Bring on the Astronaut Puns

Marc Garneau, C.C., CD, Ph.D., F.C.A.S.I., MP – Canadian hero and the Liberal Party’s “Plan B”

The moment headline writers have been waiting for all summer has finally arrived, with Marc Garneau set to formally launch his Liberal leadership candidacy this week. Despite having a lengthy string of post-nominal letters after his name, and the most impressive CV of any Member of Parliament, Garneau enters this leadership race as a heavy underdog. Ironically, the astronaut simply lacks the star power to compete with Justin Trudeau.

Despite being a genuine Canadian hero and an experienced parliamentarian, Garneau has zero chance of winning this race. However, should Trudeau lose the race, Garneau (and Martha Hall Findlay) now offer Liberals proven candidates to fall back on. After seeing the Justin Trudeau juggernaut hit its first road bump last week, the importance of that role should now be obvious to everyone. Politics is an unpredictable game, and it doesn’t take a long time for rising stars to get tossed out with yesterday’s news.

Leadership campaigns are about putting leaders to the test, but that principle only works if there’s some accountability for a failing grade. If Trudeau doesn’t have the right stuff, Liberals can’t afford to be in a position where a fatally wounded candidate becomes leader by default.

The role of “safety school” may sound demeaning for someone as accomplished as Garneau, but it’s an important role to play.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in --- 2013 LPC Leadership Race, Federal Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

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11 Responses to Bring on the Astronaut Puns

  1. Dan F

    I think Garneau is a great MP, will make a great Senior Cabinet Minister, and maybe Deputy PM, but we’ve gone with the smartest guy in the room twice in a row, I’m beginning to think maybe Canadians don’t just look for degrees & qualifications.
    Its almost like we’re saying to people: “What? You didn’t like the last 2 geeks? well here’s a guy who is *even smarter*!” (and I say this as a geek myself)

    • hazzard

      I’d think much of the population would see an astronaut as a far cooler ‘geek’ than a couple of bookish university professors.

  2. Jordan

    He’s by far one of the most qualified people in the House of Commons to be PM, however I don’t know if he’d make a fret leader.

    • Jim R

      Assuming the position of presidency of the Canadian Space Agency is more than titular in nature, at least Garneau has some experience running something reasonably major. Which, I believe, is more than can be said for the current front-runner.

      • Jordan

        Very true, but can he win an election?

        Liberals need to decide if they want to go with someone who has principles they agree with and a resume suitable for Prime Minister, or someone exciting who is better positioned to become PM despite his weak résumé.

        • Jim R

          When he announced his candidacy, Rick Perry become the Republican nominee front runner, and some (many?) people were ready to write Obama off at that point. Then Perry opened his mouth during the debates.

          Should be interesting to see how the Liberal candidates fare in debates (assuming the LPC is willing and able to have meaningful debates).

  3. Jason Holborn

    I’m open to listening to and hearing a lot of ideas from any human who has viewed our borderless planet from space. That perspective alone intrigues me, and he seems qualified and capable, beyond that perspective.

  4. josh

    The CPC has a tremendous amount of dirt on JT. They are hoping he is elected.

    • Vancouverois

      I think you’re probably right. As I said elsewhere, I suspect that the recent “Albertans suck, Quebeckers rule” interview is just a little sample they floated to make sure of holding Calgary Centre – and only the tip of the iceberg compared to the mass of stupid JT remarks they’re keeping in reserve.

  5. Vancouverois

    My favourite Garneau slogan so far:


  6. kris

    There is a criminal lack of puns in the comment section here. I’m disappointed.

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