Canada: Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau 2013
Trudeau’s promise to run open nominations could cause problems for incumbent Grits
But other Liberals say it will re-energize the party.
(Hill Times) “I will ensure that in 2015, every candidate for Liberal Party will be nominated through an open nomination process. I will not appoint any candidate in any of Canada’s 338 ridings,” reads a release on Mr. Trudeau’s website.
Liberal Party spokesperson Olivier Duchesneau, said the party is currently reviewing its nomination rules when asked to define open nominations and whether or not that means incumbent MPs will be protected. … Currently, Liberal Party nomination rules include a “Green Light Process,” whereby a committee is formed to interview potential nomination candidates and recommend them for approval, or, “where appropriate in the circumstances,” for refusal. (8 July 2013)
Justin Trudeau promises ‘full reboot’ of Liberal party
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says current and past MPs will have to fight to run, as part of the party “reboot” for the 2015 election.
All current and past Liberal MPs may not like it, but they are going to have to fight in 2014 for the right to run in the next election, says Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
As the federal Liberals gear up to begin choosing candidates in the new year, Trudeau is warning that there are no safe seats or free passes for anyone who wants to wear the party banner in the 2015 campaign.. . Looking forward to next year, Trudeau’s most important month — personally and professionally — may well be February, when he presides over his first policy convention as Liberal leader in Montreal from Feb. 20 to 23.
Justin Trudeau defends performance as 2013 draws to close
Liberal leader talks about his attendance, China remarks, Arctic, but mum on biggest mistake
(CBC) Responding to a series of rapid-fire questions, Trudeau addressed a number of policy issues:
On an expected budget surplus in 2015: “I think I’d work on making sure that Canadians have opportunities to find good jobs, to grow, to gain stability in terms of pensions. The reality is that Canadians don’t feel that our economy is working for us. We need to make sure that the middle class gets … the first raise in 30 years.”
On the Conservatives’ plan for income splitting: “A decent idea, but it doesn’t help the most vulnerable. So there’s advantages in some ways, but it’s not exactly the panacea that they’re pretending it is.”
On corporate taxes: “I think we’re pretty much where we need to be on corporate taxes. I felt that during the recession it wasn’t the time to decrease further corporate taxes, but where they are right now is something OK with me.”
On reducing greenhouse gas emissions through cap and trade versus a carbon tax: “I think we need to price carbon, there’s no question about it. The way we do it needs to be based on science and not political debates and attacks, and that’s why I’m drawing on experts and best practices from around the world.”
On Canada Post ending door-to-door mail delivery: “What we haven’t had is any kind of vision or leadership from this government as to how we’re going to move forward with Canada Post and with a whole bunch of other problems that they’re just not looking at because they’re overly preoccupied with their own political survival.”
Occasional gaffe part of being genuine political leader, Trudeau says in interview
“I think Canadians are tired of politicians that are spun and scripted within an inch of their life, people who are too afraid of what a focus group might say about one comment or a political opponent might try to twist out of context, to actually say much of anything at all,” he said.
“And I don’t think that in our parliamentary system, which thrives on countering arguments and robust back and forth around debate, that we are well served when everyone is trying to be as bland as they possibly can be. I think Canadians want to get a feel for the people who will serve them … and, for me, I think that Canadians will trust people who trust them.”
Of course, Trudeau’s critics would argue that he doesn’t say much of anything either, even if he is unscripted.
He disputes that, arguing that he’s been taking “strong, principled, pragmatic” policy positions since Day 1 of the leadership contest: a focus on the economic challenges facing middle class families, supporting the takeover of Nexen by China’s state-owned energy company, more foreign investment, supporting the Keystone XL pipeline to take Alberta’s oilsands crude to the Gulf Coast, among other things.
The son also rises – Are good looks and a famous name enough to make Justin Trudeau his country’s next prime minister?
None of this means that the Liberals are a shoo-in for 2015. Their position in the centre makes their poll lead vulnerable to attacks from both the Conservatives and the NDP. Mr Harper has shown that he is at his most ruthlessly effective when cornered. But if nothing else, Mr Trudeau has brought the Liberals firmly back into the political game.
