Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trudeau Isn't A Lock

Will Justin be incredibly formidable and the immediate front runner? Does Trudeau have the capacity to suck up all the oxygen in the room? Will the media fixate on every machination, amplifying any support and creating a "and the rest" flavour to the leadership race?  You can answer yes to all questions and still argue that Justin Trudeau is anything but a lock to win the Liberal leadership. 

I note certain pundits who are routinely wrong (and yet still opine with unwarranted swagger)  have already declared the race over before it starts.  Given past track records, these assertions only confirm what we already know,  namely having a column and having a clue aren't necessarily one in the same.  This amusing "will they ever learn" dynamic aside, one of the cardinal rules in politics, there are no sure things, particularly when it comes to a contest of such length, with so many variables.

I believe Justin will be the front runner in the Liberal leadership, everyone can agree on this point.  However, in many respects the leadership will act as prolonged test, wherein everyone scrutinizes every development, stumbles highlighted and ABOVE all an intense desire to actually have a RACE.  What this reality means, the same people who are coronating now will TURN hard on Trudeau at first opportunity, tear down, dissect, essentially act as a well paid negative ad campaign.  It happens every time, build you up, tear you down, then perhaps a rehabilitation should a race actually emerge.  An astute observation from Rob Silver: 
 “I have a funny feeling that the two opposition parties and the media won’t allow it to be a cakewalk, regardless of who else is running,” he said.
Cakewalks are boring, we want a race dammit and should Trudeau look insurmountable, expect every effort to undo that momentum.  Factor in the reality that Justin speaks his mind, I expect plenty of fodder and exaggeration when the inevitable turn comes from the same people who have already warmed the throne.  In many ways coverage of leadership races is more a study of human nature than a debate about ideas.
If the race evolves into a test of leadership, wherein the assumptions are made with Trudeau and were merely watch, put him through his chops, ascertain if the "meddle" is apparent, then we still have a contest.  Within this angle, whomever emerges as primary challenger will be poised correctly should things snowball and Liberals, supporters have concerns about fitness and performance.  To a lesser degree, the 2006 leadership run of Michael Ignatieff serves as an example of why the RACE itself is key, early assumptions just that.
Trudeau is a force, Trudeau has the je ne sais quoi, people will fawn, his light will shine brightest, all realities moving forward.  Another reality, anybody who thinks this race is a lock, at this stage, isn't a very good student of politics or history.


MississaugaPeter said...

Unfortunately, it may be a lock if no one else runs. Or the only people running are independents or as dull (but genuine and wise) as Dryden.

When Dion stepped down, Rae and LeBlanc were charismatic challengers to Ignatieff. I fear that Trudeau may not have a charismatic challenger. But the fear may be false, and a coronation and Trudeaumania may be a good thing. Only time will tell which way would have been best for Trudeau, for the Liberal Party, and for Canada.

Renter said...

je ne sais quoi

(the "I don't know what")

Steve V said...

1.An intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive.

Unknown said...

The only one who could truly galvanize the Liberal Party and the electorate in waiting and take on Harper is Jean Charest. He has some overhang from the Charbonneau Commission, but will come out of that OK 'cause highly unikely he was implicated.