Go, Justin, go! The hopes and dreams of Maclean's are with you! - Macleans.ca

Go, Justin, go! The hopes and dreams of Maclean’s are with you!

A greatest hits of our decade-long thing for Trudeau


Colleagues at the sprawling Maclean’s nerve centre in downtown Ottawa note that we are sometimes asked why Maclean’s carries such a torch for Justin Trudeau. I hotly dispute the claim: that’s no torch, it’s more like a lighter, of the kind fans hold aloft whenever REO Speedwagon breaks into Can’t Fight This Feeling. Herewith, the greatest hits of our decade-long thing for Justin.

We can’t fight this feeling any more. We’ve forgotten what we started fighting for. It’s time to bring this ship into the shore.

And throw away the oars.


In 2002 Jonathan Gatehouse got Justin drunk in an Old Montreal bar and then started talking about the future. Soon enough the 30-year-old let slip a line about his political plans. The resulting cover story — I seem to recall the coverline was “When I Run…” — isn’t on our website, but an excerpt is here. Super-awkward pull quote: ” I haven’t done anything. I haven’t accomplished anything. I’m a moderately engaging, reasonably intelligent 30-year-old, who’s had an interesting life — like someone who was raised by wolves, or the person that cultivated an extremely large pumpkin.”

At the end of 2006 — this is back in the old days, when the Liberals took only one year to find a new leader —  Nicholas Köhler was following Trudeau around when the 34-year-old let slip a line about his political plans. His friend Gerald Butts, a former Dalton McGuinty chief of staff, tried to exert message control. Unskillfully! “He doesn’t want a lot of publicity around this until he’s made up his mind,” Butts said. “Off the record, I think he’s pretty much there.” Köhler scribbled notes furiously. “He just doesn’t want a speculative story published before he’s ready,” Butts concluded. Got it, chief. After the story ran, Köhler moved to Alberta for a few years.

By 2009, Trudeau was in Ottawa, wearing a real suit, clicking a pen for the photographer. Aaron Wherry began cautiously building the case for Trudeau. Pull quote: “For the record, Justin Trudeau is not an idiot.”

Aaron also asked whether Trudeau wanted to be prime minister some day, and the answer was so freaking long it became a separate blog post.

In March of 2011, Jason Kenney spent a solid week using Trudeau as a punching bag after Trudeau criticized a document Kenney’s office put out. I recalled a pro tip from my Big Book of Columnists’ Clichés — “There is no column idea better than a painfully contrived column idea” — and declared that Kenney and Trudeau represented the future of their respective parties.

By early this year we were overdue for a curmudgeonly take, and along came Colby. But even Colleague Cosh was not totally immune to the man’s charms: “…my attitude flips back and forth from contempt to sympathy, almost from second to second. He is at best an intellectual middleweight, and often speaks nonsense when he steers into deep political waters.” Don’t fight it, Colby!

But then in March it was Trudeau’s turn to beat a man silly in an Ottawa hotel, and John Geddes was there with his fancy writin’ pen. The resulting ode to, I’m not making this up, Morley Callaghan is the link you should click if you’re only clicking one, and it also reveals a fair bit about why some of us actually do take Trudeau seriously in the non-pugilistic arena.

Seven weeks later I met Trudeau for breakfast at the Château Laurier and it was no longer necessary to ply the guy with Mai Tais to get him to speculate. The resulting cover story was, if nothing else, well-timed. When I told the bosses I wanted to write a Trudeau leadership story, it felt like a silly way to spend a week. Within a few days after it ran, it was clear something was actually happening. In June, Geddes descended from the clouds to discuss the operational nuts and bolts of an eventual Trudeau candidacy.

And, the odd swoon and fluttering heart aside, that’s how we and Justin got this far.


Go, Justin, go! The hopes and dreams of Maclean’s are with you!

  1. The guy gives me the creeps for some reason, and I was a big fan of his father.

    • It must be that speaking in the third person thing he has going. I’m a cautious supporter, but if he starts holding seances and starts talking to dead relatives, i say we ditch him altogether.

  2. We’ll see if Justin Trudeau pans out. Certainly any leader that the Liberals choose is going to have to deal with a fairly vicious political machine of CPC, who like the Liberals of the 90’s are rewarded by the electorate for being vicious.

    The one thing that Trudeau is going to have to do to succeed though is make gains in the West. That’s going to be a difficult task, given the problems of his family name (conservatives have long memories) and complete lack of grassroots the Liberal party has out here.

    So what can Trudeau do to reach out to the West and build Liberal support again. The Conservatives have been a relative disappointment to Reformers despite throwing some chunks of red meat, so what can the Liberals do to reach out to us without alienating their base?

    • Conservatives have very very short memories, actually. They have to be told about the NEP every freakin’ 10 minutes lest they ever begin to think for themselves and vote for any other party. And at this point they may have to settle for more Ontario and Quebec seats, leaving the hard stuff for when they have more than 50 seats back.

