This is an edited excerpt of an editorial this week in the Edmonton Journal: For someone who grew up in the public eye, Justin Trudeau demonstrates a shockingly bad appreciation of political optics at times. If the federal Liberal leader hopes to build upon his party's still largely unaccountable surge in the polls, he will need to undergo some dramatic growth of his own, both in tactical acuity and in his ability to communicate a credible and unifying vision for this country. The us-versus-them tenor of his comments on the weekend in defending Quebec's weighted Senate advantage over the West shows just how far he has to go. In an article that appeared in Montreal's La Presse on Saturday, Trudeau rejected calls by the federal NDP to abolish the unelected upper chamber in the unambiguous language of a loyal Quebecer. "We have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta and six from British Columbia. That's to our advantage," Trudeau said. It's an attack ad that writes itself. Long-suffering Grits in this province must have been left, once again, holding their heads. Is there any question why the Liberals have only four MPs in the West? Yet that Liberal brand is in ascendance and the midterm Conservatives appear listless and in perpetual damage control. It is all the more confounding then that Trudeau would make himself the target of the deep public cynicism that Stephen Harper is so keen to deflect from the Senate soap opera. But he has clearly done so. The freshly minted Liberal leader got a pass last month when his musings following the Boston bombings were spun and misquoted by the Harper partisans. He has earned rightful praise for his temperate and good-natured handling of the Conservative attack ads unleashed soon after his victory. But there is nothing prime ministerial about pitting regions against each other.
What have I been saying Justin Trudeau? STFU. Please.
The stakes are too high.