What happened the day AFTER the federal election?

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Groucho Marx defined politics as “the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” Many of the leaders in the recent Canadian federal election might be likely to agree…

I am not a political consultant and this post will not share my political views. But the strength and power of the federal Liberal vote in this week’s federal Canadian election bears comment.

The party went from 36 seats to 184 — making them a majority government. Throughout the campaign, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a stern and aloof position, declaring that the economy was the primary issue and no one else was fit to govern. Particularly not Justin Trudeau, the 43-year-old son of a previous prime minister.

The young Trudeau is a dynamic speech-maker but what struck me most was his behaviour after the election. Following the rigours of a 78-day campaign he might have wanted to sleep in, or put his feet up for an hour, or meet with officials to discuss his new cabinet. But no. What did he do? He went to a local subway station and shook people’s hands. (You can see the video, here.)

Whatever you think of him, Trudeau clearly understands the optics of leading. He campaigned on the value of being upbeat and positive and then he went and did something upbeat and positive to show he was committed to what he’d been talking about.

There’s no guarantee his future decisions will be as sharp. But he sure knows how to create a positive image.

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