Deciphering Justin Trudeau

Six takeaways from the Liberal convention

Justin Trudeau. (The Canadian Press)

Justin Trudeau. (The Canadian Press)

The Maclean’s Ottawa bureau—Paul Wells, John Geddes and Aaron Wherry—break down Justin Trudeau’s keynote address to the Liberal policy convention in Montreal.

What he said: “You know, people ask me all the time: what are the biggest differences between me, Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair. There are plenty. For starters, Mr. Mulcair has a better beard, and Mr. Harper lives in a bigger house. But mostly, I don’t want to practice politics in a way that turns Nathalie’s anxiety into resentment. Both of our opponents feel, for their own reasons, that the more frustrated Canadians get, the better they will do.”

What to make of what he said: The debate over “negative” politics quickly and easily gets silly, but here’s a neat and possibly crucial attempt to define and differentiate oneself. Basically: I’m a nice guy. It might be more than that in various ways, but it’s also, on a certain level, simply that. And it might not be a particularly ridiculous pitch to make. AW

What he said: “For me, everything starts with the core liberal ideas of freedom and opportunity. The idea that no matter where and to whom you were born, you start free, and should have a fair shot at success. Upward mobility should be a realistic prospect for everyone. If you remain hard-working and forward-thinking, you should be able to build a better life for yourself, and pass on even more opportunities to your kids.”

What to make of what he said: The notion that upward mobility is threatened in Canada, or already thing of the past, is controversial. The leading expert on the subject, University of Ottawa’s Miles Corak, argues that Canada ranks right up there with Denmark and Finland in terms of kids doing better than their parents, and far better than countries where it’s hard to climb the income ladder, like the U.S. and Britain. Still, Corak told me last fall that Canada’s solid social-mobility track record is in jeopardy; he worries Canadians born, say, a decade ago might find it tougher to do better than their parents. But that remains to be seen over the next two or three decades. For now, it’s a worry rather than a proven trend. JG

What he said: “And to wealthier Canadians, I say this: the growth we have seen over the past three decades has been the product of a broadly supported agenda. Investments in education, fiscal discipline, openness to trade. All of which the middle class voted for, repeatedly. Here’s the point: The original promise of that agenda was that everyone would share in the prosperity that it creates. It hasn’t happened. That’s not a political point. It’s a fact. And if we don’t fix that, the middle class will stop supporting a growth agenda.”

What to make of what he said: This section of the speech is contentious in two ways. Firstly, it’s not clear Canada’s middle class hasn’t benefited from the policies Trudeau mentions. Take fiscal discipline. The watershed was the 1995-1998 Liberal deficit-cutting period. After that, the middle class benefited, for example, from broad-based tax cuts starting in 2000. And Laval University economist (and Maclean’s blogger) Stephen Gordon has highlighted how median incomes have risen since the government finances were brought under control in the mid-1990s.  Secondly, on middle-class despair over economic policies that supposedly haven’t delivered, the latest polls I’ve seen show, despite 2013 having been a disappointingly flat year for jobs and growth, surprisingly resilient optimism about the outlook. Ipsos-Reid found 30 per cent of Canadians confident at the start of 2014, five points better than at the same time last year. Frankly, it’s not clear why. Whatever the reason, those numbers are hardly a harbinger of middle-class revolt. JG

What he said: “We need to get education right. Since we know that 7 out of 10 jobs in the future are going to require post-secondary education, well, we ought to have a national target of 70% PSE attainment. Now, I’m a Quebec MP, and I’m well acquainted with Section 93 of the Constitution. I know education is a provincial responsibility. But there’s a lot the federal government can and must do to support provincial policy. We’ve heard young Liberals speak up for young people all across the country. They are telling us that they need help. They need help paying for school, help with their debts and mostly help getting a good start in the workforce.”

What to make of what he said: This was just about the only numerical target Trudeau set in a speech that had been billed, wrongly, as a substantive economic treatise. It may mean a lot — Statcan says that in 2012 53.6 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and over had some kind of post-secondary education. Or it may mean nearly nothing: PSE attainment for 25-to-44-year-olds is already nearly 70 per cent, and the rate for the whole population has been rising all by itself for years. PW

What he said: “I say this to the grassroots Conservatives out there, in communities across this country. Indeed, we might not agree all the time on everything … but I know we can always agree on this: Negativity cannot be this country’s lifeblood. It may be the way of the Conservative Party of Canada’s current leadership, but it is not the way of those Canadians who voted Conservative. “

What to make of what he said: Here, and for several paragraphs after, Trudeau attempts the difficult work of putting a wedge between Stephen Harper and Canadian conservatives. Conservatives have spent a decade exploiting Liberal uncertainty about the worth of their own leaders, to great effect because none of those leaders inspired confidence. Now Trudeau seeks to turn the table on Harper. It would have been a fool’s errand before the year Harper has just had. Now Harper has to worry about it. PW

What he said: “Liberals in British Columbia, my second home, are again challenging us to expand our idea of what it means to be a free citizen in a modern democracy. This time, they want us to reflect on giving terminally afflicted Canadians the choice to end their pain and suffering, and plan their own death with dignity.”