(The Economist) After almost eight years Mr Harper and his government are looking tired. Both Conservative backbenchers and the public are growing restless. …
This has given Mr Trudeau breathing space to put a team and a platform in place for the next election, due in 2015. The Liberals’ fund-raising has improved, although the Conservatives are still pulling in more money than their opponents. Helped by his own ties to the region, the Liberals have worked to get strong candidates adopted in western Canada, a wasteland for them since Mr Trudeau’s father implemented an unpopular energy plan of which the memory is now fading.
Trudeau challenges NDP for ‘pandering’ to separatists
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says his NDP counterpart, Thomas Mulcair, is “playing with fire” by stoking a constitutional debate over Quebec’s right to secede from Canada.
In an interview Sunday, Mr. Trudeau slammed the New Democratic Party Leader for suggesting Quebec could separate with a simple majority vote in a referendum and for demanding the Liberals state their own views on a threshold.
He said Mr. Mulcair was “irresponsibly and intentionally” distorting the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada when it ruled on the former Liberal government’s Clarity Act.
Scott Reid: Justin Trudeau is about to discover the downside of winning
With next Monday’s byelections, Trudeau is on the brink of his greatest political accomplishment to date. For his trouble he will receive an equal-sized dose of political challenges. Forget China. Winning is about to test Justin Trudeau in a way that screwing up never could.
(Ottawa Citizen op-ed) Endless prescriptions will soon be volunteered by all and sundry. Most will urge that he drape himself in heavier policy garments. But it’s not really a policy test that Trudeau is set to face. It’s a credibility test. And sensible policy positions will form only part of his matriculation. Yes, he will have to do more than declare “I’m for the middle class.” A sharpened and shareable economic message is a must. But we all already knew that.
The less remarked-upon goal will be finding fresh ways to keep accumulating political capital.
Freeland Taps Middle Class Angst in Battle for Parliament
(Bloomberg) Canadian journalist Chrystia Freeland wants to practice what she’s preached, and in the process help revive the once mighty Liberal Party of Canada.
The former Thomson Reuters Corp. editor and author of the award-winning “Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else” is taking the message of middle class angst and rising income inequality to the streets of downtown Toronto where she is running as a Liberal candidate in a by-election this month.
Justin Trudeau still making rookie mistakes: Chantal Hébert
On Tuesday night Liberal MPs and apparatchiks came out in force for Trudeau’s appearance at a campaign rally. On a bad day Ignatieff or Dion would have been hard-pressed to deliver a flatter stump speech than Trudeau did. Reading from notes the rookie leader delivered rambling remarks that belied his years on the public speaking circuit.
If Trudeau wrote that text, he needs a speech writer. And if someone else wrote it, he or she needs a new assignment.
Margaret Wente: Justin Trudeau does ladies’ night
Poor Liberals. They have the wrong leader.
As [government-relations expert Lisa] Kirbie blogged the other day, Justin’s biggest political problem is that he looks vapid and lightweight. The trouble is, whenever he takes a stab at saying something really substantive, he winds up looking … vapid and lightweight.
Andrew Cohen: Where Trudeau goes from here
If the Liberals return to third place in the polls, Trudeau is in trouble. While he doesn’t have to win next time, he does have to become Opposition leader. If not, the party’s over. The pressure to merge with the NDP will be overwhelming.
Liberals know they must be the party around which dispossessed progressives in Canada — lapsed Progressive Conservatives, pragmatic New Democrats, unhappy Greens, homeless moderates — choose to coalesce.
To lead that, Trudeau has to prepare himself. He is a gifted retail politician, superb on the hustings in either language. He can draw a crowd and appeal, in particular, to younger voters, with an edgy message.
What he lacks is gravitas. He looks too young, too slight, too whimsical. He must be seen as seasoned, savvy and ready to run a big country with a trillion-dollar economy. …
Many fine people are running (or considering running) for the party, including Chrystia Freeland and Amy Robichaud in Toronto, Terry Beech in Vancouver, Catherine McKenna and Andrew Leslie in Ottawa, and Désirée McGraw in Montreal. He will need many more, particularly candidates with economic credentials.
Celine Cooper: The Trudeau brand needs a rethink
The Liberals at the federal level have some highly accomplished women MPs — Kirsty Duncan, Carolyn Bennett, Hedy Fry and Joyce Murray among them.
Trudeau has also been successful in attracting ambitious, well-educated and dynamic female candidates to the party including Chrystia Freeland, (running in the upcoming Toronto Centre by-election) and Désirée McGraw (who has recently announced her candidacy for the federal riding of Ville-Marie here in Montreal).
