Justin Trudeau is still energetic after four years in office, as he steps in front of his followers in Vancouver these days. Rolling up his sleeves, the Prime Minister storms onto the stage shaking hands and waving to the crowd. From official fatigue shows the 47-year-old no trace. A few hours earlier, Trudeau had asked the Governor-General for the dissolution of parliament, paving the way for new elections on October 21. Trudeau has been ruling Canada for four years. Now he is fighting for his re-election. In Vancouver he completes his first campaign appearance. "We came here to start with a bang," Trudeau calls into the crowd, reaping thunderous applause.
The enthusiasm of his followers still seems to be as unclouded as in 2015, when Trudeau was selected as a newcomer to the Prime Minister of the second largest country in the world in terms of area. The son of longtime Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had initially kept aloof from politics for a long time. Then he succeeded within a few years until the party chairmanship of the Liberals to take over and despite initially weak polls of his party in 2015 to be elected Prime Minister. The Liberals made a huge jump from 36 to 184 seats under Trudeau in the Canadian lower house.
Young, smart and in a good mood, the then 43-year-old looked. After ten years of conservative government policy, Trudeau was able to skilfully use the yearning for change for his election campaign, and above all tried to convince with left-wing identity politics. He publicly positioned himself as a feminist and vowed to work for the rights of the Native Americans. The plan worked.
Counterpoint to the growing right-wing populism
Shortly after Trudeau's inauguration, the liberal system of values in the Western world was shaken only by Brexit and then by the election of Donald Trump. Suddenly, like the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trudeau was one of the few antipodes to the growing right-wing populism.
Contrary to the trend, Canada had opted for a more socially open head of government. And while Trump wanted to prevent people from several Islamic countries from entering the United States at the beginning of 2017, Trudeau made a point of being refugee-friendly. "Canadians will welcome everyone fleeing persecution, war and terror, regardless of their faith," Trudeau tweeted at the end of January 2017. "Diversity is our strength."
However, the public promotion of social inclusion also increased the demands on Trudeau's governance - which the Prime Minister did not always live up to. In the spring he made it difficult for refugees to apply for asylum if they had already sought asylum in a country classified as safe. In addition, the Liberals voted for a higher budget for border security. An important campaign promise Trudeau also did not solve. In the election campaign he had announced an electoral reform - and then dropped the plan.
In addition to the political changes in the course of the course, easily avoidable missteps also clouded Trudeau's public image. At the end of 2016, the Premier was on the private island of billionaire Aga Khan. A parliamentary report then stated that the private vacation had represented a conflict of interest. During a visit to India in early 2018, Trudeau had his family photographed in traditional Indian clothing, which was richly clichéd. It seemed as if Trudeau's commitment to cosmopolitanism was a bit too much.
In the upcoming parliamentary election, however, Trudeau is likely to become politically dangerous, above all, the affair surrounding the Canadian construction company SNC-Lavalin. The company is based in Trudeau's home province of Quebec. The Canadian authorities are investigating the company for allegedly bribing the Libyan government under Muammar al-Gaddafi for years to obtain works contracts. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was a member of the government responsible for the investigation. In January, Trudeau dismissed Wilson-Raybould unexpectedly from the government. Shortly thereafter, she even had to leave the party.