LDVideo: The first day in office of a Liberal Prime Minister

This is not the stuff of far flung fantasy. This actually happened, this week, in Canada, to a Liberal Party that’s fought its way back from devastating election defeats.

Here are two things that you should watch and take heart from.

First of all, a 24 minute behind the scenes video filmed by CBC of Justin Trudeau’s first day in office. In parts it has the feel of an episode of The West Wing, but our absolute favourite moment is when he puts down the reporter for being disparaging about the Cabinet travelling on a bus, reminding him that this is how many Canadians get to work. Enjoy.

Secondly, his great response when asked why he’d produced a gender balanced Cabinet. “Because it’s 2015.” By half way through the second decade of the 21st century, you would expect equality and it’s great that he (and Nicola Sturgeon) have set such good examples while remembering that Nick Clegg couldn’t even put one woman in the UK Cabinet when he had the chance.

Trudeau succeeded with a strong message of reform and of being on the side of ordinary people combined with a well-targeted, well-funded ground campaign that captured the national mood. There is much that we can learn from him.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Paul Pettinger 7th Nov '15 - 2:46pm

    Justin Trudeau. Men want to be with him; women want to be him.

  • Ruth Bright 7th Nov '15 - 2:54pm

    Paul Pettinger – you aren’t a member in Southwark by any chance?!

  • Antony Hook Antony Hook 7th Nov '15 - 4:24pm

    I was travelling in Canada in 2002, when the last but one Liberal PM was in power, Jean Cretien. I was inspired by what I read in the Canadian newspapers and thought “this is the kind of party of government the UK could and should have.”

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Nov '15 - 4:59pm

    I think he succeeded with the Obama strategy of giving his base enough to be happy with whilst also appealing to the centre.

    Miliband tried this approach, but it failed, probably because he went on economic policy. Obama and Trudeau have emphasised the less controversial social liberal reforms in order to keep their base happy.

    There does appear to be some grassroots anger in Canada at Trudeau’s foreign policy though. I’ve engaged with a few who basically think pulling out of the ISIL coalition in Iraq and ditching the orders for new military aircraft is an embarrassment to Canada.

  • Mick Taylor 7th Nov '15 - 8:09pm

    Come on Eddie.
    He made the policy intend crystal clear throughout the campaign and the Liberals are right. When will you and others like you start to realise that involvement in the Middle East by Western armed forces is what is fuelling ISIL? If we want peace, however distasteful you may find it, all the parties have to sit down together and negotiate peace. You can’t bomb people to the negotiating table.

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Nov '15 - 8:20pm

    Hi Mick, I just don’t believe in abandoning allies in extreme danger. Trudeau wants to help financially, but that approach didn’t help David Haines.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 7th Nov '15 - 10:50pm


    Interestingly enough, the Liberal Party of Canada has traditionally run from the centre-left and governed somewhat more to the centre-right. But I do know, from my contacts with Canada, that a great many Canadians felt that their place in the world as a generally trusted player in international politics had been lost under the Harper administrations. And, if you’re a Canadian of a more left-wing persuasion, there’s always the New Democratic Party.

    The Canadians have no allies in the Middle East to defend, and quite possibly, they find themselves wondering if our intervention has only made matters worse. There are no prospects of a democratic solution in Syria any time soon, and with the Iranians and the Saudis fighting a proxy war over the area, the Turks attempting to keep the Kurds down and the Russians attempting to prop up the Assad regime whilst the Americans and others attempt to pull it down, perhaps sitting this one out is the best idea for the time being. Alternatively, someone has to lead the effort to bring all of the players to the negotiating table, and why not the Canadians?

  • Eddie Sammon 8th Nov '15 - 12:00pm

    Mark, you raise an interesting point about there being “no prospects of a democratic solution in Syria any time soon”. This may be true, partly because the Syrian government is recognised as legitimate by UN members and this is the point that Vladimir Putin is banging on about. When Putin wants to lecture about morals this is the point he raises and says if everyone abided by this principle then we wouldn’t have had Iraq or Libya as it is today.

    I don’t believe that authority comes from the UN rather than the local electorate, but it is the main sticking point between the Russia and the West. Although when it comes to Ukraine Putin casts this principle aside, saying the Americans started it.

    I’ve got more reading to do on the topic, but I think Cllr Mark is also right by saying some people just can’t be negotiated with. Although, another interesting point I’ve read was someone saying air conditioning is a life and death matter in Iraq and the previous government not providing enough of it has contributed to the conflict:


  • He may be a liberal but in this country could be considered more conservative than the conservatives. He pledged to increase tax for the ‘rich’ . However he would increase it to only 33% (compare that to here). And as for IHT which there is NO such tax over their and nor is he saying he will introduce one (compare that to the ping pong debate about the issue here

  • Eddie
    A comment from a Canadian relative.
    “I think we were voting one out rather than one in.”
    One of my uncles who served in the British Army during WW2 in Iraq
    told me they sat in tents during the day time it was so hot.
    The heat is lethal as I know from my own spell in the Gulf, 50C in the summer.

  • Paul Pettinger 11th Nov '15 - 1:08am

    I am in Westminster Ruth, so not far, but I don’ think we’ve met.

    A cult of personality is highly undesirable, but Justin Trudeau’s self deprecation goes a long way!

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