What to make of what he said: For a second there I thought he was actually going to take a stance on one of the most complicated and fraught matters of public policy imaginably. No such luck. But it was interesting that he would even acknowledge the issue—to be voted on by Liberal delegates tomorrow—and it will now be interesting to see whether, if the party embraces the issue, the leader is willing to take it on. He (and the party) have already shown some desire to be bold (marijuana legalization). AW


Deciphering Justin Trudeau

  1. This comment was deleted.

    • Sam Bronfman made his fortune as a bootlegger. You’re no Bronfman. You’re a foolish little boy with a toy.

      • You’ve turned “ad hominum” in “ad dumbinium”

      • Pingston instead of attacking a man who died 40 years ago. Stick to the facts of today. FACTS not desperate fantasies.

    • That’s why your F*35ked.

      • The F35.. a flying bathtub. Can’t outfight one of our old Hornets. Can’t defend Thunder Bay from Toronto given its short range. Cost? $200 million per. Now multiply that mistake by 65. No question .. Dumb and dumber. The Harper crew have screwed Defense and screwed the vets who they used to get elected.

        • Good to see more people catching on and discarding the corrupt and Lockheed Martian propaganda. A modern F18 for 1/3rd the cost is ranked superior to a F35 with defects.

          What we should ask is are our people in Ottawa corrupt as any sane responsible decision would be to cancel the military welfare program.

        • I don’t know what the F-35 has to do with Trudeau, but know that the Liberals are in a class by themselves when it comes to botching military procurements and firearms. I have not forgiven the Liberals for cancelling the Eurocopter Tiger helicopters to the tune of $500 million dollars, and then finding out that it was indeed the only craft that could meet Canada’s needs, and instead chose Sikorsky helicopters to avoid the embarrassment that would ensue had they re-ordered the Tigers.

          On the surface the F-35 has its merits, and the current problems are very real and will cause delays and increased cost. But there are a lot of armchair analysts here who probably couldn’t even fold a paper airplane, let alone understand how complex a 5th generation multi-role fighter program is.

          Basically unless you can do 3D CAD, or CFD, or both, you’re not in the least qualified to comment on the F-35 program, and should recuse yourself from doing so.

      • Yes, USA Military Complex welfare. Makes me wonder if NSA has information on politicians and our civil service to keep the wastes going.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Doc.. If you had any knowledge of the effect of immigration on the growth of Canada’s economy you wouldn’t have posted this comment. I can infer that you don’t

        • Immigration is a good thing for our country.These people have education and work anytime Not like are true canadians are working much most are living in mommas basements them selves and refuse to work for min wage like they are worth more wuth no skills I See it all the time ,also it goes both ways .These so calles lazy foreigners come to work and are happy doin so They dont take are laws and abuse them to there advantage ,of.coarse there are some that do jmo

          • Not all immigration is good. It isn’t black and white, go or no go.

            If they are employable and work, let them in.

            If they are here to suck hard on others peoples money social assistance, boot them out or better yet, don’t let them in unless they have a job.

            We need less other peoples money for nonsense. Reason we don’t have as many domestic kids is because we are too busy supporting governemtn kids with tax inflated prices and excessive income taxes.

        • I know the percentage of immigrants that are unemployed in Toronto is extremely high. They are my patients and came to Canada for free health care and other social benefits but have bumper stickers from their homeland on their expensive cars.

          • “my patients”


      • ..yeah, and while we’re at it, let’s talk about Harper’s TFWs who are going to take your job, Doc! I’ll introduce you to the 65 welders in Fort Mac who were fired by Harper’s former employer.

        • The problem is with fraudulent schemes by employers not the TFW. So let’s put the blame on the right shoulders.

        • Probably union strife. Bet the non-union welders replaced them.

      • Depends, do the immigrants have jobs or are they looking to steal from Canadians via social assistance?

