Trudeau rules out running for Liberal leadership
Published Friday, October 14, 2011 8:46PM EDT
The Liberals are in need of a new leader, but Quebec MP Justin Trudeau says it won't be him, at least for now.
Trudeau, one of the few household names left in the Liberal party, told CTV's National Affairs he won't be running for party leader at the next convention, expected in 2013.
The father of two children, aged two and four, said he wants to focus on the grassroots of his party and not on leadership.
"We've spent too much time talking about leadership, too much time over the past decade focused on finding that right person who is going to bring us back to the promised land as Liberals," Trudeau, 39, said. "We need to start doing the hard work on the ground."
The Liberals dropped to 34 seats in the federal election earlier this year, their worst showing in Canadian history. Leader Michael Ignatieff could not even win his own seat, and Toronto MP Bob Rae took the leadership on an interim basis, but will not run for the permanent job.
Trudeau says there is still room for a centralist party like the Liberals, who find themselves squeezed on the left by the NDP and the right, by the Conservatives.
"All around the world you are seeing the centre squeezed out as people like to be more polarized, it's an era of cynicism in politics where people want to vote against things rather than for things," he said. "It's harder to sit in the middle and say ‘Let's take the best ideas from the left and the best from the right and propose something evidence-based that is going to work.'
"If we are going to be successful in doing that, we are going to have get Canadians to believe once again in politics."
Trudeau, the oldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, was first elected as MP for the Montreal-area riding of Papineau in 2008.