Unfortunately, the way the event was sold to Liberal supporters lends a certain legitimacy to the “Justin Trudeau: In Way Over His Head” attack ads put out by the Conservative machine last year. …
At some point, the Liberals are going to have to decide which way to proceed in marketing Justin Trudeau to the Canadian public. On the one hand, they’re using their leader’s good looks and star power to attract a new generation to the party; on the other hand, they’re working to brand him as a leader with the gravitas necessary to become prime minister. The ladies-night episode suggests dual-track marketing could be a problem [for] the party.
Andrew Coyne: Justin Trudeau’s gaffes reveal the gulf between his intellectual reach and grasp
The next election is nearly two years away. There will be many more chances to take the measure of Mr. Trudeau, who will have many more chances to demonstrate his capacity to grow and mature. One gaffe does not disqualify him from office, nor even do four or five. But the more evidence they are given of his flightiness, the less willing Canadians will be to hand him the keys to the car.
At Toronto fundraiser, Justin Trudeau seemingly admires China’s ‘basic dictatorship’ – that’s not exactly what he said, but he should be more thoughtful in framing his statements. Laughing them off with “But Sun News can now report that I prefer China.” isn’t really good enough. The story goes on to cite another example of shooting from the lip: his comment on CBC’s power and politics, when he suggested that the concerns swirling around the takeover of natural resources by a Chinese state-owned entity would be similar to those of a takeover by a Scandinavian state-owned entity. This prompted a wonderful tweet from Andrew Coyne: “Somalia has inspired important new developments in the international Law of the Seas.”
Trudeau walking fine line on oilsands, environment
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is walking an intentionally fine line following two high-profile expressions of support in recent weeks for the oil sands and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
The gamble is that Canadians are tired of the either-or positions adopted by the governing Conservatives and opposition NDP, and want a more middle-of-the-road policy in favour of oil sands development amid increased environmental protection. It hasn’t helped that while he has spoken in favour of Keystone in Calgary and Washington over the past two weeks, Trudeau has provided little insight into his plans to address the oil sand’s environmental impact should the Liberals form government.
Justin Trudeau shares ‘steadfast’ Keystone XL support in D.C.
Liberal leader visits Washington for 1st time
“There were some people who raised an eyebrow, absolutely,” Trudeau told reporters on Friday. “I’m seen as a strong, young progressive with an environmental background. The fact that I’d be talking positively about the project I think got people thinking about the fact that perhaps it’s not as bad as it’s been caricatured.”
Trudeau added that the pipeline is “an important energy infrastructure” for both countries, will be good for the Canadian economy and that it must be done in a sustainable and properly regulated way.
Justin Trudeau pitches Keystone to U.S. anti-oilsands crowd
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau told an American group opposed to oilsands expansion he is “supportive of the Keystone pipeline.”
At a conference organized by the Centre for American Progress, which has long been a staunch opponent of Keystone, Trudeau said: “I’m actually supportive of the Keystone pipeline because it’s an extremely important energy-infrastructure piece for both of our countries.” He acknowledged that the challenge was to demonstrate the pipeline could be built in a way that wouldn’t harm the environment — a task at which he hinted Prime Minister Stephen Harper has fallen short.
Chrystia Freeland: Dad’s Job Key To Success Today (IRONIC VIDEO)
(HuffPost) Freeland, the Grit candidate in the upcoming Toronto Centre byelection, was taking part in a virtual Q and A in mid-September with Trudeau and MP Scott Brison when she gave her take on social mobility.
“It’s increasingly the case that your job prospects are correlated not with how hard you work, not with how well you do in school, but with the job that your father had. And that’s not Canada.” Sitting beside the guy who wants to be prime minister. The job his dad had.
Trudeau confidant Anna Gainey to run for Liberal presidency
(CBC) Anna Gainey, a well-connected, longtime Liberal, is scheduled to formally kick off her campaign on Wednesday.
She says she wants to focus on expanding the party’s support base through the kind of personal engagement strategy used so successfully by U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign team. Gainey is closely connected to Trudeau: she played a senior operations role in his successful leadership campaign earlier this year while her husband, lifelong Trudeau friend Tom Pitfield, was in charge of the digital campaign.
Andrew Cohen: Where Ignatieff went wrong
Fire and Ashes is the story of an innocent, surrounded by naïfs, entrusted with a venerable national institution with the best of intentions and the worse of consequences.
