard – During his first day on the leadership bid trail he didn’t stand before a stadium crowd, or a stereotypically Canadian landmark or site, or even surround himself with Liberal elites. Nope, he came out to Calgary to hang out with ma and gramps at a local seniors’ residence. And of course, there's the fact that his dad was actually a pretty snappy dresser, something Justin seems - whether knowingly or not - bound and determined not to be.
6. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. This is kind of a big deal. When was the last time an elected member of the House of Commons went fist-to-fist with a member of the Upper House? That’s exactly what happened earlier this year when the young Trudeau took on an unbelievably young – for a member of the Red Chamber – Senator Patrick Brazeau in a boxing match for charity. The underdog again, Trudeau going into the fight may have been seen as a lanky politician, school teacher, upper middle class metrosexual who did a little bit of boxing in university, while Brazeau was seen as a scrappy, muscular hot head with an attitude and time before the courts. But after some pretty serious scrapping, it was Trudeau who showed the senator some sober second thought.
7. The hair. Oh my god. The hair... The last one was from the guys on staff. This one is all the ladies on staff. Well, almost every other reason on this list can be seen as subjective. But this one, this one is a fact. The man has great hair.
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