In a bit of a catch-up here is a new essay by Paul Merkley. We present this essay reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.
After we have seen a few months of Mr. Trudeau’s foreign policy in action we will be in position to judge to what extent it really does diverge from the policy in effect over the last nine years or so – as everyone seems to assume that it will. However, no grown-up person imagines that by then our foreign policy will really have evolved into the “sunny ways” that Mr. Trudeau remembers as characterizing the policies of his father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau (Prime Minister 1967-1979, 1980-1984.)
The Apprenticeship of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau was brought into Federal Politics at the top: recruited by Prime Minister Lester Pearson as a stellar-member of Quebec’s chattering class, he was parachuted to a safe riding (1965) and immediately made Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, without ever having had any experience of public office. This exercise conformed to the blue-ribbon career-pattern already established for W. L. M. King and for Pearson himself. Acclaimed throughout the English-language media as the best hope for Quebec in Canada, Pierre Trudeau was quickly elected Party leader, and as Pearson stepped down, moved into the Prime Minister’s office in time for the election of June, 1968.
While the mercurial Trudeau had consistently expressed contempt for the Canadian tendency to over-rate Canada’s significance in world affairs, he at once changed tack on becoming Prime Minister, and, in effect, became his own Minister of Foreign Affairs.