It's been said that Justin has been campaigning with an eye to the 2015 election with his right-leaning positions on the Nexen takeover and, clumsily, on the long gun registry. If true, he's taking a victory from Liberal members and supporters for granted. Doing so may be a fatal mistake for his leadership bid.
Liberals went for the quick fix with Ignatieff, a man judged by the public as wholly inadequate for federal leadership, and the results speak for themselves. Liberals ought not to be seduced by the superficial polling which shows Trudeau leading them back from the dead in an instant. We have to accept the fact that Justin may simply not be the right person for the job.
But who else can the Liberals turn to federally? I do agree that Marc Garneau is a great man. I will definitely be listening to what he has to say in this leadership race and will consider voting for him. I have my doubts about his political instincts though as well as his age. The Liberals need an energetic fighter who's going to have to devote at least 10 years to the unglamorous work of revitalizing a moribund party. Liberals need to re-define what being a Liberal means and what philosophy and positions we have to offer to Canadians. Flip flopping and pandering on important issues won't cut it. Will Canadians really buy Justin Trudeau as the new champion of the middle class considering his background? Does he come to his positions based on core, set principles? Or is he an empty vessel willing to say whatever he thinks we want to hear?
For me, I'm seriously considering Martha Hall-Findlay for the first time, not only because of this article, but also because she's someone who has earned through hard work her position in the party and the country. She's worked and lived as a member of the middle class. She's bright. She has never stuck her foot in it, to the best of my knowledge.
No more quick fixes, Liberals. It's a very long time until the April vote. I was leaning toward Justin, but now that has changed. I'll be watching very closely. The last thing that Justin should do is take a win from Liberals in this 2013 race for granted.
UPDATE: A reader has reminded me about Hall-Findlay's stated support for the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal as well as the Keystone pipeline. As I oppose the Northern Gateway, I will have to reconsider any support for Hall-Findlay for sure. Suddenly, Justin's stance on that issue seems much more nuanced. This race remains extremely interesting. A tough battle where Justin takes some knocks and is forced to defend his positions will make all the candidates stronger and ensure the eventual winner is battle-ready despite past unfortunate statements. No candidate is perfect, least of all Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair.