On the cover of the Rolling StoneAugust 04, 2017
It's a surprise this photo doesn't have a picture of Justin's socks.
The progressive media like Justin Trudeau. The international progressive media really like Justin Trudeau. Part of the infatuation comes from a lack of concern about Canadian domestic affairs. Part of the attraction is that he is just so progressive.
The lack of seriousness that is coming to become a hallmark of Justin's government comes through despite all the adulation. From a mostly glowing puff piece/cover story on Trudeau in Rolling Stone:
He can come off like some modern dauphin; as a child, he traveled the world with his father, practically as a member of the prime minister's official envoy. He likes himself. A lot. (His critics call him "shiny pony.") Once, before a boxing match that would make or kill his career – more on that later – he was caught babbling Obama-like about his personal destiny. His wife, Sophie, grabbed his arm, looked him in the eyes and said, "Be humble."
Trudeau's lack of humility and professionalism is a concern that could keep him from earning re-election in 2019. He won the 2015 election with a combination of youthful appeal and a desire for change after a decade of Conservative rule. It remains to be seen if Trudeau has learned the lesson for enduring power as a Liberal.
When the Liberals have been successful at the federal level in Canada it is when they have been able to appeal to both centre-left and centre-right voters. In the 2015 federal election, Trudeau's Liberals won a change election, as the electorate was clearly suffering from Stephen Harper fatigue. The Liberals also appealed to centre-right voters with a promise to balance the budget by 2019-20. Early this year, that promise had been pushed out to 2050. That might not be fatal to the Liberals, but there will be some centre-right voters who believed the fiscal promise in 2015 and will choose Andrew Scheer's Conservatives in 2019.
The Liberals appealed to centre-left voters by promising electoral reform. The Liberal's election platform explicitly promised that the 2015 election would be "the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post" system. Less than 18 months after winning the election the Liberals announced they were breaking that promise.
The broken promise should cost Trudeau some votes on the left. If the NDP does choose Jagmeet Singh or Charlie Angus as their leader, Trudeau could conceivably lose more votes on the left. However, there are some elements of the progressive media who will provide Trudeau with the most fawning of coverage. The Huffington Post is leading the way on that front:
Justin Trudeau, the beloved prime minister of Canada, doesn’t have to do much to get people excited. When he met the queen earlier this month, people’s hearts melted across the globe (and understandably so). But even just wearing great socks will do the trick. And now, his s’mores-making skills just made it on the list of things to love about Trudeau.
Maclean’s pointed out many of the flaws in this fawning Rolling Stone cover story. Canada just isn't a major player on the international stage. It doesn't how progressive our prime minister is or how cool the socks he wears are. Andrew MacDougall, Stephen Harper's former Director of Communications, pointed this painful truth out in a piece in the Globe and Mail:
No matter how much Mr. Trudeau talks the talk, he’ll never be able to walk the American walk. Canada doesn’t carry a big enough stick or have an ample enough carrot patch to carry the day in naughty places like Russia or China. So grab your barf bucket and gobble up Rolling Stone’s saccharine profile of Mr. Trudeau. We could all use a bit of candy in this bitter world.
Andrew Scheer’s positive approach to politics is the best choice for conservatives in Canada. Scheer’s friendly persona will allow the Conservatives to contend for power in 2019. Scheer can advance conservative principles on fiscal responsibility and personal freedom, without the reputation for dourness that rightfully dogged the Harper government. An affable leader will allow the Conservatives the opportunity to point out the Trudeau government’s numerous broken promises without coming across as spiteful and angry.