• Everything Worth Knowing About Canada’s New Prime Minister

    Justin Trudeau’s victory in the Canadian election Monday night means that Americans will have to understand a new leader north of the border for the first time in almost ten years.

    The victory also means that the electorate of yet another U.S. ally has tilted to the political left. Since the “well coiffed” and “gaffe prone,” as CNN’s Sean Kennedy describes him, Trudeau is bound to have some effect on U.S. politics, The Daily Caller News Foundation has summed up the key facts you need to know about him:

    1. He’s basically a Canadian, liberal George W. Bush.

    Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau, who served as Canada’s prime minister for a total of 15 years in two stints lasting from 1968 to 1984. Trudeau wasn’t just a long-lasting leader, but an important one, who implemented Canada’s policy of official English/French bilingualism to keep Quebec from breaking away, established the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (essentially a Canadian Bill of Rights), and more.

    Justin has naturally benefited tremendously from this family relationship, and his rise to the top of Canadian politics began when he delivered the eulogy at his father’s state funeral in 2000.

    2. He otherwise has very few accomplishments.

    Trudeau’s family connection are fortuitous, because he otherwise hasn’t done much to distinguish himself. He has had an eclectic (some would say aimless) career: He only finished college in his late 20s (interrupting his education for a year-long trip around the world with friends), then spent three years as a high school teacher in math, French, and drama. He tried his hand at engineering grad school, but dropped out after a year, then spent a year studying for a masters in environmental geography before dropping out of that as well to run for Parliament.

    After winning a seat in 2008, Trudeau’s first leadership post was as the Liberal Party’s opposition critic on the issue of multiculturalism and youth, later shifting to the similar role as critic for youth, citizenship, and immigration. But after the Liberals suffered a crushing defeat in the 2011 election, forcing party leader Michael Ignatieff to resign, Trudeau’s star rapidly rose, since he offered a youthful new face that could hopefully revitalize the party.

    3. He really, really likes boxing.

    Trudeau is a boxing fan, and is so into it that he entered the ring in 2012 to face off against Conservative Patrick Brazeau to raise money for cancer research. Trudeau was a big underdog in the fight but won on a TKO, and since then the fight has served as a powerful metaphor for his overall political career. It’s not a stretch to say the fight may even have helped propel him to victory in the Liberal leadership race, which came less than a year later.

    4. He also really, really likes abortion.

    In 2014, Trudeau decided to lurch the Liberals leftward by making abortion a litmus test for party membership. From now on, those opposed to abortion are not allowed to run for office as Liberals, unless they already hold office.

    “This is a matter of rights, and Canadians need to know that when they vote Liberal, they will get a representative who supports and defends women’s rights,” Trudeau said at the time. The decision wasn’t a symbolic one, as the Liberal Party actually has a respectable number of anti-abortion members.

    Canada is notable for having no restrictions whatsoever on abortion, meaning abortions can be performed up until birth (while late-term abortions can be hard to get, they aren’t illegal). Only North Korea and China are as liberal on abortion.

    5. He had to defeat his dad’s old lover to become party leader.

    The Liberal leadership race was an intriguing family affair. Among the various contenders Trudeau had to defeat was Deborah Coyne, whose main claim to fame is that she was Pierre Trudeau’s secret lover in the years after he divorced Justin’s mother, despite being about half his age. Trudeau even had a daughter with her despite being over 70, sparking a minor sensation in Canada when the news came out.

    After losing to Trudeau, Coyne decided she’d been spurned by Liberals enough in her life and defected to Canada’s Green Party.

    6. He has expressed admiration for China’s “basic dictatorship.”

    During a 2013 fundraiser, Trudeau was asked what nation’s administration he most admired. He raised eyebrows by choosing China, which he praised for using dictatorial powers to implement new environmental policies.

    “There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say we need to go green, we need to start, you know, investing in solar,” Trudeau said at the time.

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]

    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]

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