A victorious Justin Trudeau | Picture credit: MontrealGazette.com, Chris Wattie, Reuters
The Quebec-based QMI Agency is reporting that Liberal sources have confirmed MP Justin Trudeau will contest the leadership of the federal Liberal party. Sources, apparently, told the Sun News-affiliated news agency that the official announcement will be made at a press conference in Montreal next Tuesday.
So, anybody surprised? I’m not. Once interim leader Bob Rae—a formidable foe—stepped aside and announced he’d not try for the permanent leadership of Canada’s third party, the writing was on the wall. Trudeau, of course, had to make sure he had his ducks lined up and campaign finances in order, and had to test the waters to tell how strong his support would be in Ontario and the West. But, in my view, he’s been emotionally committed to a leadership bid for some months.
So what are his chances? By all accounts, extremely good for the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. So good, in fact, he may just scare off enough serious candidates that his bid will be a virtual anointment.
Trudeau brings star power to the race and has pundits and media speculating it may be more of a coronation than a knock-down contest between candidates. A recent poll indicated 70% of Liberals would like to see the former teacher in the party’s top job.”
It could be that the only other contenders will be Liberals who want to higher their political profiles and try to secure a power base to ensure an attractive critic’s portfolio in the Grits’ shadow cabinet.
Serious contender MP Dominic Leblanc is expected, in the next week or so, to declare his decision on whether he’ll run. And, of course, constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne has already named herself as an official candidate. Interesting this, as Coyne’s child is reported to be Justin Trudeau’s sibling—that is, his father Pierre’s child.
Coyne is a formidable woman, but does she have the national profile to match her leadership aspirations? I doubt it.
Other potential candidates who may be waiting in the wings are MPs Marc Garneau, David McGuinty and 2006 leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay. But the one candidate who’d be certain to give Trudeau’s campaign fits is current Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, a genuine star and, to many here and abroad, a financial wizard. Too bad that his office reportedly is denying Mr. Carney has political ambitions.
I don’t have a good fix on Justin Trudeau. On the one hand, I see a rather callow 40-year-old opportunist with 150-thousand-plus Twitter following and an excellent speech at his father’s funeral, and not much more.
On the other hand, though, there is a good-looking fellow with an excellent political pedigree and enough spunk and pluck to win a seat in parliament and beat a bigger, more experienced man in a real life boxing match. I’ll not count him out, at least, not just yet.
Let the games begin!