        I support all immigration of non-criminals with jobs to help this country work right.

        I do NOT support welfare immigration because they have future taxpayer (babies).

      • This is a rather supremacist and racist statement.

        • the more important question is … is it *true*? Some immigrants are good and industrious, others like the Khadrs and Shafias are traitors. Do you think the Khadrs are good Canadians?

        • But accurate….I know they are my patients I see the statistics.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Good handle.. Quite appropriate Asshat.

    • Agree with Paul

    • Remember, Liberals got us into the defective F35 program, Conservatives are just keepers of the waste.

      Sort of like Mulroney-Airbus scam, Liberals bought the planes with NDP union support as they all sold us out. Taxes are meant for common good, not back room buddy corruption. All our parties are about presenting illusions for big fat corrupt government to tax us like slaves for their buddies.

      The reasons we don’t have enough money to employ each others jobs, is we have 5 bloated layers of government to support. (city, prov, Ottawa, FN and mafia).

      • Good grief another movie script passing itself off as a comment.

    • You are simply revealing the foolishness of a Liberal thinker.

  2. Trudeau’s problem is a campaign built in the US by Americans and run by Americans who think Canada is just like the US. This is why all the disconnects listed above.

    • Would that be Harper’s hateful. lying and sneaky ways you are talking about. Now that’s made in America…

      • How about Obama’s end run around the Constitution which would just fit Trudeau’s love of dictators because they get the job done.

        • You display an inordinate ignorance of your own constitutional law.

          • Our constitution isn’t worth the paper its written on. Canada is a class cast based society with different rules for different social/racial groups in law, taxation, services and bailout corruptions.

            We can’t even define equality as immutable.

          • Another movie script based on delusional rantings. And they vote you say, pity.

        • End run around US Constitution? good grief educate yourself on the powers of the US Presidency before saying such nonsense.

      • That’s the irony. The Conservatives are true blue Canadians while the Liberals import tactics, strategy, call centers, convention observers, candidates and even leaders from the US.

        • What are you suggesting? What’s with the “true blue Canadians” stuff” ? That Conservatives are Canadians and those who aren’t, are not? Silly comment from a rather ignorant commentator.

        • You’re so called Conservatives are NOT. Sir John A. Macdonald would not know who they are and neither does any other Conservative leader today. Harper is a Reformist masquerading as a Conservative.

      • Canada and its educated masses are better off now than they have ever been. Check stats before you spout off.

    • Say what? That description actually sounds more like the Cons’ Republican-lite campaign…which, if anything, makes the “problem” Harper’s, not Trudeau’s.

      • Sorry bub. Harper = Republican is soooo yesterday. Justin has now taken his place as an Obama wannabee.

        • Just like Harper is soooo yesterday. We’re already counting down the days like an advent calendar.

          Cherish his remaining days in office…Bub.

          • I think you are premature. Justin is going to trip over his own feet. He is running an American campaign without the low-fo voter base Obama had. Trudeau’s base is rich white urban dwellers only found in the condo core of cities.

          • OK, if he’s so insubstantial, why don’t you just ignore him…please. No threat to Con-dom.

          • This is why 54% of all Canadians agree with him according to the newest poll. That is rather a lot of condo dwellers.

        • No .. Harper should not be compared to a Republican. He has much more power than any President. He might be compared to a Doge of Venice.

        • I often think that anonymous commenters are in fact hiding very biased and unpleasant views not based on reality but simply fantasy.

      • In your dreams. The Conservatives run Canadian campaigns not ‘hope and change’ wannabes. Could the Liberals be any more transparently kissing the boots of Obama, the worst President in US history?

        • The Cons run their campaigns on bait-and-switch scams. First income trusts, now income splitting.

          IOW, fork-tongued.

          • Yep, they all speak with fork tongue. Ottawa has a long history of providing illsuions, deciet, lies, false hope to justify the sheer tax greed and we the people who make this country work get very little value for the wealth we cart to bloated Ottawa.

            Every option on our ballot is statism, more government and less for the people who make the country work.

            Yep, they even insanely expect more jobs when they give us devalued money, tax us for less money, inflate our costs with hidden tariffs and taxes, then with less money we are supposed to have money to emply each other?

            Nope, our corrupt politics is about lies, deceptions, illusions to get our money for their back room buddies, unions, corporate welfare and huge money for nothign wastes.

            And we have no better options on the money/media rigged ballot.

          • Well, that was uplifting to read. Thanks for the dose of relentless cynicism.