It didn’t have to turn out this way. Others of Ignatieff’s ilk have played the game and won. They knew themselves better and wanted the prize more.
Michael Den Tandt: Trudeau’s team offers a glimpse of the brain behind the hair
(National Post) What this begins to do – though it is early days – is disrupt the narrative of Trudeau as insubstantial and, therefore, unfit to lead. There is more to follow, as the Grits fashion, they hope, their very own Arthurian legend. There will be further additions to the Round Table. But it is clear already that Trudeau’s opponents understand they must adapt, by moving beyond the simply personal. We can see this in the federal government’s newfound zeal for consumer protection, expected to be a centerpiece of next month’s Throne Speech.
Justin Trudeau enlists retired general Andrew Leslie
Liberal leader brings in former army chief to advise on international affairs
Leslie will work alongside the party’s foreign affairs critic, MP Marc Garneau, Trudeau said Wednesday. (HuffPost) More big names — primarily people previously not associated with the Liberal party — are expected to be added to the team, in various capacities, over the coming weeks.
Behind the scenes, Trudeau’s operatives have been putting huge emphasis on candidate recruitment, in a bid to infuse the party with fresh blood and demonstrate the new leader’s ability to reach outside the traditional Liberal base.
They are also hoping to compensate for Trudeau’s lack of experience by surrounding him with a team that boasts expertise in areas in which he may be perceived to be weak, such as the economy and foreign affairs. Ex-general Leslie crafts strategy for the battlefield of politics
[Note: Andrew Leslie’s father was Colonel Edward Murray Dalziel (McNaughton) Leslie, commander of Royal Canadian Horse Artillery during the Korean War. He is a grandson of former Chief of the General Staff and Minister of National Defence General Andrew McNaughton, as well as of former Canadian Minister of National Defence Brooke Claxton. Wikipedia ]
Canadians see Trudeau as most trustworthy, but not most competent, poll finds
(Globe & Mail) Canadians quickly warmed to Justin Trudeau when he was elected leader of the federal Liberals last April, and a new poll suggests he continues to score top marks for trustworthiness and his vision for Canada. … the high levels of support enjoyed by his party likely stem more from dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives than from the Liberals’ own performance.
[The] three-day caucus .. was more about rhetoric than action. In fact, Liberal policies on the economy and how to help middle-class Canadians, who are being squeezed in their pocketbooks, is (sic) about two years away. More from Globe & Mail
Althia Raj: Trudeau Liberals Won’t Share Concrete Policy Proposals Until 2015
Through speeches and editorials, Trudeau has announced support for legalizing marijuana, the Keystone XL and East-West pipelines and increasing rates of post-secondary education. Trudeau has said he is against the Northern Gateway pipeline and Wednesday he told reporters he would like Parliament recalled in order to discuss the situation in Syria but he’s not in favour of military intervention there.
“What we are not going to do is release a platform before we have had a chance to consult with Canadians and experts in various fields” .
Bruce Anderson: What Justin Trudeau has in common with his father
Kelly McParland: P.E.I. offers Justin Trudeau a chance to move out of beginner phase of his leadership
If the Liberal brain trust does have a clear strategy, it appears to revolve around Mr. Trudeau’s image. He hopes to contrast himself with the obsessive secrecy of the Harper government and convince middle-class Canadians he shares their concerns and attitudes. He’s going to be the “nice guy” in the next election, against the Harper heavies and Mulcair’s Quebec-based desk-thumpers.
All of which seems pleasant enough but is still thin gruel on which to base a national campaign. There’s an argument to be made that the world is undergoing a fundamental shift in the political order … Is Mr. Trudeau even aware of the big picture? Does he have positions — or even inklings — on issues larger than pot and crucifixes in Quebec? His father was uninterested in the economy, and Canada paid a heavy price in the expansion of deficit financing and the national debt. Is he inclined to treat budgeting with similar flippancy?
Liberal Caucus Retreat: Grits To Talk Middle Class Concerns, Telecom, Expense Disclosures In P.E.I.
Everyone’s talking about Justin Trudeau
For a second, though, let’s make something of it and review the last few days in Trudeau’s life. The Liberal leader came out as a handyman; announced his family was adding a new member; condemned forthcoming legislation in Quebec that would ban religious symbols in public workplaces; and admitted to smoking pot while he was a Member of Parliament. … for five days in August, matched against a prime minister’s high-profile trip to Canada’s north, Trudeau stood out. Everyone’s talking about him. Who’s talking about the Leader of the Official Opposition?
