Justin Trudeau should be the next leader of the Liberal Party. No, seriously.

If this guy’s name was Joe Smith, the notion that Liberals might turn to him would be a no-brainer

Justin for PM. Seriously

Photograph by Blair Gable

The only time Justin Trudeau had for an interview on a recent Thursday was over breakfast at his Ottawa hotel. Under his suit jacket, the sleeve buttons on his dress shirt were undone. His necktie was knotted, but left loose over an open top button. His mane of black hair was tousled. Even in genteel disarray, even dressed more or less like a couple hundred of his parliamentary colleagues, the 40-year-old Liberal MP for the Montreal riding of Papineau looked like a million bucks.

I showed up late, slumped into a seat, ordered an omelette. I’ve known Trudeau for nine years, never well. Trudeau wondered why I’d convened this little meeting. “Your first note to me said you’d need three minutes to chat. Now it’s breakfast and your photo department is calling my office looking to take pictures. What’s up?”

There was no point beating around the bush. It’s not as though he hadn’t heard the question before.

“We’re preparing two stories. John Geddes is going to do a reported piece on the current state of the Liberal party. And I’m gonna write a piece wondering why Justin Trudeau isn’t running for the Liberal leadership.”

Trudeau’s eyes rolled and he half-smiled—here we go again. And then his face changed. He stared past the tabletop into the middle distance. His expression darkened. He looked stricken.

“Nobody knows better than I do what the pressures of party leadership can do to a young family,” he said. “It tore mine apart.”

He wasn’t yet six years old when his father and mother separated in 1977. Sacha was just short of four, Michel less than two.

Today Justin Trudeau and his wife, broadcaster Sophie Grégoire, have two children, Xavier, five, and Ella-Grace, three. As it stands, Trudeau’s career has him travelling often to raise money for his beleaguered party. He was in Kingston, Ont., the night before I met him. But at least now he gets to spend weekends in Montreal.

“I want to spend more time with my family” is, of course, the classic exit line for men and women who need to escape a career in politics. Coming from Trudeau, it sounds more definitive than that. “Just the investment in time . . . ” he said, his voice trailing off.

So it’s definitive then? Well, never say never. As he discusses the challenge facing any Liberal leader over the next few years—“Bob Rae or anyone else”—Trudeau becomes progressively more animated. For a guy who was raised at 24 Sussex Dr., he turns out to be surprisingly attracted to a fixer-upper.

Sure, for three [UPDATE: two, actually. Sorry about that — pw] elections in a row, in 2006, 2008 and 2011, the Liberals have broken their previous record for lowest-ever share of the popular vote. Sure, they’ve never had fewer MPs than the 34 who limped away from the debacle last May 2. (They’re up to 35 since Lise St-Denis defected from the NDP four months ago.) “All the reasons people give me why I shouldn’t be leader”—the long odds, the shattered aura of inevitability, the pressure from Conservatives and New Democrats consciously executing a squeeze play against the Liberals from either side—“those are the very reasons that make the whole idea tremendously exciting to me.”

And on top of everything else, there’s the tantalizing prospect of a chance to do something even his father never accomplished, if only because nobody in his father’s generation ever had to.

“Whatever else he did, Pierre Trudeau was not a re-inventor of the Liberal Party.”

So will he run? Not now. Probably not soon. But maybe not never. In the meantime perhaps some of you are wondering whether I’ve lost my mind for even raising the notion that Justin Trudeau could be cut out for something more than late-night talk radio. Isn’t he just a clothes horse? A legacy pledge?

And yet. Take the name out of things for a second. If this guy’s name was Joe Smith, the notion that Liberals might turn to him would be a no-brainer. He has won and won again in a riding the Bloc Québécois used to hold, in a province where the Liberals have been picked apart by the Bloc and then the NDP. He is effortlessly bilingual. When he stands in a room, conversation stops. In a party whose woes include a punishing inability to raise money commensurate with the challenges it faces, he is a fundraising machine.

As for the name, it binds Trudeau inextricably to an enduringly popular aspect of the Liberal legacy that Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair, for their own reasons, won’t touch with a barge pole: the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“People still think there’s sort of a debate around the Charter that politicos go into,” Trudeau said. “And I get wrapped up in it too from time to time. ‘Oh, Justin’s trying to defend his father’s legacy.’ The debate is done on the Charter. It defines Canadians. It defines Canada. People, even in Quebec, are 88 per cent supportive of the Charter, even if they get reminded every now and then, ‘We were left out of the Constitution!’ ” (The number comes from a CROP poll last autumn for Idée Fédérale, a Quebec federalist group.)

As Trudeau’s entire brief career has demonstrated—he was elected for the first time in 2008—everything about him, from his name to his grin, irritates a lot of people. As he has also shown again and again, those people are outnumbered by others who rather like him.

Since our breakfast was turning into a string of blunt questions, I gave him another. Is Justin Trudeau cut out for serious work?

“Listen. There are two groups of people out there. People who know me and who’ve worked with me and people who haven’t. That’s the only distinction that matters. What did people say when I said I would run for a hotly contested nomination in Papineau? ‘Ridiculous. He’ll never win.’

“And then against Vivian Barbot,” the popular Bloc incumbent? “ ‘Are you kidding? It’s impossible. He’s totally full of himself and delusional. He’ll never win.’

“Even in this silly boxing match, people said, ‘He’s so out of his depth, it’s ridiculous. He doesn’t even know what he’s doing.’ Somehow I keep being strangely lucky.”

