Trudeau Endorses Kennedy
Trudeau endorses Kennedy's leadership bid
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Justin Trudeau is endorsing Gerard Kennedy in the race for the leadership of the federal Liberal Party.
The son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau said yesterday that he believes the former Ontario cabinet minister offers the best chance for a genuine renewal of the party that will move it closer to grassroots members.
“To my mind, Gerard represents the best chance for creating genuine solutions to appeal to all Canadians,” Mr. Trudeau said in a telephone interview from Calgary.
In recent weeks, Mr. Trudeau, 34, has suggested that front-runner Michael Ignatieff doesn't have the “wisdom” necessary to be the best Liberal leader and said he doesn't think that Bob Rae “has the great vision necessary.”
He had suggested that he was wavering between Mr. Kennedy and former Liberal cabinet minister Stéphane Dion. He attended an event in Montreal last Tuesday at which Mr. Kennedy spoke about renewing the party.
Mr. Trudeau said he's concluded that the Liberal Party has become dominated by its backroom and by non-elected officials, and that it is not enough simply for the party to change leaders or tinker with its policies.
“This has been a party that has drifted away from the grassroots toward the corporate donorship that has always worked but no longer works in Canada right now,” he said. “We need to be really brave about taking a fresh look and listening to people and sharing the power and the privilege of power that the Canadian people keeps granting the Liberal Party.”
He said he had talked to the top candidates and found them to be decent people but said that the party needs bold leadership and “there is really one choice and that's Gerard.”
Mr. Kennedy said he was delighted to receive Mr. Trudeau's endorsement but he was careful to play down its impact.
“I'm very pleased to have the endorsement that Justin Trudeau provides but I also look at it as the Justin endorsement, not necessarily the Trudeau [endorsement], where some of his high profile comes from.”
Nevertheless, Mr. Kennedy, who goes to Montreal in third place in delegate support, is hoping that the endorsement by the son of the former prime minister will boost the profile of his campaign.
“I don't overestimate — and I don't think Justin Trudeau does either — that the whole campaign will hinge on this, but I do think that what it will hinge on is just a sense that there's a little bit of an underestimated campaign in terms of what we've been bringing and this is our chance to get it into focus,” he said in an interview.
“It's mainly what I do but this is a help toward that.”
Mr. Trudeau has observer status at the convention but is hopeful that “backfilling” a delegate vacancy would allow him to vote.