Shrug: Trudeau in Power

Shrug: Trudeau in Power

Shrug: Trudeau in Power

Shrug: Trudeau in Power

Excerpt

It was as if Canada had come of age, as if he himself singlehandedly would catapult the country into the brilliant sunshine of the late 20th century from the stagnant swamp of traditionalism and mediocrity in which Canadian politics had been bogged down for years.

The London Spectator , June 1968

It hasn't worked out quite the way the London Spectator saw it. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has not, in fact, hurled us into sunshine and, in fairness, he never said he would. It was always the acolytes, the hangers-on, the supposedly impartial observers who promised miracles from Canada's fifteenth Prime Minister. He himself promised little in concrete terms, which is just what he has delivered. His administration has been more conservative, in light of the problems it faces, than any since that of William Lyon Mackenzie King, and less successful, in terms of the mandate it received, than its much-harried, much-abused predecessor, led by Lester B. Pearson. From the day Trudeau bounced into power (he came, in Gordon Donaldson's graphic phrase, "like a stone through a stained- glass window"), this nation has known that it is in the hands of a strong and resolute man: but not in the hands of an effective leader. We cried out for an end to the evasions, the temporising, and the time- and energy-wasting scuffles of the Pearson and Diefenbaker eras. The evasions and scuffles have been ended; in their place we have had confrontation, division, autocracy and the beginnings of the end of parliamentary democracy.

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