      • “Conservatives have very very short memories, actually. They have to be told about the NEP every freakin’ 10 minutes lest they ever begin to think for themselves and vote for any other party. ”
        Yes, all Conservatives are stupid and lack any ability to think for themselves. I read that frequently on these comment boards, so it must be true.

        • It may not be absolutely true all of the time, but it’s definitely a trend worth worrying about.

          • Yes, Conservatives are stupid sheep.

        • To be fair, same for Liberals.

      • This is an example of how the other parties should not reach out to western voters. If you insult us, we aren’t going to vote for you, idiot.

        We get that all the goddamn time. You don’t deserve to have opinions that aren’t my opinions. You don’t think for yourselves. Your grievances are unimportant.

        Then Paul Wells wonders why people tend to be satisfied with voting for Harper. A few chunks of red meat are better than open contempt.

        • “You don’t deserve to have opinions that aren’t my opinions. You don’t think for yourselves. Your grievances are unimportant.”

          You could easily be quoting Harper or any of his meat puppets.

          • The difference being of course, that he has a majority. That attitude is why he doesn’t have a bigger one. When we sent representatives to the House of Commons in the early 90’s, you spat on us and called us all kinds of vile crap. We grew to hate you, and then we learned. I still hate you all from the bottom of my being.

            In order for the left of center parties to gain power they have to either a) convert me to their point of view or b) seek to represent my desires and interests. Neither of which I can expect from left of center parties, because they think and act like GFMD, Emily and Thwim.

          • “The difference being of course, that he has a majority.”

            So might equals right?

            Your argument seems to be “the Liberals were arseholes so we now have a licence to be bigger ones. Let’s screw the east.”

            I agree that the Liberals, by the end of their run, deserved to be booted. I had hoped Harper, whose promises while in opposition sounded very principled, would be different. Instead we got more of the same except worse.

            If Harper came close to living up to what he espoused in opposition – and I’m talking behaviour at least as much as policy – I’d be in the CPC camp. But corruption and arrogance should not be rewarded.

            People like you, however, are more concerned with revenge for slights both real and imagined, and take a parochial, regionalist view of our country. At essence you are really no different than the Quebec separatists.

            Don’t let the chip on your shoulder rule your intellect. See Harper for what he really is, and demand better from him and his party. Or replace them.

          • Goodness Keith, only a few days ago you made a comment about “kicking Alberta out of Canada”. You really should get off your high horse when it comes to lecturing others regarding “revenge for slights both real and imagined…” Who is really more like a Quebec separatist than you? You want to diminish and outright dismiss our province when one third of population is made up of people from other parts of Canada, many of whom commute here to work from your home province of Newfoundland. Now, it would be really great if everytime, the west was mentioned you didn’t feel the need to trash Alberta. I expect this bad behavior from Emily….she enjoys the attention but I do expect better from you Keith.

          • Why are you tuning me up for my behaviour and giving Yanni a pass on his? He has a hate on for all of eastern Canada, by his own admission; I was just criticizing people like him who are more concerned with past slights and getting revenge than working to build a better country.

            I’m not assuming he is representative of all Albertans. In fact, I’m not 100% sure he is from Alberta; I just know he’s from somewhere out west. And if you look close, I deliberately did not reference Alberta in my comments to him.

            As to your Emily reference: funnily enough, I was in the middle of a fracas with her when I wrote the above post; maybe some of her attitude rubbed off. It is, in retrospect, a bit on the snarky side. But not undeservedly so.

          • Wow. That’s some attitude from someone who i believe has religious convictions. I have news for you, Christ isn’t a liberal lefty and he almost certainly isn’t a Conservative from AB either. The politcs of revenge is every bit as moronic as the politcs of entittlement[ which was the LPC principle sin imo]
            I might add reformers called liberals all kinds of vile crap too. You’re not the only one with a long memory or scars. Federal liberals long endured all kind of vile slurs from their fellow QCs [ vendu ring a bell?]for daring to stand up for Canada.

        • I’m not a politician so I don’t have to reach out to anyone. I can call a spade a spade, as it were.

    • IF Trudeau wins[ remember the supporter’s may work for him, but if someone else can fire up the electorate watch out!] he would be well advised to give Kennedy something important to do out west – if he has maintained his Edmonton roots? I hope so. I would love to see the west want in to another federalist party other than just the CPC. It would be good for the country. AB must be somewhere down the list of his priorities really though; although he MAY have a couple of friends in around Redford. One thing that will be interesting to see is whether youngish Trudeau actually has a network of contacts outside of his obvious constituency ie., enviros, young people.

    • deal with a fairly vicious political machine of CPC
      Trudeau will likely siphon off NDP votes in Quebec, so I suspect the NDP will get in on the “vicious political machine” action, possibly more of a threat (at least in Quebec) than any CPC attack ads.
      The one thing that Trudeau is going to have to do to succeed though is make gains in the West.
      Well, not really. His dad didn’t, and typically won majorities. Chrétien didn’t, and had 3 majorities. He only needs to concentrate on Quebec, and to a lesser extent, Ontario. Throw in some maritime seats, and he’ll get his majority.

