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Liberal Party of Canada Leadership

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ModlrMike said:
Campaigning and governing are two different things.

I agree.  My point was that charisma and fluff has beaten competent management and policy before.
More on the challenges facing M. Trudeau in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Winnipeg Free Press:

Trudeau faces daunting challenges to rebuild party, manage expectations

By: Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

Posted: 04/13/2013

OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau says the values imbued by his famous father guided him to enter politics and take the plunge into the Liberal leadership contest.

But as he prepares to take the tattered reins of the self-styled natural governing party his father once led, it's his maternal grandfather, Jimmy Sinclair, he's looking to for inspiration.

Pierre Trudeau's advice has been "at the back of my mind all my life," the leadership front-runner told The Canadian Press recently, "which is to do right by the opportunities that I have and to trust Canadians as a base proposition."

"But on the actual mechanical challenge that is facing me, I don't know that he'd have a lot of advice for me. The one thing he never had to do in his politics in his life was worry too much about the state of the Liberal Party of Canada. It was a big red machine that he took for granted."

If as expected, Justin Trudeau wins the leadership on Sunday, he won't have the luxury of ignoring the state of the party, which has been in a downward spiral for a decade. Liberals are looking to him as their best — and perhaps last — hope for survival after hitting an ignominious third-place low in the 2011 election.

The big red machine of his father's day is now a little red wagon with wobbly wheels, confined largely to Toronto and a few outposts in Montreal, Vancouver and Atlantic Canada. In huge swaths of the country, there is no semblance of a machine left, particularly in Quebec, his father's erstwhile bastion.

The scramble to turn almost 300,000 supporters into registered voters in the leadership contest served to expose deficiencies in the party's data base — the lifeblood of any modern political organization — and its woefully dated technological capabilities. In the end, less than half of those supporters registered to vote, despite being given an extra week in which to do so.

As one of Trudeau's strategists puts it, the exercise underscored the challenge facing the new leader: how to turn a "19th Century club into a 21st Century" political machine.

Faced with the daunting prospect of rebuilding — or in many places, building from scratch — Trudeau said: "I draw a lot more on my grandfather, Jimmy Sinclair, who was a good party man and who understood the need for an organization to connect and inspire and involve Canadians.

"For me, that's the centre of my challenge right now and, you know, for everything my father was able to achieve in the past, he didn't ever have to rebuild the Liberal party."

Sinclair was elected five time as a Liberal MP from Vancouver, from 1940 until his defeat in 1958, and served as fisheries minister under Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent.

According to Trudeau's aunt, Janet Sinclair, the 41-year-old Montreal MP's personality is closer to that of his grandfather than that of his enigmatic, cerebral father. In an e-book on Trudeau by Huffington Post's Ottawa bureau chief, Althia Raj, Sinclair said Trudeau is "outgoing, approachable, likeable and remembers names" — much like her dad.

There's no denying Trudeau's people skills — combined with his youthful good looks, great hair, political pedigree, optimism and energy — have created a buzz that has helped lift the punch-drunk Liberals off the mat. Just the prospect of Trudeau as Liberal leader has boosted the party back into contention in public opinion polls, where the Grits have pulled even or slightly ahead of the ruling Conservatives while the NDP has sunk back to its traditional third-place slot.

But those heady — and possibly fleeting — poll numbers present another challenge for Trudeau: how to manage expectations.

It's a difficult task for any political leader and it's trickier than usual for Trudeau, who faces a curious mix of expectations: high, because he's his father's son, and low, because he's not his father.

Throughout the leadership contest, Trudeau managed to defy the naysayers — including some of his leadership rivals — who predicted his celebrity-driven popularity would evaporate once his lack of experience, depth and gravitas became apparent.

"Everybody said he's going to make mistakes and fall on his face. Guess what? He didn't," said New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc, a lifelong friend.

"Those that thought the enthusiasm and the crowds and the attention would be short lived were wrong. It was long-lasting and I think it augurs well for the next two years leading up to the election."

He predicts the same discipline, hard work and under-estimated intelligence that became evident during the leadership race will see Trudeau through the next phase of his political evolution, from greenhorn leader to prime minister-in-waiting.

That said, LeBlanc believes it's unrealistic to expect Trudeau can keep people pumped and excited until the 2015 election. The task is more pedestrian, in his view: to keep the thousands of supporters amassed during the leadership contest engaged and transform them over the next two years into a disciplined campaign machine.

