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If so, Tom Powers caught a whiff of the zeitgeist that same year, when Trudeau won the election.The executive producer at Open Door Co., a media company in Toronto, had been kicking around the idea of a show with politicians.“Yeah, we’re going to add that to our list of constituency services,” Genuis replies.Later, after a hesitant Genuis is encouraged to sniff a fragrant bud of marijuana, their tour guide suggests they do a selfie.“I imagine when you were first elected,” Erskine-Smith says to Genuis, “you never expected to take a selfie with a Liberal in front of hundreds of marijuana plants.”The idea that political culture could use a dose of peace, love and understanding didn’t spring out of nowhere.“Just the polarization of our democracy.”Indeed, pollsters like Frank Graves at EKOS Research have charted a declining trust in government for decades (though there was a marked bump in the months after the Liberals were elected, from roughly 20 per cent trust to the mid-40s, he says).“People no longer believe that elites have got their interests at heart,” he says.

Erskine-Smith, a 32-year-old Liberal MP from Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, says he smokes weed himself, both for fun and to treat his Crohn’s disease.What people see of politicians on the news, which often features the most heated clips from question period, is “the anomaly,” he says.He’s always willing to find someone like Erskine-Smith across the aisle, someone with whom to share his views and maybe work with when it makes sense.“People actually perceive us to be more partisan than we are,” Genuis says.Take Justin Trudeau’s “sunny ways,” which can be characterized as an effort to do just that.Trudeau’s promises of “real change” rested on bringing a new, less combative tone to Ottawa.

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