OTTAWA (Reuters) – A Canadian Liberal prime minister with the surname identify Trudeau takes workplace amid big public enthusiasm, attracts international admiration, clashes with an unpredictable U.S. president after which struggles within the subsequent election.
FILE PHOTO: Liberal chief Justin Trudeau appears at a poster of his late father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, throughout a marketing campaign cease at a espresso store in Sainte-Therese, Quebec, October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
That Trudeau was Pierre, who got here to energy in 1968 after which nearly misplaced in 1972.
Quick ahead almost 50 years and his son Justin is in an eerily related state of affairs: The once-popular Liberal prime minister is now in hassle forward of an Oct. 21 election.
The elder Trudeau, a flamboyant, fashionable politician, received a landslide victory in 1968. His public appearances triggered screaming crowds and the delivery of the phrase “Trudeaumania.”
But 4 years later in 1972, on the finish of an election marketing campaign broadly mocked as one of many worst in Canadian historical past, he hung onto workplace by the narrowest of margins and needed to kind a pact with the rival left-leaning New Democrats to maintain governing.
Justin Trudeau, 47, who received energy in 2015 by promising “Sunny Methods” however is now making an attempt to shake off photos of himself in blackface years in the past, additionally set off a wave of Trudeaumania internationally. He too seems headed for a minority authorities and analysts predict he’ll want the assist of the New Democrats to manipulate.
“The resemblance is within the disappointment with Trudeau senior and now Trudeau junior,” stated College of Toronto professor Robert Bothwell.
“It’s remarkably related due to the magnetism each of them confirmed of their preliminary campaigns.”
Each prime ministers had hassle with the occupant of the White Home. U.S. President Donald Trump final 12 months slammed Justin Trudeau as weak and dishonest, nearly 50 years after Richard Nixon used an epithet to explain Pierre Trudeau.
The Trudeaumania of 1968 pale and by 1972 the perfect slogan the Liberals might provide you with was “The Land is Robust.”
“No person knew what the hell that meant,” stated Bothwell. “Folks have been simply not moved.”
Justin Trudeau is campaigning below the message of “Select Ahead,” which isn’t grammatical in English.
Polls present the Liberals locked in a tie with the primary opposition Conservative Social gathering and unable to interrupt away.
Bothwell and different historians who lived by way of the sooner marketing campaign say there are limits to the comparisons. For one, Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals confirmed a level of vanity that the trendy social gathering has lengthy since misplaced.
“The 1972 election was broadly interpreted as one the place the Liberals have been chastised for being overly complacent and possessing of their minds a divine proper of governance,” stated Allan Tupper, a political science professor on the College of British Columbia.
Pierre Trudeau “simply wasn’t participating within the political reduce and thrust” of the 1972 marketing campaign, stated College of Manitoba historical past professor Barry Ferguson, noting his son had put rather more effort into his bid for re-election.
Additionally in 1972, Conservative chief Robert Stanfield and New Democratic Social gathering chief David Lewis have been skilled politicians with a historical past of achievements.
Their counterparts right now – Andrew Scheer of the Conservatives and Jagmeet Singh of the New Democrats – are youthful and with a lot lighter resumes.
“I can see why individuals say there are parallels, however the capacities of the political leaders have been totally different,” Ferguson stated.
A Liberal spokeswoman, requested whether or not the marketing campaign noticed any similarities with the occasions of 1972, stated Trudeau was targeted on shifting ahead.
Within the 1972 election, Pierre Trudeau received by simply two seats.
However the elder Trudeau, who died in 2000 at age 80, was in a position to rebound politically after his election scare. He received a parliamentary majority in 1974 and stayed in energy for many of the subsequent decade.
Justin Trudeau is forecast to win at greatest 160 of 338 seats, falling in need of an efficient majority.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Modifying by Amran Abocar and Peter Cooney