"We haven't had a network in a generation. So the challenge is how do you manage that goodwill and turn it into an (election-ready) organization."

Trudeau's most immediate challenge will come Monday, when he rises in the House of Commons for the first time as Liberal leader to joust with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in question period.

For the past two years, interim leader Bob Rae's deft performance has almost single-handedly kept the party in the parliamentary game. Trudeau — who has held only minor shadow cabinet posts since he was first elected in 2008 and has admitted parliamentary theatre is not his forte —is bound to pale by comparison.

That's an inevitable consequence of opting for a fresh start with a young leader, argues LeBlanc, who predicts Trudeau will quickly adapt to his new role.

"Rae is a master parliamentarian with three decades of experience ... You can't choose renewal and generational shift and find the guy who's a master of his game with 35 years experience."

Until Parliament breaks for the summer in late June, the tentative plan is to have Trudeau meet the challenge head on, spending considerable time in the Commons, honing his fencing skills and growing more comfortable in his new starring role.

His schedule will be rebalanced when Parliament resumes in the fall, so that he can spend more time on the road doing what he does best: thrilling adoring crowds, raising money, motivating Liberal troops, building a campaign machine and recruiting potential candidates.

For his part, Trudeau said he's "deeply frustrated" by Harper's iron-fisted approach to Parliament, which he maintained has rendered the Commons "much less significant than ever before." He sees his challenge as making what goes on in the parliamentary sandbox relevant to the real concerns of Canadians.

"That's going to require that, yes, I perform well in the House but also that I stay very much outside the Ottawa bubble connecting with Canadians across the country."

Trudeau's connection to Canadians thus far has been based in large measure on his ability to project hope and a sunny idealism that politics doesn't have to be nasty, mean and brutish.

But his central role in the cut and thrust of question period will put his resolution to remain positive to the test. He hasn't always been successful in the past — calling Environment Minister Peter Kent a "piece of (excrement)," for instance.

His resolve will be further tested by partisan attack ads and other mud that will inevitably be slung at him by the Conservatives and probably the NDP as well.

Trudeau admitted he's taking a gamble, akin to unilaterally disarming in the midst of war. But, while he doesn't intend to be pushed around without pushing back, he insisted he won't go negative.

"I'm not going to sit back but I'm also not going to be dragged down to the same level as they are because across the country I have seen Canadians sick and tired of the negativity and the fighting."

The "piece of shit" remark is just one gem that Justin Trudeau has left for the Conservative and NDP attack ad creators; consider also: "Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work," (November 2010) and "I always say that if I ever believed Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper and we were going against abortion and going against gay marriage, and we were going backward in 10,000 different ways, maybe I'd think of wanting to make Quebec a country,'' (February 2012); we will, certainly, be reminded of both, again and again between now and the next election.

Justin Trudeau is the new leader of the Liberal Party, winning as expected on the first ballot with more than 80 per cent of the vote.

He beat the five other opponents – and no one was even close. His biggest test comes Monday as he will face Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair in the House of Commons. He also must try to continue the momentum built over the campaign into a federal campaign expected in 2015.


There were 30,800 points in total, with 15,401 needed to win. The final results:

    Former cabinet minister Martin Cauchon got 815 points.
    Toronto lawyer Deborah Coyne got 214 points.
    Former MP Martha Hall Findlay got 1,760 points.
    Retired military officer Karen McCrimmon got 210 points.
    B.C. MP Joyce Murray got 3,130 points.
    Quebec MP Justin Trudeau got 24,668 points, winning in the first round of the preferential ballot.
Globe & Mail, 14 Apr 13
It's pretty much the only thing they could do.

Hopefully for them he can get the younger crowd to vote.
So now we can look forward to the CBC touting his triumph as if he's the new messiah. Their prior silence on the subject has been deafening.
Jester_TG said:
It's pretty much the only thing they could do.

Hopefully for them he can get the younger crowd to vote.

Yeah, good luck with that Mr. Trudeau; none of them knew your Dad either  :sarcasm:

Canada’s youth vote edges up in 2011, but still a drag on the total turnout

Canada’s youth vote rose slightly in 2011 in concert with the overall turnout, but the numbers are still low.

