Bob Rae has set the Liberal Party and, eventually, Canada, an intelligence test.
Justin Trudeau is an attractive younger man with not a lot of experience but with a bit of charisma. Everything that he has done that has made any news at all has been predictably squishy, left, Liberal. It is difficult to see what, if anything, he stands for other than the dull values of the Geoffery Stevens class. He seems to like immigration, multiculturalism, human rights, fairness and social justice. He is, I think, against carbon.
For better or worse he will be compared to his father. Which is unfair but inevitable. His father entered politics to accomplish a particular objective: to entrench Quebec in Canada. Now, I don’t think Trudeau pere succeeded; rather I think he denatured English Canada to such a degree that Quebec or Serbia or any other nation would have little to complain of so long as the equalization kept flowing. But Trudeau pere did have a reason to be in politics.
Does Trudeau fils?
Is there a reason for Justin to run for the leadership of the Liberal leadership? Merely being able to win is not a particularly compelling reason. Does he have a platform which goes beyond undoing anything Harper may have done? We know the Liberal Party itself is entirely without a principled reason to exist so Trudeau fils cannot don the mantle of the party. (His father was in a similar position but struck out on his own.)
Our American friends are experiencing buyer’s remorse over their election of the Big “0” three and a half years ago. Inexperienced, unqualified, the weight of office has broken Obama’s façade.
Electing Trudeau fils will demonstrate two certainties about the Liberal Party – it is out of ideas and it is out of serious leaders. But it will also confirm the suspicion that the Party has never lost the cynicism which underlay the success of Trudeau pere. The Liberals want to win, they need to win and if electing an empty suit can make that happen they’ll do it.
That is the issue which will challenge the intelligence of Canadian voters – will they vote for the empty candidate of a cynical party or will they consign the Liberal Party to the ash heap of history where the younger Trudeau can preside over a bitter rump while the rest of Canada gets on with the 21st century.