          • Dave777 is unhappy with what Harper has done to him and now wishes to move to wonderful Arizona. Can someone help him.

        • Canadian campaigns? You mean the kind with U.S.-style negative ads, almost never seen before in Canada, except maybe for the one that blew up in Kim Campbell’s face?

          • or the military in our streets…we aren’t making this stuff up? or a gun pointing at the camera and going off at the end of the commmercial?
            sounds like liberal adds t only 10 years old…nice try with the 20 year old adds by a different party. keep obfuscating the facts…just like your man Obama

          • Read my comment again, carefully this time. I said that attack ads of the nature the Conservatives party uses have rarely ever been seen in Canada. The last one I remember that directly attacked a candidate personally, before Harper set the standard, was Kim Campbell’s “face of a Prime Minister” ad. This is the sort of ad you see on U.S. television, and that I have always found extremely distasteful, no matter whose ad it is. There is no obfuscation whatsoever.

            I am also fully aware that Ms. Campbell was PC, and that the current Conservative Party is not Progressive, Conservative or Reform, nor is it the sum of its parts.

            If I had anything to say about it, campaign advertising would be illegal. Candidates would have to address their voters directly to tell their potential constituents what they would do for them, as their representative in Parliament; no personal attacks allowed, and references to political opponents would be restricted to explaining why they believe what they are committing to would be better. After all, it’s supposed to be that MPs relay their constituents’ concerns, not act as puppets for the party ideology; let them be the messengers, with their reputations on the line. There’s nothing like personal responsibility and a personal stake to encourage appropriate behaviour from a candidate. The Conservatives want electoral reform? There’s an idea for them. While they’re at it, write it into law that an MP must represent his constituents, not the party ideology, and give constituents the right to fire their local MP for not doing so.

          • While we are at it, no polls during an election. Too many people either vote based on polls or skip voting if the polls say their guy has no chance. I can’t imagine a day when negative will go away, it works too well. JT is running what he says is a positive campaign and even though he technically is, he still badmouths Harper and Mulcair bother personally and on their real and perceived policies. Who should decide what negative is.
            Here is another crazy idea, you can only run for a seat if you actually live in the riding where you want to get elected, no more star candidates like we have seen from all parties.
            If the MP’s only represented their constituents we would have everyone looking out for their own part of the country and not the country as a whole, sometimes a policy that is bad for one area is good for the entire country, let’s all work together for Canada and not be so self absorbed with the “what’s in it for me and only me” attitude. We have a great country but all too often regions only look after their own interests and screw everyone else.
            As a matter of interest it was John Tory who came up with the Kim Campbell attacks on Chretien, the same guy that is running for TO mayor.

          • We don’t have decisions being made in the interests of the whole country try now! It tends to be whatever the PMO dictates, whether that it what’s best for the majority of regions or not.

            I can agree with a local-candidates-only regulation, but that seems exceedingly unlikely. I don’t like polls, either, but making them illegal would surely have Harper charged with trying to run a dictatorship again.

            It is clear that we do need some level of electoral and campaign law reform (including financing), but nobody has yet produced anything even remotely fair or workable. What we really need is to put partisan bickering aside and have a real, good-faith, all-party debate on what reforms would be both beneficial and appropriate. Now, we’re getting too far off-topic, so I will leave it at that.

        • campaigns promises like tranparency and the economy .checked the looney lately? we don’t need a liar we need a leader

          • How can you check the looney? He won’t give interviews, he hides in bathrooms, and he ignores anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

          • so you had a thought.that must have been a long lonely journey lolol what a maroon

    • Nope. Canada’s not entirely like the U.S. However, we are somewhat similar. If one were to follow your logic we would not adopt anything from the U.S. Their campaign systems resulted in success. Their campaign systems actually reached out to common folk and engaged them. Can’t see any problems with that, can you?

      • Yet Obama has been the most divisive president that the USA has ever had. With 48 million on foodstamps, and growing, and a national debt spiraling out of control, and the real unemployment rate closing in on the rates of the depression in the 30’s , that is the problem all but the completely stupid ignore.
        Dumpster, good name.

        • As if to economically destroy the nation from the inside.

        • No Obama is not divisive as you state, Obama’s problems come from the White leaders of the GOP and tea party gang who are deeply racist, some are KKK members. They cannot stomach the fact the guy is black, that is the real problem.
          The economy is doing very well in the USA if you care to read the financial newspaper.

    • Yep, just like Ignatiff from Harvard’s golden handshake club. And redford, and Nenshi….

      Some back room types are rigging the elections for statism as the only choice on the ballots.

