Or, why we like politicians more the farther they are from power.
By Crawford Kilian and Kai Nagata. This article originally appeared on The Tyee.
Kai: I got the news over Twitter a few weeks ago that Justin Trudeau had TKO’d Patrick Brazeau in their charity boxing match in Ottawa. A strange sensation welled up in my shrivelled heart, singed by service as a legislative reporter. It felt like affection, but for a politician?
Getting home, I fired up the Sun News site (best 16 minutes of Sun programming ever, I will happily admit) and watched Trudeau pound the cocky Conservative senator into bloody submission. Yes, it was affection. Affection for the silver-spoon son of a prime minister who alienated Western Canada and sent tanks into the streets of Montreal. Affection for a guy who earns more than $150K a year for wearing a suit and mouthing empty platitudes.
So Crawford, what’s the deal? Am I crazy?
Crawford: No, but we need a 12-step program for your condition… which I share.
Kai: You too? I don’t know, it seems like a pretty harmless affliction. I mean, how much farther could Trudeau be from power? The Liberal party looks like it’s caught in the Death Star’s trash compactor. Luke, I mean Justin, has ruled out even running for the party leadership. As Michael Den Tandt astutely pointed out heading into that boxing match, Trudeau really had nothing to lose.
Contrast that with Stephen Harper. Doesn’t make eye contact. Shakes hands with his own kids. Pauses his speech if the teleprompter stops working. Makes a 10-year-old sing his favourite song first — not hers — for a campaign photo-op. The last time he might have pulled off “harmless nerd” was during his Reform Party days.
Crawford: And he single-handedly refutes Henry Kissinger’s adage that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.