Week 43: Hero – Justin Trudeau

by George_East on October 31, 2015

Canadian_HeroLast week’s Hero of the Week award goes to Prime Minister elect of Canada and leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau.

We are currently in one of the low points for centre left politics across the developed world.   With the exception of Syriza in Greece, the right appears almost universally to be in the ascendant.   It was therefore a rare piece of good news last weekend when Justin Trudeau ousted the conservative government of Stephen Harper (after 9 years), unexpectedly winning an overall majority.

The Liberal Party’s victory was a remarkable thing, coming from third place in the last election (led to disaster by pointy head Michael Ignatieff) and trailing in third place in the polls as recently as August.   By the time of the election day itself the pollsters were predicting that the Liberals would be the biggest party, but not one predicted an overall majority.

Although those of us who write for this blog are probably more inclined to support the social democratic New Democratic Party, the Liberals progressive programme should not be under-estimated.   Trudeau went to the Canadian public on a manifesto expressly repudiating the deficit obsession that has passed for common sense across the western world – even though it is based on economic illiteracy.   Given we are in a time in which even a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party buys into the need to focus on deficit reduction (despite record low interest rates and a savings glut depressing demand), it is refreshing indeed to see a party stand on a policy of running deficits for infrastructure spending and winning.

So we on these pages with the new government of Justin Trudeau well and hope that it will in its own small way provide a pathway for other parties of the centre left to break out of economic policies that are not only wrong-headed but also ultimately politically self-defeating.

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