The silly boxing match, of course, was his nationally televised charity fight against Patrick Brazeau, a young Conservative senator built like a brick wall. Brazeau came at Trudeau determined to take him apart. He left with a bloody nose after Trudeau won a TKO in the third round.

“He hit me with an abandon and a strength in those first moments that honestly I hadn’t felt before. It wasn’t painful. It was just surprising and disconcerting. I was like, ‘Okay. This is not the way it was supposed to go.’ And that was the only moment where I sort of went, ‘Okay. This might not have been as good idea as I thought it was.’ And then as soon as it started it stopped. Suddenly my counters were landing and he was sort of empty.”

And there were still two rounds left to fight. Trudeau’s height and reach advantage did the rest.

The only lesson from all of this for Trudeau’s political future, perhaps, is that he had trained for precisely this sort of confrontation, and that he had taken pains to ensure his confidence was earned. In Montreal he sparred with experienced boxers who were built like Brazeau, small and hard-packed. When Sophie started to think this was a bad idea, he invited her to come watch him prepare.

“My wife couldn’t get past the size of his arms, and just what a scary mofo he was. And that generally delighted me. But I told Sophie, ‘Look, come in and watch me train one time. I’ll take on someone who has the exact same build as Pat, a little more boxing experience, and I’ll show you that I can hold my own.’ No problem. So she eventually came around to trusting me on this.”

Brazeau went away disappointed. So, Trudeau thinks, did some of his own friends. “I think a lot of people close to me figured it was good because it would be a little lesson in humility for me.” No such luck.

But it isn’t aerobic endurance that Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff were lacking when they went to the electoral mat in 2008 and 2011. It’s as though recent Liberal leaders have lost the key that used to unlock the Canadian electorate for generations of Liberal leaders. The current Liberal caucus, led for the moment by Bob Rae, seems barely coherent. Eleven of its MPs are from Ontario, 12 from the four Atlantic provinces. The party’s electorates in its last two strongholds have almost nothing to say to each other. Perhaps the Liberals have noticed this. The Conservatives sure have. The party is essentially defined at one end by the pieties of Cabbagetown sophisticates, at the other by the teetering economics of seasonal employment insurance.

“And a few anglos in Montreal who have no other choice,” Trudeau said with a smirk, extending the harsh analysis before his tone changed and he set about refuting it. “No. There’s more to the Liberal electorate than that, obviously. In our last election we got over 2½ million people across the country to vote for us. But where you fall into the trap of trying to identify the electorate is, if we were to start to focus that way, we’re already beaten.”

The Harper Conservatives are masters at identifying highly motivated slices of the electorate and appealing to them, Trudeau said. “And the choice the NDP made in Thomas Mulcair, while a smart choice in terms of getting someone who can be a counterweight to Stephen Harper, exacerbates that.”

For the Liberals to start sifting for their own highly motivated micro-electorates would be a mug’s game, Trudeau argues. “As I know from 30 years of fighting against sovereignists in Quebec, if you allow them to set the terms of the debate, you’ve already lost. And if the debate becomes about who can better identify the niche groups that are going to vote for you, the Conservatives have us beat. There’s no question about it. They have the information, they have the data, they have the capacity, they have the targeting, they have the networks, they have power. So they can do it.”

The alternative is to appeal to people across their narrow concerns. Trudeau claims to see, in last month’s surprise victory of Alison Redford’s arch-moderate Progressive Conservatives over Danielle Smith’s conservative Wildrose Alliance, the possibility that such an approach could work. “What we saw with the Alberta election is, mainstream Canadians, to use an imperfect word, are deeply worried. They woke up in Alberta. And that’s all it was. People woke up and said, ‘We’re not the lake-of-fire rednecks that people are painting us to be.’ Albertans are not that. Same people who voted for Naheed Nenshi,” the similarly none-too-conservative mayor of Calgary. “That was not an accident. Alberta has got, just like everyone, a tremendously strong set of ideas and values about Canadian diversity and Canadian strength. And the mainstream is just waiting to be not polarized and not made cynical.”

This may sound naive. It probably sounds naive. Trudeau hurried to sound less naive. “Any politician who’s going to overcome that cynicism has a huge job. I used to say in the last election that before we can convince Canadians that we have the best platform, we have to re-convince Canadians that politics should be in the business of shaping the future of Canada. And we didn’t get the first part done. People don’t believe that any politician is any different from any other one.”

So how, precisely, would a weakened and internally incoherent Liberal party do better next time? “My sense is that leaders will not be able to do it alone. It has to be led from a movement, a team that involves more than just the leader. A lot of strong voices that remove the emphasis a little bit on leader.”

So it would involve the Hypothetical Nameless Future Liberal Leader, with Justin Trudeau at his or her side? “Yes. I plan on being extremely visible in the next few years. But almost in a way of de-emphasizing that focus on leadership that we have.”

So the rail-thin, lion-maned clothes horse with dimples like moon craters, a giant-killing right hook and a weapons-grade surname will position himself as the loyal helpmate of a post-leadership-fixation Liberal Party? It’s so crazy it just might work.

“One of the things I said publicly when we first appointed Bob Rae to be interim leader and people said, ‘Oh, do you think he’s going to stick to it?’—I said it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. If we don’t have a leadership candidate who can hold Bob to his promise, or defeat Bob, then we need Bob to be the leader. It’s a self-regulating system.”

By the same logic, of course, if Bob Rae isn’t cut out to be the leader, and it really is a self-regulating system, somebody else should move into the slot. Justin Trudeau is three years younger than Stephen Harper was when Harper became leader of the Canadian Alliance. But he won’t entertain the possibility that his time is near.