Only 38.8 per cent of Canadian youth (eligible voters aged 18-24) cast a vote in May, in contrast with only 37.4 per cent in 2008.

As in the past, there were a number of familiar contributing factors to the low youth turnout. Some were related to young Canadians being unaware of when or where to vote, or to personal issues that prevented them from getting to a polling station.

However, motivational factors were also at play.


Predictably, but sadly, the Good Grey Globe is chock full of Trudeau adoration.

He gets a long, signed, column to recycle another Barack Obama speech ~ long on platitudes and quite devoid of substance; and

The Globe editorializes about "Three strong party leaders". What arrant nonsense! Fisrt if they are speaking about leaders of three strong parties then it must be recognized that the Liberal Party of Canada is anything but. It is the third party with a historic low number of seats, it has enjoyed a public opinion "bounce" on the strength of the media interest in its leadership contest but there is little to indicate that it can sustain that support. If the headline writers meant three strong leaders of parties then that too is rubbish because there is nothing at all to indicate that M. Trudeau has any backbone.
Sadly, I think we'll just have to get used to it. The MSM has never been a friend of the CPC and vice versa.

In their desire to unseat Harper, they will likely now, focus their full attention on turning Trudeau into a messiah.

One that they feel the masses of unwashed will flock to with their urging.
Sapplicant said:
Marc Garneau went to space for nothing.  ::)

Perhaps Garneau should have done a campaign commercial like this one.  ;D But then again...a lot of his potential supporters younger than 30 are still looking at Justin Trudeau's hair...  ::)
E.R. Campbell said:
Well, the the CPC isn't wasting any time getting its message out.
The CPC needs to start thinking about new strategies and not recycling the same predictable negative ad campaigns.  As much as people point and laugh at the Liberal's ineptitude with the "troops in our cities" negative ads, the final nail in the coffin of the PCs in 1993 was when the LPC made political hay out of the ad featuring a picture of Chretien that Liberals convinced people was a case of the Tories making fun of his physical disability. 

All the CPC PR machine needs to do is bobble the ball just once, which is extremely easy to do with a negative ad, and public opinion could turn in a heartbeat and Trudeau will be a martyr in the same vein as Chretien was in 93.  No matter what legitimate subsequent punches the CPC might throw in his direction, he'll be the underdog - and everyone loves an underdog.
recceguy said:
In their desire to unseat Harper, they will likely now, focus their full attention on turning Trudeau into a messiah.

One that they feel the masses of unwashed will flock to with their urging.

Speaking of which... 


More political cartoons here.

Thomas Mulcair shuts down the Young Dauphin on his first day as leader (and the PM slams Tom into the boards). Politics as hockey is quite bruising. This display indicates the "real" way of shutting down the Young Dauphin; just perform at a much higher level and demonstrate by word and deed that he is totally out of his league:


John Ivison: Mulcair upstages Trudeau in his first Question Period as Liberal leaderRepublish ReprintReprintsRepublish OnlineRepublish OfflineJohn Ivison | 13/04/15 7:41 PM ET
More from John Ivison

NDP leader Tom Mulcair didn’t get the memo that Question Period has been renamed The Trudeau Show.

There was a buzz of anticipation in the House of Commons Monday for Justin Trudeau’s first appearance as Liberal leader. Both the public and press galleries were packed, just in case we were witnessing history in the making.

The stage was set for Mr. Trudeau’s most high-profile performance since his turn as Talbot Mercer Papineau in CBC’s Great War mini-series.

Unfortunately, his warm up act blew him off the stage. Mr. Mulcair asked Stephen Harper a series of questions about the temporary foreign workers program taking jobs from Canadians, and proceeded to get progressively more worked up as QP went on. ‘‘There are 1.4-million unemployed Canadians. Can the Prime Minister tell them what skills are required to work at Tim Hortons that Canadians don’t have?’’ he asked.

Mr. Harper kept his cool, aware that Canadians say they don’t like punch-ups in Parliament, just as they say they don’t like fighting in hockey. But he couldn’t resist prodding the bear. The temporary foreign workers program is being reviewed in case it is being abused, he said, yet there are cases where absolute labour shortages exist. As proof, he offered up letters from eight NDP MPs asking for approval for more temporary foreign workers in their ridings.

