COLUMN: Goldstein – Canada’s love affair with Trudeau

- June 28th, 2012

We’re Justin love

When it comes to Trudeau, Canucks act like groupies

by Lorrie Goldstein

There are only two possible explanations for this week’s national Abacus Data poll which surveyed Canadians on the prospect of Justin Trudeau becoming federal Liberal leader.

The first is that Canadians can accurately be described as giddy school girls who would elect their hair brushes as prime minister, as long as they were named “Trudeau.”

Just pray they don’t elect Justin Bieber by mistake, because he shares the same first name.

Obviously my QMI colleague Warren Kinsella, the Prince Loki of Liberalism, intuitively understands this, which is why he’s been pushing a Trudeau candidacy.

Based on the Abacus poll of 1,008 adults from June 20-23, it’s not hard to see why.

Without Trudeau as their leader, the Liberals are road kill, stuck at 20% support with the Conservatives and NDP tied at 35% and fighting it out for first place.

With Trudeau as Liberal leader, the poll suggests, the Grits skyrocket to 32%, statistically tied with Stephen Harper’s Tories at 33%, while Thomas Mulcair’s NDP falls to third place at 24%.

The poll suggests with Trudeau as Liberal leader, women, Ontarians and baby boomers would flock to the Grits.

A staggering 28% of NDP supporters say they would switch to the Liberals. Even 9% of Tory supporters would do the same, although 10% of Liberals would vote for another party.

The poll shows Trudeau’s favourable/unfavourable rating is an impressive 50%-28% to the good, leaving his closest potential rival, Liberal MP Marc Garneau, in the dust at 33%-23%.

Among Liberals, 70% say they’re favourable to Trudeau, again crushing all potential leadership rivals.

This euphoria over Trudeau is amazing, given that most Canadians probably remember him best from his funeral oration for his father in 2000, long before he entered politics.

Gaffes one would think would have put a dent in Trudeau’s popularity by now have bounced off him.

Trudeau, bizarrely, objected to Immigration Canada rightly telling newcomers that Canadians consider honour killings and female circumcisions “barbaric,” which we do.

He threatened to support a separate Quebec if Harper continues as PM, while ranting about himself in the third person when challenged on that threat by journalists.

He called Peter Kent a “piece of s—” in the House of Commons.

On the other hand, Trudeau did lay an unexpected beating on Tory Sen. Patrick Brazeau in a boxing match for charity, which, according to some very giddy journalists, somehow qualifies him to be prime minister.

This suggests women, Ontarians and baby boomers aren’t the only ones infatuated with Trudeau.

That said, with numbers like these, Trudeau would be crazy not to run for Liberal leader, presuming he wants to be PM.

The only caveat is that the Abacus poll is a “beauty contest” survey, pitting someone who isn’t a party leader and hasn’t even announced an intention to run, against well-known politicians with actual political records (and baggage) like Harper and Mulcair.

This means people are projecting favourably onto Trudeau what they want in a leader, without knowing what Trudeau wants.

Plus, Trudeau hasn’t yet been put in the sights of the Tory and NDP attack machines, inevitable if he becomes Liberal leader.

Still, the poll clearly suggests Canadians’ love affair with the name “Trudeau,” at least east of the Manitoba border, is far from over.

Categories: Contributor Columns

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4 comments

  1. kjh says:

    ‘Talking about Canadian Trudeau groupies, I found the same thing in spades when I was hitch hiking through Europe back in the early seventies. I’d already decided that there was something “off” about Trudeau (‘never voted for him) but was bombarded by Trudeaumania when traveling with fellow-backpacking Canadians.

    I quickly ditched the Canadian companeros, who were boring as dishwater to converse with and hooked up with Americans doing the post-university Europe treck. They were far more politically savvy making it possible to actually have a political/philosophical conversation. They were more fun, too.

    ” … with numbers like these, Trudeau would be crazy not to run for Liberal leader, presuming he wants to be PM.”

    I’m really hoping, for the sake of his family and Canadians, that Justin Trudeau decides not to run. He’s not leader material, either of his party or our country; if he gets sucked in to running because he’s “a Trudeau,” he’s stupider than I thought. He doesn’t need it and neither does his party, even if they think that yet another coronation is the way to go.

    The coronation tactic hasn’t worked with their last two leaders, so why don’t the Liberal$ learn from the Dion/Ignatieff fiascos? The Liberal$ need to rebuild their party from the ground up, not count on yet another high-profile, not-ready, prince.

  2. Denny Lama says:

    What do the Liberals have to lose, the giants of politics like Dion and Ignatieff certainly did not prove very effective and I would say it was due mainly to their personalities which excited no one.
    At least that is one thing Justin has in spades and he also has the smarts to go with if not experience.

  3. Denny Lama says:

    kjh: you can’t underestimate the voting public; they elected Chretien and McGuinty 3 freakin times didn’t they.
    As you said Justin is even known overseas and the electorate do not do much more than look at the curb appeal of a candidate, so I can see why Conservatives could be worried.

  4. Bill Elder says:

    Having Trudeau DNA in 24 Sussea may save the Libral party but it will fracture , if not break, Canadian unity.

    No single name is more despised in the west or in Quebec with the possible exception of Duplessis.

    Personally,I see, from my own observsions, that Justin Trudeau is definately punching below his weight intellectually, ideologically and in pragmatic political terms. His political ideal is retro utopian, his reflex is toward the dramatic rather than studied reason and his political game is as limited and shallow as the rock star persoanlity cult.

    I see no leadership here, merely a figure head to placate brand name voters while the old boys network pulls the levers. Just the opposite of what Canada needs as we sit on the cusp of becomming a true global player and economic powerhouse.

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