Inside the race for Toronto-Centre
And the upcoming byelection previews a looming 2015 battle for Canada’s political left
(Maclean’s) Freeland has the Liberal party apparatchik backing her, including four campaign “co-chairs”: former Liberal MP Bill Graham, Toronto Centre Liberal MPP Glen Murray, and veteran party organizers Amanda Alvaro and Sachin Aggarwal. She’s clearly a “get”: a woman from the West who’s a media magnet. More, her reportage on the beleaguered middle class and income inequity dovetails with the party’s new “middle-class agenda.” Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has name checked Freeland and Plutocrats for months. The July 30 press release announcing her candidacy employed the term “middle class” six times in seven paragraphs.
Toronto Centre Liberals get calls supporting Chrystia Freeland from number used for Trudeau leadership bid
Maybe a tempest in a teapot? — Amanda Alvaro, co-chair of Freeland’s campaign, said Wednesday that the same number is showing up on phone calls to supporters because the Freeland campaign hired Prime Contact, the same voter-contact firm that did calls for Trudeau’s leadership campaign. However: “a source close to [Diana] Burke said that the campaign is concerned about the overlap between the Liberal party office, Trudeau’s campaign team and Freeland’s campaign team.”
Things are getting nasty already
Media Bites: Chrystia Freeland Is Just the Liberals’ Next Blue Blood
(HuffPost) On Saturday it was announced that Chrystia Freeland, a managing editor at the Reuters corporation with a resume as thick as the visa section of her passport, would be seeking the Liberal nomination in Toronto-Centre, the wealthy Ontario riding previously held by Bob Rae.
Freeland is one of those famous journalists no one’s ever heard of but still gets to be described as “widely respected” since she writes for pretentious, upscale publications like the Economist that everyone pretends to read but few actually do. OUCH!
John Ivison: Justin Trudeau parachutes ‘star’ candidate Chrystia Freeland into safe Toronto Centre
The old joke is that you can’t make a Hamlet without breaking egos. Justin Trudeau is in the process of discovering the same is true of building his political dream team – particularly since he has committed to an open nomination process that bars him from appointing candidates. … Open nominations have fallen at the first hurdle. How much faith should anyone place in his other democratic reform pledges – loosening the grip of the Prime Minister’s Office; introducing changes to the electoral system; banning partisan government advertising?
Journalist Chrystia Freeland to seek Liberal nod for Toronto Centre
Ms. Freeland’s candidacy is looked on favourably in senior Liberal circles, and she might be perceived as having a leg up on the nomination given her close ties to Mr. Trudeau and his inner circle. Still, she will have to compete for the votes of the party members in the riding. Mr. Trudeau has said all nomination races will be open and that he will never appoint candidates.
Charity drops refund request to Justin Trudeau, kicks out board members
The New Brunswick charity at the centre of a political firestorm over Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s public-speaking fees this past spring has dropped its request for a refund.
The Grace Foundation has also cut ties with several board members, including one blamed for leaking a “private” letter about the issue to the federal Conservatives.
Kelly McParland: Alberta leadership experience offers gloomy omen for Trudeau Liberals
An interesting thing happened a few weeks before Justin Trudeau arrived in Calgary on the weekend to horn in uninvited on Premier Alison Redford’s Stampede breakfast.
The local Liberal party, which was the first to adopt a system allowing uncommitted “supporters” to choose its leader, dropped the experiment after just two years and one election.
It didn’t work, they said. Yes, there was a sudden surge in interest during the leadership campaign, but hardly anyone signed up for membership after the vote, and the party got whipped in the next election.
The Young Liberals are back
Quebec wing meets for first time since 2004
The Quebec wing of the Young Liberals of Canada met on Saturday for the first time since 2004. Over 200 people attended the convention held at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, to take part in a series of workshops and to vote on proposed policy resolutions.
Stéphane Dion, Steven Guilbeault and Gilles Ouimet were among the speakers facilitating the workshops, which focused on four main issues: the economy, justice and society, Quebec and Canadian identity, and sustainable development and infrastructure.
