Category: Historical Reprints
Scanned on: 3 July 2016 from a hard-bound copy of the book at the Concordia University Webster Library in Montreal, Quebec; Concordia University Library bar code: 3 1212 00435605 5.
Call number: F / 5091.9 / T7Z5+
By Lubor J. Zink
Copyright 1972 Lubor J. Zink and the Toronto Sun Publishing Ltd.
When man mistakes himself for God, he is sounding the death knell of human freedom. For, when Man comes to believe that he is God, he falls to worshiping himself. And when Man worships himself, his human idol is not the individual human being; it is the collective power of the individual human being; it is the collective power of corporate humanity. He worships the human antheap, not the individual human ant. The idolization of collective human power turns all the idolators into slaves.
— Arnold Toynbee
1 TRUDEAUMANIA 1
2 DANGER SIGNALS 19
3 DOWNGRADING PARLIAMENT 33
4 THE ECONOMY 51
5 QUEBEC, CONSTITUTION, POLITICAL VIOLENCE 65
6 FOREIGN AND DEFENCE POLICIES 78
7 SIGNS OF SOBERING UP 108
8 PRE-ELECTION POSTSCRIPT 124
Never, in Canada’s history, has a prime minister been given the mandate that Pierre Elliott Trudeau received in 1968:
In one emotion-packed election he virtually emasculated parliamentary Opposition — made it meaningless.
The confidence the nation had in him then, the trust the Canadian people bestowed, the admiration verging on idolatry, was truly phenomenal. Among the most ardent, enthusiastic ‘Trudeaumaniacs’ — ones who refused to see any possibility of tarnish in the glitter of the new folk-hero — were members of the media, the press, radio and television newsmen and opinion-shapers who normally should be the most skeptical, dubious and suspicious of messiahs.
Yet virtually all were uncritically pro-Trudeau, refusing, or unable to view him with the detached eye of the professional. They were the prime victims of ‘charisma.’
One newsman kept his head — Lubor Zink, then Ottawa columnist for the now-defunct Toronto Telegram, and currently Ottawa columnist with the newborn Toronto Sun.
Since the beginning, Zink has raised questions about
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Trudeau’s style, his thinking, his policies, philosophies, ideologies and his actions — all of which meld into what Zink calls ‘Trudeaucracy.’ For one thing, he has analyzed Trudeau’s writings — his words, his deeds — something others have avoided, for some reason. Those few who have tended to read too much into Trudeau’s writings have even been accused, ironically, of dabbling in ‘hate literature!’
The questions first raised by Zink in 1968 have come to be echoed more and more in recent times, without critics realizing precisely why they are now so uneasy whereas four years ago they were euphoric. Torday criticism of Trudeau is normal, not phenomenal.
Zink is perhaps the only journalist in Ottawa who has kept up a running critique on Mr. Trudeau. Events have tended to prove his predictions — and apprehensions — correct. There is an uncanny sense of déjà vue in reading the old Zink columns, and in realizing that he saw, accurately, what no one else saw. No Canadian newsman has Zink’s qualifications for grappling with controversial ideological questions of our times. Born in Czechoslovakia, he escaped after Hitler invaded. He served as an artillery officer with the Czech brigade in Montgomery’s 8th Army in World War II, winning the Military Cross, the Medal for Bravery and the Medal of Merit.
After the war he returned to Prague to help rebuild Czechoslovakia, and worked in the foreign ministry under Jan Masaryk, son of Czechoslovakia’s legendary founder, Thomas Masaryk. When the Communists staged their 1948 coup, murdering Masaryk, Zink recognized what was happening, escaped once more, and again took up his fight against totalitarianism — this time with the pen instead of the sword. No Canadian has a deeper appreciation of freedom, and its fragility and vulnerability, than Lubor Zink.
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As a journalist, broadcaster, author, Zink has earned the distinction of being fearlessly independent. He has won the two highest honors in Canadian journalism –the National Newspaper Award and the Bowater Award.
This book is a compilation of excerpts from Zink’s columns in the Toronto Telegram dating back to 1968, and more recently in the Toronto Sun, which rose when the Tely set.
