It may not come as too much of a surprise, but on Sunday, Justin Trudeau officially claimed the leadership position of the Liberal Party of Canada. Trudeau won the election by a landslide – taking 24,668 of the total 30,800 points, about 80 per cent of the vote. The runner-up was Vancouver MP Joyce Murray, with only 3,130 points.
Trudeau looks forward to representing the party in the 2015 federal election, and spearheading the “revival” of the federal Liberal Party. In 2011, the Party reached a historic low, pushing them behind the NDP into third-party status as the Conservatives won a majority.
Recent polls show that with Trudeau in the leadership position, the Liberals are capable of surpassing their competitors – even the ruling Conservative Party. The Conservatives are well aware of this, and began to prepare attack ads against Trudeau even before he was officially elected as leader.
At the results announcement in Ottawa, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae both criticized the current Conservative government. Chrétien stated that the Conservative Party has failed in the realm of foreign policy, and that we need a new Liberal Party to restore their reputation in the world. Rae highlighted the fallbacks of the Conservative Party, and joked that Harper is Canada’s “interim Prime Minister.”
In his acceptance speech, Trudeau echoed this sentiment. He said:
“Canadians share deep values that cannot be shaken, no matter how hard this Conservative Party may try.”
“There is nothing that the Conservatives fear more than an informed and engaged Canadian citizen.”
“I love this country, and I believe in it deeply. It deserves better leadership than it has now.”
Trudeau humbly accepted the leadership position of the party, saying: “It’s not my leadership that Harper and his party fears, it’s yours.” Trudeau thanked Liberal supporters and Canadians across the country for inspiring him with their determination, and reminded them that “we have won nothing more and nothing less than the opportunity to work even harder.”
Trudeau is right. Winning the Liberal leadership may have been easy, but the road ahead is not so certain. Trudeau and the Liberal Party will have to work hard in the next few years to demonstrate that they are the right choice for the future of the Canadian government.
Here are some reactions seen on Twitter:
It’s official: Justin Trudeau has been elected the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. #lpcldr
— jian ghomeshi (@jianghomeshi) April 14, 2013
2015 can’t come soon enough with Justin Trudeau becoming the new leader of the Liberals. #CDNPOLI
— Amrit (@4MRIT) April 14, 2013
#Trudeau I will not vote for Justin because who his father is.But the quality,trust of candidate.Great character, a core he seems to have!
— Geofan99 (@gfan99) April 14, 2013
Let’s talk about a different Canadian Justin: Trudeau. Exciting news.
— Lara (@purplelara) April 14, 2013
— Taylor Jukes(@TaylorJukes) April 15, 2013
Justin Trudeau is the new leader of Liberal Party as of today. Hope to witness him end this nightmare called conservative government. — Arash (@realArash) April 15, 2013
Glad Justin Trudeau won the Liberal Party leadership because he’s a legit chance to dethrone Harper. But I will continue to vote Green. — Zack Mosley (@zackjmosley) April 15, 2013
Written by Jenna Hussein, a political columnist at Vancity Buzz. Connect with Jenna on Twitter at @jennahussein.
Photos: Adam Scotti