Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Age is not the issue with Trudeau - experience is

Justin Trudeau is not a young man in politics as I pointed out the other week.   The issue with him is his experience and suitability to be leading a national political party.

Experience take time but ten to fifteen years of active involvement in politics are several levels should be enough.  

As a comparison to Trudeau, let us look at a politician the same age, MLA Rob Fleming.   Rob is about six weeks older than Justin Trudeau but had a good decade more of active political leadership experience than Justin Trudeau.

  • Rob Fleming comes from an ordinary family, he has managed to achieve a lot by age 40.  
  • Justin Trudeau comes from a very wealthy background that defines privilege in Canada, with a start like that he has not seemingly done much to stand out from what he was born into.
  • Rob Fleming has been an MLA for close to eight years, Justin Trudeau has been an MP for four years.
  • Rob Fleming has been an important leader in the BC NDP for a decade or more.  He has been an important member of the Mike Franworth leadership team and the BC part of the Thomas Mulcair team.  Justin Trudeau has been involved with the federal Liberals in peripheral ways for about a decade.  There is little that indicates to me he was a major organizer for Gerard Kennedy in the 2006 Liberal leadership race, he only came out publicly in favour of him shortly before the convention.
  • Rob Fleming served on Victoria council for six years from 1999 to 2005.   He also served as president of the UVic Student Society.  
  • Since giving a popular eulogy for his father in 2000 Justin Trudeau has been a popular person to have as a speaker but I see very little to indicate he has had to organize much or had to expend much effort to achieve what he has had in his life.
All that Justin Trudeau seems to have going for him is that he looks good and seems to speak moderately well.   Is this the best reason to choose someone to be leader of a party?   All I can think is he the federal Liberal equivalent of Bill Vander Zalm, though with less experience.

Justin Trudeau is no Craig Kielberger.

The decision to go with Justin Trudeau feels like the federal Liberals looking for a quick fix to the long standing problems of the party.  Building a national party is not an easy task and requires a strong organizations around the country.   I have seen almost nothing from the federal Liberal party over the last decade to indicate any interest in building a strong grassroots party.   

The Liberals need someone who knows what it takes to build a party and has done so, the problem with is that there are very few people out there with this experience that might run for the federal leadership.  Honestly I think their best choice would be Dalton McGuinty, yes I am aware he is not that popular at the moment but I can not think of anyone else that would be the right sort of person the party needs.
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