He traces the roots of Trudeaucracy, analyzes the incompatibility of elitist, autocratic tendencies with the concept of parliamentary democracy. He comes to the conclusion that Canada cannot afford another term of Trudeaucracy without running grave risk of fundamental changes into a form of semi-dictatorship.
His columns not only tell why he comes to these conclusions, but provide the evidence for his convictions, and constitute an invaluable record of what has been taking place in Canada during the four years between 1968 and 1972 under the reign of Trudeau.
This book is being published to provide Canadians with the opportunity to judge for themselves.
Toronto Sun April, 1972
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Trudeau Psychosis — 31 Jan. 68
What we are witnessing is an attempt by our self-styled “progressives” to create a Trudeau psychosis that would irresistibly carry the justice minister to victory at the Liberal leadership convention in April.
Since these elements in our society, though numerically quite small, are very articulate and command, either directly or indirectly, important positions in the information media, their voice sounds from coast to coast as the consensus of an already crystallized public-opinion. …
Though the new messiah of the “progressive” fraternity has yet to declare his candidacy for Lester Pearson’s job, the Trudeau build-up has already reached the stage where every journalist who lives in holy fear of being branded a “reactionary” (and I know very few who do not have this fear) would sooner swallow his typewriter or microphone than write or say anything that could be regarded as disagreement with the tone-setting line.
True, it has to be admitted that those at the operational level of the mass media who watch the Trudeau build-up with serious misgivings, let alone alarm, are few. As with practically all other “left-wing” causes,
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the campaign is getting voluntary, genuine and in many cases enthusiastic support from the opinion-molders.
The reason for this is the fact that the news media, and especially the “artistic” milieu of radio and television, attract people who regard themselves as the left-oriented, progressive intellectual avant-garde. The same is true, though in a somewhat different context, of the teaching profession and. to a lesser degree, of the clergy.
The result is that the basic tools for shaping the public mind in our society are, to a large extent, in the hands of the self-styled “progressives” who are thus in a position to wield an opinion-forming influence entirely out of proportion lo their number.
While it would be foolish to suggest that these people are the willing tools of some sinister brainwashing conspiracy, the combined effect of their individual efforts within the ideological affinity of their views and convictions amounts to psychological conditioning and regimentation.
They are all jumping on the Trudeau bandwagon which their leading lights have conjured up for two obvious reasons. One is that Mr. Trudeau, as a former “socialist” academic, is the only member of their fraternity who could conceivably capture the leadership of the ruling political party right now; the other reason is that in their theorizing about Canada’s future as a model welfare and “neutralist” state, the leftists are genuinely convinced that Trudeau is the best available man for the leadership of the country at this critical juncture in our history.
But is he?
When he decided to run as a Liberal, it was known he and his like-minded friends in Quebec had formerly been at least strongly sympathetic to the NDP if, indeed, not active members.
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Mr. Trudeau himself admits that he didn’t expect to be accepted when Jean Marchand, whom the Liberals were wooing, insisted on bringing Trudeau and Gérard Pelletier with him.
Is this the type of man the Liberals can entrust with the leadership of their party? And can they, without giving the electorate a say in the matter, force on the country a prime minister whose political philosophy is that of a group most Canadians consistent refuse to vote for in general elections? …
‘What idiots’ — 13 Feb. 68
“What idiots they all are.”
So wrote Pierre Elliott Trudeau about the Liberal Party before he himself joined the “idiots,” some of whom are now begging him to run for the leadership of what he called a “spineless Liberal herd.”
The quotes come, in translation, from an article Mr. Trudeau published in the April, 1963, issue of Cité Libre, the French-language periodical which played an important role in the formative stages of Quebec’s quiet revolution.
I do not relish reminding the Liberals of the low opinion Mr. Trudeau used to have about them, but I have no choice.
Last week I mentioned in this space that Mr. Trudeau “had some pretty nasty things to say about Pearson and the Liberal establishment before he changed his NDP sympathies for the Grit escalator to power.” Since then I have had several phone calls from Trudeau supporters accusing me of “smearing” their idol and challenging me to substantiate my statement.
The Cité Libre article I selected for this purpose starts by calling Prime Minister Pearson “the unfrocked priest of peace.”
