Why Justin Trudeau Won
October 21, 2015
Congratulations to Justin Trudeau, and the Liberal Party of Canada, for winning a Majority Government, on October 20th, 2015!
As the dust settles, I watch the Partisan crowds begin to pull away from each other, once again. There are really just 2 groups reforming, Conservatives and Non-Conservatives.
It was nice when this odd couple briefly came together, to remind friend and foe alike, to ‘VOTE!’
Yet, it seems like an odd mating ritual, occurring once every 4 years, where members of every Political School, swim against their tendency, to talk over opponents.
And instead they merge, in a collective chorus, imploring the public to exercise the luxury of their democracy.
And now the 2 sides are separated again, on the field of battle; for public opinion, and ego.
One side is trying their best not to gloat, and acquiescing to the ‘Democratic Process’, with rhetoric such as ‘the People have spoken’, hoping not to further deflate the Blue Elephant, who has left the room.
And on the other side, I have read few mentions, of the beauty of Democracy. I have read more sanctimonious diatribes, tainted with their judgments, about how we are all now doomed, and our Country is ruined.
But thankfully they remind us to never fear, as all hope is not lost. Eventually the unwashed millions will come to their senses, and the correct party will be in power once more.
These sore losers, were the same ones urging us uncouth savages, to get out there and vote for who we liked, in the first place.
So, I could bore you with all sorts of statistics, graphs, and sound bytes from the Election itself. I don’t really think most of us understand the specific fiscal policies of any of the parties, nor do we really trust the information we are often given.
And there is good reason to feel a bit manipulated, when a deficit is forecast, but weeks before the election, Harper announces a surprise surplus of over 1 billion.
Where did that come from? It is kind of like not seeing an iceberg. And perhaps that is the best comparison to draw, that being the Canadian Election, and the movie, the Titanic.
We already know how it turned out, a rigid and grandiose object was finally broken, by an irresistible force.
Instead, I thought I would break down why Justin Trudeau won, by describing the factors that likely provided that extra push, to the esteemed political shelf of Majority.
If you are looking for a very well written and researched article, specifically about the Harper sinking ship, and why it happened so dramatically, please see Conrad Black’s article, in the link below.
1. Women, The Elderly, Visible Minorities, and Immigrants
Harper’s strategy to create the Niqab ‘controversy’, as well as reference ‘Old Stock’ Canadians, were acts of political suicide worthy of a quick mental health screen, by your friendly neighborhood Psychiatrist.
These last minute desperate acts, or mistakes, alienated many groups of people simultaneously.
And these were not just any ‘groups’, these were the most important ingredients of the Canadian Identity: Women, Visible Minorities, Immigrants, and the Elderly.
Well played, sir!
2. The Harper Haters
The list of Harper Haters deserves its own subcategory.
Scientist and Environmentalists
It is no secret that the Conservative Government has made life more difficult for Scientists, from reducing or completely cutting funding to some projects, like the Experimental Lakes, as well as interfering with Scientific Freedom.
He has also reversed course on many Environmental issues, and in my opinion has failed to take Global Warming as seriously as he should. As a result, our international reputation, as well as Environmental goals have not been attained. This is an easy soapbox to get on, so allow me to step off.
Social Media Memes and Strategic Voters
Social Media is a double edged sword. It can send a message to your friends, just as fast as negative press can be sent to your foes. Clever memes that resonate with today’s younger Internet Generation, particularly with a clear message, are especially effective in influencing opinions.
The ‘Just Not Judy’ campaign, likely had a significant influence on why voters galvanized around Brian Bowman, in the recent Winnipeg Mayoral Election.
Harper attempted to use the internet to his advantage, being photographed with amiable characters, like Nickelback and Wayne Gretzky.
However, this was clearly not enough to fight against the ‘Just Not Harper’ meme, that began to marinate Facebook (with over a billion users) and Twitter (over 300 million users).
Facebook allowed the rapid distribution of strategic ways to ensure the Conservatives would not win seats, in every riding.
The ‘Just Not Harper’ movement climaxed, with John Oliver’s diatribe about the Canadian Election. He made his opinion clear, and at the same time ‘risked jail time’, to denounce Stephen as ‘Fucking Harper’, on the evening just prior to the election itself.
3. The Stoners Voted
It is estimated that 10-15% of Adult Canadians use Marijuana on a recreational basis, with a smaller percentage treating it like a daily hobby.
Stephen Harper had a very clear stance about Marijuana, finding it to be ‘infinitely worse’ than tobacco or alcohol, without providing any clear data.
Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, had much different ideas for this joint. His platform stood on the legalization of Marijuana, which likely mobilized every user of weed, apart from the soon to be out of business, neighborhood grass vender.
4. Celebrity Name Influence
The last name Trudeau, is a legend in Canadian politics. They are our own version of the Kennedys, complete with charismatic kids, wild ways, and various victories.
Justin was raised in our White House, and the associations linger. Name recognition is certainly a factor, as I don’t think either Reagan or Schwarzenegger, had much political experience prior to winning.
5. The “Hey girl” effect
Right now, as you read this, Twitter is exploding with tweets about Justin’s good looks.
This male supermodel effect likely also plays somewhat of a role, as we ascribe many positive traits, including charisma, to what someone’s face looks like.
Nah, nah! Our Prime Minister is better looking than yours!
6. Back To The Future
Now I am not a huge believer in Nostradamus, Jo Jo’s psychic Alliance, rest her soul, or any of that Hoohaw.
However, coincidences are always interesting, and worth pointing out for entertainment value alone.
In the movie series of Back To The Future, the writers described a mythical time that has now arrived, of October 21, 2015.
At the time the first movie came out, a Star Wars movie was being released, the Toronto Blue Jays were in the playoffs, and Trudeau was Prime Minister.
This is 50 Mission Cap league spooky!
In conclusion, I think I agree with Conrad Black on this one; it was time for Stephen, to join those ‘Seeking Other Employment Opportunities’.
Only time will tell, whether our new Prime Minister is the correct person for the job.
But I am glad that I live in a country, that gives me the right to help decide.
Simon Trepel, MD
Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor, at the University Of Manitoba, in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Co-founder of the GDAAY Clinic. He is, more importantly, the proud Father of 2 beautiful Daughters. He writes in his spare time about things he knows something about, and occasionally about things he doesn’t; like Yoga, and Italian flavored coffees. And sometimes politics.
Check out his Blog, called Simon Says Psych Stuff, at