Canadians, forever the neglected middle child in the family of nations, are always weirdly excited when the world pays us any attention. So worldwide reaction to the election of Justin Trudeau got media play this week, as the world is briefly paying attention to Canada in a way not seen since, well, Pierre Trudeau. And some of it is hilariously over the top, thanks mostly to the hyperbolic British press. The Mirror in London wrote the Liberal win kicked off “what has to be the sexiest political dynasty since the Kennedys” thanks to Trudeau’s “luscious brown hair, spellbinding eyes,” “chiselled physique” and “very manly tattoo.” It asked: “Is Justin Trudeau the sexiest politician in the world?” Sexier than Angela Merkel? I think not. In the U.S., the left-leaning The Nation told Democrats they would be wise to see what Trudeau did in the campaign, even calling the escalator ad “genius”. England’s The Guardian predicted Trudeau’s impact on the world stage will be felt immediately. The New York Times gave the Trudeau victory substantial coverage. Even late night comic Conan O’Brien weighed in with a couple of jokes: “Canada’s new prime minister once put on a striptease show for charity. In Canada, a strip tease just means unzipping your outer layer of fleece”, and “Canada elected a new Prime Minister named Justin Trudeau, and many consider the guy a heartthrob. The good news is, any Canadian heartthrob named Justin is sure to be popular forever.” OK, not his best, but we’ll take any acknowledgement we can get.
Perhaps the least surprising poll result of the election came out after the vote. Insights West surveyed 605 Albertans, and found 48 per cent of voters were “very upset” at the prospect of Trudeau as prime minister. Wow. Who would have thought that a province that voted about 60 per cent AGAINST Trudeau would be “very upset” by a Trudeau win. The same poll found 46 per cent of those polled think the Liberals should find a new leader, which tells you something about the intellect of the people they spoke to. Or maybe it just says something about the Alberta voter. Personally, I was very happy to see Randy Boissonnault win in Edmonton Centre. He is a quality person, an excellent speaker and a guy with a real charisma. But a bit of me is upset with the win, because I had him pegged as a potential leader of the Alberta Liberals. Applications are now being taken, by the way. Anyone?
Still on the election, remember all those ‘accidental MPs’ from Quebec, the 20-something students who ran for the NDP four years ago and won? The most famous was Ruth Ellen Brosseau, then 27, part-time barmaid who had so little chance of winning, she went to Vegas during the campaign. She didn’t even live in her mostly French-speaking riding! So, how did she do in 2015? Well, this is a rare happy political story. She won again, and won big, crushing her Liberal and BQ rivals. Brosseau took the break of a lifetime and made something of it. She is, by all accounts, an excellent MP, and the voters responded. As for the rest of them, all but one was defeated.
South of the border, it is now a 100 per cent certainty that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. The only person with even an outside chance of catching her, Vice-President Joe Biden, announced Wednesday that he will not be running. That leaves Clinton versus radical socialist (by American standards; here he would be slightly left of centre) Bernie Sanders and a couple of pygmies. Sanders is an amusing diversion, but too old and too radical to ever win the nomination. On the Republican side, Donald Trump mania has cooled, but the rising star, Ben Carson, is every bit the delusional crackpot that Trump is. Trump has staying power, but I still say there is no way he will win. If neither Carson nor Trump wins, that leaves … uh, Bush? Who just laid off some of his staff to save money? Or Marco Rubio, I guess. Maybe my ‘there’s no way Trump can win’ prediction is a little off.
And finally, a big thank you from here to the Kansas City Royals, who defeated the heroic, never-say-die, loved-by-all-of-Canada (cough, cough) Toronto Blue Jays to end the Jays playoff run. Now, all you baseball ‘fans’ who bought Jays caps and gear can put them away until the next sports fad comes along. And the Toronto Globe and Mail can go back to being a legitimate newspaper, instead of the pathetic Blue Jays fanzine it has become.
RIP: Maureen O’Hara, 97, one of the last stars of Hollywood’s golden era. Thanks to her red hair and green eyes, she was the queen of Technicolor movies. One of her most famous roles was as the mother of Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street. … Cory Wells, 74, one of the three lead singers for the band Three Dog Night … the Stephen Harper government, 9, euthanized by the Canadian public.