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The article purports to reveal a series of dishonorable motives which, as Trudeau then saw it, allegedly prompted Pearson to change his mind about Canada’s defence commitments at the height of the 1962-63 nuclear warheads crisis.
Referring to the courage and integrity of an eminent English Catholic who dared to challenge the dogma of papal infallibility, Mr. Trudeau wrote:
“Don’t look for men of this stamp in the Liberal Party of Canada. It was enough for Pope Pearson — not at the end of a council, but in the morning at breakfast — to decide to embrace a nuclear policy for the whole party to renege after him.”
To make it clear that it was not just the question of Canada’s defence commitments that enraged him, Mr. Trudeau wrote:
“I am not at the moment concerned with the merits of Liberal nuclear policy. I am only concerned with the anti-democratic reflexes of the spineless Liberal herd.”
After quoting from the Liberal Party’s defence policy resolutions and from Lester Pearson’s speeches on the subject, Trudeau went on: “… the same man who denounced the NORAD commitments and refused to be bound by them … the man who was still repeating the same theme on Nov. 14, 1962, found himself less than two months later bound by an unexpected sense of honor” to change his mind.
Examining Pearson’s motives for the switch, Trudeau came to the following conclusions:
“The bagmen promised that funds would be forthcoming. The polls showed that a pro-nuclear party would not lose votes. Power beckoned Mr. Pearson. He had nothing lo lose but honor.
“He lost it.
“His whole party lost it, too.”
To make it perfectly clear that it wasn’t primarily the
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defence policy issue which made him say those things about the Liberals, Trudeau stated:
“That is not the point. Even if I were 100 percent in favor of nuclear arms, even if Mr. Pearson had every reason to change his mind, I would have to point out in the strongest terms the autocracy of the Liberal structure and the cowardice of its members. I have never seen in all my examination of politics, so degrading a spectacle as that of all these Liberals turning their coats in unison with their chief, when they saw a chance to take power …
“The head of the troupe having shown the way, the rest followed with the elegance of animals heading for the trough … What idiots they all are.”
Trudeau then wrote (after exempting the New Democrats from his condemnation) about “intellectual dry rot” in our politics, saw “Mr. Pearson and the Liberal Party bringing this home to us in one blow” and stated that “there is not remaining in this (Liberal) Party one single man for whom principles mean more than power.
He concluded his article by declaring his intention “to vote for the NDP” and by saying:
“It is the duty of all those who feel the urgency of stopping the rush of Canadian thought downward to utter degradation to do likewise. Government instability, fragmentation of opposition, the risk of ‘losing one’s vote’ are all minor dangers compared with the abdication of the spirit to which Pearson is leading us.”
After re-reading the article, one cannot help wondering how the man who wrote it could have joined the “idiots,” accepted a major portfolio in the Pearson Cabinet, and how some of the “idiots” he so despised could now regard him as their messiah who should become the leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister of Canada.
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Build Up — 19 Feb. 68
The public build-up of the 11th candidate for Lester Pearson’s mantle has been terrific. The mass media couldn’t have done more. It now remains to be seen whether Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the hero of the image makers, will be able to translate the tremendous publicity boom into a majority of votes at the liberal leadership convention.
Announcing his official entry into the race for what momentarily happens also to be the highest and most powerful office in the land, Mr. Trudeau told newsmen on Friday: “You people had a lot to do with it.”
He thus confirmed my contention, which at first raised some editorial eyebrows, that the Trudeau buildup originated, deliberately and artificially, with certain elements in the mass media.
Mr. Trudeau said that for some time he regarded the publicity build-up as a joke — a kind of dare thrown by the sympathetic publicists and academics at the Liberal Party. Something like: Here is a brilliant guy but you old squares are too stupid to recognize it, and even if you were able to grasp his qualities you wouldn’t dare consider him as a leadership candidate.
The way Mr. Trudeau tells it in his somewhat blasé way, he himself saw it as a huge practical joke until the whole thing started snowballing and “serious” people in the party began to suggest that he should run.
And so, Mr. Trudeau told the assembled newsmen with tongue in his cheek, the joke eventually “blew up in your face” and if he became prime minister the mass media would, to a considerable extent, be responsible for it.