      • “He only needs to concentrate on Quebec, and to a lesser extent, Ontario. Throw in some maritime seats, and he’ll get his majority.”
        This sort of reasoning ignores the fact that (a) Trudeau Sr. was operating in an era when the LPC owned Quebec, the BQ didn’t exist, and the NDP couldn’t get elected dogcatcher there; and (b) Chretien was operating in an era when the right-of-centre vote was split between Reform/CA and the old PC Party. I don’t think your sort of electoral math works anymore, or at least not to the extent it used to. And remember where they’re adding seats. Canada has changed in the last 30 years, and the LPC needs to change with it.

        • For that reason i suspect we will be hearing Harper yelling COALITION yet again as we head into ’15. This time i don’t think it will work.

      • Easier said than done. With the Conservatives strong everywhere except Quebec, you cannot write off the west and simply expect to unseat the Conservatives completely everywhere else, especially now that the West has more seats than before, and Quebec has less, proportionately. The Liberals will have to win more than just a couple of seats in Sask/Man/Alberta if they hope to win again.

        • That’s fair enough. New seat distribution, and the united right, will make it more challenging for Trudeau than it did for Chrétien. But if he steals seats from the NDP in Quebec and BC, and picks up some Tory seats in Ontario, he could still eke out a majority, despite a lack of support in the 3 prairie provinces. I don’t think Alberta or Sask breakthroughs are in the Liberal playbook. More likely to concentrate on areas where they can make some realistic gains. I’m not saying this should be their strategy, or even that it’s a good strategy, but simply that a Liberal majority can’t be ruled out simply because they ignore the prairies.

          • It can’t be ruled out, no, it’s within the realm of possibility. But outside of those three provinces (Alb/Sask/Man), the Liberals currently hold 13% of the seats, the Tories 46%.

            If the Libs win just a couple of seats in Alb/Sask/Man, to get a majority they need to win over 60% of the seats elsewhere, and they currently have 13% of those seats.

            I really don’t think the Liberals can afford to rule out any region. I don’t think they can win again if they do. I think their first order of business is to figure out a way to do better in Alb/Sask/Man. In my opinion, if they choose not to do that, they will never win another majority. That’s my opinion.

  3. I hope he fares better than the last Liberal candidate Mr. Wells took a special interest in following.

  4. Pumpkin farmers contributed more to my happiness – I had first roast ambercup squash of the season last night and it was delightful – than Trudeau ever has.

    I abhor Trudeau’s politics but he seems like a good egg nonetheless. Trudeau is way more self aware than other pols and regular people, many people wouldn’t compare themselves to pumpkin farmers, refreshing modesty. I doubt very much Trudeau is messiah that Libs are looking for to vault them back into power but who knows, weirder things have happened.

    I believe Trudeau is making a mistake by running for leader of Lib Party – up till a few months ago, all interviews with Trudeau illustrated that he wasn’t particularly interested in being leader or at not at least until his children were older. Trudeau should listen to his gut – he wants to spend more time with family and he’s happy being who he is – instead of listening to Libs who are pressuring him to save party that his daddy built.

    • See and this is interesting. Even Tony doesn’t personally dislike Justin Trudeau, and I have to admit I don’t either. But… it will all depend. Even if we like Justin, we hate the party he represents.

      So what can the Liberals do about that?

      • Shouldn’t you just be saying you? Is that a royal we? I thought one man one vote was still the principle in this country. Your quick to point out the sins of past central Canadian liberal govts, perhaps you should stop talking about the west as if it were one big Alberta friendly voting block? Look what happened in QC, things can change and rapidly sometimes.
        Still, i think you are right. The liberals have to start listening to western Canadians if they want to prosper there.

        • What does listening to the west really mean? Laissez faire on oil and gas? No one has really articulated to me what ‘West’ issues are. I suppose Harper has neglected the interests of the manufacturing and services economy that forms the majority of economic activity to focus on natural resource extraction. I can imagine that being a west issue. Calgary, Edmonton and Regina are the only cities in Canada that would probably be strongly pro-resource extraction. All the other major cities are more services and manufacturing based (Vancouver is fantasy-land real estate based).

          • Yeah, no one ever said it’s an easy thing to please all Canadians that’s for sure.

  5. You forgot Mitchell Rafael, whose photo montages often seem like he’s Mr Trudeau’s personal photographer.

  6. We have to stop judging him by his father’s politics. He’s a remarkable young man, and he will win the youth vote, the French vote, and hopefully, the vote of the more sane over 50’s. Someone needs to take this country apart, and reassemble it, and I, IMHO, think he’s the tough as nails kinda guy to do it.

