Musings —10.22.2012 10:50 PM—
In Tuesday’s Sun: three races, three similarities
Liberal leadership season is upon us!
It’s all pretty historic, too. For the first time ever, Grits are lining up to choose leaders in Quebec, Ontario and federally. Never before have the three largest Liberal configurations been holding leadership races simultaneously.
Historians will be excited by that, of course, but historians routinely get excited about all kinds of things that aren’t. The rest of us, should we care?
Well, sure. In Ontario, card-carrying Liberals will be selecting the man or woman who, however briefly, will be premier of Canada’s largest province. In Quebec, Canada’s next-largest province, Liberal partisans are currently musing about the three top candidates to succeed Jean Charest, all men.
And federally, of course, the Liberal Party of Canada is now preoccupied with finding a leader who (it is hoped) will win them back Official Opposition status in 2015, and (it is fervently hoped) government status after that.
All of the Liberal parties are going about things differently. Federally, the leadership race will not conclude until next spring. The leading candidate in that race — some might say the only candidate — is Liberal MP Justin Trudeau. Trudeau is so popular, comedian Mike Bullard was moved to tweet this: “Saw and heard Justin Trudeau tonight. The arthritis in my right knee is now gone.”
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Warren, I’m from the Maritmes but I live in Regina, where only me and Ralph Goodale are apparently Liberals (well more or less). On Friday, I was invited to the home of a rich Liberal in our federal riding to meet Marc Garneau. He is a lovely and intelligent man, and don’t tell me LPC is dead when this eminent man — Canada’s first astronaut! — wants to lead the party!
Later that evening, we all went to a wine bar where we had been advised that Justin Trudeau would appear. There were literally hundreds of people there waiting, talking, laughing, of all ages, to see him — no speaking, just a meet and greet. The excitement was palpable, with an older lady telling me it felt like Trudeaumania all over again (and describing PET’s penetrating eyes), and a younger woman swooning with excitment over JT’s “pure, raw sexuality.” I spoke to him several times; when he speaks to you, despite the cacaphony in the room, he makes you feel important and heard and focused upon.
He really does move like Jagger. Is this rock star quality what we need? Dunno, but from the reactions IN REGINA, I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re gonna get. Local media failed to report on either one of these visits, Garneau’s at the private home, or Trudeau’s at the wine bar.
But let me tell you this: I have lived in this city for years now, and NEVER have seen such excitement generated by a politician of any party. It was the first time it felt exciting and potentially winning, and local Liberals were excited and beaming from ear to ear.