Steve Paikin: Op-Ed: Timing wasn’t on Bob Rae’s side
(Ottawa Citizen op-ed) Robert Keith Rae has had one of the most unusual and distinctive careers of any politician in Canadian history. And if not for some bad timing a few times along the way, he might even have done more.
Liberal MP Bob Rae’s career, filled with colour and controversy, comes full circle
Bob Rae’s first brush with the Liberal party came in 1968, when, as a 19-year-old student, he volunteered on Pierre Trudeau’s leadership campaign. Ten years later, as an NDP member of Parliament, Rae sparred across the floor of the House of Commons with Trudeau Sr., who by then was well into his time as prime minister.
On Wednesday, an emotional Rae — his hair now snow-white, the geeky glasses of his youth long gone — announced he’s stepping down as a member of Parliament. Trudeau Sr.’s son, Justin, now Liberal leader, stood by his side.
Rae, one of Canada’s most seasoned politicians and skilled orators, made the surprise announcement after breaking the news to the Liberal caucus, of which he has been a member since 2008. His decision signals the departure of one of the House of Commons’s best-regarded parliamentarians and, apparently, marks the end of a political career that saw no shortage of both admiration and controversy.
Rae said Wednesday that it was a “very difficult decision” to resign, though he will devote himself to his role as chief negotiator for First Nations in northern Ontario, who are in talks with the province about the resource-rich “Ring of Fire” mining area. But, he said, it became clear that he couldn’t perform that role and continue his duties as an MP.
He served as interim Liberal leader from May 2011 until April 2013, when Justin Trudeau was elected party leader. Rae’s departure now is seen by some as a blow for the Liberal caucus, which loses his decades of political wisdom and heavyweight presence in the Commons.
Race for Bob Rae’s Toronto-Centre riding will be part of a larger war between the Liberals and NDP
(Postmedia News) Toronto Centre will likely be the bigger fight and an important gauge of newly elected leader Justin Trudeau’s appeal with voters in Toronto and its suburbs, where the Conservatives made a breakthrough in 2011.
With Rae’s announcement this week that he will step down as an MP, two apparently solid Liberal ridings – his, and the Montreal riding of Bourassa, where Liberal Denis Coderre also recently stepped aside – will be at stake.
A number of names have already surfaced as potential Liberal candidates, including former CTV Canada AM host Seamus O’Regan; Zach Paikin, son of respected political show host Steve Paikin; and former Ontario minister George Smitherman.
Elections Canada expects to receive official notice of the vacancy in Toronto Centre within a matter of days. After that, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has six months to call a byelection. While Harper has until Nov. 30 to call a byelection in the Bourassa riding, he’s not required to choose the same date for Toronto Centre.
Bob Rae quits as MP in ‘very emotional’ decision
Rae says he is leaving in order to focus on his new role as chief negotiator for First Nations in talks with the province about development of the Ring of Fire mining development in northern Ontario.
In His Own Words: Bob Rae on his decision to leave the House
Bob Rae’s parting wisdom for MPs: No more scripted remarks in House
Kelly McParland: Trudeau can talk the talk, but shouldn’t get the cheque
(National Post) While delivering a speech may seem harmless enough, there are valid concerns to be considered. While Mr. Trudeau was moderately well known before his election, winning a seat in Ottawa added to his profile and marketabilty, potentially pushing up his fees and the cost to charities and other clients of being graced with his presence. Such appearances can also act as opportunities for discreet lobbying, giving audience members access not available to the non-paying public.
That said, it’s a smallish scandal by recent Ottawa standards, and Mr. Trudeau has some justification in arguing that he broke no rules or regulations. That in itself is part of the problem. As we’ve learned from the ongoing expense scandal in the Senate, Ottawa operates according to often vague and opaque standards that leave individual MPs or senators to judge for themselves what is and isn’t appropriate. Also see Andrew Coyne: Was it wrong for Justin Trudeau to take money for speaking? Not exactly
Eric Grenier — Justin Trudeau’s Liberals: The Highs, Lows Of A Party Rebuilding
As the House of Commons closes its doors for the summer, how have the main party leaders performed? In the first of three articles, we look at Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Even those who hoped Justin Trudeau would be the saviour of the Liberal Party probably did not dream that things would start off so well.
Liberals lead in the polls by a wide margin and the party’s fundraising is on overdrive. All in all, it was a good first few months for the Trudeau Liberals.
