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Canada Just Elected the Millennials’ Dream Candidate

As a country, Canada is often seen as America’s forgotten cousin. But with Canada’s recent election results, America may want to sit up and take notice.

So why should Americans suddenly pay more attention to our neighbor to the north? Because a very liberal leader is moving from the kid’s table to the adult’s. Canada just elected a leader who is capable of doing everything many young Americans want their own leaders to accomplish.

On October 19, the leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, ousted incumbent Conservative leader Stephen Harper in the Canadian Federal Elections.

Here’s the story on Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister:

He is a younger candidate at 43 years old. He is married to a former television journalist Sophie Trudeau with three small children. Think the Kennedys, but Canadian. He is also the eldest son of the only Canadian politician that Americans of a certain age can name: the late Pierre Trudeau, who served as Prime Minister from 1968-1984.

According to the Liberal Party’s official website, Trudeau wants to create a country where all citizens “[have] a shot at success because we have the confidence and leadership to invest in Canadians.”

Trudeau has identified himself as a feminist, promoting equality of opportunity between genders. He has proven this position by appointing his cabinet equally between both genders, with 15 female government ministers out of 30. When asked why he did this, he responded with a simple, “because it’s 2015” (3:00). The current Obama cabinet is composed of 22 members, 16 of which are male and only six are female. In addition, out of the 541 members of Congress, only 100 are women (88 in the House and 20 in the Senate).

He is also pro-choice, wants to increase taxes on the wealthy, reduce taxes on the middle class, and would like to legalize marijuana. Many younger Americans are not only pro-choice, but are in favor of marijuana being legally in all 50 states, not just a few such as Colorado and Washington.

Trudeau has also promised to do something on climate change, a very prominent issue amongst the younger generation. He is attending the UN climate change summit in November and will work with provinces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is in stark contrast to the United States, where it has been exceptionally difficult to get climate change legislation passed.

Younger elected officials are often more in tune with the younger generation and their progressive ideas. Trudeau is no exception to this, as he is liberal on many issues important to people in both Canada and the United States.

Amanda Amorosa and Jocelyn McQuade are juniors at Marist College, originally from Canada. Amorosa is from Montreal and McQuade is from Vancouver. Both girls are happy with the election results.

“I know very little about politics,” Amorosa said, “but I’m happy about Trudeau being elected. I think he’ll do great things.”

For McQuade, Trudeau’s victory is a signal of what young Canadians want in their elections and want for the country.

“He’s young, involved in social media, he supports the legalization of marijuana, he shut down the northern gateway pipeline,” McQuade said. “[He] is actually listening to the information and talking about global warming, and created a gender equal cabinet, which is the most culturally diverse cabinet ever.”

However, while the two are happy about political outcome in their home country, they disagree about what effect it will have in their adopted country.

Trudeau making a speech to his supporters.

Trudeau making a speech to his supporters.

“I don’t think it has much of an impact on the Americans elections [because they are] different countries,” Amorosa said.

This thinking is shared by Dr. Juris Pupcenoks, a professor of political science at Marist College. Pupcenoks believes Trudeau’s election will have a limited impact on the U.S because there are many elements of Canadian culture not implemented in the U.S, such as government-run health care.

“They have some real good things or bad, depends on how you see it, but a lot of things that are different in Canada, American politicians normally don’t reference,” Pupcenoks said. “[The United States] doesn’t like outside influences.”

Although McQuade does believe this election is a signal that “a revolution [is] happening in Canada” because young generations voted, she is unsure of the impact it will have on the U.S. “I think people will probably pay more attention to Canada for the sole reason that our Prime Minister looks like a Disney Prince,” McQuade said. “And maybe it will also cause the younger generations of the U.S to vote and create the same kind of change.”

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