His defeat reminds us that the cult of personality quite often leads to the ignominious personal pratfall.
Harper’s personality gave his government a misanthropic face, a general air of contempt for any co-operative venture and an evident distaste for foreigners. I believe it was this disapproving face that was slapped on Oct. 19. And I think it was largely his own personal style that nudged us over to the Liberal side.
On the other hand, Justin Trudeau attracted us with his more cheerful and tolerant face, with his air of youthful energy and willingness to listen.
But he, and we, must take care not to indulge in another cult of personality. Trudeau has a strong personality, and it would be easy to depend too heavily upon his photogenic appeal, and hope to succeed on that alone.
He must get to work quickly to demolish some of Harper’s more outrageous policies and replace them with the more friendly plans he has been promising.
It may be that he will share power more freely than his predecessor was inclined to do, and allow his Liberal government to become our Liberal government.
He seems to be a nice man, and if he can keep on being nice through all the difficult international negotiations and the grim face-offs on Parliament Hill, he may survive long enough to infect others with some of his charisma and enthusiasm.
I wish him the best of luck.