Justin Trudeau is about to head into the national Liberal leadership vote heavily ahead of the competition, with little changing since he first announced his running back in the fall. Momentum surrounding Trudeau has been evident for years now, people anticipating the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, argued by some as the greatest Prime Minister of all-time in Canada to make a run, and with the Harper government seemingly on the ropes and as vulnerable as ever, many believe the time is now.
While Trudeau has made astronomical inroads in rebuilding the image of his party within Canada, where many of the party's supporters jumped ship in the past elections to the NDP, there are still those hesitant in coming back. Below are several of the most often used reasons, and perhaps some perspective on addressing those reasons and hopefully alleviating some of the hesitation in supporting another Trudeau to right the ship and lead the new Liberals in the 2015 election.
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1) He's just a clone of his father and not his own person
While Trudeau is blessed with having a family name and direct bloodline to Pierre, there are many who hold ill feelings towards the elder for the way he ran the country, policies he laid forward and the legacy he left behind. Sure, it is fair to believe that someone with a family connection would act similarly, but let's not forget that just like you are not an exact replica of your own parents. You are your own person, growing up in a different generation, a different time and you have your own values, ideas, goals and your own life. What you are suggesting by writing off Justin as just like his father is you are just like your mother or father, and you probably hate that comparison yourself, so he deserves some slack here just as much as you do when you try to carve out your identity. Sure, you are influenced by your parents and they shaped you into the person you are, but it's condescending to think someone over 40 hasn't come into his own and become an extension of his parents, not a direct copy. But, if we were to look at historically at how Pierre is looked upon, is being like one of the greatest Prime Ministers Canada such a bad thing?
2) He doesn't have enough experience and is too young
This argument comes out every so often showing people have very short memories. Just looking at modern North American politics, everyone from Stephen Harper, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all have been elected to the highest stage of national politics based on a path carved out by a playbook written by themselves and not by old-school party ideals. Even NDP leader Thomas Mulcair joined the NDP in 2007 after leaving the Liberals. This argument is mostly given by the older generation of people who are not interested in Trudeau in the first place but afraid of the wave of young Canadians who are ready to put their votes where it counts; in supporting someone they relate to and someone who brings fresh ideas and blood into a country that is certainly in desperate need for both. Canada is changing, despite the current government's insistence of setting it back from the years of progress it made under previous ones. It sounds a lot deeper, and is a form of ageism, not respecting Mr. Trudeau for any of his life experience. The window of opportunity for Justin to 'seize the day' is now, the country needs change and the Liberals, who many are finally coming back to, look to run at full-steam under a leader who has no previous attachment to the party of past.
3) He has good hair and is very good-looking
Perhaps the silliest of the reasons not to take Justin seriously, this has nothing to do with anything and is probably the most insulting to not only him but to politicians everywhere. What difference does it make at the end of the day if he's easy on the eyes or looks like a gremlin?
4) He doesn't have any policies
When Justin announced he was running for the Liberal leadership, it was enough to get throngs of supporters to come out and jump for joy. Since then, he has run a campaign on addressing issues as they come up, and despite any apparent missteps, he's only continued to build and grow his supporters without having to hand-over any 'policies'. In a politician's hand-book, this couldn't have gone more ideally, as he has been able to withhold any fuel for the Conservatives and NDP to attack and pounce on. The election is still two and a half years away, and there is no point to start throwing out his ideas on this or his ideas on that if he's already running with so much momentum. It's actually a blessing in disguise that he is able to hold onto these things until later, at which point he will surely come full-on in not only his own platform but in picking apart the policies of the Conservatives and NDP.
Are you honestly going to be surprised if the day after the Liberal vote if Justin or whomever is elected that the Conservatives will launch attack ads? Why write those for them, why not make them scramble in fear with the above attacks being all they can use and save his substance for when it matters most? And Justin will surely be surrounded, if elected leader, with policy makers and those who are far well-versed at specific things than he is and able to help him articulate what he wants to do, then if elected, following through on them.