What does Sophie think of all this? “She is my toughest critic, no doubt. She holds me in check and keeps me grounded, every step of the way. Pretty much whenever I make the newspapers or I’m trending, and people across the capital are rolling their eyes, saying ‘What did Justin Trudeau do now?’ you know I’m getting an earful from my wife, who is inevitably upset. Or concerned.”

People used to say she should be the one in politics, not him. “She is in politics. She really dislikes politics. Intensely. Her sense of service is as finely tuned as mine is, in the sense of giving to this country and this world that has given so much to us. But most days she’d rather I was running an NGO than sitting in this House. I have to keep telling her and reminding her—and reminding myself—that the biggest NGO, pick whichever one you want, is still at the mercy and whim of sovereign governments and parliaments.”

So the most prominent Liberal in the country remains an admirer of governments’ ability to get things done. His faith in the ability of the Canadian people to rise above difference, to perceive and work toward an agreed-upon notion of the common good, remains. He’s fascinated by the challenges his party faces. He’s genetically connected to the last distinct brand advantage his party has, the Charter of Rights. And he’s shown a knack for surprising victories against long odds.

There’s an obvious solution to all this. But Justin Trudeau says it’s not his time. Yet.




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Justin Trudeau should be the next leader of the Liberal Party. No, seriously.

  1. “They woke up in Alberta. And that’s all it was. People woke up and said, ‘We’re not the lake-of-fire rednecks that people are painting us to be.’” Yes Justin. That would be your people painting Albertans this way.

    • Oh for crissakes, the freaking wildrose candidate said that. Not Trudeau, not his “people.”

      • Go ahead. Re-read what I wrote. I dare you!

        • Once was enough, thanks.

      • Leave him be. AB conservatives have been stuck in self pity and loathing for all things liberal for more than 30 years now, even when they are IN they can’t let go the grudges. Grudges that have grown exponentially over the years. If the Liberals problem was pride, hubris and a sense of entittlement from being in charge for too long, the [c]onservative problem has always been a small minded addiction to their sense of grievance. Even now it looks like many of them refuse to let go and accept their new sense of national leadership and responsibility; let’s face it, they LIKE having a perpetual chip on the shoulder – that’s their problem, not ours.

        • I think you should have capitalized liberal, there.

          • Too lazy. But you’re right.

    • Not just Albertans. All Canadians of a conservative bent, and the portrayal was that we are “un-Canadian”. This is one of the main reasons I loathe the LPC and celebrated their recent implosion.

      • And now your party is doing as bad or worse, and you are oddly silent. Why?

        • I think you’ve given the reason in your past comments: I’m a disingenuous liar with an axe to grind. Also, as someone else here pointed out here, I’m a complete nutjob. And as many, many people tell me on a regular basis, I’m an idiot. So why ask?

          • Well according to you i’m a reactionary [ if you knew me you would know how silly that is].
            Why do so many conservatives reach for self pity when they are challenged?
            For what it is worth to you[ not much i guess] i don’t think you are a nutbar, neither did i call you a liar. I said you were being disingenuous about wanting a strong opposition when you consider all the possible ramifications of the centre of our national politics either disappearing or being moved right. Maybe i did you an injustice; you haven’t thought it right through or genuinely disagree with my conclusions. I don’t know , you prefer to be offended by charges i did not intend to level. There is a world of difference between called disingenuous and being called a liar. If i crossed that line i shouldn’t have. But i’m so sick and tired of listening to conservatives rail against Liberal perfidy while seemingly remaining wilfully oblivious to their party setting out to become a replica, without the slightest indication of shame or irony.

  2. He had more than one thing to prove through that boxing match with Brazeau — and now Canada knows that he’s got both royal jelly and jam. I think he may be persuaded over the next year to run and if so, he would become leader. Then when harper and mulcair attack him because of his father’s record, they will showcase to Canadians their bitter, envious bully boy ways, while Justin charms the masses with his kinder, gentler manners and policies. I see him as Liberals’ best chance over the next 10 years. But I also could see that it would be tough for him and his family to listen to the jeers of the haters — I think people would expect he could easily win the first election as leader, but I’m not sure that’s true. But after the next year of listening to harper and mulcair venomously shred each other, someone young and innovative — yet scrappy — will look very appealing to the electorate.

    • Okay I am starting to hate this: I typoed on my own name and cannot get in to correct it. Sigh. This disqus is a pain.

      • Do you have a disqus account or are you simply typing your name and email in each time?

  3. You can just see it now. Paul Wells is already planning his canoe trips to the high north, with Justin.

    • Careful what you say. Wells reads comments on his own glorious scribblings.

      • Yeah i saw him in MECo op the other day shopping for PFDs. Man the world is full of petty people with time on their hands.

        • “Man the world is full of petty people with time on their hands.”

          Evidently.

          • Whatever! If you can’t distinguish between mocking a pontless ad hominum and being hypocritically judgemental that’s you problem, not mine.

  4. Did the federal Tories talk about how the BC Liberal Party’s wins in BC represented a sign of success for them federally as much as how the the federal Liberals talk about how the Alberta Conservatives winning (and the Alberta Liberals crashing to their worst result ever) is a good sign for them?

    • The Alberta Liberal vote might have shrunk (but they still did better in terms of seats and popular vote than the Dippers) but the Alberta liberal vote did just fine.
      If Alison Redford were in almost any other province she would be a Liberal. The populace decided to rally around her to stave of the Wildrose bunch. The PCs will have to govern with that in mind because those same voters could head back to the Liberals if they aren’t happy.

