Last night, Justin Pierre James Trudeau, the 40 year old son of the late former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and a reelected Member of Parliament of Papineau( a riding in Montreal,Quebec), had announced his candidacy to run for the Liberal Party leadership position which would be a stepping stone to run for the Prime Ministership of Canada. It’s a big step for a former college professor and a known social activist and environmentalist with a huge youth following as evidenced by his Twitter account(100,000+) , considered a rock star in the Liberal Party and a media darling.
He reminded me of John F. Kennedy,Jr., the late son of the late US President John F.Kennedy. Both young men were born during their respective fathers’ terms in office. One would think that they were born as princes to their king fathers as potential political heirs. Both are telegenic and had married beautiful women who both have made a name for themselves in society. Both men have settled into their respective roles in society apart from their departed fathers’ roles in politics except for Justin Trudeau who 4 years ago ventured into and won the MP position in Papineau, a heavily-leaning Bloc Quebecois riding, even winning reelection last year.
While JFK ,Jr.’s untimely demise from a plane crash in 1999 had stopped whatever potential political life he may have, Justin Trudeau appears to be determined to shore up his political profile further with his announcement for the Liberal Party leadership last night.
It’s true that not much has been known of his stance in certain political issues while being an MP but I think that he’ll try to be more forthcoming and specific as to what his political platform will be in the coming days. In this way, all Canadians will get to know him much better in terms of what he can do for Canada. I’m sure that from now on until the next leadership or federal election, his every word and action in and outside Parliament Hill will be observed,parsed and scrutinized. In this high-tech age, being high-profile is both a given and an understatement.
Frankly, I see it as his time to shine. If not now, then when? With his famous surname and his entry into politics, it was inevitable that he will follow his father’s footsteps someday. Yet as I look at how his life had been from his early years until now, my guess is that he’ll try to carve his own political path and distinguish himself from his late father in terms of not being his father’s political clone even if the Liberal Party also happens to be the same political party that his father ran with.
To his credit, he has been known as a very hard-working MP in his riding ,always going about his duties with a hands-on approach and getting actively involved in his riding’s activities.
Yes, he knows that he’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s son and is proud of it but he will be his own man. That will be his message to the voters.
When he gave that very moving eulogy at his father’s funeral in 2000, I already saw shades of his future political potential which is why last night’s announcement was no surprise to me.
Good luck,Monsieur Trudeau! This will be a very interesting race.