View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – The Bar Has Been Set by Justin Trudeau

View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – The Bar Has Been Set by Justin Trudeau

Dr. EvilCFN – Conservative and NDP fundraisers must be patting themselves on the back today and thanking Justin Trudeau for their good fortune.

With Trudeau’s pronouncement that he plans on winning a 170 seats and a majority in the next election, the fundraising letters to NDP and Conservative supporters almost write themselves.

Nothing rallies an organization and its supporters more than an opponent announcing in advance that he plans on beating your team. Such an announcement generates new enthusiasm in the ranks to make sure that doesn’t happen and I expect quite a few dollars into the other party’s bank accounts.

Admittedly no one campaigns to come in second or even third like the Liberals did last time. But plenty of voters will think it a little arrogant and over confident for a new leader to announce this early in the game that while he only has 37 MPs now, he will win at least 170 seats and form a majority government after the next election.

Trudeau hasn’t even announced his policy platform yet. Voters haven’t had the opportunity to look at his platform, nor to weigh what they like or dislike about it.

Good looks and a charming smile aren’t the only things that win elections. It reminds me of the ad “Where is the beef?” in this case the policies to back up the charisma and over-blown confidence.  This is the same over-blown confidence that predicted 600 supporters at a rally, when they could barely muster 300 for their leader. That doesn’t say much about their on the ground organization if that is the best they could do.

Trudeau has gone on the record now and set a very high bar for himself to which he will be held by the Conservatives, NDP, media and the voting public. To succeed he has to reach at least 170 seats, anything less amounts to failure.

Believing in your own rhetoric can be a dangerous thing for a politician. Sometimes it is better to be a little more humble in public and not walk into the trap of making announcements that may come back to bite you.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for Cenco Public Affairs  in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

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