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Billythreefeathers
12-21-2014, 05:36 PM
Michael Den Tandt: Fate of election rests in Trudeau’s hands, and whether he can live up to his ‘Skywalker brand’

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/12/21/michael-den-tandt-fate-of-election-rests-in-trudeaus-hands-and-whether-he-can-live-up-to-his-skywalker-brand/

Here’s the shorthand for the next ten months in Canadian politics, and more broadly for the next few years: It’s all up to Justin Trudeau now.
The rest, including the personal performances of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Tom Mulcair, are supporting plots to this main narrative. We know this because of the polls, which consistently show the Liberals in the mid-to-high thirties in popular support, with the Tories in the low thirties and the New Democrats in the low twenties. Threehundredeight.com currently has the Grits at 36, Conservatives at 32, and the NDP at 20.
Even when the Tories have a good spell, as they have this past quarter, the resulting bounce doesn’t reverse the underlying dynamic, which is in place nationwide, and has been consistent since Trudeau became Liberal leader in April of 2013. The data indicates Canadians are open to giving Trudeau either a minority or a small majority next October. This can change in a heartbeat during the campaign. But the underlying trend is clear. And here’s where it gets interesting: The causes of Trudeau’s popularity have a direct bearing on the challenges he faces in making that trend a reality.

The Canadian Press / Justin TrudeauLiberal Leader Justin Trudeau, centre, will play the lead role in the 2015 election. The personal performances of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, and NDP leader Tom Mulcair, right, are just supporting plots.
Since before the March 2012 boxing match with Patrick Brazeau, which was Trudeau’s symbolic debut as a potential national leader, his success has often been put down to name recognition, pedigree, looks and charm. He has not outlined policy in any detail. What could be propping him up, insulating him from some of the gaffes he’s made, if not his shiny veneer, fame and simple likeability?
Well, plenty, perhaps. There may be more at work here than meets the eye. Trudeau’s popularity could be linked to the very fabric of how human beings perceive political narrative. His brand has been crafted, deliberately it seems to me, to tap into very old archetypes of heroism. These archetypes are everywhere in our culture – in film, literature, myth and politics.

Joseph Campbell called it the mono-myth. It’s also been described as “the hero’s journey.” A young warrior appears, often of secretly noble parentage. He or she is called to adventure, initially refuses the call, but eventually yields to destiny, to take up the mantle and burdens of leadership. George Lucas’s character Luke Skywalker, of course, was built around this meta-story. So were the tales of the Lion King, and numerous other Hollywood fables.
Campbell wasn’t making it up: He based his theories, first articulated in 1949 in his seminal work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, on recurring patterns in myth and religion. The legend of King Arthur comes to mind. So does the story of Shakespeare’s Prince Hal, an irresponsible party-boy in Henry IV, who evolves into a noble warrior and inspirational leader in Henry V.
Trudeau’s policy deficit has been presented as his greatest problem. It really isn’t. Though the lack of hard platform thus far has caused him some discomfort, the waiting does have one benefit: The Liberals will have the last word. It is safe to assume that, at some point between now and October, Trudeau will unveil a detailed plan to address income inequality and high household debt among the middle class. It is also safe to assume this plan will be framed as more egalitarian than the Conservatives’ income-splitting plan, and more realistic and responsible than the NDP’s ideas. The policy gap, in other words, will be filled.
What’s more intriguing, and potentially dicey for the Liberals, is the relentless pressure on Trudeau to live up to what I have heard jokingly described as his “Skywalker brand.” It’s actually no joke. The framing of a leader in Arthurian terms, as a good-hearted young hero, is inherently risky, because it makes it incumbent on that leader to live that part, and continue living it.
Inhabiting Joseph Campbell’s heroic paradigm can mean winning boxing matches. It can mean not becoming tongue-tied in mano-a-mano debate with tougher, more experienced opponents. But it certainly requires that the “young hero” in question continue to be perceived by ordinary folk as honourable, strong, noble and upright, to a greater extent than is required of other leaders not similarly branded.
Assuming the Skywalker myth, if we can call it that, may have helped confer upon Trudeau a kind of Teflon coating of popular goodwill. But it has also fostered expectations of him that are different from those borne by his opponents, and that any human being – and politicians are all, of course, human beings — would find it difficult to measure up to.
The upshot is that, having been in the public eye all his life, Justin Trudeau now faces ten months in the full blast of the Klieg lights, with every word and gesture magnified, and friends and enemies alike alive to the possibility of the slightest signal that he is not, after all, what he is purported to be. It will be scrutiny of a kind he has never encountered before.
Small wonder Simba, the future Lion King, runs off into the wilds early in his adventure to eat grubs and live for the moment, singing Hakuna Matata.

