Justin Trudeau is entering the race for the leadership of the Liberals. Polls within the party are said to show that he’s likely to win. While this might not be a great thing for the Liberals, it’s great for the country.
If the Liberals elect Trudeau, they’ll be sending a clear signal: that their collective wisdom favours the iconic over substance. It will show that they believe – as a whole – that a descendant of the Marilyn Monroe of Canadian Politics (no I’m not talking about Maggie here) will lead us to the nirvana of the centre left.
The challenge with Canadian politics is that our multi-party system won’t work as long as the method of electing representation is the primitive first past the post system. With our irrational fear of coalition governments, and an increasing tendency to move the locus of power from Parliament to the Prime Minister’s Office, it’s virtually impossible to construct a government that is representative of the will of the Canadian people unless they’re presented with a binary choice: Leftish or Rightish.
The Right suffered from this for years, with votes split between the Progressive Conservatives and Reform; now the Left suffers with a split between the Liberals and the NDP.
Justin can fix all that. In one decisive stroke, the Liberals can transform themselves from a crusty dynasty in need of renewal into a national joke. One can only hope that the liberals will subsequently poll in the range of the Natural Law Party. Centrist voters will be forced to choose the NDP in spite of it’s soft socialist heritage, the Conservatives will be back in opposition, and we’ll have a government that is less unrepresentative of the national character. Refugees from the Liberals will join the NDP, taking it further toward the centre, and all will be well.
So go for it, Justin, for the good of the country.