History has a funny way of repeating itself.
Two weeks ago, Ezra Levant went on a heated, televised tirade where he criticized Justin Trudeau for supposedly 'photobombing' a wedding. Levant, most notably, called Justin's father Pierre a "slut," and insinuated similar things about Justin's mother, Margaret Sinclair.
Apart from the fact that Levant's rant was inappropriate and completely misplaced (it turns out the entire wedding party was happy to ask Trudeau to step in and kiss the wife's cheek on camera), there is a greater picture here that must be considered -- one of even higher magnitude than Levant's derogatory mislabelling of a deceased, former prime minister.
Ezra Levant is trying to dispel Trudeaumania from overtaking the country once more.
When Pierre Trudeau was running for the leadership of the Liberal party (and shortly after, for the leadership of the country itself) in the late 1960s, "Trudeaumania" swept the nation. Pierre Trudeau was a household name: every family -- whether they loved or hated him -- knew who he was and what he stood for. He easily won over the media. Most importantly, he rallied the youth vote. And the Beatles reference was not only a strong connotation, but an accurate one.
If any of that sounds familiar, it's because it should. Justin is not so different from his father, and the similarities extend beyond personal charm: their campaigns are being run in strikingly similar ways, too.
Many have pointed out that his opponents sorely underestimated Pierre Trudeau. Only a few have pointed out that Justin Trudeau is being sorely underestimated in almost the exact same ways.
Justin's critics like to say that he has no experience, no platform, and no judgment. These criticisms come in spite of the fact that Justin has already been successfully elected as an MP twice as many times as his father had been before becoming prime minister.
As the Canadian Annual Review for 1968 noted, Robert Stanfield, who was then-leader of the Progressive Conservatives, said during that year's election campaign that Pierre Trudeau had "no record, no policy, and no proof of his ability to govern the country." Of course, the Liberals ended up winning a majority government in that election. Pierre Trudeau went on to claim the title of second-longest serving Canadian prime minister at sixteen years served in total.
Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair, and anyone else critical of Justin have been saying essentially the same things about Justin Trudeau since before he even won the 2013 leadership election.
Naturally, Justin does not have many of the political advantages that his father did during that campaign, like an already-booming economy or a previous Liberal government--headed by Lester Pearson--with a good record to look back on. All this means is that Justin will have to fight even harder, which he and his team are already doing. He does not seem to be showing any signs of slowing this uphill battle, either. I am a student, and I can see that almost all of my peers at least know who Justin Trudeau is. His name is as household as his father's was.
It seems that Ezra Levant has made it his personal mission to dispel this new wave of Trudeaumania. It all began with another video rant in March, 2013 (about a month before the Liberal leadership election), in which Levant questioned Justin's ability to recruit members for the party. But neither Levant, nor his anti-Trudeau website (which is now soliciting donations to keep it active), will stop the now-chuffing train that is Trudeaumania. Whether Sun News likes it or not, Justin Trudeau is perhaps the first Canadian leader since his father whom any bride might want to be seen with during her wedding day. His personal appeal could easily take him back to 24 Sussex next year, despite Levant's not-so-sudden crusade to end the second coming of one of Canada's most noteworthy political phenomena.
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