The MSM goes into overtime:
If he does throw his hat in the ring, the 40-year-old son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau will generate an unprecedented amount of excitement and interest in the upcoming Liberal leadership race — at a time when his party needs it the most.
“If Justin does decide to run, he’s going to bring an extraordinary amount of excitement, attention, people,” said Liberal pundit Rob Silver.
“He really does have an ability to draw people in. It’s not a media creation, it’s not a hype-machine creation. It’s real.”
Says a man whose profession is generating hype for the Liberal Party. No, this time I'm telling you the absolute truth! Justin Trudeau is not a media phenomenon, he's a visionary leader who will energize the youth of Canada. Even though most of the youth of Canada have no idea why a one-time substitute drama teacher is so famous. Perhaps the Once and Future Prime Minister will unveil a brilliant new economic policy to transform Canada into Switzerland with Maple Syrup.
Really. I'm sure he's got something.
This tremendous fawning over a histrionic non-entity is another symptom of Boomer Nostalgia. Aside from the well developed instinct of the Quebecois to demand more for less, separatism in our least loyal province is driven by those of certain age recalling their youth. The ranks of the PQ are filled with people who were politically sentient when Rene Levesque - Peace Be Upon Him - was still sitting in Jean Lesage's cabinet. The world has turned over many times since those halcyon days, yet the dream still lives for those who remember it.
As noted last week Jacques Parizeau, he of money and ethnic fame, recently attempted to knee-cap Pauline Marois. One of the suspected motivations for M. Parizeau to go after his former press secretary was that old adage: Beware an old man in a hurry. Many of the diehards in the separatist cause are well into their Golden Years. Before they shuffle off into the great nothingness, it is understood most are non-believers, a lash hurrah is requested. If they read English poetry they might now be saying:
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts
True enough that Ulysses never received an equalization payment, but then again he never lived in a country populated by the most well-meaning suckers in human history, English Canadian taxpayers. Had the political leadership of the ROC manned the defenses at Troy neither the siege nor the horse would have been necessary. Just a long petulant whine from the Greeks. Perhaps a cringe-inducing rant on Lord Durham and the decimation of the goat herd.
For the separatists the cause is a romance, for the ROC it's blackmail that has degenerated into pathetic delusion. Here is where the traitors meet their old foes, the federalist (i.e. centralizer) Liberal Party of Canada. Both were once formidable forces that held their respective electorates in awe. It is one of those fascinating quirks of Canadian politics that many of the same people who elected Rene Levesque in 1976 must, as a matter of statistics, have also voted Trudeau Liberal in 1974, 1979 and 1980. That makes no sense if you view politics through a separatist / federalist prism. If you instead view voting patterns in Quebec as driven by profit maximization, it makes perfect sense.
The Liberal Party promised to keep Quebec in the fold through bribery. The Pequiste promised that more freebies would await them should independence be declared. In the end, backed by the wealth of the ROC, Pierre Trudeau won the bidding war. In a sense he saved the country. By satiating the Quebec electorate long enough until the demographic wave turned against separation. I doubt that was Trudeau's strategy. It worked by sheer accident. Few in the 1970s were expecting the legendary fecundity of the Quebecois to fade so quickly.
Yet to the die-hards there are some wonderful memories. Trudeau with his rose battling the separatist like a medieval champion. Levesque's legendary chain smoking and wild gesticulations Politics was about something then, or so it seemed. Today it is a shrunken place. Very boring. Dull old Leaside WASP Stephen Harper and duller old Thomas Mulcair bickering like fishwives. If you still believe in the Old Cause, what wouldn't you give for a taste of the good ol' days?
Just as they trundle out to see their favourite band on their very last reunion tour, so the Statist Boomers will go out and vote Pequiste for Old Times Sake. So too will the Liberal Party hacks jump up and down like Bobby soxers for the son of their former idol. It is not the youth of Canada who love Justin, it is those who miss their youth and want to keep it alive. The great mass of the Canadian young are apathetic in the finest traditions of most youthful cohorts, except those of the Sixties. But you can't go home again. The whole process has a mechanical coldness. Enthusiasms of this sort can happen only once.
So what of us? We to whom these are yesterday's quarrels fought ad nauseam. Those Boomers who moved on from their youth and plan for their future and those of their children. The Gen Xers who came of age just as the tally of the Sixties came due. What of the Gen Yers who though spoiled will likely never taste the easy adult life their parents knew? Bitterness and contempt. It is very likely that the Trudeau Saga will end badly. That the party his father led to victory three times, he will complete its destruction. The electoral math is bleak. For the Pequistes should another Referendum be attempted it will be a humiliating defeat. Nothing more than a balance sheet and an income statement will destroy the old dream.
Whatever happens, it won't be pretty. Especially for those who have to pay.