Asked whether he had changed his mind about the Liberals since the time he called them a bunch of idiots, Mr. Trudeau said that everything he wrote he continued to stand by. He explained, however, that there was
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a difference between what and how he spoke as an academic and what he says as a politician and minister of the Crown.
The difference, it appeared, was that as an academic he felt compelled to tell the “absolute truth,” and no bones about it. Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal supporters should ponder not only the implication of this interesting revelation, but also their idol’s concept of “absolute truth,” which — and he left no shadow of a doubt about it — means Trudeau’s truth.
Some misgivings about the candidate’s insistence on always telling the truth appeared for a moment when, answering a question about the time of his decision to run, he said “last night.”
The questioner, holding one of the beautifully printed Trudeau promotion folders his aides had distributed in the conference room, mused about the remarkable speed of the elaborate job. Mr. Trudeau laughed it off by saying that some people must have been working awfully hard through the night.
A more serious discrepancy cropped up when the Justice Minister was quizzed on the hints he has been dropping about his alleged blacklisting for entry into the United States.
Since I first saw this mystery mentioned in print last year, I suspected it to be a sop to the assorted anti-Americans designed to offset Mr. Trudeau’s firm rejection of nationalism (including economic nationalism). So I checked up on the implied touch of martyrdom.
Mr. Trudeau’s version, as he gave it to the media Friday, is this:
“Around 1956 or 1957 I was a delegate to the Commonwealth conference in Pakistan … and I heard I had been blacklisted (for entry to the U.S.) … and I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be stopped at the border if I wanted to go to San Francisco or some other
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place in the States. So I went to the American consulate (in Montreal) and asked and he (presumably the U.S. consul) said ‘Yes, you are blacklisted.’ So I said ‘How do I whiten myself?’ and he told me and I whitened myself. And, still a shade of pink apparently (persists) …
“I presume the reasons for it to be twofold: I had been to the economic conference in Moscow in 1952, at the time Stalin was at the height of his power, and there were not many foreigners going to Russia (at that time) … and needless to say that I was wrongly attacked when I got back for being a Communist.
“That was probably one thing that helped. Another thing is probably that I had always received left periodicals and papers and I suspected then that there was some check on the mail, who is on the mailing list and so on. So, you know, they must have arrived at a conclusion that I was interested in … progressive things.”
The clearing process, Mr. Trudeau said, look a few months, or a few weeks.
The simple fact behind this fairy tale of implied witchhunting is this:
On March 9, 1954, Mr. Trudeau applied for admission to the United States. He was told that due to some of the information he gave in answering the routine questionnaire, he was temporarily excluded from entry to the U.S. pending a review of that information.
A week later, on March 16, 1954, he was sent a letter informing him that there was no objection to his intention to go to the States.
So much for Mr. Trudeau’s “absolute truth.”
All this — not to mention misrepresentation of Trudeau’s age — may seem unimportant in the context of the 1968 Grit leadership race. But is it really?
I for one don’t think that absolutely everything which such glimpses of Mr. Trudeau’s mind and background imply can be dismissed as irrelevant, especially
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when the man who regards “absolute truth” as his copyright says: “It is my duty and my intention to try to make the liberal Party move in the direction that I feel best …”
Does the Liberal Party, and the rest of the electorate, know where the direction Mr. Trudeau considers best is likely to lead us?
Socialist — 20 Feb. 68
Some people say “What’s all the fuss about? If the Liberals want a socialist as their leader, it’s their business.”
This would be correct if the Grits, like the Tories last year, were selecting merely the leader of their party. Since the man they choose in April will automatically become the prime minister of the country, their choice is, or should be, of concern to every Canadian of voting age. For this reason, the Liberal leadership convention is of far greater immediate importance to the whole electorate than was the leadership convention of the major opposition party.
The difference needs no elaborate explanation.
Although the leader of the official Opposition plays a significant role in our political system, he cannot exercise the initiative and the power the Prime Minister has in shaping the domestic and foreign policies of the country ….
The Liberals should bear in mind that had the country wanted in 1963 and 1965 — or in any previous election for that matter — a “socialist” government and prime minister, it would have given the political mandate to the New Democratic Party whose program, though watered down since the Regina Manifesto of the CCF, is based on the doctrine of “democratic socialism.”