The response was volcanic, as the beetroot-faced NDP leader threatened to turn from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. Canadians are being told they have to work for less or they’ll be replaced. ‘‘Why have you allowed it to happen?’’ he thundered.

Mr. Trudeau must have felt like one of The Monkees after they made the mistake of inviting Jimi Hendrix to be their opening act.

His unease was not helped by a false start when the translation service didn’t kick in.

He eventually got to his question on the ‘‘$350-million tax on the middle class,’’ in the shape of the tariff increases revealed in the recent budget; it’s the result of a number of countries, including China, no longer receiving preferential tariff treatment. The cost of tricycles, little red wagons, education materials and clothing for young children will all go up because of this ‘‘wrong-headed tax on millions of Canadians,’’ he asserted.

For a former drama teacher, it was a low key but effective debut on an issue that will play well in the suburbs that Mr. Trudeau needs to win over. He has put away the melodrama, the jeans and the skateboard that have accompanied him into the House previously and he did not look out of place alongside the more established parliamentary heavyweights.

Taxes on tricycles: Trudeau makes middle class a battleground in first question period as Liberal leader
‘In over his head’: Conservatives launch first attack ad at Justin Trudeau, set to circus music and striptease
Poll: Who would you prefer as Prime Minister?
Michael Den Tandt: Trudeau ’s popularity could become his worst enemy
John Ivison: Can Justin Trudeau single-handedly rescue the Liberal Party of Canada?

The party seems to have concluded that if they want to win, they need to hit Mr. Harper where he lives, ­ on economic policy. If they can convince middle-class Canadians that the Conservatives are out of touch with the challenges facing their families, they think they can reel in former Tory voters.

A poll released Monday by Abacus Data looked at this very question and found that Liberal support jumped when Mr. Trudeau’s name was mentioned. Abacus said that one in four ‘‘Trudeau switchers’’ were former Conservative supporters.

If he continues to hammer the economic message in a confident enough manner, that number may grow.

But first, he will have to weather a Conservative campaign branding him as in ‘‘over his head’’ that launched Monday.

One suspects the new attack ads will put a crimp in Mr. Trudeau’s stratospheric approval ratings, at least initially, because they amplify a kernel of doubt that everyone has about the new leader, ­ even among those on his own team. One ad shows a brief shot of Mr. Harper chatting with Barack Obama and contrasts that with Mr. Trudeau’s resumé as a camp counsellor, rafting instructor and drama teacher. ‘‘Can he really run Canada’s economy?’’

It’s effective, but it may have a limited shelf-life.

Leaving aside the ethics of taking footage of him stripping at a fundraiser for liver disease, the problem with targeting poor judgment and lack of experience is that both can be remedied by time. If Mr. Trudeau can show Canadians that he is gaining experience and this is leading to better judgment, Canadians will give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m still amazed they didn’t try to paint him as a dilettante rich kid, ­ ‘‘one of them,’’ not ‘‘one of us,’’ ­ in the way they did with Michael Ignatieff.

Still, if this was the first day of the 2015 election campaign, all three leaders can take sober satisfaction that they gave a good account of themselves. Only 30 more months of this to go.

edit to add this from the comments. Too bad all politicians don't speak like this for real:


Indeed, the straight answer to Mulcair's demanding inquiry as to what skills Canadian workers are lacking in order to work at Tim Horton's would have been as follows:

'Mr. Speaker I can inform the honourable member that such unemployed Canadians are not lacking in skills but only in preparedness to work where the jobs are available, Mr. Speaker I have it on good authority that Canadian workers are not just refusing to move across the country to take these entry level jobs but indeed will not even commute to the next town in PEI to do so. Mr. Speaker it is sad, but in order to make up for the Canadians who chose not to work we must import workers who will work, and who will also pay the taxes needed to support those who will not'
I think the conservatice ad machine may have made an error in going after Trudeau so early in the game. 


1- They've defined him as the threat.  Meaning that he could be the guy to beat them.
2- When the election does eventually get called this kind of stuff might be stale.
3- How JT reacts and how he comports himself might lead some people to think that he is not in fact over his head.
4- The Liberals could turn this around and use the whole "divisive" politics thing to brand Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.  Given that voter fatigue and a persceived stale governement might be in play in 2015 this could be fatal.

