Common Ground

by Justin Trudeau

Common Ground CoverIf you’re Canadian and have access to the internet or television, you’re probably familiar with the laughably bad attack ad against Justin Trudeau that the Harper Conservatives have been airing for quite some time now. The unfortunate reality is that, while I say it’s laughably bad, people always spout that line when I bring up politics in this country. You know the one: “Nice hair, though.” I know Trudeau’s gaffes haven’t helped his situation, but I wish more people would read his memoir before allowing the ad to too greatly shape their judgment of his character.

Common Ground provides an interesting comparison to Strength of Conviction, Tom Mulcair’s memoir that came out more recently. Both are quite similar in structure and, presumably, purpose, the purpose being to portray their respective author in a glowing light, as competent, and also as someone like you and me. The biggest thing that differentiates the two is the writing prowess displayed by Trudeau. Yes, like Mulcair, Trudeau attempts to appeal for the reader’s love of Canada and dissatisfaction with the current government, but he largely succeeds at appearing thoughtful and capable in the process. The biggest criticism I will throw at Common Ground is the inclusion of select speeches at the end; Trudeau’s unfortunate repetition glares at the reader when common phrases are positioned so close together. It is true that there was quite a bit of repetition in the memoir itself, but it acted as a cohesive force earlier on, and wasn’t harmful until we truly saw how popular a select few phrases were with Trudeau. (The memoir was strong because of this repetition, not in spite of it, to phrase it in a way the author may appreciate.)

If Liberal policy appeals to you, perhaps Mr. Harper’s portrayal of Trudeau shouldn’t scare you away from his party. Common Ground convinced me of his worth; perhaps it will help you to come to a difficult, but informed, decision in the October election.