Canada

Justin Trudeau, newly elected leader of the Liberal Party, has an even greater battle ahead than the one he just faced. Having won the Liberal Party leadership election handily, beating the other five candidates with 80.2 percent of the vote, he now faces the challenge of legitimizing his position as one of Canada’s premier political figures. Having rapidly risen to the top of the Liberal Party, he faces criticism that he’s all talk and no substance, with his popularity residing in the controversial legacy of his father–Pierre Trudeau. He also faces the challenge of reinvigorating the Liberal Party which, for the first time in the party’s history, is neither the ruling party in government nor the official opposition. But, with an election unlikely to happen until 2015, Trudeau has time to revamp the Liberal Party and reclaim the seats lost to the NDP in the previous election cycle. Trudeau has countered his accused lack of policy objectives by saying it is not his job as party leader to impose policy objectives on grassroots party members. Rather, he serves as a conduit for transmitting the ideas of the common Canadian to Parliament–a theory exemplified by the “soapbox” section of his website, where constituents could send in policy ideas during the leadership election. Grassroots members aside, Trudeau has given some indication of what his personal policy objectives might be (explained well in this article on the National Post website). They include:

  1. A “five-point plan” to reform the electoral system
  2. Support of the Clarity Act, rather than attempting to force Quebec to sign the constitution
  3.  Support of the Keystone XL pipeline 

Trudeau has also implied he would like to improve living conditions for middle class Canadians and increase the overall percentage of Canadians who attain a post-secondary degree. However, he has provided no concrete plans for doing either of these. 

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