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The consistent election of only a small number of CCF-NDP candidates to the House of Commons can hardly be interpreted otherwise than a rejection of the socialist platform by the vast majority of the electorate.
By selecting as their leader and Prime Minister of Canada a man whose record, until 1965, shows strong identification with the NDP platform (and who even now describes himself as a “socialist”), the Liberals would therefore violate the political will of the country.
There can be little doubt that in his political philosophy Grit leadership candidate Pierre Elliott Trudeau is and always has been much closer to the CCF-NDP than to the Liberal Party.
From his student days, Mr. Trudeau has hardly missed any opportunity for actively supporting all kinds of “left-wing” causes in the typical fashion peculiar to the breed of millionaire “socialists” who seek to appease their conscience by theoretical revolutionary radicalism. Most of them, however — and Mr. Trudeau is not one of the rare exceptions — stop short of practising what they preach.
What they preach are beautiful abstractions of egalitarianism to be brought about by some pawns of their revolutionary theories; what they practise is sophisticated enjoyment of their inherited wealth. (Mr. Trudeau’s favorite concession to egalitarianism is to dress like a “proletarian” while sitting on his family’s fortune).
It was this type of “socialist conscience” which prompted Trudeau to write: “The experience of that superb strategist, Mao Tse-tung, might lead us to conclude that in a vast and heterogeneous country, the possibility of establishing socialist strongholds in certain regions is the very best thing.”
That was in 1961, when he regarded Tommy Douglas’ regime in Saskatchewan as a promising “socialist stronghold” and the nascent NDP as a potential vehi-
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cle for some modified Canadian version of “socialism” à la Mao Tse-tung.
But he also wrote: “I should like to see socialists feeling free to espouse whatever political trends or to use whatever constitutional tools happen to fit each particular problem at each particular time.”
In this, at least, Mr. Trudeau obviously followed his own recipe for action. Recognizing the impotence of the New Democrats, he felt free in 1965 to espouse, in harmony with Lenin’s similar dictum, the most promising political trend for his own try to mold Canada’s “socialist” future.
In contemplating Trudeau’s drive for Pearson’s job, the Liberals should ponder deeply such clear indications of what the man is really after. They owe it not only to their party which Trudeau once called a bunch of idiots, but to the rest of the temporarily helpless electorate.
‘Real’ Trudeau — 4 Mar. 68
A sample of the real Trudeau came through during the federal-provincial conference on constitutional reform, but the harshness of his clash with Daniel Johnson was at that time generally ascribed to the bitterness of an old personal and political feud.
The few observers who saw it as a shrewd tactic calculated to establish Trudeau as the hero of English-speaking Canada and thus augment his assured Quebec base to a lead on the first ballot, were dismissed as biased fools. The justice minister, it was asserted, was a fearless man standing firm on his long-held views and principles, regardless of what such a courageous stand could do to his political career.
It took the parliamentary crisis of the last two weeks to shake this impression and to reveal that Mr. Tru-
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deau stands on principles of his own making only when it happens to suit his purpose.
At the federal-provincial conference his constitutional views happened to fit his particular purpose at that particular time. During the parliamentary crisis they did not. So views and principles went down the drain of political expediency.
As a constitutional expert Mr. Trudeau could have had no doubt that by clinging to power after its defeat on a major tax bill, the Government was trampling on the basic rights and duties of Parliament. Yet he went along with the constitutional crime in silence and when challenged to state his position in the debate, rose to defend the indefensible by a mixture of ivory tower sophistry and appalling demagoguery.
A good example of the latter was this statement: “From 1834 to 1840, in England, the government was defeated 58 times in the House of Commons and 49 times in the House of Lords, so that in four years there would have been about a hundred elections.”
Leaving aside Trudeau’s omission to say how inconsequential most of those votes were, that sounds like good logic. In fact it’s outrageous nonsense, for had an election been called after the first defeat, who can say whether the new government would again have been defeated those four years?
After hearing this kind of silliness presented to the Commons as a serious argument, what is one to think about Mr. Trudeau’s allegedly brilliant mind? And what is one to think of the arrogance of the man who, defending a flagrant disregard of Parliament, says: “We are the masters of this House”?
How long do you think it would take him, if given the power he is grasping for while playing a Grit, to change it to “I am the master of this country”?
