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article imageOp-Ed: Charisma and the politics of Canada's Justin Trudeau

By Gibril Koroma     Feb 17, 2013 in Politics
A lot has been said about Justin Trudeau and the current Liberal Party leadership race but I would like to humbly submit that Justin will be the next Liberal Party leader because his opponents are not as charismatic as he is.
Charisma is not just about a pleasant personality and the ability to reach out to people. It is not only about one's social background (although that helps). It is about empathy, the ability to embrace and interact with others, soul to soul. Justin's father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, had this power and Justin obviously has it too. It is a very difficult power to explain but I will try.
The first thing you will notice about Justin is that ever-present smile. I have never seen him lose it even when he is criticizing the Conservatives on and off Parliament Hill. He was even smiling when he was beating former Conservative (now Independent) senator Patrick Brazeau in the boxing ring! This ability to smile and remain charming in all circumstances is one of the qualities of all charismatic people.
Think of Barack Obama the US President. Can you think of any other Canadian politician that smiles all the time? Business people usually tell their employees to smile and be pleasant to their customers although most of these employers do not do it themselves. Do you know why? It's because the hardest thing to do. But Justin does it effortlessly. Watch the videos of the Liberal debates so far.
Another thing to take note of about Justin is the humility. Most people from rich and powerful families tend to be arrogant, narcissistic and totally unpleasant to people they think are below them in terms of social position, but Justin is not like that at all. If you don't know him and meet him for the first time you would think he comes from a family of farmers or something like that. Jean Chretien, "the little guy from Shawinigan," another person of charisma, has that quality too. Justin will put you at ease immediately; you shake his hand and the rest will be a smooth flow of conversation. It will never occur to you that you are in the presence of a former Canadian Prime Minister's son.
Finally, Justin just wants to help others. He could have stayed out of politics and live a life of bliss like so many people with his type of family background but he has decided to get into the turbulent and often frustrating world of politics to do what he believes in: Service to his country, his compatriots and the rest of the world.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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