We all knew it was happening; the little boy once captured in all those sunny 1970s and 80s black and white photographs spoke at his father's funeral, delivering a heartbreaking eulogy. Later, he appeared on the cover of Maclean's magazine, giving an interview that made very little sense but posing for pretty pictures. He hosted the farewell Chretien party. He appeared on the Canuck equivalents of red carpets.
And always, as much of a fan as I would like to be, I couldn't help but think he wasn't that sharp. He is not his father.
As prime minister in 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau said this on the society:
The Just Society will be one in which all of our people will have the
means and the motivation to participate. The Just Society will be one in which
personal and political freedom will be more securely ensured than it has ever
been in the past. The Just Society will be one in which the rights of minorities
will be safe from the whims of intolerant majorities. The Just Society will be
one in which those regions and groups which have not fully shared in the
country's affluence will be given a better opportunity. The Just Society will be
one where such urban problems as housing and pollution will be attacked through
the application of new knowledge and new techniques. The Just Society will be
one in which our Indian and Inuit population will be encouraged to assume the
full rights of citizenship through policies which will give them both greater
responsibility for their own future and more meaningful equality of opportunity.
The Just Society will be a united Canada, united because all of its citizens
will be actively involved in the development of a country where equality of
opportunity is ensured and individuals are permitted to fulfil themselves in the
fashion they judge best.
-- p. 18, The Essential Trudeau, edited by Ron
Graham in 1998
But now, we will see.
We will see if he can be a politician before he is a star. We will see if he can do the door-knocking and eight-meals-a-day campaign thing. We will see if he has it in him.
Can the son of a nation-builder fight off the separatists in Montreal?
Will anyone west of the Great Lakes care?
Will he be a gloried backbencher?
In the news today:
Nelson Wyatt, Canadian Press
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2007
MONTREAL (CP) - With Justin Trudeau's announcement that he wants to run in the next federal election, the question for many now is whether will he cut as much of a swath as his father.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau was an intellectual rebel who redefined the country as prime minister. People loved him or hated him and sometimes tore their hair out trying to figure out which. Justin Trudeau, 35, is an earnest young man. Some would say he has a penchant for theatrics. No one has called him an intellectual rebel yet....
Trudeau now says he's going to seek the Liberal nod in Montreal-area Papineau riding, now held by the Bloc Quebecois.
"I think there is a generational change going on with (Stephane) Dion being chosen to head the Liberal party," Trudeau said (Thursday)....
He wants "to change the way the game is played, to a certain extent, try and bring back a certain amount of nobility and reduce some of the cynicism there is around politics these days."
In another interview, Trudeau acknowledged being the son of the late prime minister will have some kind of impact.
"Obviously, my father's name comes into it on the positive and the negative," he (said).
"Expectations for me will be so amazingly high by some people and so incredibly low for others that I'm sure to disappoint everyone equally."