Pierre Elliot 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 Quebec. Trudeau makes it clear in his book that during

the early years of the Duplessis government, he was a staunch admirer of

provincial autonomy, but with the archaic sequence of events following the

conflicts that arouse between Federal and Provincial matters in Quebec, he

had taken a stance on Federalism that involved security, economic

prosperity and centralized authority. It wasn\'t until 1963 when the newly

appointed Premier of Quebec, Rene Levesque, warned that there must be a new

Canada within five years or Quebec will quit confederation. It was not

until 1965 that a man named Pierre Trudeau entered politics.

It is at this point in his anthology that I was able to surmise the

radical and unorthodox political convictions that the soon-to-be