“I have always felt optimistic about our chances if we offered the right kind of concrete but ambitious vision of this country that reflects what Canadians need and want,” Trudeau said. “That’s what we put forward and that’s what Canadians responded to.”
Tip of the hat to Team Trudeau and, leading the charge, Katie Telford and Gerry Butts. Yes, the other parties defeated themselves/each other, but the Liberals must also be credited with delivering a win.
That their win was predicated on an unwavering commitment to "sunny ways" is to their great credit. They have defied common political wisdom and hopefully kicked the ball in a different direction, reversing the slide of Canadian politics into smears, divide-and-conquer cynicism and the vile use of wedge politics we saw during the campaign.
If you go back to the beginning, the core Trudeau team has been committed to doing politics differently from the very beginning (and for some of them, that goes back to previous campaigns). With (it's true!) a lot of hope and hard work, they have done what they set out to do. They resisted hard attacks and persevered through attacks and criticisms not just from opponents, but even from fellow Liberals. That's a big deal.
If you read through the piece linked above (or really, any piece on the Liberal campaign) you see that the "win" is being attributed to a small group of smart people who sat down and hashed out a plan together. It will be awfully tempting for the rank and file to just trust that group to keep on delivering wins, just as it will be awfully tempting for that group to see themselves as the face and wisdom of modern political success and start disregarding opposing voices.
I like to say that you govern as you win - and if a win is attributed to a small group of insiders largely trusting their own instincts, there is a real risk of that group sticking to that approach, which is a bad idea.
Not every idea that came out of this core group was a winner. There were good ideas that came from all over the place. More to the point, the real change they have been pursuing for ages is predicated on increased civic engagement, not just increased voter turnout.
Caucus has to have a say. The Opposition must be taken seriously. The people have to know and be reminded regularly that civil society has an active role to play in democracy - and that Open Government cannot function without a Responsible Society.
So far, the evidence is comforting. Let's hope it stays that way.
It would be a good gesture for Team Trudeau to reach out to some of the Liberals alienated along the path to victory, help them feel engaged again.
Going forward, leave no one behind, etc.
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