Mon. Sep 16th, 2019

Born in Ottawa, Justin Trudeau is the eldest son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada. Since a young age, Trudeau was accustomed to the political milieu, his early leanings to persuasive oratory and charismatic persona hence doesn’t come as a surprise.

After having pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from the McGill University, Trudeau completed a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of British Columbia. In his early career as a teacher, Trudeau taught French and Math.

Trudeau rose as a prominent figure in Canada during his first election campaign; as he became more popular to the extent that it was believed the Liberal Party would rise to victory if it was led by Trudeau. His official campaign was declared as the longest in over a century and the winning success of the party was attributed to Trudeau’s performance both on televised election debates and to his campaign trials.

With the latest announcement of call for general election on October 21, a lot has changed for Justin Trudeau since he took office almost four years ago and after he found permanent recognition through his eulogy at his father’s funeral.  The results will soon declare what has favored him and what has marked his undoing, however just like there are two sides of the same coin, there have been bipolar views about Trudeau’s tenure.

While some applaud his vision and ambitions for Canada, others claim Trudeau is where he is, owning to his famous name and his charming persona, and not because of his extraordinary performance. John Ivison for instance described Trudeau’s governance as being far too go-ahead which aimed for more than can be delivered. In his praise for Trudeau, Ivison said, “On a good day he is a formidable politician.” To support his argument, Ivison pointed out Trudeau’s missed judgments in foreign policies, especially highlighting his visits to China and India. He also speaks about Trudeau’s disappointing performance with the indigenous issues and the deficits of Liberals during times of good economy.  “Trudeau was elected promising to be a great unifier,” but “years of playing identity politics, with its baked-in hostility toward anyone deemed ‘privileged’ has cleaved fresh breaches, disharmony and estrangement.” Ivison writes in his book;  Trudeau: the Education of a Prime Minister.

On the other hand, Aaron Wherry evaluates Trudeau’s political running in a less harsh light.  In his book; Promise and Peril: Justin Trudeau in Power, he evaluates Trudeau in his first term as “enthusiastic and eager, a bit audacious and periodically a little theatrical. … He has pursued an ambitious agenda. He priorities have remained relatively consistent, however much the details of the follow-through might be debated.”

True, there has been enough evidence in the past four years to support both these judgments, however one has to reach to a conclusion and take a final stance, especially when Canada will soon have to decide which party will they will be happier to attend, the critics’ or the supporters’.

People often have a lot to say for and against a political figure. I believe a public figure leads a more burdensome life, since their every action and word is put under the microscope. Let’s not however forget, every reaction, may that be of a public figure or that of the audience, often has deep layers of explanations. Although Trudeau’s tenure has been a year full of promises and breaches, of acceptance and apologies and of collective scandals, there have been times when he has made the error and has even quickly seen the error of his way.

All said and done, there is yet enough substance on both sides to weigh. Only time will tell, which scale weighs heavier.