Justin Trudeau makes all the "right" moves on Senate reform, energy policy, and marijuana
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has learned that a little flair can take you a long way in politics.
This morning's move to expel all 32 Liberal senators from caucus has taken Ottawa by surprise and put him at the forefront of reforming the upper chamber.
Trudeau has put Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the defensive by challenging him to do the same.
It shows once again that the public can expect the unexpected from the Liberal leader.
He isn't confined by the same hidebound thinking of the previous generation of political leaders.
While NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Harper nattered about abolishing the Senate—a near-impossibility, given the difficulty of amending the constitution—Trudeau showed he was a man of action.
I wonder if he took the idea from this weekend's Cross Country Checkup show on CBC Radio.
Some callers to host Rex Murphy suggested eliminating party affiliation. No doubt some in the Liberal braintrust were listening.
This isn't the first time that Trudeau has grabbed the limelight by doing something unorthodox.
He donned boxing gloves against Sen. Patrick Brazeau to raise money for charity, whipping the then-Conservative's ass.
Trudeau also proposed legalizing marijuana, upping his street cred with libertarian-minded voters as well as those who want easier access to cannabis for medical reasons.
This made the federal New Democrats look like nervous nellies when they didn't follow suit.
Trudeau supported a Chinese government–owned energy company's takeover of Nexen and endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline.
These moves again set him apart from the New Democrats by giving him a more pro-business sheen.
It's clear that Trudeau is calibrating his messages to mop up votes on the right and the left.
He's positioned himself to be wild enough to appeal to the youth. But he's also safe enough not to scare big corporations or the right wingers who dominate political discourse in the mainstream media.
That's usually a path to victory in Canada, a fairly conservative country that doesn't like to view itself this way.