    • Those liberals didn’t just impotently “crash.” They made a choice to go to Redford.
      And it is not as obvious as all that that the BC libs were an offshoot of the Harper tories; far from it. It is widely regarded as a coalition of libs/cons…something i personally do not like to see on the political scene.

    • The Liberal Party of BC has almost nothing in common with the Liberal Party of Canada, except for the name. When Gordon Campbell took over the LPBC it was simply a coalition of everyone who didn’t want to be NDP. Since then it has shifted to basically become the Reform Party of BC. For example a guy who lives near me named John Reynolds, who was previously the leader of the Alliance Party in Ottawa and later Harper’s house leader, is a loyal member of the LPBC. So yes, the Tories DO talk about a LPBC success as a success for them. Conversely it is obvious,that the LBC will be soundly defeated by the NDP in BC next election and the prospect of that has Harper wetting his pants.

  5. I sympathize with his reluctance — but I hope he takes the plunge sooner rather than later. I am old enough to have voted for his father in that magical first election, and I did so for the same reason I (and many others) would vote for a Justin led party. Both are human, with human failings, but the principled love of our country shines through in almost everything they do and say.

    • My sentiments too… by taking the leadership plunge now, there are three years for Trudeau and a renewed party to prepare for the epic fight for Canada which is now being sadly being plucked apart by faux-conservatives.

    • I saw his father screw working people with wage controls (there were NO price controls), and his father killed the Carter Comission and its proposal to elimnate Cpatial Gains exmption. in defference to Bay Street. Lett wing my eye. Justin will be no different. Bay Street will tell him to jump and Justin will ask how hight without blinking an eye.

  6. Anybody would be better than Bob Rae.

    • Michael Ignatieff sure wasn’t

      • Actually, he was.

  7. That was interesting. Maybe it is a generational thing but i can’t see it the way JT does, that we [or the LPC] are in a kind of post leadership era. I get what he says of course, but it sounds like a bit of a cop out to my aging ears. Not that i blame him. I was lucky enough to be around a lot to see my kid grow up[ i'm still sleep deprived 10 years on]. The grind must be awful for our pols that have young families. But really, what is he there for then? Find another challenging career! He has god given gifts[ and liabilities] brutal as this sounds, he has a duty to use them.
    There has been a lot of talk in the punditry over the libs not needing another saviour – fair enough. But it is simply a fact that in this country in particular who the leader is, is central to our politics. Maybe that is a bad thing; maybe it is part of the reason that politics has become so centralized and squalid in recent years, but that’s the way it is, for better or for worse. I imagine JT knows this.
    Perhaps Justin sees something i can’t; certainly young people seem more team orientated these days, turned off by Father knows best stuff. I guess we’ll see how strong his resolve is.

    When the libs use their new system to pick a leader it will be interesting to see what those outside of the party thnk about him sitting out; sometimes history chooses you, whether you like it or not.

    er…Justin, if you should glance at this, try and drop that qualifying verbal tick you have…’sort of’…it drives me nuts…can’t think why?

  8. JUSTIN TRUDEAU IS AN IDIOT THIS IS WHY IT IS A NO BRAINER

    • Why is this a no brainer? A rhetorical question, or are you answering your own question?

    • This would be the first example I’ve seen where I clicked on the “show comment” button and didn’t find one of the best comments on the thread. Kudos….I guess…you’ve helped to legitimize Disqus’s and Macleans’s idiotic comment-censoring policy.

  9. Is this another instance of the media choosing the next Liberal leader, and in their wishful thinking, the next Prime Minister? As Barbara Amiel once said, “the media made Pierre Elliot Trudeau and we will take him down”.

    • Amiel was wrong then, as she frequently is.
      It is also a bit rich coming from someone in her exalted position in the chattering classes, someone who has had immeasurably more say in who gets to run things in this country than you or i. Her middle name is practically entittlement.

      • That may be so, but she wasn’t wrong. The media does promote and bring down at their whim.

        • well, i wouldn’t disagree with that. Look how Martin was the media’s darling one moment, a loser the next.
          Still think she was wrong about PET, he left on his own terms after a walk in the snow…the one that got away.
          Wait and see how they really turn on Harper once they think the blood is in the water…course i’ll be cheering all the way…couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

          • I was pretty sure the media had decided that Danielle Smith was the next premier of Alberta. Maybe thei whim isn’t quite so powerful?

          • Right, i guess they aren’t omnipotent eh!

          • http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1173339–hebert-is-justin-trudeau-the-liberals-salvation#.T6RSD_VLYnw.twitter
            Wait a minute! This just breaking[for me anyway]

            How many more of your spiritual hug bunny colleagues have you roped into your dastardly scheme today Wells? Tabs,Pots, Coins so far, and now Chants. Trying to goad young Trudeau into running just for your blood sport – you cads?
            I completely concur with Chantals last line. Trudeau is the perfect hill for the libs to die on…or rise to glory!It’s Game 7. The son against the family nemesis.
            That could go a number of ways couldn’t it? Mulcair might still get to pick up the pieces or worst of all Trudeau would be a spoiler for more Harper
            .Never underestimate the power of sentiment in politics though, and it isn’t as if JT would be running against a guy with a vision for the future that inspires anyone but a CEO or bean counter. Game on!

