Trudeau sweeps the country - how he did it?

Here we are the morning after the end of the longest Canadian federal election campaign in modern history. The election of a majority Liberal government in a profound change in the style and attitude to government, the media, and the policies and priorities of government. How did Justin Trudeau and his team do it?
Three years ago, I wrote my blog post, Prime Minister Trudeau? Possibly. In the piece I gave five reasons why he could very likely win the election - in spite of the fact that he was still just a candidate for the Liberal leadership. I review them today, not to say, 'I told you so', but to use them as a basis for understanding why he has gone from zero to the steps of 24 Sussex Dr. (the house where he lived as a child).
Much of it has come true. The single greatest reason, is 'time for a change' became not only dominant, but thanks to a very strategic and well-executed campaign, Trudeau was able to successfully position himself and his party as the clearest choice for change. After a decade in power, the tidal wave of 'change' takes out most political parties.
Stephen Harper was intent on positioning himself as 'stability vs. risk'. No matter how he tried to execute that theme to his favour, it didn't work. The 'niqab' issue was raw meat for the Conservative base and for Quebecers but it ended up shifting votes away from Tom Mulcair and the NDP in Quebec - over to the Bloc, and even the Conservatives.
Trudeau's opposition to Harper on the niqab issue didn't really hurt him, as he had little to lose in Quebec and everything to gain by the NDP slide.
Overwhelmingly, Justin Trudeau resonated with the voters - 70% of whom wanted change. He echoed their frustration with the status quo; he filled in his policy blanks with an unexpected shift to the left of Mulcair on the economy (although Mulcair hotly disputes that). The bold, but easily accessible commitment to $10 billion annual deficits, combined with his 'tax the rich' policy not only didn't hurt him, but was the key to his successful re-positioning from a middle-of-the-road 'all things to all people' position of the past to a strong alternative to Stephen Harper's increasingly 'double down' strategy to secure and animate the 'right' side of the political spectrum.
Trudeau continually exceeded expectations in most of the debates, and thanks to the steady Conservative airwar of 'He's just not ready' ads, he not only exceeded expectations, but scored several hits on Tom Mulcair in some of the debates. In my post-debate analyses on CPAC, CTV and other media interviews, I found myself saying consistently that Trudeau exceeded expectations, and would benefit the most from them.
The lingering strategic question, is 'why didn't the Conservatives try to reach an additional 5% of the voters'? That is a voter segment that is a 'disruptive' target. Meaning, that whatever appeals to the first 32% (the base) is anathema to them. These would be known as the '10 second Tories', or the Red Tories -more socially 'progressive' but fiscally conservative - who would have made the difference between failure and success. So-called 'dog whistle' politics, as embodied by roiling the 'niqab' waters, could never have reached that critical voter segment.
The inking of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) came late in the race and has not been disclosed in sufficient detail to make it into a  critical 'pocket book' issue for those voters. Ironically, all that the NDP and the Conservatives could do in the final days was to hammer the TPP from opposite sides in order to cement their own ballot questions. Trudeau deftly dealt with it, saying 'I'm pro free trade but we have to see the deal first'.
The last minute flare up of a 'scandal' involving a senior official providing advice to an energy company client, was the last gasp effort of both the Conservatives and the NDP but it came too late in the campaign, and it just didn't gain traction.
What can be learned out of the Trudeau victory?
1. When the voters are feeling anxious, don't give them fear, give them hope.
2. Engage the voters and the media. Stop hiding from debates (Conservative candidates seemed to send a signal to their voters that they didn't want to face them, or be accountable to them). And yes, the media can hurt you but when you start blaming them for your problems, it's more Nixon than Reagan.
3. Understand what leadership today is all about. It's about listening, consulting, developing a consensus, generosity of spirit, empowering and trusting others. Trudeau projected a leadership aura that gave people an optimistic sense of the future. All successful leaders have done that - FDR, Churchill, Kennedy, Reagan, Mulroney, Chretien, Jack Layton, to name but a few.
4. 'Fresh and new' with a bold agenda for change can trump experience, status quo policies with not much new being promised for the future.
5. To go past ten years in office is possible, but it's a narrow window to get through, and can only be done with a clear narrative and a strategy brilliantly executed over a number of years.
6. Campaigns matter! The third place Liberals at the beginning of the campaign were transformed through the 78 day campaign into a party and a leader that the public is willing to trust for the next four years.
Regardless of anyone's political leanings, that is an accomplishment worthy of the history books.

Until next time.....thank you to all candidates from all the parties who got involved and had the courage to run - all of whom want a better country. A big recognition to the voters who turned out in record numbers (the most since 1993) to cast their ballots. It's great for democracy and a sign of hope for the future.