Justin Trudeau’s autobiography, scheduled to come out a year before the next federal election, will be titled Common Ground: My Past, Our Present and Canada’s Future, as the Liberal Leader aims to provide a clear contrast with the political style of his main rivals.
The book, to be released in October, has already been derided by opponents for Mr. Trudeau’s decision to write his life story at the relatively young age of 42. By putting the focus on his personal tales and opening his vault of pictures, Mr. Trudeau will also fuel the impression that his political career is largely based on his image and his ability to attract attention to his family life.
Still, Liberals say Mr. Trudeau’s unique upbringing and life story – growing up at 24 Sussex Dr. and building roots across the country – are key elements of his political offering.
“I wouldn’t describe it as a manifesto, it’s more a personal story,” a Liberal strategist said of the upcoming book. “It’s a description of how his particular style of leadership derives from his personal background.”
The expression “common ground” aims to illustrate Mr. Trudeau’s middle-of-the-road approach as well his connections to parts of the country.
“Our most consistent critique of the Conservative approach to government has always been their divide-and-conquer negativity,” the strategist said. “The country is facing big problems that we will not be able to solve that way.”
Still, party officials said the expression “common ground” will not replace the slogan “Hope and Hard Work,” which the Trudeau team has been using since the leadership race.
Mr. Trudeau has said he would write and dictate the book with editorial assistants, and he spent time this summer on the project, which is still being drafted and edited.
The book will be published on Oct. 21. The next federal election is scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015, according to the country’s fixed-date election law.
In a statement, the publisher of the book promised that Common Ground will “capture the foundational moments that have formed the man we have come to know and informed his vision for the future of Canada.”
In the statement, Iris Tupholme, editor-in-chief of HarperCollins Canada, said that as a leader, Mr. Trudeau has inspired and connected with Canadians. “Now we have the chance to see, through his eyes, his formative years and experiences, which are like none other, as well as his challenges and triumphs behind the scenes.”
Profits from the book will go to the Canadian Red Cross Society.
Politicians around the world have written autobiographical books in a bid to build their brand and further their careers. One of the best-known examples in Canada was Jean Chrétien’s 1985 Straight From The Heart, which laid the groundwork for his eventual return as Liberal leader in 1990.
U.S. President Barack Obama, whose campaign and governing styles have inspired the Trudeau team, has derived much political success from Dreams From My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006). Hilary Clinton, the subject of speculation over a possible presidential bid, has recently released Hard Choices, after 2003’s Living History.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, 59, said that, unlike Mr. Trudeau, he will likely wait until he is in his 70s to tackle his memoirs.
“We’ve had very different lives and different experiences,” the NDP Leader said earlier this year. “I frankly might think about doing that in another 15 years, but despite 35 years’ experience, I’m not sure that that type of exercise is appropriate.”