LILLEY: Trudeau isn’t going anywhere – Toronto Sun

Author of the article:

Brian Lilley

Publishing date:

Oct 04, 2021  •  30 minutes ago  •  3 minute read  •  10 Comments

Liberal Leader  Minister Justin Trudeau is pictured while campaigning in Candiac, Que., on Sept. 12, 2021.
Liberal Leader Minister Justin Trudeau is pictured while campaigning in Candiac, Que., on Sept. 12, 2021. Photo by Reuters /Toronto Sun

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Is Justin Trudeau on his way out Prime Minister’s Office? Is the man who just won his third election really about to call it quits?

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While I think the answer is no, people who are smarter than I am insist that Trudeau is headed for the exit. In the last few days, several commentators have said Trudeau is ready to depart the political stage.

Warren Kinsella has taken a look at Trudeau‘s behaviour over the last week, including the ill-fated surfer dude vacation and the fact Trudeau didn’t get a majority and decided the man wants out.

Kinsella calls it a silver lining and if it were to happen, I’d have to agree with him. But I just don’t see it happening.

In the Globe and Mail, columnist John Ibbitson writes that “a futile election, a lack of fresh initiatives and a disjointed economy all point to Mr. Trudeau’s departure before the next election.” Ibbitson, too, sees the Tofino trip as another indicator.

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Over on Toronto’s Newstalk 1010, host Ryan Doyle believes that Trudeau has taken a walk in the sand.

“This might be more of the prime minister signalling that he’s done, that he’s just checked out and doesn’t want this job anymore,” Doyle said.

Here’s the thing; I’m not sure that Trudeau would have anything to do if he left politics.

Some retiring politicians return to the practice of law and sit on boards, like former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien. Others, like former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, become advisers to political and business leaders around the world.

Trudeau is not a lawyer nor does he have the skill set that would see him in high demand around boardroom tables or in coaching other leaders. He has never attained the prestige internationally that Chretien or Harper did.

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What would Trudeau do with his time? How would he continue earning a living and keeping himself in the lifestyle that he has become accustomed to?

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While often described as a teacher, that was only a brief part of what one would describe as Trudeau’s career before entering politics. He spent a lot of time on the speaking circuit giving talks to school kids, charities, and any group that would pay him $20,000 a pop.

That hardly seems like something he would return to at this point.

There is also an aspect to Trudeau’s character that I think would make it difficult for him to pack it in and leave anytime soon. This is a man who does not like to back down from a fight, admit when he’s wrong, or accept that he has been beaten.

Leaving now, after just winning the election, would be an admission that while he could beat Erin O’Toole, he can’t control that faction of his party that thinks he should move on. Faced with a battle, Trudeau is more likely to double down, and it often works for him.

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If someone wants him to leave his party, they will have to force him out. And let’s be clear, this is a Justin Trudeau Liberal Party.

Trudeau took over the Liberal leadership after their humiliating defeat in 2011 reduced them to third-place status and saw just 18% of voters cast a ballot for Canada’s so-called “natural governing party.” He’s had great success at reviving the party and the brand that was once left for dead.

Will he bore of the job and wander off into the Tofino sunset for good?

It could happen, but my money is on Trudeau sticking around for another fight — a chance to get a majority again and prove himself.

In my view, Trudeau won’t leave until the voters tell him that it’s time.

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