Billythreefeathers
12-21-2014, 05:39 PM
bring on the debates,, I want to hear him explain the liberal new policy,, 'price on carbon' 'repeal income splitting', 'budget will balance itself'

Strewth
12-21-2014, 06:10 PM
Jeebus. Luke was naive, but after one landspeeder ride with Trudeau nattering away, Ben Kenobi would have stood back and watched JT have his butt fed to him without mustard at the Mos Eisley cantina.
He's been in the spotlight his whole life? Where have I been?
Hero? Yeeesh. I think I just got diabetes from the amount of sugary sweet syrup poured on the anointed one's head in that article.

Billythreefeathers
12-21-2014, 06:16 PM
yes it is a bit of a stomach churning read

Waterloomike
12-21-2014, 06:36 PM
I don't buy polls. How and who is polled?

Mad Hatter
12-21-2014, 08:20 PM
The fate of the election lies in voter apathy...

blacksmithden
12-22-2014, 01:53 AM
The fate of the election lies in voter apathy...

And that apathy is getting worse and worse every single day.

Foxer
12-22-2014, 02:12 AM
Michael Den Tandt is an excellent political analyst in much the same way Rosie O'donnel is an exellent personal fitness trainer. His stuff is almost always pure crap.

And this is no exception. He quotes the polls as 'proof' that it's all about justin. Yet - those same polling numbers are pretty much where the liberals have been before each election.

It is MORONIC in the extreme to think people won't be focusing on what harper and especially mulcair have to say. To suggest somehow they're supporting roles shows a horrible understanding of the electorate.

And while it's true that everyone loves the underdog and the 'come from behind' success, he completely fails in his analogy in that trudeau is already expected to win - he's the crown prince, he's the shiny pony, he's NOT the come from behind story here. This is more like one of the later rocky stories - Can stephen harper win against this NEW opponent even given his challenges?

Further, in politics it rarely pays to have 'the last say'. There's no time to test it out on the public and no time to fine tune your message without looking like you're doing a flip flop. IF the public doesn't immediately like your plan, you've got no road left to change directions at all. WHile people are pocketing Harper's child benefits and thinking 'This isn't so bad' justin is out there talking about how he'll take them away.

The fact is again and again since the turn of the century voters have actually tuned in and made their decision in the last few weeks of the campaign. They've thrown aside preconceived notions and voted based on what they've seen. And while the polling numbers look like justin is competative, when you look a little more closely they don't look quite as good. Take away the youth vote (which is notoriously hard to get out) and the quebec overlap (which doesn't affect the CPC nearly as much because they don't count on quebec) and you see that hte demographics most likely to vote are in harper's court and his vote is pretty efficient, whereas the libs are not.

Justin is already fracturing his party and turning away advice from the 'old guard' who at least knew a little about how an election is run.

I'm sorry, but Justin is NOT simba. He's more like ivan drego.

I don't even seriously think Justin expects to win the next election. He wants to beat mulcair and become the official opposition. And polling aside, i'm not realy confident he can even pull THAT off yet.

harbl_the_cat
12-22-2014, 03:58 PM
I said before - I think Trudeau would be better suited as a co-anchor with Ben Mulroney on Entertainment Tonight.

I'm really curious to hear his stance on the Tory Universal Child Care Benefit hike - my guess is it will be "It's not a enough" and "We need a national child care program." or as I hear it "People are too stupid to raise their own children and need a good, involuntary Liberal education provided for them by the State."

Foxer
12-22-2014, 04:15 PM
I said before - I think Trudeau would be better suited as a co-anchor with Ben Mulroney on Entertainment Tonight.

I'm really curious to hear his stance on the Tory Universal Child Care Benefit hike - my guess is it will be "It's not a enough" and "We need a national child care program." or as I hear it "People are too stupid to raise their own children and need a good, involuntary Liberal education provided for them by the State."

Amusingly, he HAS spoken on it. He has said that he will reverse it. He wants the money back for other programs. He'll reverse income splitting as well. He was quite clear.

Mulcair will leave the child benefit in place, but I think he said he'd get rid of income splitting.

harbl_the_cat
12-22-2014, 04:51 PM
Amusingly, he HAS spoken on it. He has said that he will reverse it. He wants the money back for other programs. He'll reverse income splitting as well. He was quite clear.

Mulcair will leave the child benefit in place, but I think he said he'd get rid of income splitting.

Wow - anyone with kids is a retard if they vote Liberal.

Billythreefeathers
12-22-2014, 06:18 PM
Amusingly, he HAS spoken on it. He has said that he will reverse it. He wants the money back for other programs. He'll reverse income splitting as well. He was quite clear.

