No more Mr. Nice Spaceman - Macleans.ca

No more Mr. Nice Spaceman

Marc Garneau challenges Justin Trudeau

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Marc Garneau issues a direct challenge to Justin Trudeau.

I believe this leadership race is the time for the party to vigorously debate the issues of importance to Liberals, to Canadians; to define where we stand as a party; and to select the person who can best lead us.

That’s the fundamental difference between Justin Trudeau and myself. Justin believes telling Canadians we need a ‘bold’ plan and a ‘clear vision’ without defining either is good enough. He speaks in vague generalities, and on his two key priorities – the middle-class and youth – he has presented no direction.

Susan Delacourt posts a transcript of Mr. Trudeau’s explanation for the lack of policy.

So the big difference, to my mind, is in what we actually see as a need for the Liberal party to do. Many of my colleagues are very much emphasizing their strengths around policy and their specific ideas and I’m actually frustrating both media pundits and a lot of others — not because I haven’t had a lot of very clear things to say, whether it be against the Northern Gateway pipeline, in favour of the legalization of marijuana, against strengthening the language laws in Quebec, various things that are … difficult issues for politicians to deal with.

But because I’m not going to be putting forward a comprehensive platform over the course of this leadership. And that’s because the Liberal party has gotten far too much in the habit of generating a platform by the leader and some very smart people around them, that they then turn to Liberals across the country and say ‘now go and sell this door to door.’ This leadership is the beginning of a platform-development process, not the end of it. And what we do around connecting and drawing in ideas from around the country, not just from Liberal circles, but from Canadians who are looking for a better option, right across the country, will be the big work we have to do over the coming months and even years leading up to 2015.