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Justin Trudeau: The New Face of the Liberals?

On the second of May, in 2011, the Conservative party was crowned as the majority government. This election was a time of firsts; it was the first time the Green party won a seat in parliament. It was also the first time the Liberals obtained the lowest number of seats ever recorded in their existence. With the NDP orange crush and the defeat of the Bloc losing official party status in Quebec, the winds were definitely turning. Most notably, the Liberals fell off the radar; third place contention was something they had never experienced. It had always been an oscillation of power between the Conservatives and Liberals. Throughout most of its history, all Canada has known was Liberal or Conservative leadership. However, things are changing. Under a 5 party-system, leadership can be anyone’s to claim, just as the NDP has shown. But, Justin Trudeau wants to ensure that Canada stays true to its roots, as he demonstrates that the Liberal party is here to stay.

On October 2nd, Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, announced his candidacy for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Alas, hope for the Liberal’s has been revived! It is no secret that he is the preferred candidate among the public; his charm, candidness, and sway are making politics resemble a high school popularity contest. And indeed, he has proven to be the most popular, winning over the hearts of many Canadians. Justin Trudeau exemplifies a fresh sense of hope for the Liberal party, empowering it to regain contention. They often say, “be the change you wish to see.” Justin Trudeau took this to heart, and is putting it into action. He wants change for Canada, and is ready to make promises allowing for such change to occur.

His father is best known for creating the Official Languages Act, which puts official bilingualism into practice, and for devising the Multiculturalism Act, two milestone accomplishments in modern Canadian politics. Will he follow in his father’s successful footsteps, perhaps paving the path towards a father-son tradition or legacy? Justin grew up eating, breathing, and sleeping politics; he is completely consumed by it. Luckily, Justin Trudeau has the wind in his sails; he is the anchor for change that Canadians desperately need. A candidate is needed to replace Michael Ignatieff, who stepped down following his defeat in the last election.Trudeau calls for an era of change; he looks towards the youth for support, while claiming that their political voice and participation are necessary to achieve a better Canada.

However, Justin Trudeau is seen as a possible threat to the NDP. This is especially evident in when analyzing the case of Thomas Mulcair, who replaced the late Jack Layton. As the current opposition party, the NDP is worried that Trudeau’s popularity among the public will debunk their official opposition title and shift them back into third place in the next elections. This will significantly diminish their chances of  defeating Harper’s Conservative party. According to Nanos, if elections were to currently take place, the Liberals would obtain 30.1% of the vote, while the NDP would be trailing with 27.9%.

The political race will begin within the coming weeks, officially debuting November 13th. Other candidates include Alex Burton, Deborah Coyne, and Jonathan Mousley. Canada will have to sit tight as they wait to see who the next face of the Liberal party will be. Some say the choice is evident, that Trudeau will be the clear winner. Only time will tell.

–  Chloe Giampaolo

(Featured Image: Paternité , ycanada_news, Flickr, Creative Commons)

About Chloe Giampaolo

Student of Political Science at McGill University. Born and raised in Montreal, Chloe has just recently rediscovered her love for her hometown’s architecture, fashion, cafes, restaurants, and culture; but most of all, its riveting politics. Her fascination with words and adoration of quotes has ignited in her a passion for writing, which she hopes to share with her fellow writers. She would like to raise attention to Canadian politics, more specifically that of McGill’s surroundings.

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