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CANA­DIAN PM JUSTIN TRUDEAU’S MEM­OIR COM­MON GROUND ADDS DEPTH AND CON­TEXT TO THE WORLD’S MOST PHO­TO­GENIC WORLD LEADER.

Men's Style (Australia) - - Contents -

Justin Trudeau and three new re­leases

Re­leased a year be­fore he be­came the 23rd Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter in Novem­ber 2015, Justin Trudeau’s mem­oir-man­i­festo Com­mon Ground is be­ing re-re­leased in Aus­tralia in March to cap­i­talise, pre­sum­ably, on in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est in the po­lit­i­cal leader with the mati­nee idol looks.

The son of one of Canada’s most fa­mous Prime Min­is­ters, Pierre, who led the coun­try for more than a decade, 45-year-old Justin has made a sim­i­larly dy­namic start to his time in of­fice via a pro­gres­sive em­brace of mi­grants, LGBTQ peo­ple, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and var­i­ous other so­cial poli­cies.

The elec­tion of Don­ald Trump as Pres­i­dent of Canada’s larger neigh­bour to the south has sud­denly thrown Trudeau’s lead­er­ship into stark con­trast – younger, sm­i­lier, more pro­gres­sive, more open – which makes him an even more fas­ci­nat­ing fig­ure for po­lit­i­cal junkies.

Com­mon Ground served not only to de­fine his be­liefs and prin­ci­ples as he pre­pared for the pos­si­bil­ity of the top job, but also as a “getto-know” ex­er­cise for the Cana­dian peo­ple. Trudeau had worked pri­mar­ily as a teacher in Van­cou­ver, as well as study­ing and work­ing for en­vi­ron­men­tal causes, be­fore he en­tered Fed­eral pol­i­tics in 2008. Cana­di­ans knew him from the eu­logy he’d de­liv­ered at this fa­ther’s fu­neral in 2000, but not well.

Com­mon Ground let them in, with Trudeau re­call­ing his days grow­ing up in priv­i­leged sur­round­ings with a se­cu­rity de­tail, be­ing the son of a Prime Min­is­ter. He talks can­didly and hon­estly about his mother Mar­garet’s bipo­lar dis­ease, con­sid­ered a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in her di­vorce from his fa­ther Pierre, and the ski­i­ing death of his then 23-yearold younger brother Michel, whose body was never found. He re­veals his fa­ther was “never the same” af­ter Michel’s death.

Trudeau’s vic­tory in the 2015 elec­tion was as much a tri­umph of his per­sonal ap­peal (and name recog­ni­tion) amongst Cana­di­ans as any­thing. In win­ning, he had taken the coun­try’s Lib­eral Party from a dis­tant third in opin­ion pol­lls, hold­ing 36 seats in the old Par­lia­ment, to 184 seats in the new Par­lia­ment – the largest nu­mer­i­cal turn­around by a po­lit­i­cal party in Cana­dian his­tory.

In Com­mon Ground Trudeau re­veals that be­fore he de­cided to run for the party lead­er­ship in 2013, he had a meet­ing with se­nior party fig­ures and ad­vis­ers where he put into ef­fect the lead­er­ship style he’d learnt while trav­el­ling with his fa­ther on of­fi­cial vis­its as a child.

“The most valu­able part of these trips with my fa­ther was the chance to watch how he made de­ci­sions. He was al­ways ask­ing ques­tions and chal­leng­ing peo­ple around him about their opin­ions.

“Any de­ci­sion made by my fa­ther was the re­sult of a process that had in­volved many voices, and which some­times had taken weeks or months...”

The com­bi­na­tion of per­sonal anec­dotes, pri­vate pho­tos and the po­lit­i­cal be­liefs from one of the world’s most watch­able young lead­ers makes Com­mon Ground an en­gross­ing read, whether you have any in­ter­est in Cana­dian do­mes­tic pol­i­tics or not.

COM­MON GROUND, BY JUSTIN TRUDEAU Oneworld, $34.99

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