Wednesday 23 August 2017

Comment: Is Justin Trudeau the man everyone wants to be?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau are greeted by Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers at Dublin Airport. Photo: Arthur Carron
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau are greeted by Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers at Dublin Airport. Photo: Arthur Carron
Jane Last

Jane Last

Justin Trudeau. Just the mere mention of his name will prompt a collective snort of derision from my male colleagues.

Why? Because the Canadian prime minister appears to be, well, the perfect man.

We have all read the stories and have definitely seen the images; the family dynasty; his love for his wife Sophie and their three young children; the pictures of him kayaking, surfing, posing with a couple of high school kids or a newly-wed couple as he's jogging shirtless on a beach.

He has a tattoo, practises yoga and boxes - what a guy!

Politicians are never meant to look this effortlessly good - especially a leader. He makes politics look glamorous - and anybody standing next to him basks in his glow.

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny appeared tickled by him when he visited Canada in May - and there's no doubt Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be equally charmed.

I mean he has had most world leaders eating out of the palm of his hand.

Trudeau even managed to charm Donald Trump when he visited the White House in February - and daughter Ivanka appeared smitten when she was sat beside him.

Read More: Protests grow over new EU trade deal as Trudeau arrives

Barack Obama and Donald Trump aside, no other world leader has appeared so often on the world's top showbiz site TMZ.

Pictures of him marching during Pride, or charming Charles and Camilla during last week's Canada Day festivities graced millions of sites and publications around the world.

He's the kind of guy everyone wants to hang out with.

I've no doubt that Trudeau is stage managed to within an inch of his life - but look at who we have on the world stage. Donald Trump? Vladimir Putin? Kim Jong Un? Isn't it just nice to have someone like Trudeau up there?

But don't dismiss Trudeau as just a pretty face - he has some seriously hard work to do.

Ireland is the first stop of his major EU charm offensive.

Behind the show, Trudeau needs support for the Canadian EU Trade deal (CETA) ratified in Brussels last February.

Now the deal is set to go to each parliament in the EU's 27 member countries for more votes. It could take years to fully ratify - and just one vote against it by any of the EU's parliaments could set the agreement back years.

So Trudeau needs Ireland - and with a face like that, how could we possibly say no?

Irish Independent

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