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Deceit — 5 Mar. 68
Justice Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who aspires to be regarded as the embodiment of honesty and idealism in politics, apparently found it politically expedient to twist the meaning of a major defeat of the Government in the Commons …
This is not a new streak in Mr. Trudeau’s makeup.
Five years ago he wrote an article in which he called the Liberal Party a bunch of idiots and characterized Prime Minister Pearson as a man without honor. This, he said only a few weeks ago, was the absolute truth as he saw it and as he felt compelled in his academic capacity to state with brutal candor. What he wrote he stood by, the justice minister told the press, though as a politician he would not use the same language for expressing the academic’s “absolute truth.” …
Another example of Mr. Trudeau’s “functional” (one of his favorite expressions) treatment of principles and of his own arrogant concept of “absolute truth” can be found in the essay on the practice and theory of federalism he wrote for a 1961 University of Toronto publication.
In that Machiavellian piece of advice to Canadian socialists on how to gain power by following Mao Tse-tung’s teaching of deceit, Trudeau chided his comrades for defeating their purpose by openly adhering to the basic principles of doctrinaire socialism.
“Left-wing thinkers,” Trudeau wrote, “have too often assumed that fundamental reform is impossible without a vast increase, in law or in fact, of the national government’s aqreas of jurisdiction,” while “radicalism can more easily be introduced in a federal society than in a unitary one.”
Instead of trying for some miraculous but obviously impossible conversion of the whole electorate “to so-
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cialist ideas in one fell swoop,” the correct tactic was to “proceed step by step, convincing little bands of intellectuals here, rallying sections of the working class there,” and so on, without scaring people away unnecessarily by an open pursuit of the ultimate goal of socialist power.
“The drive towards power,” Trudeau maintained, “must begin with the establishment of bridgeheads (the technique Mao and Castro used so effectively), since at the outset it is obviously easier to convert specific groups or localities than to win over an absolute majority of the whole population.” …
Trudeau demonstrated the practical application of the tactic of stealth he advocated in 1961 when, disillusioned with the NDP as the vehicle of socialist power in Canada, he “espoused” in 1965 the “bunch of idiots” in command of the ruling Liberal Party.
Like Castro, who rode to power under the banner of democratic reform, Trudeau apparently sees nothing wrong with attaining power undre the label and with the help of a “political trend” he despises. To achieve his objective, Trudeau seems even willing to play temporarily the role of a reliable Grit hack to perfection.
If the Liberals let themselves be beguiled by the stratagem of their allged messiah, they’ll prove that Trudeau was right when he called them a bunch of idiots. That is, of course, their business.
Unfortunately, the :Liberals are selecting not only a new leader of their party, but also the new Prime Minister of Canada. In that position, a man of Trudeau’s political philosophy and autocratic tendency can do a lot of harm to the country before the electorate gets a chance to correct the mistake.
Nasty Rumors — 28 Mar. 69
Here and there one hears Mr. Trudeau’s aficionados
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complaining about “nasty rumors” allegedly designed to harm their idol’s chances to become Canada’s next Prime Minister.
The existence of such rumors — if that is what attempts to fill many gaps in the justice minister’s sketchy biography are — is Mr. Trudeau’s own fault. For had he revealed his obviously colorful background in detail, there would be no room for rumors and guessing.
For example, there is the question of Mr. Trudeau’s war record. All that is known, though not thanks to Mr. Trudeau, is that he did not take part in the fight against the totalitarian menace of Nazism and Fascism.
Given his avowed penchant for freedom, people naturally want to know why, as a healthy young man of the right age, he avoided military service when Canada’s armed forces were helping to preserve freedom.
Another newspaper reported that in 1940 Trudeau was booted out of the Canadian Officer Training Corps for lack of discipline. Is that a “nasty rumor” or fact? I do not know.
But I do know that in the foreword to his recently published book on federalism Mr. Trudeau says: “The only constant factor to be found in my thinking over the years has been opposition to accepted opinion.”
The accepted opinion in 1940 was that survival of liberty depended on military defeat of the Axis powers. That view was not only the accepted opinion but also the absolutely correct historical imperative. Did the “only constant factor” in Trudeau’s thinking compel him to oppose the war effort as “nasty rumors” have it?