  10. One of the interesting aspects of Trudeau (that the Conservative haters consistently get wrong) is that the guy is both substantive and instinctual. That served him well in choosing where to run and who to fight… got him in a pickle over whether Quebec should separate if Harper continues dismantling the country.

    I think the POS incident is another good example where Trudeau got it right. Even Conservatives know it is true of course that Kent is a POS. What is interesting is that Trudeau called him out when he was using his ministerial powers to keep Megan Leslie out of a conference and then berated her for not attending. Trudeau’s response was accurate, passionate and genuine. It is pretty much hard-wired into the NDP’s DNA to hate Liberals largely because they see them as sell-outs; it would be a little harder for at least some NDP supporters to muster the such animosity towards Trudeau.

    • Agreed. Authenticity – good and not so good is part of the Trudeau package, as it was for his Father. JT though seems to have the gift of building bridges, wheras his father was more inclined to swim against the current – or drain the bloody lake if he had to. I don’t think, admirable as that kind of resolve was, it will fly so well today.
      Another attribute he seems to have aquired, perhaps through the genes, is to be well prepared and practised. To appear entirely spontaneous while in fact having assessd the risks. It is quite a knack to have.

    • I think that when you call Conservatives “haters,” you are projecting your own feelings towards them.

      • Actually Brad, I was separating out thoughtful Conservatives (such as yourself) from those who react to Trudeau in a thoughtless, reactionary fashion. The former may be more prevalent but the latter are louder.

    • I’m not yet sure that the guy is “substantive” (although I have been moving steadily closer to that position), and of course Kent is not a POS (although he was certainly acting like one in that incident), but I agree with the rest of your comment. I actually hoped for better from the NDP – I like to think (perhaps baselessly) that they are largely wrong but largely honestly wrong, not responding with kneejerk vehemence to their competitor.

      • Trudeau’s first initiative as an MP was to put forward a proposal to give 18-24 year olds some valuable employment skills in an international context. He was ridiculed as a fancy pants know-nothing by many on these pages. Unemployment stats in Canada are not so bad right now, but full-time employment of young people is awful. Trudeau was targeting the right spot for long term economic impact; hopefully someone like Jason Kenny is smart enough to pouch the idea and refine it.

  11. Just what are they smoking at MacLeans these days? Justin Trudeau is a man of next to no accomplishments ( even if one takes into account his winning that gong-show spectacle of a boxing match ), who takes apparent pride in screaming vulgarities at the minister of the Crown in the House of Commons, who in a mindless snit expresses sympathy for separation over same sex marriage marriage and abortion and who, when crossed, has a tendency to lash out with insults and bluster. And those are only instances of his behaviour from the last year! Who knows what delights the future holds?
    At least his father had a solid record in public life and academia before he became leader;
    unfortunately for Canada he was also an economic dilettante. His son is not even close to being that.

    • Wow. You’ve sure spent a lot of time following hs exploits. From your description, it sounds like he’s running for the wrong party.

    • I disagree strongly with most of Trudeau’s positions, but your charge that he “takes apparent pride in screaming vulgarities at the minister of the Crown in the House of Commons” is uncalled for. He apologized for that misstep, and frankly did so with class. My recollection is that he showed considerably more class than the minister in question.

  12. Nice interview… this Albertan can hardly wait until Justin vies for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada because he is such a sincere, passionate Canadian.

  13. This is absolutely proof positive that Paul Wells is off his rocker. A freaking substitute high school drama teacher running our country?????? That anyone would even consider this possibility blows my mind!
    Anyway, if the Liberals want to go down that road then, please, go right ahead. Steven Harper will destroy him and finally put the LPC out of their misery once and for all.

    • Well Big T…your mind must be fairly tiny to be blown away by that idea! I’ve agreed with most everything said in the first batch of replies. All were thoughtful and perceptive…until I got to yours. Trudeau has genuine character and spirit; I loved how he spoke up with such passion over Peter Kent’s foul dealings re Megan Leslie (what a turd Kent is, indeed!). I also loved how JT TKO’d Brazeau when most thought Brazeau would wipe the floor with him (Good one, Justin!) I have no doubt whatsoever that Justin will not only be the Liberal leader eventually, but also our Prime Minister…and I know he will do a damn good job of it too.

      • Well, RFS, if it is small minded to expect a leader of a G8 country to have some life experience or education or some kind of gravitas, then I guess I am guilty as charged.
        If you will, please educate me as to Mr. Trudeau’s qualifications. Has he ever met a payroll? Has he ever been in charge of some kind of organization which would show that he had management skills. Has he ever written anything which would demonstrate any in-depth knowledge of foreign affairs, economics, health care, national defence, transportation, agriculture or any of the vast array of departments which he would be required to manage.
        If you can point to anything at all other than great hair, passion, a left hook, and a bit of a potty mouth, then I’ll jump on the bandwagon.
        Please, I look forward with great anticipation to hear your response.

  14. Justine Trudeau would be a refreshing change to the Federal Liberal Party, and, would likely garner a stronger percent of the Quebec vote plus the younger voter throughout Canada. The only issue I have is what does he stand for? What would the Liberal policies be under a Trudeau leadership.

    Canada must not become a nation of polarized politics comprising of the NDP left and the Conservative Right. We must have a choice. The Federal Liberals represent both the center right and left and really have not been too radical. Justine Trudeau has strong potential.

  15. “So will he run? Not now.”