    • I don’t know if i like that metaphor entirely. I quite like the way the country is right now. I don’t want my drive to VI [20hrs] to get any longer thx. :)

      • who knows kcm2, maybe your drive will be shorter after the country is reassembled.

        • Half of VI might fall into the ocean or migrate toward Japan, but i doubt if it’ll be Trudeau’s fault.

          • It will be his fault if the CPC press machine has anything to say about it!

        • If Trudeau can accomplish that he has my vote.

          • Who are you kidding kfc? You’d vote for a turd if it was called Trudeau.

          • You know i might if i thought for one second it annoy you.
            But you would find a reason to hate a saint if his name happened to be Trudeau. Go peddle your venom somewhere else.

    • The Youth vote? Remember how Rick Mercer and the “Flash Mobs” were going to motivate the youth vote and revolutionize Canadian politics? It resulted in a whopping 1.4% increase in the youth vote over the previous election.
      Youth don’t vote. They only talk about voting.

    • “Someone needs to take this country apart, and reassemble it”

      That’s crazy talk. The country is moving in the right direction.

      Not to mention it’s primarily Liberals who assembled it (so to speak), so to count on another Liberal to take it apart? All Liberals want to do is preserve the status quo or do more of what they’ve always done.

  7. Guess you watched the geeks at RIM and their ‘I can’t fight this feeling, anymore’ shtick. Carry on….

  8. Another useless Liberal!! Forget it!! Get a life!!

    • I think you can strike this one off the list JT.

  9. The Liberals are like Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans. We keep thinking that if we could only get a quarterback who isn’t injured, incompetent or both we’d be carrying the Grey Cup around by now. Meanwhile we never seem to wonder why our quarterbacks and back-ups get injured, why our organization doesn’t seem to be able to keep any free agents, and why we’re more than a year behind buidling the grand new plan, I mean stadium.
    At a certain point, it isn’t about whatever leader we pick, it’s about the organization pushing him out in front of the cameras and saying, “Here’s the ball, go for it, son!” There needs to be a clear organizational plan, and a team that is prepared and with personal and team goals, not just nostalgia for when times were good.

    • Spot on. Harper assembled a very solid ground crew to press the flesh, raise money and maintain the directional message; that is a very big part of the Conservative success.
      Justin has charisma, but keeping the same old Liberal ground crew will ensure that the ship stays pointed at the iceberg.

      • Look at it this way Trudeau might be a great QB but not with those slow moving retreads surrounding him these guys better days ended in the 1980s

        • Perhaps a young, engaging leader like JT would excite the masses and encourage new blood to run. Besides, other than Gordon OConner, a con, are there really any MPs left from the Eighties?

          • What sort of vision does the man possess? Politically, he’s a child. Not saying he wouldn’t one day make a good leader, but he’s gotta run on more than his Daddy’s name (a name that’s both cursed and grudgingly respected over the land). He needs time to season and he needs a party that is not simply desperate to get reelected but instead, has a focus and an energy that will get people behind it. Give the people a reason (beyond the man) to vote for the party. Now, I’m a C supporter, but I do feel saddened that one of the two great parties fell so far (like the C’s did in the early 90’s). We need both a good C party (took a while, but we got that) and a good L party, with the dippers fulfilling their assigned role as comic relief… erm, I mean, conscience to both).

    • Ha! I think we may have heard the intended NDP line here today too? :

      At least it isn’t as personal and vacuous as the CPC tack will probably be.
      True, but old hat. The party is in the process of trying to reconnect with dormant EDAs and ridings, implementing thenew supporter category and generally trying to run a more open bottom up shop. Whether enough Canadians are interested at all remains to be seen. And yes they are talking about the downsides of the saviour trap too.

      • If the NDP wants to purchase my services I would be happy to write their lines for them. LOL

        • Sorry. I felt sure you leaned that way. Shows how easy it is to make inaccurate assumptions

          • There’s leaning and there’s joining … Don’t be sorry.

          • Right…distinctions matter, i was forgetting that:)

          • Might I encourage you to actually join the party? I am a Liberal of course, but all parties need members, and specifically all parties need NEW members, because, well, old party members kind of do get stale if they are the only biscuits in the tin.

    • Fair enough, but lets face it: all liberal leaders after Chretien were useless. I didn’t expect any of them to win anything, not mentioning a general election. And let’s not forget that it is the leadership that organizes the base, and not the other way around. While I still think the liberal party is too conservative to get my vote, I do think they will do much better with Justin in the short term. Whether they will do well in the long term depends of course on his leadership skills, which are very much unknown at this point.

  10. “…He is at best an intellectual middleweight, and often speaks nonsense when he steers into deep political waters.” Don’t fight it, Colby!”

    Newsflash to CC. Just about every politician speaks nonesense when they steer out into deep political water. If they don’t qualify with something like: ‘ well, i couldn’t really say, be sure or say for certain or it’s just my personal qualified opinion, but??? ‘ …you can more or less depend on it. It’s likely to be more of a clrcuitous route in Justin’s case. Eventually he’ll learn saying nothing ,or sticking closer to shore, is the better part of valour. And if he doesn’t our politics should get a whole lot more interesting.

