The great irony is that we have become scornful of the very people whose mission it is to advance our collective well-being. Are politicians "only in it for themselves," to paraphrase the devastating and ridiculous personal attack ad on Michael Ignatieff? No they are not. Not even close. Our negative perceptions of politicians and the political process are ultimately at variance with our own self-interest.
Our Canadian promise has never been too complicated. Work hard, we tell our kids, and you will have a better future than we did. Today, for too many, that promise rings hollow.
Our task now is to give voice to young people's aspirations, to summon a new generation of leaders to give life to the Canadian promise, and to make the Liberal Party of Canada the vehicle for fresh new ideas and bold new dreams. That is the party that I want to lead.