    The Crystals:
    Each time I saw him
    I couldn’t wait to see him again
    I wanted to let him know
    That he was more than a friend
    I didn’t know just what to do
    So I whispered I love you
    And he said that he loved me too
    And then he kissed me

  16. Oh come on!, Trudeau knows nothing about anything.
    Name one solid accomplishment of this manchild.
    Name one private sector job he has held.
    Heck point to any real contribution to society at all.
    Weapons-grade surname? The surname is despised by more than half the population, his father left office as the most hated man in Canada whether Liberal hacks wish to pretend that’s not so, it’s a fact.

    • Well, you’re pretty determined to hate him, so I expect no answer will satisfy you. Instead, I’ll ask YOU a question.

      Can you, in one night, raise a quarter million dollars to fight cancer? That sounds like an accomplishment.

  17. Wow, ha, ha, ha… I thought “Liberal” media whores were desperate when they were campaigning for Dijon or Count Iggula, but seriously, Castro’s nephew (son), I mean Trudope’s kid.. ha, ha, ha… now thats desperation. A high school drama teacher with all the intellect of a fart and the son of the worst PM (dictator) in Canada’s history? You got to be kidding, right? I can appreciate “Liberal” media drones sentimental longing for the days of Disco Dictator Trudeau, much like a 12 year old girl tingles for Justin Bieber, but Castro’s nephew as their new messiah is a ludicrous wet dream of irrationality and unhinged desperation. I thought Wells lost all credibility when he angrily called the Auditor General, Sheila Fraser a “drama queen” for exposing the “Liberal” party theft of 100′s of millions of dollars from the treasury in the “Adscam” scandal, but as this piece shows, I was wrong. Wells exposes his cult like worship of all things Trudope, a kind of day dream Susie psychosis that further illustrates the depths of irrationality, and desperation that infects the minds of all Trudopian “Liberals” encrusted within the depraved, thoroughly corrupt PPG. However, if Castro’s high school drama teaching nephew, and the son of a disco dancing gargoyle of destruction and tribalism is the best “Liberals” have to offer then by all means, go for it!!

    • Ah, the press release from the Pmo has arrived at last.

      • Ah, a “Liberal” staffer poops his pants… again.

        • Jimmy, it’s time for Little League practice — your mum’s calling. Seriously, are you 10 years old, with your potty humour and immature puns on names?

          • patty, it’s time to stop crying — your Mum has a lollipop for you. Seriously, are you a little girl, with your Sunday dress and your delicate sensibilities.

        • If you were the lone voice of the CPC, I’m sure nothing would make Liberal staffers more happy. Trudope? Count Iggula? Dijon? Is that what you’re rolling with? Really? Wow.

          • If slack jawed “Liberals” like yourself insert Castros nephew as your new messiah, I’m sure nothing would make the PMO happier. “gottabesaid”? does it really? Wow.

        • Yuk yuk yuk.

  18. Did Wells have a tingle go up his leg as he talked to the dauphin? Have him run for leader and see what he gets. He thinks the Charter business is settled. Try saying that in an election campaign. Where would Trudeau get the constituency to vote for the Liberal party? The West want nothing to do with the Trudeau name. Quebec broadly speaking wouldn’t vote for him. Somehow I don’t think most of Ontario has the feeling of love for the Trudeau name. He is smart in one thing. Pass on the leadership Trudeau.

    • Gee it must have really raised your dander when the dauphin punched out your tuff guy.
      Harper is looking mighty thin skinned these days; cards gettin’ a little cold?

      • Couldn’t have cared less but must admit I wish Brazeau had of knocked his block off. S’ la vie.
        I would be thin skinned too. Trying to break up the nanny state is a tough job. However, enjoy it because when the next election comes Canadians will only be interested in did the government create jobs and economic opportunity. That will be the question and Harper will win hands down.

        • Indeed Canadians are a quiet lot, but there is an underlying current in it’s citizens, a sleeping giant if you will.
          It’s all good to trumpet the economy, but Ontario is a key province and though the troubled Eastern manufacturing sector may raise smirks out west, Ontarians will grow to resent the petro dollar state. Alberta didn’t like the NEP and a large voting block in the East will be looking at Harper and judging him. Couple that with ethical issues, government deceit and deflection and the myriad of problems that arise with having been in power a while and the great Canadian microscope powers up. You don’t think it will be focused on Harper?

          • Nobody is dissing Ontario. The fact is the economy is changing and manufacturing jobs are being lost because those jobs are going overseas (could it be the unions that killed the golden goose?) and the terrible policies of the Liberal McGuinty government.
            Without the resources of the West where would Canada be today? Down the sewer my friend whether you want to believe it or not. What would drive the Canadian economy? We would be in the same position as the U.S. You should thank your lucky stars we have resources to sell.
            You can talk about ethics all you want but the bottom line is the opposition tried in vain along with their supporters to create scandal for almost 6 years culminating is a contempt charge. Canadians ignored these shenangins and elected a majority government. The fact is there are only three choices. Harper is the best of the lot. Canadians instinctively know that. So you and the Libs can hope that Canadians are going to buy the b.s but I suspect Harper will be just fine come 015.

          • Yeah, get rid of those unions, drive those wages down. We’ll be fine then, wont we? .

          • No but could we bring some balance and reason particularly in the public sector unions. You cannot be happy they are making wages and benefits that only most Canadians can dream about. How have the unions helped Ontario. People like you are arguing that union jobs are moving offshore. Why is that? We both know the
            answer. How’s it working for you now? Like you I don’t have the answer because there is inequality. However, nobody that I know of has the answer. I know one thing. More government money is not the answer.

          • Would definitely agree that this particular inequality is an issue that needs addressing.

