Members of the federal Liberal party are enthused by talk of Justin Trudeau running for party-leader laurels. Initially, Trudeau firmly said no, but he’s as susceptible as anyone would be to having people call him saviour.
In the face of such enthusiastic encouragement, Trudeau is warming up to the idea, which, in a case like this, is akin to injecting nitro into hot, race-tuned cylinders.
Just two weeks ago, Trudeau had insisted that, at 40 years of age, he wants to spend more time with his children, not less. It’s an admirable career choice — he no doubt has vivid memories of his own father’s absence from the family fold.
But his commitment to being less politico and more papá has wavered of late.
And it is a disappointment — though not surprising — that the federal Liberals are so hung up on the young-ish Trudeau.
Never mind that it took the once-robust Canada a full 30 years to recover from the economic disaster his father inflicted on the nation.
People who have proven incapable of easing Pierre Trudeau off the pedestal on which they put him will never see his legacy in terms of economics.
So never mind that.
But do mind the reasons these neo-Trudeauskivites want Justin’s name in the hat.
For one, there’s no one else. That’s just gotta hurt. Yet it isn’t good politics to salivate over a candidate who isn’t keen.
Being prime minister is not the equivalent of being the chair of an important civic committee.
The man or woman who is to be prime minister should not need be cajoled, encouraged or railroaded into the PMO. He or she should be someone who aspires to the office, or even better, is driven to the office by his or her own ambitions and aspirations and exceptional aptitude, even, perhaps, a sense of destiny.
Pierre probably had all that. Justin just doesn’t.
More importantly though are the three reasons Trudeauskivites are so sure Justin’s the man. As mentioned by The Canadian Press, Justin is young, telegenic (looks right fine on TV), and has that family pedigree (which works against him in some circles — which are not the circles we typically find in threes under the Big Tent, which is to say the circus, which is the current Liberal party).
Of course, being young, telegenic and of groovy pedigree are all excellent qualities — if you’re running for student-council president.
But if these are the qualities that the federal Liberal party wants in its next leader, then the whole party deserves to be mired in the mud of its own shallow thinking for at least another generation.
The real problem for the federal Liberals is not that they don’t have a great candidate. The real problem is that they don’t have a great membership that an exceptional person wants to lead.
Fifty years ago, exceptional people flowed to the Liberal party. In the 21st century, that’s just not the case anymore.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.