Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Unpopular Reason To Support A Popular Trudeau

Voting for a celebrity because he is a celebrity may sound superficial but it is made all the more substantial by the changing context of Canadian politics.

Party membership in developed countries has been declining for years, surveys have shown that voters are identifying less with parties and more with specific causes. For a party hoping to unify support as this individualistic trend continues, qualities that transcend politics, such as celebrity, offer hope.

Most Liberal members and other party faithful are likely to frown upon anyone who supports a candidate primarily because of cache but as politics is becoming less about parties and even less about ideologies, the popularity of a leader matters all the more.

This is not to say that a popular Justin Trudeau will be a good leader, it is only to say that his celebrity will offer some unifying force to an ever growing divergent and apartisan electorate, something of which parties have been increasingly unable to do.

The Economist remarking on the changing modern political landscape predicts it is likely "the decoupling of voters from political parties will continue" and as it does, the qualities that make a leader popular among members will less likely be the qualities that make him popular with voters.

Critics will claim Justin Trudeau's celebrity is no guarantee of good leadership, but in these changing times, good leadership is becoming increasingly determined by popularity.

Though the reason of supporting Trudeau primarily because he is a celebrity may be unpopular with some party members, party members need to recognize parties are themselves becoming more and more unpopular with voters. Opposing a popular candidate for leader will not help parties become less so.


Michael said...

So it is to become a grade 8 class prez election. Well, that's swell. said...

Michael, general elections have been like that for years. Perhaps because of that, the decline of political parties was hatened as party members' selection of leaders only turned off voters.