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Prime Minister Ella-Grace Trudeau?

On a U.S. morning show, Trudeau said he’d want to see his middle child as PM. Could Canada handle such a political dynasty?!


 
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Hadrien, Ella-Grace and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau board a government plane Saturday, November 28, 2015. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Hadrien, Ella-Grace and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau board a government plane Saturday, November 28, 2015. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Who’s up for a third-generation Trudeau prime minister? Anyone? Bueller?

Always one to think ahead, the current Prime Minister Trudeau, Justin, was on the TV this morning from Niagara Falls, where two visiting American daytime TV hosts, Kelly and Ryan—or as I still call them, Regis and Kathy Lee—asked him which of his three children he’d like to see as PM.

Suppressing the urge to say “All of ’em,” Trudeau named Ella-Grace, his middle child, who’s 8, and therefore younger than some of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers. “I have one daughter and there is something very special about imagining a woman Prime Minister,” he said. The live audience, which was prone to whooping no matter what he said, roared its approval. “I think it’s long overdue,” Trudeau added. Perhaps Kim Campbell has thoughts.

Now, of course the PM was simply playing along with a lob on a daytime show, and no particular weight need be put on his prognostication. He’s not Macbeth’s witches, after all; just because he says something will happen doesn’t make it so. And as recently as January, Trudeau was telling a crowd in Fredericton that Ella-Grace “doesn’t seem to want to be a prime minister.” (FLIP-FLOPPING ALREADY?!?!)

With that, let’s leave the kid to her childhood, but consider more broadly the question of politics as a family business. In the United States, “founded in rebellion against nobility and inherited status,” there’s long been nervousness about the durability of your Kennedys, Bushes, Roosevelts and maybe Clintons. Sometimes the nervousness gusts to outrage, usually when the candidate of the party one dislikes is a member of a political family.

In Canada, where we’re kind of OK with hereditary aristocracies, or at least with one, there’s usually less angst over political dynasties. There’ve been a few: Ernest C. and Preston Manning, Paul Martins Sr. and Jr., Elmer and Peter MacKay, some Laytons, some Notleys.

But the question came up a few times when I was doing radio interviews during the 2015 election: is it healthy for political office to be inherited?

The obvious answer, no less true because it’s obvious, is that it really isn’t inherited. Voters get a say, and sometimes their enthusiasm for the family project is perilously limited, as Al Gore, Jeb Bush and, in a way, Hillary Clinton learned. Children get a say too, which is why there are way more cases of political children pursuing another field than of children following an older family member onto the campaign trail.

But these things are also conditioned by supply, not demand, and in the end is it really surprising that politicians sometimes breed politicians? It happens in other fields too. I know of few really good musicians whose parents weren’t interested in music. Real estate developers sometimes have children who are real estate developers. The New York Times and the Toronto Star have been family businesses for generations.

Politics is more of a skilled trade than an art or science, after all: to do it well, you need to accumulate a body of lore on questions that don’t occur to, or even interest, most people: Where do the important people sit for a lunch speech? How do you ask for money? When does a campaign really begin? How do you inspire a crowd or brush off a petitioner? The earlier you start learning these things, the more of an edge you have. Not a guarantee, just an edge.

And then there are the names, big names, resonant names that inspire followers and make adversaries nervous, derisive, edgy—all states of mind that any politician would feel grateful to provoke in an adversary. It’s said that Caroline Mulroney is tempted to run. One is getting used to seeing Ben Harper at political events. They’re free to do what they want. Electorates remain free to judge, if any of them takes a run. But who should be surprised if members of political families see the life as something noble and alluring? The wonder is that anyone else still does.


 

Prime Minister Ella-Grace Trudeau?

  1. We’ve never had an elected female PM…….in the 150 years of our existence.

    • We have a parliamentary system. Prime ministers are NOT popularly elected. A Prime MInister is an ordinary MP who can garner the confidence of the House of Commons.

      Kim Campbell was a legit PM. Justin Trudeau didn’t seem to know that.

      • She was a cabinet minister Mulroney picked to fill in till the next election.

        We’ve never had an elected female PM.

