Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My take on Justin

My friends and I have been discussing the federal Liberal leadership race and of course most of the talk has been about Justin Trudeau. So I thought it was about time that I speak my piece on the subject with a blog post.

First of all, Justin is not an elitist. If you know the true meaning of the word, you'd realize that. Justin has made it very clear that he does not have all the answers, but he is willing to listen to our ideas. Second of all, no matter what you thought of his father, Justin is not his father. They may be related, but they are two very different kinds of people.

The two obvious front runners in the Liberal party leadership race were Justin and Mark Garneau. Mark appealed to the older demographic of Liberal supporters along with those who could never allow themselves to support another Trudeau. Mark is full of ideas, with details, and was the obvious practical choice for leader. The problem for me is that the oldest generation in Canada are pretty much steadfast in their allegiance to a particular party or ideology. You're not going to convince a 'Big C' Conservative supporter who has always been a Conservative supporter to change stripes. The same goes for long-term supporters of the NDP. So the question is this: how do we get more people to vote Liberal in the next election?

I think you unleash the demographic that remains largely untapped to this day - the youth vote. The youth of Canada remain apathetic towards politics because what they have seen of it so far in their lives does not indicate that their vote would matter much. The youth see it as always the same games, the same lies, the same fraud, the same broken promises, the same allegiances to big business and an unwillingness to listen to anyone with a differing opinion - even within the same party. Let's be honest, the Liberals were just as guilty of this in the past as the Conservatives are now. But I believe that Justin Trudeau has the potential to motivate the youth of this country to get involved in politics like never before. Well actually, like nobody has since his dad. Because his father Pierre was the first modern politician to resonate with the youth of Canada. Trudeaumania wasn't just a catch phrase, it existed for real. Justin has proved he appeals to the youth of this country because as he has campaigned from coast to coast, a large proportion of the people who showed up at his rallies were youth. The twitterverse is filled with Justin supporters. This is one of the ways Mayor Nenshi earned his job in Calgary and I truly believe that this is how Justin will win the leadership race. If he becomes leader of the Liberal party he just needs to keep the youth motivated and mobilize them. If he can pull this off, he has a very good chance to win the next election.

There are some things that Justin will need to avoid doing to succeed. The tired practice in politics of negative attacks against people and ideas has to stop. It can no longer be about why the other idea isn't good and more about why this idea is better. Justin is not a natural politician. But he is an eloquent speaker who speaks from the heart. That is his strength. So he should avoid trying to sound like a politician and instead keep sounding like a sincere person who intends to foster change. Because that's what I expect from the next Prime Minister of Canada. Change. To what the people want.

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