Trudeau Does Not Support The ‘Status Quo’ In The Senate
(HuffPost) The only antidote to restoring public trust in the wake of the Senate expenses scandal is to “raise the bar” and make parliamentarians expenses more transparent than ever before, said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on Sunday.
Trudeau said that anyone “preaching wholesale Senate reform” as a response to the Senate expenses scandal is pandering. “After all they know, or ought to know, that major reforms like creating an elected Senate, or abolishing it outright, would require protracted Constitutional discussions with the provinces,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau Turns Cargo Shorts Into Political Leverage
(HuffPost) What Trudeau says in the video is of little import — as so often is with the aspiring prime minister — but it’s how he presents everything that makes this ad — initially (and easily) thought to be a joke — so downright clever. … He’s dangling fish bait on the line, hoping Harper and company will bite. Trudeau wants another superficial attack ad. He wants to be told he doesn’t look like a prime minister. Already, the governing party drew heavy criticism for attacking the MP from Papineau on such ridiculous grounds; and Trudeau wants them to do it again, and with the only material that he gives them: his appearance.
Damien Gillis: Why Justin Trudeau May Be More Dangerous than Harper
(The Common Sense Canadian) The thing that has always bothered me about Justin – ever since his entry onto the public scene at his famous father’s funeral – is that he’s never appeared to stand for anything real. Years later, even following a lengthy leadership race and literally thousands of media clips and public appearances, I still don’t know what core principles motivate his drive to lead the country….
The key positions he’s taken thus far – supporting the sellout of our strategic energy resources to the Chinese Government, giving away our sovereignty through the Canada-China Trade deal, new pipelines to expand the Tar Sands – hardly vary from those of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They just look and sound far more attractive coming from Canada’s prodigal son.
And that’s what scares me. Trudeau’s latest decision to out-Harper Mr. Harper on boosting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to Texas give us a sobering sense of where the young Liberal leader is headed. Perhaps more troubling is the question of what he actually believes – or whether these positions derive from polling data, focus groups, and a cynical drive to get elected at all costs.
Michael Den Tandt: Trudeau can reinvent the Liberals with a ‘modern’ take on libertarianism
… Here’s what all that points to: a peculiarly modern, Canadian brand of libertarianism. For Laurier – who was prime minister from 1896 to 1911 – was famously libertarian. Classical liberalism, in a Canadian context, begins with him. The nub of it is a belief in individual freedom and less, not more, state control – over economic decisions, but also personal ones.
Bob Rae: What Trudeau does next
Justin Trudeau has neither been anointed nor crowned. He has won a hard-fought campaign, elected by a massive majority of over a hundred thousand electors – the most decisive and unequivocal mandate ever received by a political leader in the history of the country. He was not chosen by a committee, or by some elite, but by people, young and old, who took the time and trouble to engage. Justin Trudeau won an eight-month campaign with a majority that was more than decisive: It was defining. Canadians liked what they heard, and they responded.
Now the work begins. The past two years are simply a prologue to a two-year march to the next election. The course ahead is clear enough: show a continuing capacity to take on the government and the NDP in the House; build the platform for support at the policy convention in 2014; and take the remarkable volunteer organization built for the leadership and turn it into a national campaign for the election of 2015.
Justin Trudeau has work cut out for him off Parliament Hill: Hébert
… a closer look at the breakdown of the vote that led to his massive victory suggests that if he is to restore the Liberal ground game to a minimally effective level, he has his work cut out for him off Parliament Hill. Here are some highlights:
Peter Mansbridge Interview with Justin Trudeau
(HuffPost) As expected, the Conservatives have released attack ads on new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau just a day after he won the party’s leadership race.
But there are a few problems with the Tories’ line of attack on the videos, posted to YouTube Monday, which include footage of a Trudeau striptease at an Ottawa charity fundraiser in 2011.
The video clip was taken from The Huffington Post Canada without permission. (HuffPost is making its concerns known to the Conservative Party.) … the new spot … attacks Trudeau’s judgment and statements dating back to 1999.
Bob Did the Job
By Robin Sears, National newswatch
He’s bequeathed Justin Trudeau the gift of a party anxious to start rebuilding, not the embittered infighting hulk he might have inherited.
For those too easily dismissive of political motive, cynical about the sacrifice to health, family and sanity that political leadership inflicts, you would look long and hard to find a better model of commitment above and beyond the call of duty than Bob Rae, Interim Leader, Liberal Party of Canada.