        • Kim Campbell won a leadership convention. She was NOT an interim leader, nor a caretake, although that would have been legit also.

          Prime Ministers are NOT popularly elected. Learn about our political system.

          • Kim Campbell was never elected PM

            And I’ve been IN the political system

        • Trudeau wasn’t asked if Canada ever had a female PM, i think he was asked if a female should be elected the next PM of the country, sounded like he gave the right answer to me.

  2. May the good lord deliver us from this previously unemployed child of privilege who has never had a real job. Never had to face the realities of life, rides solely on his pitiful father’s coat tails while directing Canada into such debt that our children’s children’s children will never be able to pay it off. Can he be impeached?

    • Can you never move on from the BS and be truthful for once?

      • Point out the BS in that statement please. Your comments are ill informed. Based on personal experience. And hardly suitable for consideration. I do believe you are mentally ill.

        • We’ve been over this many times……Justin is well educated, a teacher and has had several tragedies in his life.

          He has not run up the debt, and he’s very popular.

          Now stop with the partisan nonsense, and discuss the topic.

    • Sure has a lot more real life and real employment experience than the guy the Cons just elected or maybe didn’t.

  3. The Liberal Party of Canada…only white male leaders. No serious female candidate for leadership ever. It may be 2017 for us. It is never 2017 for the Liberal Party of Canada.

    • Isn’t for the Cons either…..in fact they’re now being called CPOC. ‘Cheating Party of Canada’

      • The media made Kelly Leitch a serious contender for leadership. They gave her far more coverage than Scheer.

        Stronach was a major contender for the leadership in the race against Harper.

        Kim Campbell won the leadership in a convention in 1993 and was prime minister.

        Flora MacDonald was a serious candidate for leadership in the mid-seventies.

        The Liberals…nobody…no woman….ever.

        • Cons……no elected woman PM….ever.

        • The cons only used women as ornaments in Harper’s government, any tough decisions a female MP had to make in government, was never directly made by them, it was always made at the top. I can remember 4 female MPs in Harper’s government were called on the carpet and removed from their portfolios, as well as given the scarlet letter, Bev Oda, Liza Rait, Helen Guergis and Eve Adams were raked through the coals for their faux pas while in cabinet, the only male ever given any kind of treatment close to that, was Mike Duffy, and you didn’t see Nigel Wright baby go through the raking of the coals the way the females MPs went through it in Harper’s Harem, i say Harper’s Harem, because to him, they were his Harem. Just to add, Eve Adams and was one of the best MPs in the house, she was one of the best orators the cons ever had in the party, its just she had to parrot the Harper
          symphony for all the years she was there, and wear here ball and chain like most of the other women .

  4. All the hand wringing Trudeau haters should relax, Trudeau doesn’t want his kids to go into politics:

    “Do you secretly want one of [your kids] to become the next prime minister?” asked Seacrest.

    “Definitely not,” said Trudeau. He later added: “Although I will say, I have one daughter and there is something very special about imagining a woman prime minister.”

  5. Let’s get back to the Subject for a moment, shall we?
    Parents should never impose their wishes upon their children.
    By the time Ella-Grace is sufficiently experienced for the position of PM, she’d also need to be a Muslim.

    • You can manage to drag your Islamophobia into everything.

  6. No Thanks, One Trudeau was enough, suffering through 2 in one lifetime is two too many, a third would be more than any country should ever have to bear! At least the elder Trudeau had a brain even if it was not of my liking. The current iteration at least had one intelligent parent, god help the next one given the weak genetic make up of both parents.

  7. I can’t believe how many people here are offering excuses for Justin. The truth is very simple – Justin is a total moron. Here are a few of his stupider gems:
    During a CTV interview in 1999 – “Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada because, you know, we’re Quebecers or whatever.”
    In 2013, in response to a question on which country, besides Canada, he most admired – “You know, there’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime.”
    During a Radio Canada interview in 2014, when asked about Russia’s threat to the Ukraine, after violent clashes had killed dozens in eastern Ukraine, Justin joked: “It’s very worrying, especially because Russia lost in Olympic hockey, they’ll be in a bad mood.”
    There are many more examples of how stupid Justin is, but I’d be here all day if I tried to list them all.

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