      I sure see no individual economic liberty on my ballots. Its all about government bloat managing people like hen chickens.

      • Dave777 you really do not have a clue what you talk about. To bad we do not know your real name. Your neighbours must be shaking their heads when you go on like that.

    • Of course and Mr. Harper with his tea party and GOP friends not to mention his white evangelical friends in the USA passing him notes on what to do.

      • Ah yes, We must stick to the script – Harper, evil white evangelical takes over moderate country and applies Tea Party Principles – not!

        • Have you been following that little trip to Israel? I can tell you that it is not what it appeared to be on spin news.

  3. Great speech….and education was the one I was looking for. Most of our PSE is college not university….and 40% of Canadians are functionally illiterate.

    We need better in the knowledge age.

    • Canada has the highest percentage of PSE in the world. And you with your nose in the air over college educations. How elitist of you.

      The federal government has never in history directed as much towards higher education. Universities unanimously hailed the most recent budget. Yet JT failed to mention it or them.

      • College is job-training. University is education.

        Life is what it is, bucko

        • How many graduates from our universities will get a job this year ?

          • All of them.

          • not in the science field, unless you’re a “yes m. harper, I’ll do as you say”

          • Harpo is shutting down projects….but scientists can still get work.

          • Depends, is the degree in a consumption profession or a productive profession? And is the skill in demand or is the market loaded with 5 graduates to one job like PE or arts teachers?

        • Wrong, as a graduate of BOTH I can say, college is about reality, university is about indoctrination.

          I graduated both, but university was mostly puke learning, give the prof what they want to hear and graduate. Academic politics so thick, rationality, logic was often eliminated for some flawed theory academic politics wanted to push.

          They got my compliance, but not my mind.

          Bet part though of any education, especially sciences and math, they teach logic and how to evaluate and think. Isn’t so much the material, as it is about thinking for yourself and understanding academic politics.

          I got more out of college than university. What I got from university was political, academic politics of appeasing the right profs. But I got skills that paid well from college.

          • Nonsense. You had libraries and you had a brain.

            You even say it yourself….you weren’t indoctrinated.

            Nobody is.

          • not so sure, “DRug co.”, now fund studies in medicine, in universities,

          • OK Dave 777 is off his medication.

      • Pingston now tells us that he is against education and anyone having more than grade 3 education. How wonderful.

      • Yet most of the education is in consuptive professions, not productive professions. No sheortage of teachers, lawyers, and consumptive governemtn jobs.

        But a big shortages in HD mechanics, welders, millwrights, miners, engineers…..

        We might score well in education (economics aside) but we ignore that we don’t need more BA/MBA, sexologists, teachers, lawyers and politicians consuming wealth.

        The type of education is important. And we have lots of fluffy low value degrees.

    • I agree Ems.. It’s too late for these Con supporters but we can help their children.

      • Yup, we definitely need to improve the future for our kids. Harp is giving them a dead end.

    • Part of the whole idea of the public education system is to make people educated enough to work, but more important economic illiteracy as part of indoctrination as not to ever question the most expensive item in our lives, our governments.

      It never ceases to amaze me how so many people know so little where their money really goes.

      • Oh do stop with the ‘indoctrination’ crap. It’s not possible for a university to do that.

        • when big corporations ,an drug co,s get involved wiht universities funds, what do you think happens? you seem a little naïve!

          • Now big corp and drug companies indoctrinate students?

    • Be careful what you wish for.
      Here in BC we have a Liberal government that refuses to give student grants (the only one in the nation, I believe) . Average post-secondary tuition fee debt in BC is nearing $30 thousand.
      Why does Trudeau refuse to say how he will pay for increased student aid while Tom Mulcair does?

      • rfaris in answer to your question, you see in Canada the education system is a Provincial jurisdiction, not a Federal one, that is why JT is careful not to dictate on that topic.

        • Laurent, while education is a provincial responsibility the federal government has, since WWII, funded – sometimes independently and sometimes collaboratively – post-secondary education (student aid such as the federal Millenium scholarships and the SSHRC) and workforce training through the HRSDC.
          I assume JT’s promises will provide much-needed aid but whereas Tom Mulcair says how he will pay for increased post-secondary and training aid, Trudeau refuses to! That is – in my opinion – a valid issue that all Canadians must ponder.

      • Libs in BC are a combo of cons, socreds etc on the right. They aren’t the same as the federal Libs.

        There is awhile to go before an actual election….Trudeau isn’t about to lay it all out at this stage.

        Mulcair isn’t in the running, so it doesn’t matter what he says.

        • Premier Christy Clark is a lifelong Liberal. She and her ex (a federal Liberal organizer) were strong federal activists over the past 20 years.
          Trudeau “isn’t about to lay it all out at this stage.”: he isn’t about to lay anything out other than making the absurd statement on Saturday’s CBC “the House” that he will not raise any personal or corporate income taxes to pay for his growing list of promises (added to by the convention!).
          Perhaps the people should decide who has a chance in a democratic election in 2015: if Liberal arrogance and sense of entitlement grows, then Tom will have a field day with Trudeau during the tv leadership debates – when Trudeau can no longer hide from the media – as he he did following the convention – or from Tom’s brilliant debating skills, honed on the regular skewering of Harper in Question Period.

          • And Greens are green, right?

            Mulcair is a fluke….the election will be a two-way fight.

          • You and your Trudeau cult should find a new mantra – the current one is neither humble nor honest enough for his devotees.LOL

          • Sorry dude, I’m not a Lib

          • Sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you.
            It is increasingly hard to differentiate.
            You displayed the hubris of the Liberals, but I realize that it is shared as much by Tweedledumb as Tweedledee.

          • It’s not an insult, just wrong.

            Both Cons and Dips are too extreme for most people….so voters go Lib which is in the middle.

  4. Opening what amounts to a second front against Conservative held ridings. May not win them, but he draws Conservative forces in to defend the territory. What a powerful mantra on the Conservative base, “they are not the enemy. They have welcomed me” etc.
    Overall a kind of flat on purpose speech, but “negativity cannot be the country’s lifeblood” brilliant. Got those old Lougheed, Davis, Stanfield Conservatives thinking!!

    • It was unsubstantive. Jr’s still not ready for prime time. Pablum and platitudes. Nothing that rings or sings. A policy convention less than two years before the election and all he can say is he won’t be negative, then goes negative. Theme of speech: hypocrisy.

  5. Libs adopting proportional representation would scare the $hit out of Harper.

    • Certainly not. PR is a foolish proposal. It splinters the population, creates more political parties and reduces national cohesiveness. For a federated state like Canada it would be a disaster. Preferential voting would be far better than PR and is apparently favoured by JT. But it adds complications and really only appeals to organized parties who manipulate it.

      • And costs more while gettign elss done.

        If PR proponents were for democracy, they would really push direct binding electronic voting on the Internet and via tax forms, referendums, recall….but the real motivation of PR is to get unelected people into government to manage us.

        If they were for democracy, they would outlaw lobby groups as bribery and replace political funding with the first $50 of taxes going to a political party or MP registered political fund. Thus, making the lobbyists the people who are forced to pay for it. Less back room corruption that way.

        But its is about the illusions of big governemtn to get our money for their buddies. Best way to diffuse the democracy, is to make sure only statism back room buddy options are on the ballot. Making voting effectively who gets more of our money for doing less and less for it.

    • We don’t have to go that far and expend that much effort, there a quick fix to the “Harper” syndrome that has inflicted our democracy and it could be enacted on in parliament by any future majority government, that being making voting mandatory as Australia did, to their benefit. Goodbye Harper! and future Harperites in one relatively quick and easy move.

      • If a candidate does not receive a majority vote in his/her riding, then there is a run-off election between the first and second candidates. Thus the electorate is force to make a decision. The MP elected would have a majority… not necessarily one which everyone would agree with.. but still.. a majority. Voters must realize that electing a candidate is not the same as shopping at Canadian Tire. You must make a decision whether the decision is perfect (which it invariably is not) or not.

    • Agree

    • Scares me too. Means more useless politicians for taxpayers to support and they were not even elected by the people.

      Proportional representation is a farce, a way for corrupt politicians to get their buddies into government without a vote and make our government even more expensive than it is.

      • Now Dave777 is advocating a one man dictator instead of a Parliament. Worked in many third world nations and in Europe in the 1930’s What an innovation that Dave777 brilliant really. Why did we not think of that before.

  6. I love it when a speech is so vacuous that the “genius” opinion makers at your magazine have to fill our malleable heads with the real intent. Thank you.

    “Blah blah middle class blah blah environment blah blah Harper mean blah blah diversity….”

    McLeans translation: “Justy is just so dreamy”.

    • Your comments mirror your comments.

  7. I am undecided as to whether we might be safe with Trudeau but I must say every last explanation of what he said were – in my view – unhappy, and uncessary insights. I say he sounded pretty good. Better than what I would of thought.

