Categorized | Canadian Politics

Justin Trudeau out to represent true diversity

Posted on 29 January 2015 by admin

By Samuel Getachew

Only a fool will underestimate Justin Trudeau in this year’s upcoming federal election.

As the federal NDP solidifies the widely held notion that they are not government material by way of recent defections, lack of attractive candidates and distinct policies, the only viable options left for Canadians is a clear choice between Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Let it be understood that the next election is not a choice between fundamental policy differences but personalities and legacies.

Unless the Conservatives renew themselves by way of a sudden leadership change or political miracle, Justin Trudeau is destined to become Prime Minister. In the words of former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, Trudeau is “young, articulate, attractive – a flawlessly bilingual young man”.

At a media reception hosted by Trudeau inMississaugalast night, billed as “Celebrating Canada’s Diversity”, I witnessed just that and more. I saw true diversity, a mix of old and young candidates, the experienced and inexperienced, the activists and the elitists united with the prospect of a wind of change that is coming their way yet seemed a fantasy just one election cycle ago.

The Liberals seem to realize that Trudeau is their last savior and a rare chance to be relevant to the Canadian electorate once again. Withstanding some foolish remarks, Trudeau has fulfilled the promise that was placed on him two years ago. Liberals seem to have realized that their leader was never a Rhodes Scholar material nor a prospect member of Mensa Society but a reasonable man who is comfortable in his own skin, biography and it shows.

He seems to know and understand the Liberal brand is not the NDP content on losing and is certainly not one to sit on the sidelines and sing kumbaya. To help accomplish that destination that is obviously within reach, leader Trudeau has surrounded himself with competent advisers with experience and wisdom such as Ralph Goodale, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 1974 and John McCallum.

He is even attracting attractive and competent candidates to the Liberal cause.

Ahmed Hussen, running in York South – Weston is a Somali-Canadian father of two, is a criminal and immigration lawyer. He has also led the Somali Canadian Congress able, eloquently and has been a force on issues of integration and multiculturalism. He has testified before the House of Commons and the United States Congress on important and pressing issues.

His win is a historic first for such a candidate. He is a bright and accomplished Canadian success story. He has also been a mentor and an exemplary role model to me and many others.

Mississauga’s Iqra Khalid is yet another perfect and inspiring candidate. A Pakistani Canadian who is 29 years old is nominated in Mississauga Erin-Mills. A recent Law school graduate, who is articling with the City ofMississauga, expects to be called to the Bar later on this year. She wants to inspire young people to be active in politics and activism.

In her own words – she wants to “Inform. Reform. Empower”.

Running in Mississauga-Lakeshore is yet another wonderful candidate in Sven Sengemann.

TheYorkUniversityprofessor spent almost a decade with the United Nations, including inIraq, and also held senior leadership roles with the Government of Canada. With a PHD from Harvard, he has been a visiting Scholar with theUniversityofToronto’s Peter Munk School of Global Affairs and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He has also served as a board member with theUnited Way.

This is no longer the titanic like party that was on suicide watch in 2011 but a movement that should be embraced and welcomed by Canadians. That is whether one is a Liberal or not.

Trudeau is an impressive, passionate and gifted politician. Since taking over a near-bankrupt third placed humiliated party two years ago, he has made it a political movement on the upward. The party is now a well-organized and funded political institution and has also managed to recruit candidates and volunteers that truly represent the newCanada. This was not achieved by way of political anointment or appointment that was the norm under previous leaders to arrive to a calculated destination but by-way-of a fair and open political organization and competition.

It must, once again, be good to be a federal Liberal.

If you are one, just remember your leader has the luck of being underestimated like Jean Chretien was, to draw people the way Sir Wilfrid Laurier did with his longevity and the wisdom to turn to experienced people the way Pierre Trudeau and Lester B. Pearson did. Then, like a typical Liberal, there is the will to win in his blood.

Embrace the moment Liberals and welcome back. It sure seems like old times.


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