Liberal leadership candidate Marc Garneau has called out Justin Trudeau for not having a platform. Trudeau has said that he is deferring to the Liberal’s policy renewal process.
There is no strong tradition of the leaders of political parties in Canada surrendering control of policy. This promise has all the hallmarks of one that will be ignored after he is elected, like the Conservative’s promise to be accountable.
However it is a very good campaign strategy. The problem with policy is that most people will disagree with at least some of it. If vision was as wonderful a thing as everyone claims, every politician would have one. The best political strategy is to have voters project their own beliefs on to the candidate, that way they’ll get broad support, even from people with contradictory beliefs. Obama was able to achieve this will his Hope and Change campaign.
Trudeau is using the Liberal’s policy renewal process to do the some thing. Most everybody knows that their policies will win out in the process. After all, their own beliefs are clearly the best and most sensible.
Does this mean you should vote for Trudeau? If you think that policy is important you should avoid him and vote for the candidate who you believe will implement the policies you believe in. However if you only care about winning elections, he would be a great choice as he has shown he is willing to do what it takes to win.