Another Trudeau Essay

This essay has a total of 1425 words and 16 pages.

Another 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 Prime Minister

would incorporate into Canada. His thesis is focused around

pertinent issues which demanded attention at the time. After

he elaborates on the importance of Federalism and how it is

associated with Quebec, the reader begins to interpret the

resolutions he offers and then finds himself comprehending

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