There are plenty of conflicting messages swirling around the Liberal Party. There is also a tension for Liberals moving forward, between sober realities and game changing possibilities. One school of thought argues Liberals have to rebuild from the ground up, accept their third party fate and rebuild the brand with a long view. The other view sees unmistakable "buzz", largely as a result of Justin Trudeau, and can't help but incorporate the x factor into the equation. While I intend on remaining neutral in this Liberal leadership, I also think myself an utter fool to not acknowledge the Trudeau effect on Canadian politics.
Another poll out this weekend from Leger, putting the Liberals in a tie with the governing Conservatives should Trudeau take the helm. Trudeau pads Liberal numbers a full 13% nationally, 11% in his home province. The Liberals take votes from all quarters, but the NDP suffers worst, there is simply no denying a seismic shift with Trudeau at the helm. Perhaps more intriguing, with the recent "gaffes" incorporated, we see no discernible support erosion, a testament to voter disinterest and a measure of superficial calculations. Polls are "approach with caution", of that,there is no doubt, but to ignore is equally flawed analysis. Truth be told, the Trudeau tease very much puts the Liberals back in the political conversation, to the point a return to power looks attainable.
Beyond the polls, a more important indicator for Liberals. People actually go out of their homes and attend political gatherings if Justin is present. Liberals have understood this for years, Trudeau is possibly the biggest single fundraising draw we've had, he's been sent everywhere and back to drum up support for a languished brand. When you factor this enthusiasm into potential election volunteers, you can equate a formidable force, which needs to be understood and digested. For all the organization problems the Liberals have, much can be overcome if there is a draw which brings in new, energetic blood. As well, I recall ZERO organizational strength for Dippers in Quebec, a testament to the power of political waves usurping traditional calculations.
This leadership race is shaping up to be an interesting affair, I'm quite pleased that real issues look poised for serious debate. I like several quality candidates, there is a genuine appeal that could well win my support. However, there is this overriding shadow cast by Trudeau, for the simple reason that there is an almost phenom quality, impossible to fully ignore....