  11. Very funny post Wells, including a pretty good selection of quotes.

  12. ” I haven’t done anything. I haven’t accomplished anything. I’m a
    moderately engaging, reasonably intelligent 30-year-old, who’s had an
    interesting life — like someone who was raised by wolves, or the person
    that cultivated an extremely large pumpkin.”

    What are the chances some of that isn’t going to make it into a CPC or even NDP ad?
    Don’t know what the dippers will make of it, if anything. The PMO’s contribution virtually writes itself.

    Moderately bright, engaging, cultivated pumkin head stumbles down stairs, escalator, [anything really] with fixed vacuous look on face as he blows kisses to image of himself in passing mirrors, – caption reads” I haven’t done anything. I haven’t accomplished anything”…voice over somewhat wistfully claims he never will. Meanwhile CPC mps run with the message: He’ll destroy Canada!

    I couldn’t seem to work the wolves in. Perhaps the CPC will surpise this time…i doubt it though?

    • Pumpkin guy for PM!

      • Who knows? I’ll wait to see if he even makes it as far as Liberal leader. I’m amost as concerned about what certain liberals will say about him as i am about the CPC. If they pick him they have to back him for the long haul. I hope he realizes that going in.

        • I think the Liberals would be fools not to give him a serious look, but they’d be bigger fools not to put him through his paces in the leadership race.

          • Agree. The worry is that people wont run because it’s JT. They need a tough and searching race.

    • There is a very easy way to roll with that attack. Actually do something. Like come up with a policy planks that will appeal to western voters.

      We’ve invented half the parties that exist in this country with a fraction of the population, with opinions across the political spectrum. We’re not adverse to listening to new ideas if someone deigns to talk to us. Mostly though, the East just talks to us like GFMD up there.

      • I don’t disagree, but you seem to overlook the fact that until recently[ and even now] AB or the west has not had the numbers to really challenge say a strong liberal govt in our system. I don’t say that’s fair but it is a fact. Previous liberal govts didn’t hate AB, they just didn’t need them. AB hasn’t quite the unambiguous political record either, having not changed parties for over 40 years now. And Harper is said to be flirting with the idea of going it alone w/o Quebec. How about the CPC promoting a couple of things that might please Quebecers?
        Obviously this is a very difficult country to please the majority of people the majority of the time. Trudeau senior found that out, so is Harper.

    • I think it’s a terriffic idea for a CPC attack ad! Thanks! You have a fine imagination. Keep them coming.

      Or – Wait! How about a mock “Save-The-Children”, charity ad?
      A picture of Justin Turdeau as a child then switching to him as an adult.
      Sad female voice over – “Little justy has to make do with only “X” million dollars per year. While other children got to go to university & become doctors and engineers little Justy had to make do as a part time drama teacher.
      Only your vote can make sure he becomes prime minister. Please give generously.
      (Long pause)….. Because his dreams are better than yours.”

      • Painting teachers are losers…. that sounds like a strategy with no possibility of blowback.

        • Yes, being a part time drama teacher and spoiled son of a millionaire. Yeah there are thousands of teachers that fit THAT description.
          Oh, BTW? Don’t be so sure that the public will backlash against a negative word against millionaire, hobby drama teachers.
          Umm $80 grand per year, 2 months off, couple of …”professional days” off per month. ….Yeah…. I wouldn’t overestimate the public’s sympathy for teachers. Especially when the one running for PM taught drama part time & had a rich daddy.

          • You’ve taught then have you? Sounds like you know exactly how tough a job it is. Lots of teachers don’t pull down $80 grand a year. Depends where you are, how long you’ve been a teacher and what your qualifications are. Is that too much like splitting hairs for you?

  13. 1) Get trashed in election
    2) Take 2 years to elect a new leader so that you can take the time to “renew the party”
    3) Waste 18 months, ignore renewal and return to idea of savior as party leader
    4) ???
    5) Profit!

    • Renewal is easier said than done. Most of the people remaining in the party have stayed for a reason: they like it the way it is (or was).

      • Where did you gain that insight from? Party insider Ezra?

        • From their last 4 election campaigns and platforms, from their public pronouncements, from their interviews, and from what their supporters say. Mostly from their last 4 election campaigns and platforms.

          • How about what’s happening on the ground now? Why don’t you ask an active liberal member or at least go to liberal.ca before claiming you know what the present state of the party is? I wouldn’t claim to know anything catagorically about the state of the CPC based merely on past performance, PAs or just what their supporters or the media say.

          • Aren’t you sensitive!

            So the supporters and the media know nothing, what the leaders are saying means nothing, and their most recent campaigns and platforms mean nothing as well? Apparently nothing they ever say or do means anything. What a great way to run a party. However, now that I think about it, this does sound a lot like the Liberals.

