Furey

The truth about Trudeau

By Anthony Furey, Postmedia Network

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau laughs in front of his campaign bus during a stop in Toronto, Ontario Oct. 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau laughs in front of his campaign bus during a stop in Toronto, Ontario Oct. 13, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

It’s almost as if there’s a pact among my colleagues in the media not to talk about it. The big thing that makes Justin Trudeau different from the rest. Not just different from the other party leaders. But different from past Liberal leaders and his entire caucus.

What is that big thing? It’s how shockingly inexperienced Trudeau is for someone seeking to lead our country.

Now that election day is just around the corner and Trudeau is not just in reach of winning a minority but possibly a majority, today’s busy voter deserves to know just how much their potential future prime minister is lacking in credentials.

In terms of career experience, all the 43-year-old’s chalked up is a couple years as a teacher in British Columbia. After that, he entered an engineering program but soon dropped out, then started another MA program but dropped that too. He became an MP shortly after, in 2008.

In other words, he spent the years before entering politics dabbling in this and that, drifting about without any commitment to work or school.

You could never be as dismissive with the CVs of Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff or Bob Rae. You might not like their politics, but they are highly accomplished people.

Same for the Liberal caucus. Several MPs most Canadians have never heard of – such as Kirsty Duncan, Ted Hsu and Emmanuel Dubourg – have seriously impressive credentials. Trudeau is the least accomplished person on his own team. Yet he’s going to be the one calling the shots? It makes no sense.

Do we really want such a person running a G7 nation? Do we really think he’d be able to sit at the international table as an equal with U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

This isn’t just me talking. Nor is this some Conservative smear. During the 2013 Liberal leadership I walked about the room, chatting with party bigwigs. “Really?!” was pretty much the only question I put to them. They mostly shrugged, acknowledging that the selection of Trudeau was about name recognition and style over substance.

It’s certainly a positive that the son of a former PM wants to use his celebrity to better the lives of Canadians, rather than treat life like a party. But sooner or later someone has to put a foot down on any delusions of grandeur. Our country is too important to hand over to the lucky sperm club.

While Trudeau is riding high in the polls, he may not be as favoured as it seems. It’s highly likely that many voters who have tired of Harper have mistaken their dislike of the current PM for love of Trudeau without actually knowing his credentials.

But two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s not a balance sheet on which Harper’s perceived faults automatically turn into Trudeau’s virtues.

Besides, if you’re that anti-Harper there’s a very credible and experienced alternative in NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. It’s been clear this campaign that Mulcair is more moderate and pragmatic than Trudeau on a number of issues. Plus Mulcair has the mature “serenity” – a phrase he used to describe himself to the Sun editorial board Tuesday – to represent Canada ably on the world stage. Trudeau lacks that.

At this point in the campaign, this is actually the issue that matters most. It’s the question voters need to ask themselves. Does Justin Trudeau have the experience to lead a G7 nation?

 



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