Of the three ways that an aspiring politician can show leadership (Policy, Politics, Personality) the most powerful way is through personality. This Liberal leadership campaign shows this in spades.
For the most part, the party has a bunch of candidates who are genuinely likeable people. But only one of them is really loveable and of course, that’s Justin. Whether it’s because we’ve known him since he was a kid, watched him grow up, love his hair, his name or whatever, he has absolute star power.
And this is what people fundamentally want in a leader. They want an emotional connection with their leader. This works in business, sports, entertainment and certainly in politics. People crave that emotional connection.
When the emotional connection isn’t strong then they’ll make a decision between policy and politics but when the emotions are there, the other two don’t matter. Think back to Martin, Dion, and Ignatieff. No emotional connection there. What we have in Trudeau though is two out of three, a potential leader who is good at politics and who has a magnetic personality. He may yet surprise us with real policies but for now, two out of three ain’t bad.
Every now and then we get a leader who has all three, Policies, Politics, and Personality but that is rare. You can think to John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and yes, maybe even Pierre Trudeau. Since these are rare, if you have to find two out of three, Personality and Politics are the two to go for. As a leader, you can always surround yourself with others who can generate policies.