Trudeaumania has officially engulfed the US, but as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary it’s worth noting that the Canadian prime minister’s approval ratings have tumbled to their lowest since he took office 20 months ago.
Four in 10 Americans would prefer to have Justin Trudeau be the US president instead of Donald Trump, an Ipsos poll found in February.
In some ways, Trudeau’s charm, impressive campaigning skills, and fondness of wearing themed, brightly coloured socks have earned him a sort of celebrity status in the US.
Buzzfeed published an entire article about a photo of Trudeau wearing tight pants, and a slideshow comprised entirely of “hot” pics:
Cooling off up north
But in Canada, the initial honeymoon period of mobbing to take selfies with the prime minister is clearly over.
A Forum Research poll found that, by May 2017, only 42% of Canadians approved of how Trudeau was leading the country. Approval ratings, though still high compared to past prime ministers, are at their lowest point since Trudeau took office in November 2015.
Trudeau has faced criticism for supporting oil pipeline expansion, going ahead with a controversial plan to supply military vehicles to Saudi Arabia, underfunding social services to Canada’s Aboriginal community, failing to fulfil his promises of electoral reform, and, last winter, taking a luxurious vacation on a billionaire’s private island.
Last year, Canadian media critic Jesse Brown wrote in an article titled “Think Canada is a progressive paradise? That’s mooseshit,” for The Guardian that “Trudeau is the political equivalent of a YouTube puppy video,” and the country has many more problems to solve than its leader’s US popularity suggests.
While liberal Americans continue to exalt the Canadian prime minister for his progressive values — or, in some cases, simply for his good looks — Canadians aren’t all convinced.
The cool thing about Trudeau is that he’s proof a centrist from a political dynasty can seem like a liberal hero if he’s hot.
— ❄️ Lux Alptraum ❄️ (@LuxAlptraum) March 6, 2017