            Are you for real? Or was your comment a piece of satire?

          • Spin it how you like now. But you said this:

            “Most of the people remaining in the party have stayed for a reason: they like it the way it is (or was).”

            All i’m wondering is how you came upon that categorical pov? You’re entitled to your opinion, but what is based on? Fine, you say it is based on past performance. I say you aren’t up on what is going on inside the party now. So, how come you just know what people are staying or going for? You can’t possibly know categorically.It is just conjecture or supposition on your part.

          • Apparently you are for real.

            It’s clear people like it the way it was if they continue to say the same things and propose the same types of policies.

            If you go to someone’s house party, you stay or you go based on whether you like it.

            Similarly, in a political party, you stay or you go based on whether you like it. And if the policies remain the same, then that means you like the policies. Liberal policies have not changed much. There is no renewal going on. That means the members like it the way it is and was.

            Onto the metaphysical:
            All opinions in this world are based on observations from our senses. It is impossible to read another person’s mind. All opinions are based on what we see and hear (and smell and taste and feel).
            So of course I can only base my opinion on what Liberals motives are by what they are saying and what they are doing (their plans, motives, policies, initiatives, desires, preferences, etc). That is not spin, that is the real world. So your conclusion is both mind-numbingly obvious and completely senseless at the same time.

            Maybe you could answer Yanni and tell me, being the expert, exactly what renewal is taking place that will allow the Liberals a standing chance in Alb/Sask/Man. Then maybe you could tell me what renewal is taking place that will reverse their plummeting fortunes in Quebec. If you’re so damn insistent there is renewal, then tell us what this mystical phantom-like renewal is.

            All that I can see is the Liberals regurgitating the same policies over and over and over again and hoping for better results. That is not renewal. That is regurgitation. I have not seen them do a single thing that would reverse their fortunes in their weakest regions (Alb/Man/Sask). I have not seen take a single move in a different direction from the same old policies that lost them the last 3 elections. All I see is the same stuff, over and over and over again. That is not renewal.

            In fact, the Liberals are the anti-renewal party. The Liberals refuse to make any change whatsoever to any policy enacted in Canada over the last 50 years. Every single program put in place must remain. Nothing must change. They fight and resist even changes to even the most draconian and anti-liberal laws in the land such as the wheat board monopoly. In the last election, Ignatieff’s platform was his “family pack”, which was the regurgitation of the standard Liberal wish-list for the last 15 years, the standard tax and spend money distribution Liberal platform that we have always seen from them. They are the anti-renewal party.

          • You don’t have a clue about what is going on in the LPC today, do you? It’s all supposition and assumptions. For one thing the wheat board monopoly still had a majority of farmers on side, if a small one…fail. Holding on to policies that have a good deal of support is not being anti renewal – it is being consistent. So can the partisan analysis. Lots of Albertans want to see the oil sands regulated in a manner that respects the environment, see democratic or electoral renewal also. Just because the tories have a majority doesn’t mean every policy they have enacted or support is irrevocable.
            You could have avoided all that windy existential bs by simply asking me, as Yanni did, what changes are being planned.[ i see you added that question to your original post later] And i would have told you the same thing. The party is trying to revive and rebuild dormant EDAs and build a new ground game, as all this has badly atrophied in recent years. Obviously this also involves trying to coax Canadians to participating in party renewal. All of which you might have picked up just by visiting the party site. You haven’t seen anything because most of this is going on under the radar, and because you prefer to hold on to every single spoon fed tp ,no matter how inaccurate, you’ve ever picked up about the party. Generalize away. But stop spouting received wisdom when you clearly know nothing about the current state of the party.

          • What a load. Yeah, it’s all under the radar, it’s an underground society. The truth is out there. Cue the X-files theme song.
            You’ve not answered Yanni’s question, by the way. That’s because the answer is “nothing”, there is nothing being done to renew the party. Ground game! That’s the best you could do? Ground game!

            “Holding on to policies that have a good deal of support is not being anti renewal”

            Yeah. That would be 30% to 26% to 18% support. So much support. That’s not renewal, that’s regurgitation.

          • Whatever. You’re not listening anyway. Nothing i could possibly say would satisfy you because your mind is made up and completely closed.

          • You would need to answer Yanni’s question to change anybody’s mind. And no, ground game is not an answer.
            I’ll bet we’ll see the same family-pack/green-shift tax and spend Liberal wish-list platform in the next election that is no different than the previous platforms. There will be nothing for the west, no change but the usual voter bribery in Quebec, no renewal anywhere, and the same result, another 3rd place finish.

          • Well if that happens they’ll likely poll even worse than they did last time wont they, so cheer up. I gave Yanni the best answer i have, i don’t know any specifics, don’t sit on any commttees, am not privy to any strategic conferences or planning What do you want me to do – lie?Make it up? The little i do know is a considerable up grade from your “informed” supposition.

