In my lifetime I have really only known two Prime Ministers: Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper. With that in mind, it is easy to understand why many believe that Justin Trudeau represents a seismic shift in what it means to be Prime Minister (substantively and aesthetically). Whether you voted for him or not, all would agree that there is palpable excitement surrounding what the future holds.
Canadians, for the first time in a decade, are excited about being Canadian. I suspect this to be true even for Conservative supporters, who in their heart-of-hearts would not describe the outgoing Prime Minister as an inspiring character.
Those who are concerned with Trudeau’s relative inexperience should be reminded of the fact that a brigade of experienced advisors will be flanking our Prime Minister through his time in office (as is the case for every Prime Minister).
This is the point of our departure; If Canadian laws are ultimately developed and drafted by technocrats, what meaning is there in the role of the Prime Minister? Naturally, Trudeau will have to absorb the seemingly endless, and sometimes conflicting, waves of data that come crashing into his office every morning.
He will need to assess which advisors to listen to, and when to listen to them. It will be the intangibles, however, that can make or break Trudeau’s legacy.