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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 25 October 2013

Mr. Trudeau Goes to Washington

Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada seen buttoning his jacket while walking through Lafayette Square across from the White House after a television interview during on his first trip to Washington DC. He was in DC attending a policy conference held by The Center for American Progress where he sat on a panel titled "Global Perspectives" with former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. (Louie Palu for The Globe and mail)
Trudeau as been criticized for his name; to his opponents, it's a way to portray him as elitist, as riding on his father's coattails.  It's a relatively simple task to turn a foe's perceived weaknesses to your advantage - it's a tougher act to turn your own perceived disadvantages into a strength.
Which is what Trudeau managed to do in this already oft-quoted line. 
Trudeau is more than just a name - it's a set of values, a reflection on a core set of beliefs that revolve around respect.  It makes me think of this:
Not only has Trudeau taken the high road - he even refers to Harper as his Prime Minister.  This sets him on a different track from the hyper partisan focus of the Harper Tories that view the leadership of Canada as synonymous with their Party and imply that other Parties are un-Canadian.  It also associates his name with Canada as much as it does with the Liberal Party.
Trudeau the younger clearly has some of his father in him, but I don't think it's fair to weigh Justin Trudeau against the legacy of his father.  Doing so just underestimates what he might accomplish in his own right.


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