The Bold Pursuit is pleased to present Northern Neighbour’s blog, “Canada’s Obama.”
Our Obama AKA Pierre Elliot Trudeau burst onto our political scene in Canada in the late 1960’s. There were things we did and did not know about this man, but I believe that if we would have had the Internet – and learned about his associations and where his base of beliefs came from –
he would not have gone very far. He was a very good orator. Could talk the birds out of the tree and was our pied piper of social programs …
‘Trudeau was a charismatic figure who, from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s, dominated the Canadian political scene and aroused passionate reactions.’
Trudeau was interested in Marxist ideas in the 1940s and his Harvard dissertation was on the topic of Communism and Christianity. At Harvard Trudeau found himself profoundly challenged as he discovered that his “… legal training was deficient, [and] his knowledge of economics was pathetic. Thanks to the great intellectual migration away from Europe’s fascism, Harvard had become a major intellectual centre in which Trudeau profoundly changed. Despite this, Trudeau found himself an outsider – a French Catholic living for the first time outside of Quebec in the predominantly Protestant American Harvard University. This isolation deepened finally into despair and led to his decision to continue his Harvard studies abroad.
In 1947 he travelled to Paris to continue his dissertation work. Over a five week period he attended many lectures and became a follower of personalism after being influenced most notably by Emmanuel Mounier.  The Harvard dissertation remained undone when Trudeau entered a doctoral program to study under the renowned socialist economist Harold Laski in the London School of Economics. This cemented Trudeau’s belief that Keynesian economics and social science were essential to the creation of the “good life” in democratic society.”
His socialist values and his close ties with Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) intellectuals (including Frank Scott, Eugene Forsey, Michael Oliver and Charles Taylor) led to his support and membership in that federal social democratic party throughout the 1950s (after taking over our Liberal party) Trudeau soon called an election, for June 25, 1968. His election campaign benefited from an unprecedented wave of personal popularity called “Trudeaumania” which saw Trudeau mobbed by throngs of youths. (I was a youth back then and part of that mob! First time I ever voted!).
So this was our Obama – our pied piper of socialism and social programs. If the majority of Canadians had been informed on what his political background was – or had been able to find out about it – this man never would have made it past the front doors of our Parliament. But we did not know – and so here we are today. Sure was a lot about Obama no one knew about.
When Trudeau (Liberal = Democrats) took office in 1968 Canada had a debt of $18 billion (24% of GDP) which was largely left over from World War II, but when he left office in 1984, that debt stood at $200 billion (46% of GDP), an increase of 83%. He promised us that the rich would pay, but the majority population in any country is the middle class. It is where most of the money to keep our governments running comes from because we are the majority of the population. We were so taken with his ideals and his charisma we lost our common sense!
Our politics are complicated here – we do not elect our ‘President’ as you do there – the party who wins the majority of seats in our Parliament becomes the government and the leader of that party our ‘President’. Unfortunately this does not always give them a majority of members to hang on to power in the government.
Those of us who finally found our common sense knew we were getting into trouble here with the social programs that had been brought in. We had one chance to turn the tide. In 1979 we managed to elect a fellow by the name of Joe Clark (Conservative = Republican) and his party into government kicking Trudeau out. Clark was not a very good speech maker and was kind of a homely little guy but he loved our country enough to base his campaign on truth. He told us what we needed to hear. Said we had to stop what was happening to the social program ideas being tried and our economy or the cost of what we were doing would catch up to our children.
Well he got kicked out when the other parties ganged up on his minority and you would have thought Joe would have won again but Trudeau was French – pandered to Quebec. (Quebec is a beautiful Province in our country that is full of history and wonderful people but what happened there is another long story) Trudeau won votes in that Province by promising them many things and one of them was that Canada would become bilingual! Great idea! Another social program! Most of us spoke English but it was a promise he kept, Quebec gave him the votes. He won a majority government so now all of our Federal and Provincial government levels right across Canada had to become bilingual. Still are – once you bring it in you are screwed. Now we have to pander to all languages because social programs are a right once given to one – has to be given to all. By the way … my family is from Quebec, very French and they agree 100% with me.
Our news stations have to give equal representation to all parties who are running in our elections. If you smear one side you better be able to smear the other … equal rights and all. Our government controls some of them (same way Hollywood controlled yours) and the list of things they slowly have to take over now because of our social programs continues to grow – as does the debt. Trudeau did a lot of good things for our country on the world level for sure – but his ideals he flaunted and we followed in a herd because of the excitement he stirred in us all those years ago has trapped my country in a never ending circle of more restrictions, bigger social programs more and more debt and higher and higher taxes that everyone of us in the middle class here pays the bulk of. I don’t know about America but millionaires are not the MAJORITY of the population here. Common sense alone should have told us that years ago.
I used to think there was nothing Canada could ever teach America. When I went to school the only history I really learned about was yours. But I was one of the herd who blindly followed our Obama. Even though we have lost a great deal over the years I am going to heard now. I am going to keep trying to reach out to every American (especially the youth) who stands where I stood all those years ago. Just as the Obama train used this media to spread this garbage of an ideal around your country, I am going to use my voice and speak from experience. I and many Canadians are where you are now. College & university students, young parents with children looking for a better future for our children, every other person who took something that appeared out of nowhere with everything wrapped up in a big red bow. We were looking in the wrong direction. We made a terrible mistake and we continue to pay for it in spades.
There is something we could teach America – if people would only listen.
Share the wealth! Yeah right!