|Has Justin got the right stuff?|
That being said, I really don't want to leave a blank until Friday so will endeavour to spark a little debate in the comments section as to the bone fides of the recently elected leader of the Federal Liberals, Justin Trudeau.
Fair disclosure, I've never voted Liberal, but do believe that a renewed and competitive Liberal party can keep Harper honest in the short term and perhaps actually challenge for the Holy Grail in the not-to-distant future.
One of the biggest knocks against Justin (funny how we've already become accustomed to calling him by his first name) is that he purportedly lacks the necessary intellectual prowess and that he's a lightweight, a dilettante who doesn't really have the right stuff to lead our great country.
I'll take issue with both these assertions, not the fact that he isn't a genius, but rather the point that it is not necessarily necessary.
A high IQ is not always the mark of a great leader, far from it and many with pedestrian brains have done quite well at the top job, thank you very much.
In Canada, few would claim that Jean Chretien was a towering intellect, but there's no argument that he was far more successful than Paul Martin.
Those traits that mark political success, scrappiness, savvy, ruthlessness and instinct are not products of high or low intellect,
Here's a list of the IQs of a selection of American presidents and it makes my point rather convincingly that the highly intelligent don't necessarily make better presidents than those with average brains. There are good and bad among the two categories.
A key comparison is the highly intelligent presidents, Jimmy Carter who was an utter failure, compared to the highly successful Bill Clinton.
On the low end of the presidential intelligence scale, Ronald Reagan is considered a winner, while Dubya, a failure.
|182||William Jefferson Clinton||[D]|
|175||James Earle Carter||[D]|
|174||John Fitzgerald Kennedy||[D]|
|155||Richard Milhous Nixon||[R]|
|147||Franklin Delano Roosevelt||[D]|
|132||Harry S Truman||[D]|
|126||Lyndon Baines Johnson||[D]|
|122||Dwight David Eisenhower||[R]|
|121||Gerald R. Ford||[R]|
|105||Ronald Wilson Reagan||[R]|
|098||George Herbert Walker Bush||[R]|
|091||George Walker Bush||[R]|
The Conservatives haven't taken any chances on a new wave of Trudeaumania taking hold and have aired a number of nasty attack ads on television calling into question Justin's ability to lead.
I'm reminded of similar ads run by the Conservatives against Jean Chretien telling Canadians that he wasn't Prime Ministerial material because of a speech impediment (due to a childhood illness.) The public was furious over the ads and it may very well have contributed to the Liberal Party's convincing victory.
Justin has taken the high road and it seems to have struck a chord with Canadians, tired of the nasty and partisan politics practiced by the Conservatives.
"One thing Justin Trudeau has done right is to appeal to Canadians sense of common decency.namby-pamby, he demonstrated his prowess and guts by taking on a highly favored Conservative senator in a charity boxing match, which he won, much to everyone's surprise.
While Harperites are convinced they can destroy him by going negative, Trudeau has come out on top by taking the high road.
I recall the negative Conservative campaign against Jean Chretien and a television commercial making fun of his crooked face and impaired speech (due to a childhood illness) which not only backfired, but contributed to a Liberal rout as Canadians were roundly offended by such a cheap shot.
Despite what the Conservatives are saying, I get the sense that Canadians want Trudeau to succeed, at least as an opposition leader where his mettle can be tested for a few years affording us a chance to evaluate his potential.
"It worked for Barack Obama. Now, Justin Trudeau is aiming to capitalize by being a hopey-changey kind of guy.
A message on the federal Liberal party website, promoting an ad that defends the new leader against recent Conservative attacks, reads: "Hope and Hard Work. Be Part of the Change."
Catch those two words in there? Hope. Change.
Obama's "Yes, We Can" could be coming next." Link
Justin showed what he's really made of by running for Parliament in a Montreal working class district in the decidedly separatist riding of Papineau where he won and held his seat, even after the Orange wave of the last election that swept Quebec.
I haven't made up my mind as to his fitness for the job, I suppose time will tell.
Even though I still won't vote Liberal, I'm hoping for the party's resurgence, if for nothing else, than to chop down the insufferable 'Uncle' Thom Mulcair and the infuriating Ndp.
By the way, off topic, but regarding Mulcair's support of the Quebec's government's attack on the Supreme Court for breaking some rule in 1982 by allegedly discussing the court's position with the federal politicians of the day, while deliberating over the issue of repatriation of the constitution, an apparent no-no.
What good can come by dredging up the issue and who really cares.
Is pandering to the separatists, so important to Mulcair that he would rip off this painful national unity bandage, just to pander to the radical separatists?
One more reason why I detest him and the NDP.
Back to the knitting...
So readers, what is your take on Justin?