    • After that little love fest, Wells probably had to lay back and have a smoke

      • YA…. Marijuana…..

    • Stopped at the charters not settled…don’t know why I bothered that much really.

  19. I would vote Liberal for the first time if Justin Trudeau was leading the party.

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    • Why, because his name is Trudeau?

  20. I can respect the fact that he wants to protect and enjoy the time he has with his family. However fate rarely calls upon one when they are ready. With great power comes great responsibility and has the fortune of being a position to make true change to Canadian politics and the Liberal Party. He started off on the path of change by choosing education as his chosen profession, now MP, and hopefully he will look to take on a roll of leadership and attract new talent to the party. I like Mr. Rae. I think Mr. Rae will do an excellent job rebuilding the party however he is not the future of the party and he knows that. What we, as Liberals and Canadians do not know is where are we going as a Nation. We keep running into the same pathetic problems in government. Eg. Spending issues, Lack of Trust issues etc. Why? Because we continue to elect managers and not leaders. We must encourage Mr. Trudeau to step up to the plate and lead. Our country needs some spark of authenticity to help carry us into the future.

    • Oh please. Just because his name is Trudeau? Grow up !

  21. Justin knows what the right time will be…

  22. Let him run and Alberta will show him that we have never forgotten or forgiven his daddies NEP program.

    He may have star appeal to those in the East but out west he is a Trudeau and that will always be a hindrance to the Liberal party in the West.

  23. No we do not need another Trudeau as aleader of any Party to screw up this Country as His old Man did, we will be paying for it for the rest of our Lifes, just look at what he done. if He is anything Like him GOD help us.

  24. God fordid. I am also old enough to remember how father distroyed my Canada and we do not need another Trudeau to finish it off.

  25. I’ve said many times how much I loathe the Liberal Party. I have little more than pity for the late Pierre Trudeau – I’m certainly not one of his admirers. And I disagree with Justin Trudeau on an awful lot of serious things.

    That said, the more I see of him, the more I like him. I agree with Wells.

    • You might want to see a Psychiatrist.

      • You’re right, I’m a complete nut. But as to my point, do you have anything pertinent to add?

        • Really! Is this the guy you’re holding up as an examplar of all us “reactionary” Liberals? I voted you up by the way, if you don’t like it sue me. :)

  26. Typical liberal. “Why would i want to sacrifice my family time for Canada?” If every Canadian thought that way nothing would get done.

  27. In all seriousness and with heart felt intonation, Justin please cross the floor we want you on our team call team NDP.

  28. I’m sure that Justin Trudeau is a very decent person but: a) his gaffe about Quebec separatism was a staggering failure of judgement and b) I think that if the Liberal Party elects him as leader, the party will look more than ever out of touch, living in dreamland (somewhere back in the ’70s or ’80s) and irrelevant. I volunteered for the Trudeau Liberals many times when I was younger. I can’t regret my idealism but I regret how power corrupted Trudeau and how he in turn abused power in ways that continue to hurt Canada. If the federal Liberals are smart, they’ll do surveys with the general public to see whether Trudeau Jr. is a help or a hindrance. If I didn’t guess that Paul Wells is an honest man, I’d suspect him of being a plant of the federal NDP.

  29. Justine offers the absurd notion that he “has been fighting sovereignists for 30 years”… what a delusional twit and a liar… what, you weren’t fighting “sovereignists” from the womb Justine? Does this empty headed nephew of Castro really think that kind of mendacious rhetoric has any resemblance to reality? Maybe Justine really thinks he’s Pierre, and that this is 1968 and anyone outside of the cult of Trudopia actually believes this warmed over BS. Hey Justine, your Father was full of s##t and so are you! The only thing similar between Turdo Sr. and little Turdo is their inherited riches, their insufferable self importance a propensity for delusions of grandeur and an indoctrinated ability to nurture divisions. Anyone suggesting that a substitute high school drama teacher has the abilities to lead a corrupt political party, or more ludicrously, the PMO, simply because he has a certain despised name really needs to move to North Korea or Haiti or perhaps Cuba where that type of despotic nepotism is the norm.

  30. If Justin became the Liberal leader, I’m convinced that, after all is said and done, he would be remembered as an even greater PM than his father. This is why the right take every opportunity to berate and criticize him. He’s the real deal.

  31. We are a large country, surely we don’t need to succumb to nepotism.

    • Have you checked out the whole political scene all over this country?Right across the political spectrum, from municiplal to federal you will find plenty of examples of family dynasties, or politcal families cropping up again and again. Singling out young Trudeau because his is the most obvious example is simply not fair.

    • Arcite,

      The problem is, despite the land mass, that we are still a small country. We probably have fewer people than all the Benelux nations combined. Or the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.

  32. Why isn’t Justin Trudeau ready to take the reins as leader of the Liberal Party? He’s too young and he still has his wild oates to sow. Trust me: when I show up at an interview with my tie more than slightly askew, it’s because I was tying one on the night before. Having been a longhair myself, I have nothing against the hair. But he’s obviously not comfortable in a suit and tie.

