Pierre Trudeau

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Pierre Trudeau

Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada, was once described as "A French Canadian proud of his identity and culture, yet a biting critic of French-Canadian society, determined to destroy its mythology and illusions". He has also been identified as "A staunch, upholder of provincial autonomy holding the justice portfolio in the federal government". Such cumulative appraisal and observation made by past fellow bureaucrat provides high testimonial for the ex-Democratic Socialist. This critique will establish and dispute the prime directives that Trudeau had advocated in his own book written during the years 1965 to 1967. The compilation of political essays featured in his book deal with the diverse complexities of social, cultural and economical issues that were predominant in Canadian politics during the mid 1960's. However, throughout my readings I was also able to discover the fundamental principles that Trudeau would advocate in order to establish a strong and productive influence in Canadian politics.

Born in 1921, Trudeau entered the world in a bilingual/bicultural home located in the heart of Montreal, Quebec. His acceptance into the University of Montreal would mark the beginning of his adventures into the Canadian political spectrum. Early in his life, Trudeau had become somewhat anti-clerical and possessed communist ideologies which were considered radical at the time. Graduating from prestigious institutions such as Harvard and The School of Economics in England, Turdeau returned to Canada in 1949 and resumed his social science endeavors. At this time in Quebec, the province was experiencing tremendous cultural and political differences with the rest of the country. The Union Nationale had taken possession of political matters in Quebec and was steadily dismantling the socialist essence imposed on the province by the Federal government. The current Prime Minister, Maurice Duplessis, found himself battling a religious nationalist movement that corrupted the very fabric of political stability in Quebec. The Duplessis faction maintained their conservative approach towards political reform but failed to sway the majority of the population into alleviating with the demands of the Canadian government. The citizens of Quebec revered their clerical sector as holding 'utmost importance' towards preserving French cultural values and this did not correlate with the Federal government's policies and ideals. Francophones were under the impression that their own Federal government had set out to crush and assimilate what had remained of their illustrious heritage in order to accommodate economic and political tranquility. Trudeau himself had decided to join the nationalist uprising with his advocation of provincial autonomy. Ultimately, he and other skilled social scientists attempted to bring down the Duplessis party in 1949, but failed miserably in their efforts. Duplessis buckled underneath the continuous pressure of French patriotism and was rewarded for his inept idleness by winning his fourth consecutive election in 1956. Although nothing of significance had been accomplished, Quebec has solidified its temporary presence in confederation at such a time. This prompted Trudeau to involve himself in provincial diplomacy as he would engage in several media projects that would voice his displeasure and disapproval with the ongoing cultural predicament in Canada (this included a syndicated newspaper firm, live radio programs). "If, in the last analysis, we continually identify Catholicism with conservatism and patriotism with immobility, we will lose by default that which is in play between all cultures...". By literally encouraging a liberal, left- wing revolution in his province, Trudeau believed that Democracy must come before Ideology. Gradually, his disposition would attract many politicians and advocates of Socialism, and thus it allowed him to radiate his ideology onto the populace of...
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