Great hair – but there was no Trudeaumania at Art Centre when Justin Trudeau talked to 200 + as he seeks Liberal leadership

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  October 10, 2012  He isn’t his Father – has more of his Mother’s face, but he does have charm and a charisma that will probably build.  He also has very good hair – which he never fails to mention; three times in his talk to a room of 200+ people who gathered at the Burlington Art Centre.

I stood less than five feet away from his Father many times when he was winning the Liberal leadership race in 1968 – at that time Trudeaumania had taken over.

It hasn’t reached a fever pitch yet – it might not, but he does know how to pull all the heart strings,  Both his hair and his children get many mentions. The bold new ideas? – haven’t heard those yet. What he did assure his audience was that he had very solid values – but didn’t make much mention of what they were.

There was no Trudeaumania in the room this afternoon but there was a young man who knew what to say and was very good gathering people around him.  He is genuinely comfortable in crowds and tends to reach out and touch people when he is talking to them.  There is nothing wooden about this man.

He said all the right things.  He distanced himself from the old Liberal habit of convincing Canadians that they, the Liberals, made Canada what it was.  Justin instead said that the Liberals would listen to Canadians and work with Canadians to build this country into what everyone wants it to be.

He added that with all the communication tools available to use today Canadians should, can and will be able to talk to the politicians – and we are going to listen”, he assured the audience.

He said that in 2000 “we had 170 seats in the House; that dropped down to 135 in the next election and in a couple of elections after that we got to the 35 seats we have today”.   He assured his audience that the number would never fall below one seat because he was going to hold Papineau, the seat he has won twice.

As I stood before this young man who wants to lead the country,  I saw a harder face than his Father’s.  The hint of his Father’s voice was there, and the shy smile that I once saw on his Mother’s face as she was being introduced to a large crowd.

We didn’t hear anything in the way of bold statements – no “Just Society” initiatives.  He offered nothing other than a willingness to pull Canadians together and get away from ideological parties that think they can win an election even if they don’t hold Quebec or if they don’t do well in Alberta.

He looks you right in the eye, reaches out to touch you and has that light pleasant smile.

He used all the usual political tricks – mentioned that he would be away from his family on his Father’s birthday and that what he was doing was a personal sacrifice.  “My kids need me at home” he said “but this country needs all of you helping to make the country what it could be.” Trudeau wanted to get beyond the divisions, the envy and the mistrust.”   “We can do politics differently”, he urged the audience.

Trudeau is learning to use his voice – he is good and he will get better.  No soaring rhetoric yet nor is there the cockiness his Father brought to the platform.  This young man has yet to learn to reach out and boldly challenge an audience.  His Father once asked Alberta’s farmers why he should bother to sell their wheat for them.  Justin Trudeau will speak earnestly about how he wants to work with those same farmers to not only sell their wheat but to get a better price for them as well.  And he is going to have to go that far if he is to ever win a single seat in that province.

Is he what we want? The name doesn’t hurt – now what has he got in the way of ideas?

He visited three communities during this tour with a rally in Hamilton tonight where he will ask that city to not only select him as leader but to send more Liberals to Ottawa while they are at it.

Trudeau is polishing his road tour.  He knows he has a long road ahead and he wants to make sure that his run for the leadership of the Liberal party doesn’t become a coronation.  He knows that if he doesn’t strike a chord in the heart of Canadians he may win the leadership but he won’t manage to win an election.  And for Justin Pierre James Trudeau, winning the election is what’s it’s all about.

Burlington’s Paddy Torsney will be in that audience tonight.  Will she experience any stirrings and think perhaps about how many election signs she has in storage?

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1 comment to Great hair – but there was no Trudeaumania at Art Centre when Justin Trudeau talked to 200 + as he seeks Liberal leadership

  • Kenneth R Colombo

    “My kids need me at home” he said “but this country needs all of you helping to make the country what it could be.”

    That’s a tremendously strong service commitment for a young intelligent married man to make … particularly when you think about the impact it is going to have on his young family.

    ….When is DADDY coming home, MOMMA? Soon, my SWEETS … oh, so soon I HOPE! …

    Kenny R says … Legs, DON’T FAIL ME NOW!