‘Trudeaumania’ returns to Canada

Canadians voted for a sharp change of government, returning a legendary name for liberals, Trudeau, to the prime minister’s office and resoundingly ending Conservative Stephen Harper’s near-decade long term in office.

Justin Trudeau, the son of the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, became Canada’s prime minister after his Liberal Party won 184 of the Parliament’s 338 seats.

Trudeau’s Liberals had been favourites to win the most seats, but few expected the final margin of victory.

“Tonight, Canada is becoming the country it was before,” Trudeau said.

He said positive politics led to his victory.

“We beat fear with hope,” Trudeau said. “We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together. Most of all we defeated the idea that Canadians should be satisfied with less.”

Harper, one of the longest-serving Western leaders, also stepped down as the head of the Conservatives.

Tall and trim, Trudeau, 43, channels the star power, if not quite the political heft, of his father, who swept to power in 1968 on a wave of support dubbed ‘Trudeaumania’.

Pierre Trudeau, who was prime minister until 1984 with a short interruption, remains one of the few Canadian politicians known in America, his charisma often drawing comparisons to John F Kennedy.

Justin Trudeau, a former school teacher and member of parliament since 2008, becomes the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history.

Trudeau has re-energised the Liberal Party since its worst electoral defeat four years ago when they won just 34 seats and finished third behind the traditionally weaker New Democrat Party.

Trudeau promises to raise taxes on the rich and run deficits for three years to boost government spending.

His father, who took office in 1968 and led Canada for most of the next 16 years, is a storied name in Canadian history, responsible for the country’s version of the bill of rights.

A bachelor when he became prime minister, Pierre Trudeau dated actresses Barbra Streisand and Kim Cattrall and married a 22-year-old while in office.

 


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