Print Edition: June 3, 2015
OTTAWA — It’s hard to believe now, in the future, but the summer of ‘15 was fraught with indecision.
“As I recall it,” begins campaign volunteer Maurice Blanchot, “it was a time of crisis. We knew Justin was great, but we weren’t everyone. We sat in a room on a hot summer evening and saw the next few months flash by: us, staring at a computer screen, powerless, with a three-way tie. Luckily, Justin was there.”
Trudeau re-branded the Liberal party overnight. “It was past four in the morning, and he didn’t tip a cent. They were all holed up, shouting slogans, sending ridiculous demands to the kitchen,” Jean-Paul Curnier, a member of the hotel staff, says in an exclusive interview. “But then I thought — isn’t it I, and all Canadians, who will be in debt to Justin?”
Trudeau’s plans were mocked on social media, in newsrooms, and in the columns of pundits across the country; after registering new domains, and ordering new t-shirts and pins, the plans were irreversible. Justin Trudeau was now the leader of the Not That Liberal party.
“A pathetic centrist gesture, as awkwardly worded as it is a sadly accurate descriptor of his celebrity wishy-washiness,” wrote Joe Randall in the Gazette.
Poll numbers plummeted, people forgot, and the news cycle turned to a two-horse race — but then, after a few local broadcasts and several Twitter commentators abbreviated the name, Trudeau’s hidden mastery was revealed!
“The NTL party has enjoyed an unexpected resurgence, and who can say this is not the way Trudeau wanted it in the first place?” asked J.J. Hunsecker in the Globe, before cataloguing the rich artistry of the now-fashionable party.
“Trudeau may be out of step, but a truly NTL party, one of patriotism, history, and success, is the step Canada needs to take to truly define itself in this increasingly muddled time we live in: like the colours in autumn, so bright,” Hunsecker concluded, “burning red.”
Coupled with Trudeau’s connection to the youth of the country, ready to follow the Boomer generation to disappointment and compromised politics, the faded blue and rusty orange of his rivals slipped out of the conversation.
“My generation is tired of being left out. They have ideals and ideas that are going to change this country, and I am the person who can speak for them. Think about it. My hair’s still black,” he humbly offered during the penultimate Question Period of the 41st Parliament. “You’re 40!” screamed an unnamed house member from the other side.
“Canadians recognized what I meant,” Trudeau said, lit from within, as only young blood can be. “Some people asked about my age, some didn’t. I might have answered once or twice. I’m really in my 30s, if you don’t count the leap years. It wasn’t a problem during the campaign. I read a book earlier this year too: The Hungry Games. I know what the kids want. People talk to me, but nothing ever hits home. People talk to me, and all the voices just burn holes.”
The NTL party’s 212 seats is the most ever in Canadian history, which some pundits, who covered the election with grace and non-partisan insight, attribute in part to how Trudeau kept promises to a minimum during his campaign. There was, however, one minor controversy back in August three months from now: Trudeau as a student, shown in a shaky 240p Youtube video, holding court in a bar or dormitory, decrying the party system in Canadian politics.
“It reduces us to sporting enthusiasts, restricts dialogue! But no one elected by a system will seek to radically change it, even if that kind of change is needed to get anywhere close to what we might call a ‘democracy,’” he said, aggressively air-quoting.
After the video was removed, some suggested it was a fraud, and that the blurry Trudeau-shaped figure was an actor. NTL aide Alfredo Bandelli addressed our questions.
“We take all ideas that have support in the Canadian political sphere seriously, and the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau — that’s so cool that we call him that now — well, he’s not going to be swayed by financial influence or self-motivated bias, except his own. But don’t quote me on that; we’re celebrating tonight.”
October 20, 2015