Virtually every leadership candidate for the federal NDP visited Kamloops during their campaigns and today we welcome the first of the federal Liberal hopefuls — Deborah Coyne.
The eventual winner for the NDP, Thomas Mulcair came through town — speaking to reporters and giving a talk to TRU students. So it might not be too much of a stretch to wish for a visit from the Liberal front-runner, Justin Trudeau.
Despite the Liberals’ dismal showing here in the last election, Trudeau’s rock-star status would no doubt draw a crowd and tempt many NDP and Conservative supporters to cross over. With Coyne, at least, we get a connection of sorts. She had a child with Justin’s father Pierre in 1991.
Coyne told the Toronto Star in June that she hadn’t spoken with Trudeau about the leadership race.
“The two families have been very separate since the beginning. I wish him well, he’s got a young family, he’s in public life, he’s doing great things. If we both get in, that’s absolutely fine.”
Still, comparisons will be made.
Coyne is a Toronto lawyer and constitutional expert who made a name for herself by opposing both the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. She remains a supporter of a government that “speaks for Canada as a whole.” Pierre Trudeau took a similar stance, but Justin is a question mark on the subject.
In February, he suggested in a radio interview that he might support Quebec separatism if Canada were to adopt the right-wing values of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. The Parti Québécois has made a similar argument for separating.
He later professed his undying love for Canada, but we still can’t be sure of how he envisions the role of the federal government.
Aside from that, Coyne’s expertise and experience in politics could make her a more compelling choice than Trudeau. Regardless of whether you agree with her, Coyne outlines several themes on her website that have potential for spirited debate among policy mavens.
Trudeau, on the other had, has offered many platitudes and little of substance. During his candidacy speech, for example, he said: “The Liberal party didn’t create Canada. Canada created the Liberal party.” It sounds good, but what does it mean?
Even so, Coyne will have a steep hill to climb if she is to overcome Trudeau’s popularity. If he were to later sweep through Kamloops, swooning voters would forget everything she has to say of significance in a heartbeat.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.