  33. This commentary is nonsense. Turdeau (both father and son) have no more claim to love of country then did TC Douglas, Jack Layton or I. That isn’t the issue. The issue is who is best able to move us forward and away form over 35 years of disasterous fiscal and monetary policy. Trudeau shelved the Carter Commission that would have reformed the tax system, eliminated capital gains, and made the weatlhy pay their share. Our funding shortfalls today are directly attributable to this. In the early 80s wage and price controls was solely price controls. The LPC oversaw a regime where ordinary workers saw their wages suppressed in the name of slaying the deficit dragon. Trudeau is famous for supposedly shunning Thatcher and Regan, but the fact is that under his, and successive LPC governments, real wages fall, productivity grew, the gap between rich and poor increased, and services to Canadians in every imaginable area were cut in the name of so called deficit fighting. Martin, Manley continued this policy with not a whimper from so called progressives like Justin Trudeau, and the result is child and adult poverty, and working poor at a rate never before seen in the history of this nation. But no, you want us to believe that “love of nation” is all we need. Trudeaumania is the answer, elect the boy and all will be well. And how do you expect working people to take that to the bank. I love this nation just as much as his father and him. I served 25 years in the Canadian Navy and all that time voted NDP, and you want to tell me that I don’t love my country as much as they because I didn’t vote Liberal? Is that really the only answer you have? Vote Liberal? Again? What for St. Justin, he’ll walk on water like Jesus Christ? You comments dispaly either a willful ingnorance of history, a resolute need to believe in a savoiur at all costs, or a willful arrogance that verges on the unimangianable. Or, maybe it is combination of all three. Where do you get off telling anyone we have to do it the same way all over again because that is our only chance. What is this, Star Wars? “Help us oboe wan Turdeau”, you’re are only hope? What cowardice!

  34. Yeah… a guy riding his dad’s coattails… no proven skills… just the “Trudeau” name.

  35. To paraphrase from an earlier oral ejaculation of his in the house: That piece of shit! Really?

  36. If the country truly expects Justin Trudeau to be its saviour, then Canada is in trouble. I question not so much his ability or his intelligence as I do his experience. It isn’t enough to carry the Trudeau name.

  37. I wrote this letter to the Liberal party after they lost:

    Dear Liberal Party,

    As a passionate Liberal party supporter, I feel compelled to write you this
    email and tell you what it is you are doing wrong and why you lost the election.
    While I don’t expect any kind of response, I need to get this off my chest and
    hopefully you will consider what I am about to tell you.

    The Liberals didn’t lose because of your politics or ideals or what the
    Liberal party stands for – you lost because you keep making creepy old men your
    leader. No matter what, Canadians just couldn’t vote for Michael Ignatieff,
    even though they support what the Liberals stand for. Just like they won’t vote
    for Bob Rae or any other out of touch old guy that you decide to make your
    leader.

    The Liberals needs to be young, fresh, innovative and definitely not
    creepy. I absolutely guarantee that you would have won this election, had your
    leader been a young, well-spoken, charismatic, charming individual with a
    magnetic personality to get Canadians excited about the Liberal party again –
    not unlike Barack Obama for the Democrats. But instead, you keep
    turning off Canadian voters with these leaders that are just a cancer to
    the Liberal Party if your goal is achieve votes from the Canadian people.

    What you should be doing is grooming someone like Justin Trudeau for
    Liberal leader right now – not deciding which way past their prime
    Liberal should now be leading you. To put it in the simplest of terms, the
    Liberals need a “rock star” as your leader. Do that and The
    Liberals will absolutely win the next election. But if you make Bob
    Rae or any other similar Liberal your leader – the Liberal Party will
    become extinct in Canada and that is a sad fact. I really hope you
    will learn from your mistakes and make true change. Relaunch the Liberals
    with a “rock star” as your leader and Canadians will follow.

    Thank You,

    • This is exactly the type of superficial nonsense that would ensure the end of the Liberal beast once and for all. “Rockstar”? What utter drivel! May as well insert a steaming turd as “Liberal” leader, stick a rose in it, and call it a “rockstar”… exactly the same intellect and smell, along with the same results and outcome.

      • Actually that would be incorrect. Justin has the potential to be the whole package and isn’t going to turn off voters like Ignatieff did. I see you took the term rockstar literally, but the point that went over your head was the fact that the Liberal Party needs to get people excited again. That’s simply not going to happen with some old fart who is out of touch with the world today. What they need is a young game changer and Justin could be that game changer.

        The Liberals didn’t lose because of their policies – they lost because Canadians couldn’t get behind Ignatieff. But they would get behind Justin Trudeau, who has everything that the Liberal Party ultimately needs to front them. But even if it isn’t Justin Trudeau – the Liberal Party will get nowhere with their current mindset and old men running things. If Obama was Canadian and in charge of The Liberal Party, he would have DESTROYED Stephen Harper. Fact. The Liberal Party needs to find their own Obama so to speak just to get rid of Harper.

  38. Paul Wells states, essentially, that we should view Trudeau objectively. We should view him in his own right for his effortless bilingualism, his command of a room and his charisma.

    It’s true that he has a lot of the qualities that are desirable in a political leader–Harper notwithstanding. However, I suspect most people, for Trudeau’s benefit or detriment can’t get past his history. Many will fawn over him because of his personal attributes and/or who he is. Many will despise him for the same reasons. He will always be a polarizing figure.

  39. Please, please tell me this is a joke.
    Louis, Victoria

  40. I fear that Macleans is going the same way as Time and Newsweek – putting out covers to get attention. Sad really.

    Trudeau may have good ideas (I haven’t seen any from him except for some vague suggestions about how things should be different), but leadership??? What has he lead – nothing!!

    The LPC is desperate to regain some relevance, but rather than doing the hard work (you know developing policy, building riding associations, regaining the confidence of Canadians) they may be tempted, once again, to go for the ‘name’. If they do it will be the end of the LPC.

  41. He should be the next leader of the NDP just to mess with peoples heads.

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