Here are two votes for Justin Trudeau.

It is hardly a secret. The wife also likes Justin Trudeau. He is the same age as our daughter. The wife thinks that, in many ways, Justin is more like his mother than his father. He is certainly not the overpowering intellect of Pierre Trudeau. Nor does he show the same impatience as his father. He has far more empathy with people and, wow, does he ever know how to work a crowd.

We helped organize a fund-raising dinner three years ago with Justin as the guest speaker. He made it a highly memorable event. He kept smiling and had his picture taken with every paying guest. His speech was one that made everyone feel good about themselves as Canadians and as Liberal supporters. It was a class event and everyone got their money’s worth.

What a difference from his father. First time we met Pierre Trudeau, he had just been elected an MP from Quebec in the Pearson minority government and we had recently been made communications chief for the Liberal Party in Ontario. And we got into a very loud argument. The argument included some very rude words on both sides about his being part of a media interview. He shouted. We shouted. And somehow we won. The interview landed Pierre on the front page of the next issue of the Globe and Mail and the rest was history.

Pierre would laugh about that argument whenever we met during his career in Ottawa. It helped him to learn about the Canadian news media. He never did like them but that was probably for the best. They are not all that likeable and they have a job to do.

Justin seems to know about the news media already. He has been learning to choose his words better during this leadership contest. And if the media do not like his lack of policy specifics, the party and Liberal supporters are listening and liking what he says to them. Sure, we all gave him a bit of a push on his positions but he would be crazy to keep announcing positions without listening carefully to the party. With over a 100,000 Canadians choosing the leader, they are today’s audience.

It is supposed that MP Marc Garneau had to cut his losses and leave the leadership race but he added to the quality of leadership debate. He will be a hard working part of Justin’s team. So will MP Joyce Murray. We just hope that she will continue to question and challenge the status quo. The party needs to be constantly reminded that it is the party of real reform in Canada.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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