When the world discovered who Rob Ford was, his reign gave the world a bad impression of Toronto, even if the majority of those who voted didn't vote for Ford. The world definitely thinks more of Canada since Justin Trudeau was elected in October in part because of the image of Trudeau.
Tom Mulcair lost the anti-Stephen Harper vote to Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau in October. Mulcair won't be around to lead the NDP in the next federal election after the party voted to search for a new leader.
If Mulcair had won in October, would he have made this kind of impact on Canada in the world?
Politics is a lot more than impressions, especially from outside the country. But the world looked at Barack Obama and the United States in a different light than the previous reign in that country. Let's look at the evidence about Trudeau and Canada.
Trudeau as a feminist
"There's lots of things you can do to be a better feminist as a man but here's a simple one: don't interrupt women, and notice every time women get interrupted in conversation," via a Snapchat video.
That was from last week via Generation Y Not. Trudeau was asked to explain to men how to be better feminists in 10 or fewer seconds.
"How are you training your sons to be focused on women's rights and women's opportunities the way you're focused on telling your daughter that she can be anything?," Trudeau said. "That for me was a really important wake-up."
That video of Trudeau came at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January and smashed through the Twitterverse.
"We shouldn't be afraid to use the word feminist. Men and women should use it to describe themselves whenever they want."
This came on the heels of having women make up half of his cabinet "because it's 2015." Hillary Clinton promised last week that if elected U.S. president, she would make sure that half her cabinet were women.
Having a leader who cares about the impact of women in society isn't always a given. Having a leader who is male and is such an ardent feminist shapes a country's attitude and, hopefully, policy.
"Please, please, run for president."
Justin Trudeau was in New York City on United Nations business. At the Mile End deli, Trudeau was approached by 2 guys begging him for run for U.S. president. Toward the end, the men went to their knees in their begging attempt.
Trudeau pointed out that he wasn't born in the U.S., though the guys noted that Calgary-born Ted Cruz is running for president.
Trudeau told them: "I don't know if you noticed, but I actually have a job, and it's a pretty good one."
The guys were likely pranksters but the lasting image is Americans telling the Canadian prime minister that he is better than the presidential candidates.
Explaining quantum computing
Justin Trudeau was in Waterloo, Ontario to promote the Liberal government allocating $50 million over five years to the Perimeter Institute, a leader in research into theoretical physics.
Trudeau took a question from a reporter as an opportunity to explain the difference between regular computers and the potential of quantum computing. The prime minister explained the binary setup of regular computers as being 1 or 0 but noted that things could be a particle and a wave at the same time, quantum computing could have more information in each byte.
We don't expect our world leaders to be computer nerds, but understanding the potential and being able to explain that potential to a non-nerd audience was wonderful to watch.
Trudeau knows yoga
Justin Trudeau is doing the Mayurasana yoga pose, otherwise known as the peacock pose, in this 2013 photo from Ottawa photographer Gregory Kolz. Trudeau's wife Sophie has taught yoga and his father also had his picture taken in a peacock pose in the Northwest Territories in 1970.
Being prime minster involves a lot of stress, and to know enough yoga to pull off such an advanced pose is likely an asset in his life.
GQ and TIME Influential
Justin Trudeau made the list of TIME's 100 most influential people. Trudeau's stance on climate change gives him an edge for the list over Stephen Harper. Lorne Michaels wrote up the nomination.
"Though I live in New York, Canadians are Canadians wherever they live. It’s the way we look at the world, which to us seems perfectly reasonable and right.
In many ways Canada is no longer the country I grew up in, but when I hear Justin Trudeau talk, it sounds like my Canada again. Bold, clear as a bell and progressive."
The GQ cover (above) isn't available in the literal sense. The magazine's explanation involves the potential for too many Canadians, following after Drake and Ryan Reynolds. Fortunately, GQ makes up for that by pointing out Trudeau's accomplishments. Yet GQ points out that the "reason we've hopped on the Trudeau train (that presumably runs on maple syrup) is that the politician dresses better than any other world leader. It's what earned him a place on our Most Stylish Men Alive Right Now list."
photo credit: CBC News: Twitter/Stephen Ward; Twitter/GregKolz; GQ magazine
video credit: YouTube/AJ+; Global News