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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Justin Trudeau shows political skills in third leadership de Reply with quote

Maybe it's time to pay attention to Mr. Trudeau?

Justin Trudeau shows political skills in third leadership debate: Tim Harper

The Liberal front-runner will continue to face questions of gravitas, but he showcased some political skills in Toronto on the weekend.

If his Conservative opponents were watching Justin Trudeau Saturday, and you can bet many were, they learned two things about the man who is now just weeks away from assuming the Liberal leadership.

In a sterile airport strip ballroom, the young Papineau MP showed that he can deftly disarm an opponent and, when another overplayed her hand and stepped on her own landmine, he demonstrated he can skilfully exploit the opportunity for his own benefit.

Neither trait alone would fast-track anyone to 24 Sussex Drive, but they are valuable political skills to have and two more boxes to check off as Liberals and the rest of the country get to know the man.

Trudeau took control of the third Liberal leadership debate before the cameras were turned on.

He and challenger Marc Garneau stood beside each other at the podium, enduring the TV countdown with the entire hall expecting the former astronaut to make good on his pledge to unmask Trudeau as all hair, no cattle, to twist a well-known Southern U.S. put-down.

“I wonder what Marc is going to ask me about?” Trudeau teased, piercing any tension between the two men.

Moments later, the hall was singing “Happy Birthday” to Garneau’s 90-year-old mother and the edge was gone.

Later in the debate, he parried Garneau’s contention that he had stolen his policy on student debt by ’fessing up with an A-OK signal and a thumb’s-up.

Another time, he hugged him as George Takach, who has proved to be nothing more than a waste of a finely cut suit in these proceedings, questioned Garneau’s mathematical acumen.

But in what will become a defining moment in this leadership race, it was Trudeau’s response to Martha Hall Findlay that will be remembered.

There are ways to go after Trudeau, but Hall Findlay showed everyone in the hall how not to do it with her awkward, over-the-top claim that a child of privilege should not be speaking for the middle class.

So taken aback by the reaction, Hall Findlay was moved to apologize Sunday. “There are some who believe that I overstepped a line in the leadership debate (Saturday). To Justin, his family and to those who were offended, I apologize,” Hall Findlay said in a statement posted to her website.

She was too eager to go after Trudeau on a question he must have been ready for and, although she later said there was nothing personal in her question, it was asked in a personal matter.

Interestingly, it was a question I asked Garneau at lunch last week, and a question he smartly avoided, saying that criticizing people for their financial station in life was a form of discrimination, whether we were talking wealth or poverty.

Hall Findlay had no such reticence and she gave Trudeau the opportunity for a rousing defence, and his contention that he has been lucky enough to be able to spend his time giving everything back “in service of my community.’’

By contrast, Garneau more subtly pushed Trudeau on gaps in his resumé, telling the front-runner leadership means more than giving motivational speeches and Trudeau retorted that leadership was also more than delivering five-point plans at press conferences.

But, unlike the overheated Hall Findlay intervention, it was handled respectfully by both men.

Garneau looked like the smartest of the challengers last week by saying before the debate that Trudeau had to show more substance, giving himself a couple of days of unfettered attention with a press conference and select interviews.

When it came to the debate itself, Garneau pulled back a bit, having already delivered his message. But it appeared Hall Findlay so desperately wanted a piece of that action that the grenade went off in her hand.

If this race was all about second place, it is Garneau who has shown growth and political smarts throughout.

But, in fact, this exercise was all about showcasing Trudeau and, after some early missteps, Liberals must be feeling better about their presumptive leader.

We can’t look to the debate formats to gauge gravitas because they are not structured in a way in which that can be showcased.

And should any Liberal be fearful that Hall Findlay had provided Conservatives with a clip to use against Trudeau, they can probably be safe in the knowledge that the Trudeau attacks have already been compiled and they didn’t need any help from the former Willowdale MP.

This is a three-step dance for Trudeau: a leadership race, a bit more than a year as leader and an election campaign.

He is handling the first step well, but then again, that was always the easiest step.

I think it's time to recognize that Trudeau is a different kind of opponent, one with genuine charisma, but who can handle himself, and who has surrounded himself with an effective group of supporters. He can raise money, and the girls like him. Those are assets that Dion and Iggy never had.

Progressive Tory

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He has shown to be strong in the debates. Hall Findlay launched a personal attack on him and he stayed calm and was effectively able to provide a comeback.

Though I didn't think he was able to tell Garneau what qualifies him to be leader.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's clear that Martha has made a misstep when she attacked Junior Trudeau personally. She is now compounding the problem, as she tries to retreat from her point.

Hall Findlay says 'class' comment not personal attack on Trudeau

Liberal leadership hopeful Martha Hall Findlay says her comments about class and wealth at a weekend debate that elicited boos from some audience members were not meant as a personal attack against Justin Trudeau.

Hall Findley, who apologized to Trudeau and his family, said she was merely trying to point out that income disparity is a widespread issue in Canada and that a successful candidate must know how to address that.

“In the exchange with Justin, we were talking about class and I don’t like the use of (the word) ‘class.’ I want us to talk about income disparities,” Hall Findlay told CTV’s Power Play on Monday.

“I want us to recognize that every Canadian wants a job…every Canadian wants their kids to have a future.”

Hall Findley was booed during the Liberal leadership debate on Saturday when she said that Trudeau is self-admittedly not a member of the middle class and suggested he would have a tough time understanding “the real challenges facing Canadians.”
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics.....z2LMNxYXUM

This could go horribly wrong because you don't have to be a party member to vote. But that's as likely to favour Trudeau as much or more than any of the other candidates.

I think we can see already that if Conservatives think they can 'define' Trudeau as easily as they defined Dion or Iggy, I think they will have a surprise coming to them.
Progressive Tory

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trudeau is already well liked,for no reason really, so defining him will be difficult, just like defining Layton was near impossible.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progressive Tory wrote:
Trudeau is already well liked,for no reason really, so defining him will be difficult, just like defining Layton was near impossible.

I wouldn't go that far;
The Orange Crush led the 50% of non-Quebec Canada to vote CPC.

His personal popularity had the NDP in striking distance of the LPC in the 905's till the Bawdy House story broke a few days before the election.

Anyone is definable with the right detail and enough money.
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