    • There’s no such thing as “safe”. There are no guarantees in life.

      • I think he was referring to the article, which seemed to go out of its way to find nits to pick.

  8. So, on the day when a people power Revolution overthrew the Ukrainian dictator and freed tens of millions, not one word about the brave men and women of Independence Square from Justin Trudeau the third party leader who wants to lead Canada. How embarassing.

    • Pingston the Ukraine situation is far from over and is more murky now than ever. It is none of our business and JT did not have to comment on it. However the Convention did pass a strong resolution about the Ukraine. Did you know that? I doubt it.

    • An emergency resolution on Ukraine was passed by all of us at the Convention today expressing concern and offering help.

  9. As a fiscal conservative and social liberal, I have still voted Conservative for a long time. I’m open to hearing what Justin has to say to my demographic but I’m not hearing much more than platitudes. Sounds like Obama’s first campaign of “hope and change” and look how that worked out. Let’s hear something substantive Justin, otherwise I’m going to have to vote for a local Conservative who is inept.

    • I wouldn’t be so hard on you local Conservative MP. He’s not allowed to express his own opinion under Harper.

    • Don’t despair, there will also be an inept Liberal candidate.LOL

    • The Obama presidency which has made the first step towards universal healthcare in the last first world nation to adopt it? The harper government that plunged the country back into deficit even BEFORE the recession?

    • Bill Wall do that we need more people like you who only vote on what they hear. Please do not think for yourself that would be too dangerous.

  10. Look at this authors of this piece .Look at their closeness to Justin trudeau. Where do you think they come from in writing unbiased articles? Mulcair or Harper do not have them on their cocktail party list

  11. Trudeau was opposed to the use of the term “barbaric” when referring to female genital mutilation. He apparently cares more for the sensitivities of people who practice such things than condemming a wantonly cruel act perpetrated against women. I have not forgotten this, nor should anyone else. Trudeau will be mauled in the election debate. You won’t recognize him after they’re done with him, much less want to vote for him.

    • What a crapulous observation. Totally without merit.

    • lolol

    • Wasn’t the barbaric comment over rape itself. When Jason kenney called certain cultures extra-extra rapey but, cowardly, wouldn’t name which ones?

    • What a lot of hogwash nonsense. Another anonymous commenter not adult enough to use their own name.

      • Monseiur, this isn’t about me and my use of a pseudodym. This is about the fact that Trudeau apparently took issue with the use of the term “barbaric” in the revised Discover Canada document issued to all new immigrants. In the resulting uproar that ensued about his on the record opposition to the use of that word to describe a truly dehumanizing and degenerate practice, second only to honor killings themselves, he back pedalled so fast, he would have made Tour de France cyclists envious. The question Canadians need to ask is whether they want more of this politically correct thinking to again suggest Canada show (JT’s words) “responsible neutrality” to these kinds of practices. I’ve made my choice, and it isn’t Trudeau. Anyway, please google for: trudeau barbaric female genital mutiliation … and decide for yourself.

  12. When does he tell us how many more immigrants he wants to bring to Canada and support with taxpayers money? When does he apologize for all his father’s mistakes? When does he grow up and start talking about keeping Canadian’s money in Canada and not supporting every sad whining story internationally? Then maybe he can get a haircut and act like a man instead of a childish hippy….we do not need that ridiculous kind of leadership.

    • Have you apologized for all your father’s mistakes?

    • While we’re at this line of questioning, when will Harper apologise for the election fraud his party committed? When will he apologise for the inappropriate Senate appointments, the attempts to cover it up and the refusal to answer questions about it in the House? When will he apologise for outright lying and changing the story repeatedly? When will he admit that he knew, and, to borrow his words, “do the right thing and resign”?

    • code for hes better looking than you

    • Doc Guin what nonsense. You really have NO arguments just platitudes.

  13. Deciphering Justin Trudeau? How misleading. Justin Trudeau is an obvious puppet, its his masters you are deciphering,most people are aware of this I hope. Ya know all people really want these days is some honest reporting/headlines from the “trusted media” sources

  14. What’s interesting is Trudeau hasn’t committed to any real numbers and Reform heads are popping like ripe pimples. When Conservative, P’oily’evre appeared on TV at the Convention, he wasn’t as partisan as he normally is. There was an appearance of “I wish I could be a part of this!!” It really doesn’t take too long for someone to realize that no matter how supportive you are of Harper, you will never be on the inside where the Kennys, Clements and the PMO256 live. Harper is the luckiest guy alive, what with the Liberal convention taking the glare off his incredibly stupid diplomacy that has led us to this XL pipeline dilemma. It’s no wonder that Trudeau has been invited back to the Calgary Petroleum Club. ..and all this before the back room boys over at the Big Red Machine loose the rabid dogs from the dirty tricks department. I think I’ll sashay over and send Trudeau another donation!!