          • So now you’re saying you have nothing, absolutely nothing, to dispute my original comment? You have absolutely nothing, zero, nada, and you claim this is an upgrade? Zero is not an upgrade. What a waste of time. I base my comment on pretty well everything, I am informed, I’ve listed evidence and arguments, you have absolutely nothing in return, you are not informed, you have nothing interesting to say, no evidence, no examples, no nothing, and for some unknown reason you want to claim your uninformed no-evidence nothing argument has some sort of value?

          • Man you are one dishonest debater. You move the goal posts, mischaracterize, and fabricate if necessary at the drop of a hat.The golden rule seems to be never concede an inch and never, never admit the other guy has a point. Seems to be endemic in so called libertarians.
            But then i got to see lots of your and Tony’s handiwork when Mitchell was still around here.

          • For someone without an argument, you sure talk a lot. Handiwork! What a laugh. I’d admit you have a point when you have one. Until then, I won’t.

            After 3 losing election campaigns, with no renewal on the horizon, you claim that perhaps there is renewal going on that nobody knows about, but you have no evidence, and no reason to make that claim, you have absolutely nothing whatsoever to back up what you are saying, it is pure speculation. That is not a point.

          • s_c_f delivers an excellent smackdown to one of the biggest suck-ups and blowhards around these parts.

          • PeaNUT gallery.

          • I agree with you, to the extent that more often than not these days, we see both the Liberals and the NDP (and often the BQ) advocating in favour of maintaining the status quo. Don’t change health care one iota. Don’t enter into this or that trade agreement, we’re scared. Don’t do anything to reform our pension sytem, even though people are living way way longer than they used to.
            The Libs and Dippers seem fixated on this mythical Canada that purportedly existed approximately when Trudeau Sr. was PM — Canada was a paradise then, and if only we could bring back those days . . .

          • Absolutely. It has always amazed me that a party that called itself Liberal was adamantly opposed to farmers being permitted to sell their grain on the open market, rather than being forced to sell to a government monopoly, as if they were residents of Cuba. The only possible explanation is the extreme resistance to change. There is simply no other possible explanation for that position. A socialist party like the NDP, now I can see them advocating a wheat board, but a party that called itself “Liberal”? For me that is the most extreme example of resistance to change that could possible exist. “Liberal” is supposed to be the antithesis of forced collectivization. The Liberal party is completely resistant to change of any kind.

            I would be willing to cut the Dippers some slack… while I’m sure they have no intention to privatize anything, I suspect they would not be resistant to change in the opposite direction, they’d probably want to try to nationalize everything if they could. They’d probably change medicare so that all doctors are state employees rather than state contractors. I’d be violently opposed to all their changes, but I would not be surprised to see them making changes. The Liberals are frozen in stone.

          • So what is the current state of the party? What are they doing to reach out to voters in the West, or rebuild their fortunes in the east? How many new memberships do they have? What is their war chest looking like?

          • Good questions. I honestly don’t know. Didn’t mean to imply i’m some kind of wheel within the party. All i can tell you is those questions are being asked by party members and the party seem to be making a sincere effort to reach out and listen. Whether it will amount to a real change in party culture – lets just say i’m cautiously hopeful. Certainly the party still has malcontents and uber partisans too. Again i’m hopeful they will have less and less sway in the party as more and more supporters engage. Policy will have to wait i’m afraid. Lots of liberals frustrated about that also.

    • LOL


  14. A resurgent Liberal party spits the “left” vote, ensuring a minimum 8 years of Harper leadership.
    Not much to celebrate here. Strong parties make for better government and Harper will be the real winner here

    • Maybe, and maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Personally i think all Trudeau will do is bring the libs back into contention – close the gap with the NDP. I hope both parties are smart enough to realize before ’15 that they need to find a way to cooperate to pull down Harper. Agreeing to offer the public a fairer election process than FPTP would be a good start. So that no one party is likely to exacerbate regional differences again without first receiving a true majority plurality of the vote.

      • OH Yes, harrumph snort bluster. An election platform is always a real vote getter. ROTFLMAO!
        How about some 20 minute long ads where you expalin how the FPTP system works and how Proportional Rep works and why one is better. But y’know? Do it succintly!

        • Ever heard of a Royal commision? We used to have them, remember.

          • Oooooo yes, of course I see people walking around town reading Royal Commission reports every day. LOL!

          • You should. Some of them have been very influential in policy making in this country. Aren’t you interested in good policy?

          • #1 Of course I’m interested in good policy. I try to be a realist. If you think that making Prop Rep vs FPTP election reform an election issue your are mistaken. People only worry about that for about 3 days AFTER the election when their team loses.
            #2 (Frig sake! – I can’t believe I’m saying this) I agree with your assessment of libertarians (above). Mind you, hard core lefties are just as bad.

