(Associated Press) ROB GILLIES October 18 2019 TORONTO (AP) Ian Bremmer remembers the first time he met Justin Trudeau at the annual gathering of elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. Bremmer a prominent foreign policy expert said Canadas party at the world economic forum is usually the sleepiest thing you could do." It is typically held at a second-tier hotel and if you go its because youre on the way someplace else. But in early 2016 Canadas new leader tall and trim the son of the liberal icon and late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau arrived. It was insane. Everyone wanted to be there. He was the superstar on the global stage that year. The idea that a Canadian prime minister would have that kind of impact and star power was insane" said Bremmer president of the Eurasia Group. Hes still considered one of the good guys one of the globalists. But lets face it his star has diminished." Polls show Trudeau could lose to his Conservative Party rival in national elections on Monday or fail to win a majority of seats in Parliament and have to rely on an opposition party to remain in power. Not since 1935 has a first-term Canadian prime minister with a parliamentary majority lost a bid for re-election. A combination of scandal and high expectations has damaged his prospects. Last month photos of Trudeau in blackface and brownface when he was younger surfaced casting doubt on his judgment. And the boyishly handsome 47-year-old was tarnished by a scandal that erupted earlier this year when his former attorney general said he pressured her to halt the prosecution of a Quebec company. Trudeau has said he was standing up for jobs. I dont think hes totally negated but hes not just the draw the leader if you like that people wanted and expected" said Robert Bothwell a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto. Trudeaus opponent Andrew Scheer is a career politician described by those in his own party as bland a possible antidote for those tired of Trudeaus flash. Scheer 40 calls Trudeau a phony who cant even recall how many times he has worn blackface. He is promising to scrap the national carbon tax and cut government spending including foreign aid by 25 percent. But he too has had a bumpy ride. He has been criticized for embellishing his resume and for holding dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship as the Globe and Mail newspaper revealed earlier this month. Trudeaus father swept to power in 1968 on a wave of Trudeaumania" and while he had a scare at the polls when he ran for re-election four years later he would lead Canada for almost 16 years becoming a storied name in the countrys history responsible for opening the door wide to immigration. Justin Trudeau reasserted the countrys liberal identity in 2015 after almost 10 years of Conservative rule and has been viewed as a beacon of hope for liberals in the Trump era. The Liberal Party leader appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine under the headline Why Cant He Be Our President?"
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