Could the world be getting tired of our prime minister?
A day after Rolling Stone published its cover story on the “north star,” the World Economic Forum released its latest ranking of the world’s leaders in soft power, the somewhat ephemeral notion of a nation’s economic and cultural influence.
The forum’s analysis of Canada’s standing included a note of caution: “Following Canada’s slight decline in our international polling data, and with his approval ratings at home taking a hit, it looks like Trudeau fatigue could finally be setting in.”
At the very least, contrarian takes are no longer being penned only by Canadian writers.
“It’s time the fawning over Trudeau stopped,” wrote Shafi Musaddique in Prospect.
“The Trump phenomenon is the pinnacle of rationalism in comparison with the mass liberal falling at Trudeau’s feet,” harrumphed Brendan O’Neill in the Spectator.
Granted, Canada’s soft-power score for 2017 actually improved over 2016, even if Canada slipped one spot in the ranking (surpassed by France and Emmanuel Macron, the new liberal heartthrob).
But any pop star has to worry about overexposure. And eventually even the fans want to hear something new.
So the question now for Trudeau might be, what’s next? What is he going to do with all this cachet?
For Canada, there is probably no great downside to having the prime minister on the cover of Rolling Stone, an honour rarely bestowed on a foreign leader, Pope Francis and Princess Caroline of Monaco being perhaps the only two precedents.
And even if the fawning can seem silly, even if significant shortcomings are glossed over, there is something to be said for seeming to be a beacon of decency and liberalism when political opinion elsewhere is turning angry and reactionary.
What does the fawning amount to?
But other than satisfying those Canadians who like to hear their country is well thought of abroad, what does all that amount to?
“People have long talked about ways of ‘branding’ Canada in order to attract tourists, students, businesses and investment … but no branding strategy could hope to achieve more than what Trudeau has already accomplished,” Roland…