          • Wow! We agree…mostly. I don’t support pure PR anymore. It’s been turned down a couple of times now. We need a made in Canada hybrid based on some form of preferential balloting that doesn’t remove the best of FPTP. No argument its crying after the fact, but that’s the point really – now everyone has been screwed by false majorities. Believe it or not i’m thinking about the good of the country not just the good of my party. I’d like to see Tories elected in DT Toronto and Liberals elected in DT Calgary. Not sure what the dippers can do? Maybe they can be happy with the lower mainland? :)

      • Minority is a possibility in that case.

        • I think that’s most likely. Trudeau could be a flop though remember. Politics is going to fun over the next couple of years.

    • Aww come on. What’s not to celebrate!? I’m having a ball listening to Liberals piss & moan about Harper! Hey hey! And I’m having an even bigger ball hearing journalists scream, bitch & whine because, despite their best efforts he keeps winning!
      Keep bitching and whining and assholes. This is fun! Or could you, (oh puh-leeeeeze could you) convince the parliamentry press gallery to have another hissy fit and boycott him again? It was hilarious! Nobody who actually WORKED FOR A LIVING gave a shit! Woo hoo!

  15. It’s funny how the serious LPC members I’ve met question whether Trudeau has the intellect and experience to lead. He’s short on everything but charm. Did he inherit more from his mother than his father? Harper may have this guy for breakfast.

  16. This has to be one of the greatest moments in Wells life,a leg tingly moment.Justin is going to pay his morgage and put gas in his car.

    • Fun fact: I’m working on my third book about Stephen Harper.

      • Good rebuttal. I’m torn between giving you an Up vote for the rebuttal or a Down vote for your Harper fixation.

        • What does he get for his Chretien crush.[ Do i need to say that’s just a joke?]

      • Whats your new book called? “I still hate “Harper”… and isn’t Justine Trudeau the dreamiest.

  17. This is the reason reporters/columnists have blogs, and why we’re glad they do. Awesome post.

  18. I’m going to go out on a limb here and actually talk about the article.

    Well done Mr. Wells! Well done!

    • Radical!

  19. Next time you are talking to him, ask him what he would say to the numerous 30somethings with families who in many parts of Canada are making high 5 figure or low 6 figure incomes directly or indirectly from resource development. The NDP wants to put them out of work, so did the previous incarnations of Libs, leaving the only rational choice the Conservatives.

  20. “Go, Justin, go! The hopes and dreams of Maclean’s are with you!”
    So much for the objectivity of Macleans magazine and Paul Wells. Mind you, I suppose it would be nice for them to return to liberal largess and the perks that come with it. Governor General Wells?

  21. Prime Minister Shiny Pony not quite yet

    • Not even Leader Shiny Pony yet, but still, a shining speciman of a man and politician, I agree!

    • PM Zoolander, son of Fidel.

  22. He sure can’t be any worse than the Hypocrite Dictator we now have as a prime minister!!!
    I will always be grateful to the Liberals, because they did not put us through that 9-11 war situation. If the Con’s would have been in power then, we would be in the same pathetic boat as the U.S. is in now!
    The proof is there, “Canada is the 2nd happiest country in the world”!!!!
    Again, Thank You Liberals, we owe it all to you guys!!

  23. sure can’t be any worse than the hypocrite dictator we have as P.M. now!!!
    I will always be grateful to the Liberals, for not putting us through 9-11 war situation, because if the Con’s would have been in power then, we would in the same pathetic boat, as the U.S. is today!!
    The proof is there: “Canada is the 2nd happiest country in the world”!
    Again, Thank You Liberals, we owe it all to you.
    We now are the envy of the world!!

  24. Revolting thought that that son of a academic moron and Papa Fidel leftist creep could one day become the Prime Minister of Canada, absolutely revolting.

  25. Whether you like him or loathe him, Trudeau is shaping up to have a huge impact – A seat projection based on the Forum Research poll suggests that a Trudeau-led Liberals would devastate the Tories in Ontario, taking 64 seats (+53) to the Tories 33 (-40) and the NDP’s 9 (-13) – nationwide, a Trudeau-led Liberals would win a minority government – LIB 130, CON 115, NDP 56, BQ 5, OTH 2.

    Full details at http://thenumbersguy.wordpress.com

  26. As soon as he opens his mouth at the convention and gets silly and theatrical, people will be cringing in their seats. Sorry, folks. He is his flower child mother’s son. Remember how she sang an impromptu friendship song for the wife of a South American leader at a state dinner? That is more Justin’s style. In all seriousness, while idealists do matter in society when their better impulses are tempered by some realism, the thought of Justin ever being handed the reins of this country really, really scares me.

  27. 26 pages of justine. Ha. I have just cancelled my subscription.
    With any luck he will lead the liberals. That would be great. They will have just picked another loser. The writer of the above article is a shameless syncophant. I have just lost a lot of respect for macleans. It and the libs have fallen far.

  28. A liberal hack for sure – Don’t even try to hide it.
    Biased, I guess.