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Five questions worth pondering about Justin Trudeau

John Geddes on what Trudeau has said on a handful of key issues


 

Five questions worth pondering about Justin Trudeau in the feverish days leading to his announcement next week, and how he dealt with these issues in an earlier interview:

It’s impossible to get past the fact that he’s Pierre Trudeau’s son. How will he avoid being always measured against his famous father?

JT: “My father was incredibly focused, incredibly linear… . I’m a high school teacher. I’m someone who stumbles my way through, leads with my chin in some cases, leads with my heart in all cases.”

Many Liberals are looking to Trudeau as a saviour, but wouldn’t merging with the NDP make sense electoral sense given left-of-centre vote-splitting?

JT: “…if one of the two opposition parties manages to get its stuff together, I don’t know that a merger… is going to be necessary. I think Canadians are going to be unwilling to allow Mr. Harper to continue.”

Trudeau hasn’t said or done much of note on economic issues. What can he say to keep Stephen Harper from trouncing him on that big subject?

JT: “What is this government doing? It’s relying on a combination of selling off our natural resources… and a form of trickle-down economics that has been thoroughly discredited everywhere…”

Much of Trudeau’s appeal is said to be among the young. Isn’t the problem that too many young adults tend not to bother voting?

JT: “I think a bold message will wake them up. We saw that a little bit in the Occupy movement. Over the next three years, I think young people are going to wake up and be empowered.”

Harper campaigns on stability, competence. Trudeau doesn’t look likely to contest him on that ground. What will he offer instead?

JT: “I think the next leader needs to understand that business as usual doesn’t work, that we’re in a time where we have to rethink a lot of the basic ground rules and assumptions of our civilizations.”


 

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