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The National Post decided it's big news that Justin Trudeau went to Vaughan on Thursday to help local Liberal candidate Tony Genco in his by-election efforts. One line in the story jumped out at me:

"It's not clear why the Liberals feel they need Mr. Trudeau's help to win a riding in a province in which the young MP does not live."

Since when is that the test? If you are an elected MP, you only get to help out in your province? Has there ever been another federal politician who has taken heat for helping out in a province other than the one he or she represents? If so, I have never seen the criticism before. We are still one country, right?

Of course, if Trudeau had decided to do the opposite and instead said "sorry Tony, I really can't help you out in your tough Vaughn by-election. I can only do political things in Quebec," I have no doubt the Post would have run with a story stating that "aloof young MP Justin Trudeau, the son of late former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, has rejected his Anglophone colleagues in a move that shows he only cares about Quebec," or some such silliness. (As an aside, why the heck do reporters still feel the need to include the line "the son of late former prime minister Pierre Trudeau" in just about every story about Justin? Are there really many people who don't know who his dad was, at this point? Does it really add much context to these stories?)

So if he had stayed away from helping out, he loses. He helps and suddenly a new standard of political behaviour is created that politicians shall only campaign in their home provinces and Justin is a carpetbagger being shipped across the border into Ontario. Silliness.

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