COUNT Elyssa Macfarlane, a North Vancouver university student and activist in the Young Liberal ranks, has already signed on to Trudeaumania 2.0
While some older party members are still waiting to see if Justin Trudeau, 40, becomes the Next Big Thing in national political circles, Macfarlane, 23, said she's already signed on to help Trudeau win the Liberal leadership race.
Macfarlane said she's been impressed with Trudeau's ability to connect with people, both in speeches and one-on-one.
A lot of younger people have been turned off politics, she said, and "you can tell he wants to change that."
Justin Trudeau, the oldest son of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announced last week that he is running for the Liberal leadership. Since then, pundits have weighed in from all over the political spectrum, commenting on everything from Trudeau's lack of appointments to serious roles as a Liberal critic to his hair.
Macfarlane said she's familiar with criticisms that Trudeau is simply trading on his famous father's name, his looks or that he's a policy lightweight.
"I used to believe that. He proved me wrong," she said.
Macfarlane said she'll be doing everything from taking to Twitter to knocking on doors for Trudeau's leadership bid.
Young party members aren't the only ones eyeing Trudeau's fortunes on the national political stage.
Dan Veniez, a former West Vancouver Liberal candidate and political columnist for the Huffington Post, said he thinks it's likely Trudeau will sweep the competition in the leadership race.
Veniez said from what he's observed, the younger Trudeau has better "retail political skills" than his father.
"He captivates his audience. He fills a room. He raises money and he's highly popular," said Veniez.
"I've seen him connect with people who weren't even born when Pierre Trudeau died," he said. "He does something that Michael Ignatieff could never do. That's a gift."
Veniez said he doesn't agree with critics who say Trudeau is all rock-star flash and no substance or that he's simply riding on his father's famous coattails.
"There's more than a little bit of penis envy in that," he said. "You don't fill a room and generate this kind of buzz and excitement because of a name."
But Veniez said he's not jumping on the Trudeau bandwagon. Instead, he's waiting to see who else runs for the leadership.
"I'd like to see (Bank of Canada Governor) Mark Carney run," he said. "We have an uphill battle in crafting economic policy that makes sense."
Jay Straith, another longtime North Shore Liberal supporter, said he's also yet to be swept up in the Trudeau wave.
Straith said he understands why the Trudeau name resonates in political circles.
"This country has been very much shaped by the Trudeau vision," he said. At the time Pierre Trudeau took over leadership of the Liberal party and became prime minister, "he represented this country sort of coming of age," said Straith.
At the time, Trudeau was seen as young, hip and non-conformist while previous leaders tended be grey and middle-aged.
But Straith said he's not sure the younger Trudeau is ready for that role.
"I don't know when I look at Justin if I see the depth and breadth of experience I want running the party and the country," he said. "It very much remains to be seen."
Straith, who said he's supporting former astronaut Marc Garneau for the leadership, said he thinks the party needs to have serious discussions about its future direction.
"If we're carried along on the wings of a rock star, are we going to have that conversation?" he said.
"If it's going to be a coronation of Justin, I'm going to leave it to the next generation of Liberals and say 'good luck'."