Mulcair will leave the child benefit in place, but I think he said he'd get rid of income splitting.

How's he going to spin this? I'm taking your tax breaks / child benefits away and spending it on liberal arts programs and baby sitters

Foxer
12-22-2014, 06:19 PM
Wow - anyone with kids is a retard if they vote Liberal.

LOL - i'm not sure the people WITHOUT kids will be 'wow-ing' anyone with their intelligence by voting liberal either :)

But you're correct. Trudeau made a grave tactical error there. I suspect he will recant that at some point or claim to be willing to replace it with something better or 'more fair' or the like but the problem is he needs a lot of money for his promises and he can't get it without raising someone's taxes.

Foxer
12-22-2014, 06:20 PM
How's he going to spin this? I'm taking your tax breaks / child benefits away and spending it on liberal arts programs and baby sitters

Basically. He's claiming the income splitting is unfair and only affects the very rich (not true) and that he'll introduce other things which will be better for us in the long run (untrue) and that it'll all be clear when he finally releases his master plan (unlikely) .

killer kane
12-23-2014, 08:26 AM
So what you're saying is, it's the same platform as any other Lieb platform.

Foxer
12-23-2014, 10:34 AM
So what you're saying is, it's the same platform as any other Lieb platform.
LOL - yeah basically.

Tho truth to be told - Hard to call it a 'platform' yet :) more like a general working theme. He doesn't want to commit too much at this point, he's not sure which way to lie yet.

harbl_the_cat
12-23-2014, 12:04 PM
LOL - i'm not sure the people WITHOUT kids will be 'wow-ing' anyone with their intelligence by voting liberal either :)

But you're correct. Trudeau made a grave tactical error there. I suspect he will recant that at some point or claim to be willing to replace it with something better or 'more fair' or the like but the problem is he needs a lot of money for his promises and he can't get it without raising someone's taxes.

I was at the range last night and a guy with his son was there. I bumped into an old friend and told him I just had my 3rd kid.

He was like - "whoa, wut?!?"

I was like - "Dude - the government's showing you with money if you have kids."

The other dude with his son was like "True story..."

Vote Conservative :P

Foxer
12-23-2014, 12:44 PM
Spread the word bud :) THe cpc really is acting in the interests of families.

Which sucks for people like me who get no break. But honestly - I've watched so many friends and family raising their kids right now and even those who make what most would consider good money are always struggling a little to make sure their kids have everything they need. I've got no problem with families with kids having a few more bucks to spend. Any study you care to name shows that when kids are raised with enough money kicking around that they live in a good home, they get to play their sports and go on trips and such and have good food and good clothes etc, they are MUCH less likely to grow up as 'problem kids'. I know you do well for yourself but i've got lots of friends where the wife doesn't make much money and even tho they do they're still living paycheque to paycheque after mortgages and providing for the kids.

We've largely gotten away from families being able to spend time with the kids and do things with them and such and money is the number one stressor for most families. I think that's lead to many of the problems we see today. I think it's a good thing that single moms will be getting a larger cheque and that working families where the mom is at home more will be able to afford more. I personally believe that wide ranging tax breaks wind up getting swallowed by inflation over time (if everyone's got more money - prices tend to go up for things like homes and cars).

So, despite the libs claims that this is somehow only a benefit for the rich, i believe that this is a very strong move to help bolster families and we'll see benefits to that down the road. Hopefully if we spread the word others will agree and the CPC will stay in power and we'll see more of this kind of stuff over time.

harbl_the_cat
12-23-2014, 12:57 PM
Spread the word bud :) THe cpc really is acting in the interests of families.

Which sucks for people like me who get no break. But honestly - I've watched so many friends and family raising their kids right now and even those who make what most would consider good money are always struggling a little to make sure their kids have everything they need. I've got no problem with families with kids having a few more bucks to spend. Any study you care to name shows that when kids are raised with enough money kicking around that they live in a good home, they get to play their sports and go on trips and such and have good food and good clothes etc, they are MUCH less likely to grow up as 'problem kids'. I know you do well for yourself but i've got lots of friends where the wife doesn't make much money and even tho they do they're still living paycheque to paycheque after mortgages and providing for the kids.

We've largely gotten away from families being able to spend time with the kids and do things with them and such and money is the number one stressor for most families. I think that's lead to many of the problems we see today. I think it's a good thing that single moms will be getting a larger cheque and that working families where the mom is at home more will be able to afford more. I personally believe that wide ranging tax breaks wind up getting swallowed by inflation over time (if everyone's got more money - prices tend to go up for things like homes and cars).