  15. Time to let a run-of-the-mill government go and replace it with another with real leadership and imagination to make Canada realize its potential, returning to its traditional, respected role among the world’s nations.

  16. I think it’s rather sad that these pundits believe it necessary to translate Mr. Trudeau’s words for us. Do they not think us capable of understanding simple English? Of course, while “translating”, they (like too many of their journalistic brethren tend to do these days) get to put their spin on the story.

  17. The only takeaway I got is that we need better choices on the statism rigged ballot.

    There is left – middle – right and…
    There is statism versus libertarian – we don’t have liberty choices

    All they parties are statism for thir back room buddies and do not represnt the people who make this country work. Not one candidate on my ballot that is credible to reduce governemtn waste, reduce money for nothing corporate welfare, reduce inflated contracts, reduce the growing disparity of governemtn egalitarian unions inflated costs and low productivity, for reducing the taxes on the people who make this country work.

    Ottawa is about the illusion, get our money and send it to back room buddies, corruption, waste and money for nothing in return ventures. Its a greed fest on taxpayers wallets.

    Ottawa spends very little money on common good, and far too much on our money for nothing….for their buddies.

  18. Don’t you guys(the writers) feel embarrassed by the story right above this piece on your website? You know, the one that quotes an internal government study as saying the “Canadian Dream” – upward mobility – is a “myth”. And here you are saying that the middle class is doing just fine, no worries, nothing to see here, move along….

  19. To take either one of them Trudeau or Harper is sad a scandal in one party the Harper 300 million missing in Trudeau party Andrea Horvath signing a tax bracket against the citizens for it take no one no party none that’s a party

  20. OMG Maclean’s certainly knows Spin. How very silly.

  21. Deciphering Trudeau’s codes is a fool’s errand. there is no “there”, there.
    There is a reason why he refused to meet the media at the conclusion of the convention – his empty rhetoric cannot withstand informed questioning.
    The CPAC commentators (Cable channel that covered the whole convention)) estimate that the party’s convention’s promises total over $34 BILLION.
    That Trudeau did say on the CBC’s “The House” on Saturday morning that he planned no new taxes – either personal, or corporate or increase in the GST – is a real clanger as it portends a massive structural deficit if Trudeau is ever elected! Unless he plans to raid the EI fund as the Chretien/Martin regime did!
    Tom Mulcair’s willingness to participate in scrums and extended interviews is in stark contrast to the “bubbles” of the two right wing politicians: as is his willingness to describe how he will pay for his campaign programs.
    So much for Trudeau’s” honesty, openness and integrity” as trumpeted by the devotees of his celebrity cult.

  22. You know, I find this article (or masquerade of one) extremely demeaning. I’m quite confident in my ability to decipher a speech, whether it be from Trudeau, Mulcair, or Harper and I personally don’t need you, with your obvious bias’ to “explain” it to me. If you were just trying to break down the big words into little words so us plebs would figure it out, heck, I might even appreciate it. But you had a spin boys, a spin and I didn’t like the direction it headed.

    p.s. If I had to be held responsible for every action/thought/intention/plan that my family/political party/religion/government had accomplished/not accomplished/been blamed for/or just felt guilty for in the last 300 years I’d probably be pathological/insane/catatonic/or a newly elected member of the senate. We are not responsible for our fathers’ actions or for those of our past political leaders, we should just try to learn from them, and hopefully become better people and leaders by acknowledging their faults and emulating their greatest deeds and attributes. As human beings, we ARE responsible for the things that we do and the things we say e.g. writing ridiculous articles. If we’re ever to get this country back on track we need to quit scrounging in the closet for whatever skeletons that are available, no matter how tattered or moth eaten they are, and start making intelligent, unbiased decisions about the future.

  23. The Justin party summed up in an old song.

    It’s my party,
    And you can die if you want to,
    Get high if you want to,die if you want to,
    You would lie to if it happened to you..

    • No, sorry, that’s not Justin playing the piano…

  24. Whats to decipher about mini-trudeau?
    He is a rich spoiled entitled frog coasting on his old man’s name.

    Which isn’t well liked in western Canada.

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