Cue the music please ..
Pierre Trudeau was Canada’s Prime Minister when the first Rocky movie was released in 1976. We don’t remember Trudeau as a boxer, but I’m betting that he did step into more than the political ring during his adventurous journey on this planet.
The famous pirouette behind the Queen in London, 1977
His number one son Justin had just turned five when that movie hit the big screen and made Sly Stallone into a superstar. Do you think Pierre might have donned a disguise and taken young Justin to the movies? How else can you explain his determination and discipline to become a celebrity boxer in our nation’s capital? Justin is now 40 years old and a Liberal Member of Parliament. Saturday night in Ottawa he easily disposed of Senator Patrick Brazeau in the climax of a charity effort for cancer called Fight For the Cure.
The fight only lasted three rounds, but there was little doubt that Trudeau was the better boxer. In the days leading up to the fight, many pundits had suggested that if Justin were smart, he should get out of town rather than be embarrassed by tough guy Brazeau. If ever anyone deserved to hear the Rocky theme played when he enters a public place, it has to be Justin. Like Rocky Balboa in the movie, Brazeau is suggesting that he wants a rematch, but Trudeau may not have time.
He must be turning his thoughts towards stepping into the battle with Bob Rae to lead the Liberals. Such talk was first heard a dozen years ago when Justin gave that amazing eulogy at Papa’s funeral.
He was 28 at the time, and he almost sounded convincing when he swore that he was NOT interested in a political career. In 2008, he took the plunge and got elected as the Honourable Member for the Montreal riding of Papineau. But it has not been an easy course for him, especially within the Liberal party. His father was a very polarizing figure in Canadian history, and it’s never easy for any person to emerge from living in such a formidable shadow. Justin has managed to make enemies of his own with his scrappy style in parliament, but the Liberals desperately need a winner as they try to rebuild from their lowest ebb since Confederation.
Bob Rae has been very impressive in his role as the party’s interim leader, but it’s doubtful that he will ever be able to rid himself of the baggage that resulted from his five years as the NDP Premier of Ontario. He is also 63, a year younger than yours truly by the way.
If Justin Trudeau puts his mind to it, like he did when it came to training as a boxer, he may well become the second Trudeau to lead the Liberal Party of Canada.
writer, broadcaster, storyteller, wordsmith
Regina and Winnipeg