Like many people, today I received my form in the mail for voting in the Liberal Leadership race. I have voted strategically for Liberal Candidates a couple of times in my life and so I didn't mind taking part in their experiment in democracy. I don't know if the experiment will amount to anything but I figure that any effort at bringing more democracy has got to be worthwhile.
I continue to suspect that Justin Trudeau will be the next Prime Minister. I certainly could be wrong (and I have been before), but to me it just looks like things are trending that way. Of course, die hard, arrogant Conservatives glibly talk about making (metaphorical) political mincemeat out of Trudeau. But for a number of reasons (some of which I have already stated in past blogposts) I just don't see it that way. Sure, Trudeau has less experience than those in the Harper war-room, but many times in politics it is just a matter of who is no the right side of events that comes out on top. And history just seems to be on Justin's side.
Despite the historical hatred that many in the West have for the Trudeau name I think (from the voter acquisition point of view) he has a lot more positives than negatives. Many older people will vote for him for pure nostalgia's sake. And overall I think many voters in Canada are hungry for a Prime Minister with youth and charisma. After years of a Prime Minister who seems to live in the Shadows and never comes into contact with average people, I really think voters will react positively to a young, charming guy like Trudeau who, I very much suspect, will be something of a return to a bygone era of apparent openness and accessibility. Whether he will REALLY be open and accessible is a different question, but his past actions suggest he will at least give that impression to voters. And once Canadians get a return to a leader who actually talks to the media and answers unvetted questions from reporters and actual people, they will suddenly see what they have been missing and it will change the game. I really believe that there will come a time when a vast majority of Canadians will look back at the Harper years with horror and see it as a kind of national nightmare. And regardless of the real man behind the public image of Trudeau, I think that people will breath a sigh of relief at the image of a young, apparently open, charming, talkative guy being PM.
As for all the talk of Trudeau not have any substantive policies, that is just silly. Politicians haven't generally presented substantive policies in the public eye for years. Harper came to power with a view vague platitudes and a ruthless campaign of telling people he was "different" from the Liberals. If a lack of meaningful policies precluded someone from becoming a successful politician, Harper would be managing a corner-store now.
Anyway, I will place my vote (for whatever it is worth) in the Liberal Leadership race, and we shall see what transpires. It seems clear that Trudeau will at the very least win this part of his battle. And if he does become the twenty-third Prime Minister, let us hope, at the very least, that he will end that part of the Harper years which has been a systematic and ruthless effort at the destruction of our democracy and House of Commons.