Grits trot out Chrétien and Trudeau to remind GTA that the Liberal Party used to be cool

Grits trot out Chrétien and Trudeau to remind GTA that the Liberal Party used to be cool

In this election campaign, some things are a lot easier for the Conservatives than for the Liberals—not the least of which being that they don’t have to worry about surrounding Harper with previous Tory prime ministers for campaign help. Brian Mulroney is still thought to be radioactive, and Joe Clark was last seen urging people to vote Liberal. The Grits have no doubt been debating whether to let Michael Ignatieff stand on his own or be surrounded by former Liberal champions. This week’s news suggests they’ve decided on the latter. Hot on the heels of a Paul Martin appearance in B.C., the Liberals will be bringing out the p’tit gars de Shawinigan himself, Jean Chrétien.

From a Liberal press release:

“The Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien’s lifetime of achievement through 40 years of public service embodies the best that Canada has to offer: bilingualism and multiculturalism, compassion and fiscal responsibility, and strong relationships with other nations,” said Mr. Ignatieff.  “I am honoured to have Mr. Chrétien lend his voice to our campaign as we reach out to Canadians about our plan to strengthen Canada’s public health care system, reversing five years of disengagement under the Harper government.”

Chrétien, the last Liberal leader to increase his party’s seat count in the Commons, will tour with Ignatieff throughout the Greater Toronto Area after he gets back from lunching with the Queen of England, because that’s what life is like when the words “Right Honourable” get added to your name.

Another reminder of a time when Liberals ruled the land has been bumping around the GTA as well: Justin Trudeau has been lending the family name to embattled Liberals throughout the city, such as Ruby Dhalla in Brampton-Springdale. The doe-eyed politician is less notable than Chrétien (he was a just Liberal MP before voting himself out of a job on March 25th), but Big Red is clearly hoping his surname still holds some magic.

If none of this works, maybe the next election can happen during the zombie apocalypse, and the reanimated corpse of Wilfrid Laurier can run against Olivia Chow in Trinity-Spadina. He’d have at least as good a shot as this guy.

• Jean Chrétien offers the Queen an election update [Globe and Mail]
• Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to join Michael Ignatieff on the campaign trail []
• Trudeau to the rescue: Justin in GTA to campaign in hotly contested ridings [Toronto Star]

(Image: Chrétien, Michael Ignatieff; Trudeau, Mohammad Jangda)