Thursday, March 07, 2013

Why Justin Trudeau Shouldn't Lead The Liberals

For the very same reason why so many Liberals want him to win, Justin Trudeau shouldn't become Liberal Leader.

If 150,000 people only supported Justin Trudeau because of substance then there would be no argument against the 41 year-old MP for Papineau. A Trudeau only made popular by policy would present little risk in selecting him for leader. After all, the Liberal Party could survive, even if just barely, another loss from a leader who only represented the party's policies. However policies aren't why Justin Trudeau has so many supporters, and policies aren't why he is a risk to the Liberal Party.

But while Justin Trudeau may not be a candidate of substance, he is certainly not a candidate of image. Despite his opponents' criticism, Justin Trudeau's incredible support is not based on celebrity alone; Marc Garneau could run television ads around the clock and never come close to reaching Trudeau's popularity. The success of his candidacy derives from an intimate, intrinsic, and inherent bond to the Liberal Party, and to Canada. And though that is why he is the best candidate, it is also why he could possibly be the worst.

Justin Trudeau represents the Liberal Party's greatest connection to Canada, a loss by him would severe the two completely. Because he is so closely associated to the Liberal Party, an electoral defeat with Trudeau as leader, furthering a series of devastating defeats and losing even more seats, would undoubtedly end the organization.

Justin Trudeau shouldn't lead the Liberals because the party would be facing nonexistence if he lost.

But that is also why he should lead. A political party that isn't willing to face risk for its beliefs doesn't deserve to exist. Whether this enters the minds of those who vote for the next Liberal Leader or not, it doesn't matter. What matters is that the Liberal Party is not the most important thing, Liberal values are. And Justin Trudeau is the best candidate they've got.

7 comments:

kitt said...

Oh for pete's sake. Get real already. Bob Rae wasn't good enough, now Justin isn't good enough. It's a political party for god's sake and Justin ate, slept and breathed politics for most of his life, plus at least he has had a job, unlike the present prime minister.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Kitt,

Next time you commen please read the post you're commenting on.

kitt said...

You're right. I quit reading before getting to the last paragraph. And that paragraph is absolutely correct.

Matthew Day said...

Lol, I thought you had a screw loose. Trudeau is too quintessentially Liberal to lead the Liberals.... Then I read the last paragraph

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Matthew,

I do maintain Trudeau is "too quintessentially Liberal", but the point of the post is that the risk of losing it all on our last and truest standard-bearer is worth it. I hope I made that clear.

David Coletto said...

Interesting take Scott. Our polling suggests Trudeau has a lot of positives but also a lot of high expectations. http://abacusdata.ca/2013/03/07/harper-v-mulcair-v-trudeau/

Do you think he can meet them?

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

David,

Very interesting polling data.

In the short-term Trudeau will meet those expectations because with him as leader in the lead up to 2015, Liberal polling numbers will jump enough to satisfy and/or impress party organizers and active/informed politicos.

This will promote a political virtuous cycle, where positive polls will motivate positive press coverage (a political party given up for dead). Better press will encourage Liberal members to expand organizing efforts, which will in turn push up poll numbers.

In the long-term, whether Trudeau wins the next election or not, he is placed well. If he wins, a majority or a minority, the incredible comeback for the Liberals will be historic and as such will undoubtedly force a narrative associating Trudeau with strong leadership and popular support.

If a Trudeau victory is to occur I have no doubt he will ensure legislation protecting/furthering women's rights will be drafted, even if it's only symbolic.

In 2015, a Liberal loss, though less optimal (but only slightly so), would still assuredly give the Liberals more seats, and as a consequence give them and Trudeau political momentum for the next electoral fight. Such an advantage would be incredibly beneficial considering it is unlikely Harper would stay on as Conservative Leader past 2017.