So, despite the libs claims that this is somehow only a benefit for the rich, i believe that this is a very strong move to help bolster families and we'll see benefits to that down the road. Hopefully if we spread the word others will agree and the CPC will stay in power and we'll see more of this kind of stuff over time.

Well - it certainly was a topic of discussion at our Christmas parties. It also was a big relief for my wife when she heard about it.

I'm actually taking time off in January - at least one month. I've worked myself ragged these past 2 years and I'm royally burnt out (notice how much time I spend on here? That's because my mind is shot - and energies that should be spent as a L337 H4X0R are spent writing prose).

We have enough of a savings buffer in place as well as passive income from our rental to keep us from any kind of financial harm, but knowing in a few months we'll get a small windfall, as well as the existing UCCB made the decision to take a mini-sabbatical an easier one.

My wife and I also are having one (or several) more children and my wife will stay home to run our side businesses and do my corporate accounting (She's a CPA).

Undescoring that though, the UCCB, but also the child fitness and art credits really represent a mindset with the Tories I find more agreeable - instead of forcing people into a program or to comply with a regulation, leaving it up to themselves to decide what to do.

It's almost as if they trust people to use their better judgement when making important decisions, instead of needing government to make them for them.

Billythreefeathers
12-23-2014, 01:49 PM
I want to hear how he'll 'turn the economy around on a dime', or 'how the budget will balance itself' and 'must have a price on carbon'

It was reported (can find the news article) that in New Brunswick he supported the energy east project and in Quebec he is against it.. I think he's been caught a couple of other times saying one thing for an English crowd and exactly the opposite for the French crowd

I'm not going to benefit one dime from income splitting or the child benefits,, but lots of others will. I am however really liking the pension splitting the CPC introduce a couple of years ago.

Foxer
12-23-2014, 01:56 PM
It was reported (can find the news article) that in New Brunswick he supported the energy east project and in Quebec he is against it.. I think he's been caught a couple of other times saying one thing for an English crowd and exactly the opposite for the French crowd

His dad was FAMOUS for that. It doesn't work quite as well in the day and age of the internet, but they still do it a bit.

killer kane
12-23-2014, 05:15 PM
Spread the word bud :) THe cpc really is acting in the interests of families.

Which sucks for people like me who get no break. But honestly - I've watched so many friends and family raising their kids right now and even those who make what most would consider good money are always struggling a little to make sure their kids have everything they need. I've got no problem with families with kids having a few more bucks to spend. Any study you care to name shows that when kids are raised with enough money kicking around that they live in a good home, they get to play their sports and go on trips and such and have good food and good clothes etc, they are MUCH less likely to grow up as 'problem kids'. I know you do well for yourself but i've got lots of friends where the wife doesn't make much money and even tho they do they're still living paycheque to paycheque after mortgages and providing for the kids.

We've largely gotten away from families being able to spend time with the kids and do things with them and such and money is the number one stressor for most families. I think that's lead to many of the problems we see today. I think it's a good thing that single moms will be getting a larger cheque and that working families where the mom is at home more will be able to afford more. I personally believe that wide ranging tax breaks wind up getting swallowed by inflation over time (if everyone's got more money - prices tend to go up for things like homes and cars).

So, despite the libs claims that this is somehow only a benefit for the rich, i believe that this is a very strong move to help bolster families and we'll see benefits to that down the road. Hopefully if we spread the word others will agree and the CPC will stay in power and we'll see more of this kind of stuff over time.

So what you're saying is, that the Evil Harper actually supports a working family, in that the main nurturer can stay home, or maybe the family can afford for her to work part time, at something she'd like to do ( Or him, as the case may be.), instead of both parents working, raising latch key kids, which can result in some of the social ills we've seen over the last few decades, etc. HOW DARE HE !!!!!!!:eek1:;D

Foxer
12-23-2014, 07:22 PM
So what you're saying is, that the Evil Harper actually supports a working family,

Yeah. Well - you know, when he's not eating babies and all.


in that the main nurturer can stay home, or maybe the family can afford for her to work part time, at something she'd like to do ( Or him, as the case may be.), instead of both parents working, raising latch key kids, which can result in some of the social ills we've seen over the last few decades, etc.
Exactly. And while some of us won't benefit directly from that, we all benefit in the longer run as we're more likley to see kids raised properly and with fewer social programs later. How much does this 'tax break' cost the taxpayer for one family in comparison to the costs of a trial and incarcerating a kid in jail for a year? Or the cost of damages from vandalizsm, etc.


HOW DARE HE !!!!!!!:eek1:;D

He's funny like that.

killer kane
12-23-2014, 09:29 PM
I hear he likes kittens too...THE BRUTE!!!!!!!

Foxer
12-23-2014, 09:50 PM
I hear he likes kittens too

That's it. Get a rope.