I never much cared about Pierre Elliot Trudeau while he was still alive; he’d already been out of power for more than three years when I was born, and so during my childhood, whenever anyone would mention him, I would subconsciously group his name into “the list of people who occasionally get talked about on the news.”
However, he happened to die at just around the time that I started to care about politics, so I therefore was given the chance to learn, in detail, about his accomplishments at precisely the time that I was most receptive to such things. As the accounts of his reign which appeared at the time tended to be rather glowing (de mortibus nil nisi bonum, and all that) I naturally came to view the man as being basically the coolest person ever–to the point where I started consciously and subconsciously mimicking his inflections and mannerisms*.
Now, of course, with maturity and the passage of time, I have adopted a more realistic assessment of Trudeau’s strengths and weaknesses as a Prime Minister. But love him or hate him (these apparently being the only two reactions that the man was capable of garnering), I think that we can all agree on one thing:
Justin Trudeau is not his father.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I like Justin Trudeau; I do so for the same reasons that I think that a lot of leftish Canadians do: we can tell that he feels much the same way about the country that we do, and he frequently says the things that we’re all thinking. And as far as leaders go, the Liberal Party of Canada could do (and has done) much, much worse than a photogenic, technically savvy young man who knows how to raise funds and keep his name in the news. However, it’s really not clear to me what qualifications he ultimately has for leadership, other than his own name.
Moreover, far from being a sign of strength, I think that the fact that Liberal Party of Canada is so eager to roll out the red carpet for the man serves only to underscore their weakness and desperation. About a year and a half ago, the Liberals were delivered the greatest defeat in their history; since then, they’ve done nothing to rebuild. Rather, they have remained what they’ve been for decades now: a personality cult, only without a personality to lead them. So it’s hardly surprising that they would turn, like a mediaeval monarchy, to a man who’s authority is based exclusively in his bloodline. What I fail to see, however, is what is at all ‘liberal’ about the idea of judging someone based on the accomplishments of his family.
*This is why I speak, unaccountably, with what sounds like an upper-class Montreal accent in spite of the fact that I am neither upper-class, nor from Montreal.