The Young Dauphin won by a "landslide", but looking at the metrics, the hill wasn't too tall. The number of "supporters" in Quebec should be very worrying for the Liberal brain trust, they know as well as we do that the road to power is through Quebec:


Kelly McParland: Leadership votes show Quebec still unenthralled with Trudeau
Kelly McParland | 13/04/17 | Last Updated: 13/04/17 10:33 AM ET
More from Kelly McParland | @KellyMcParland

Of the 308 federal ridings in Canada, only seven managed to lure more than 1,000 people to cast a vote in the Liberal leadership election. Two in Vancouver, one in Kingston, two in Ottawa and two in Toronto.

That could serve as a microcosm of the Liberal world circa 2013. A few outposts in downtown English Canada, with big yawning gaps everywhere else. Ottawa Centre, at 1,593 votes, was tops in Canada, which can only feed the Conservative conviction that the capital is infested with enemies of the regime.

He may be hip, but Justin Trudeau’s approach to Quebec is a relic from the past, says rival Martin Cauchon
Liberals ‘disappointed’ by Quebec’s disinterest in leadership race despite Montreal’s Justin Trudeau

More noteworthy – and, from a Trudeau Liberal point of view, probably alarming – is the singular lack of enthusiasm evident in the voting numbers from Quebec. Nowhere across the country are the figures wildly impressive, generally ranging in the low- to middle-hundreds, but the figures from Trudeau’s home province are particularly desultory. Forty-eight voters in Abitibi-Temiskamingue, 81 in the Beauce, 53 in Chicoutimi, 61 in Joliette, 4o in Jonquiere, 59 in La Pointe-L’ile, 79 in Levis-Bellechasse, 56 in Lotbiniere-Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere, 54 in Manicouagan, 63 in Megantic-L’erable

It goes on.  Judging by the numbers, there is a bigger hotbed of enthusiastic Liberals in Alberta than there is in Quebec, though it’s a bit like comparing a dessicated apple to a dried-out orange. In all but three Alberta ridings,  the turnout managed to top 100, and Calgary Centre, with 684 Liberal voters, definitely wants watching.  That almost equals the highest turnout in all of Quebec, 694 lonely Liberals in Westmount. In Papineau, the new leader’s home riding, the vote totalled just 548.

If the prevailing assumption among Liberals is that Quebec was just waiting for the right candidate to come along so it could renounce its disinterest in federal politics and return to the days when the party could win 74 of 75 ridings, they may be in for a surprise. One of Quebec’s most famous sons, scion of a charismatic prime minister, after months of relentless campaigning and extensive media coverage, can’t get more than a few dozen people to cast a vote in ridings across his home province.

That’s not a wave of revival. That’s not even a ripple.

National Post
National Post link

‘If Harper took off his shirt in public, I’m not sure he’d raise any money for charity’: Trudeau’s mom - mad Tories are ‘bullying her Justin’

Justin Trudeau may have decided to turn the other cheek when faced with Conservative attack ads, but his mother isn’t going to let the Liberal leader be “bullied” by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“Someone is bullying my Justin and that makes me mad,” Margaret Trudeau told a crowd in North Bay, Ont. Monday night, where she was speaking on mental health awareness, according to NorthBay-Nipissing.com.

She called the Conservative attack ads on her son, which have been airing mainly during televised sporting events and show Justin Trudeau removing his shirt during a charity event, an “unfortunate” American practice that is politically effective.

But while she called for an end to “bullying” in politics, she took her own parting shot at Harper.

“If Stephen Harper took off his shirt in public, I’m not sure he’d raise any money for charity,” she reportedly told the crowd.

The Conservatives went on the offensive against Trudeau within 24 hours of his election as Liberal leader in mid-April.

Their first volley of ads featured video of Trudeau removing his shirt at a liver cancer charity event set to carnival question and declared the new Liberal leader “in over his head.”

The ads were widely-criticized for both the use of the charity event, which Trudeau’s mock striptease helped raise money for, and for an impressively-out-of-context quote attributed to Trudeau.
RangerRay said:
I agree.  My point was that charisma and fluff has beaten competent management and policy before.

It has, however in this day and age I have my doubts.

People want solutions to problems within an hour, just like on TV. Celebrity rules: Common sense, reason and logic run second to a charismatic, photogenic candidate whose head may be as empty as an old beer can.
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