Lawrence Martin is one of the better political writers, but his latest on Justin Trudeau defies logic and incorporates lazy shock value. Political pundits have made a living for YEARS on the never ending Liberal internal soap opera. Much of the documentation justified, although the obsessive nature more about messenger than subject matter in many cases.
In today's piece, Martin details Justin Trudeau's new role within the party, post-apocalypse. A puff piece really, in need of some intrigue! What better then, to float this idea that Bob Rae is purposely giving Trudeau a "low profile" to undercut his leadership ambitions and perhaps help Bob's in the process. The article even finds an anonymous Liberal to wonder aloud, a rare feat indeed. Trouble is, an intellectual of Martin's stature SURELY must have seen the logical absurdity he tries to sell.
A question- if one were trying to derail a rival would it be better to bury him/her in non-descript Parliamentary Committees, followed by NO ONE, or set him loose on the party dime to tour ridings across the country, giving speeches, shaking hands, NETWORKING? This article actually asserts that Rae not putting Trudeau on a Committee, instead wanting him to rally the troops across the country, raise money, give some high profile attention, is evidence of some slight. On the contrary, if Trudeau does have leadership aspirations, Bob Rae has just given him the PLUM gig to help the cause. If anything, fair minded Liberals that want a competitive leadership might cry foul at Justin getting this type if institutional advantage. Again, would you rather be in Ottawa or meeting Liberals across the country, if you want to be the next leader?
I've actually been watching to see which Liberals show up where across the country, as indicative that they might be considering a future run. Oh, there is Martha Hall Findley in Calgary, interesting. Hmmm, there's Mark Holland giving a passionate speech in Alberta, what's he doing there? Not suggesting anything, just that it's funny that one of the clues I'm looking for is a concerted grassroots outreach, people touring the country, and here we have Martin suggesting Trudeau being asked to tour is somehow detrimental to leadership aspirations.
Again, I really enjoy Lawrence Martin, but in this case he falls into the lazy narrative trap, making a tortured argument to try and sell the "division" meme. If I'm Bob Rae and I want to clip Trudeau's wings, I give him two Committee gigs, I bury his desk with process and inside Ottawa machinations. The LAST thing Rae does- if Martin's thesis is remotely accurate- is say "hey Justin, people love you, can you go across Canada and spend your days speaking with the future delegates who will pick he next leader?". Come on now.