By the same token, were all his subsequent private and political activities motivated solely or primarily by his “opposition to accepted opinions,” regardless of the nature of the accepted opinions?
This is a very serious matter, for if that happens to
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be the foundation of Mr. Trudeau’s thinking and character, how can he function as a politician, let alone Prime Minister, without attempting to force his own will on the country?
If Mr. Trudeau is the compulsive opponent of the consensus of the majority he says he is, how can anyone at least faintly aware of the principles and preconditions of democratic self-rule contemplate putting such a man in charge of our Government?
‘New’ Species — 4 Apr. 68
There is a widespread feeling, particularly among the younger people, that Mr. Trudeau is a new species of political animal on the federal scene.
I share this feeling, but for different reasons than those which generate the “swinger” excitement over Trudeau’s leather coat, ascot, sandals, Napoleonic hair style, and the worldly “intellectualism” of his moody mixtures of boredom and arrogance.
I see Mr. Trudeau as a very determined man who is currently playing a shrewd political game from which he hopes to emerge in a position of power to shape Canadian society in his own image.
That image, judging by Mr. Trudeau’s writings over the past 20 years, has little in common with the political philosophy of the Liberal party. …
From his student days until his Grit candidacy in the 1965 election Mr. Trudeau was known to his friends as a socialist. Introducing Trudeau’s collection of essays on federalism, John T. Saywell still calls him in 1968 a “democratic socialist,” not a liberal. The essays themselves leave no doubt about the accuracy of the political classification.
There is, of course, no reason why a socialist shouldn’t run for public office. The CCFers and the
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NDPers have been doing it for decades. But they have been doing it under their own political banner. Their advocacy of socialism never won them enough popular support to form the Federal Government.
In 1961 Mr. Trudeau chided them for stupid tactics and told them that while seeking power, “socialists must stand for different things in different parts of Canada” and lauded Mao Tse-tung’s camouflaged revolutionary strategy as an example Canadian socialists should emulate.
“I should like to see,” Trudeau wrote, “socialists feeling free to espouse whatever political trends or to use whatever constitutional tools happen to fit each particular problem at each particular time.” …
Watching a great party running the risk of being used for other than its avowed purposes, all a political columnist can do is shout: Watch out!
Hasten Separation — 5 Apr. 68
Talking to delegates I find that most of those who support Trudeau cannot explain what attracts them to the man. Their commitment, bordering often on hero-worship, is largely emotional. Those who oppose him, recall that only five years ago Mr. Trudeau derided the Liberal Party as a bunch of idiots, campaigned for the New Democrats and “preached socialism.”
An unexpected reason for opposing Trudeau came from a Quebec delegate who told me that “all the separatists hope we’ll elect him because they are certain that a Federal Government under Trudeau will assure and hasten Quebec’s separation.”
Good-bye Canada — 8 Apr. 68
When it was all over, I listened for comment amid the roar of Trudeau worshipers.
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A delegate from Quebec said: “Good-bye Canada.”
A Soviet journalist said: “Excellent choice. Trudeau will make Canada progressive.”
A Cabinet minister muttered: “The Seven Days boys are in charge now.”
A woman, taking off her delegate’s badge, said: “This isn’t my party any more. God help us all.”
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Blank mandate 25 June 1968
Nominally, we’ll continue to be governed by the Liberal Party. In fact, the new Government will be very much the instrument of Pierre Trudeau, who won the election on the strength of a mesmerizing personality cult and sweeping generalizations of unspecified “new directions”.
Having secured a virtually blank mandate almost single-handedly, the Prime Minister can now strike out in any direction he desires and say, without fear of contradiction: This is what I was campaigning for. Neither his ministers, nor the Liberal Party will be in a position to influence the Trudeau course in any significant way, because their present position derives from Trudeau’s election performance.
And the opposition parties may find themselves out-manoeuvred by the charismatic PM in the new Commons, just as they found themselves out-manoeuvred in the election campaign.
Perhaps I am exaggerating the prospect of an autocratic regime but there is precious little in the political constellation which emerged from the verdict of the electorate that stands in the way of its realization.
The best anyone can hope for is that, wittingly or
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unwittingly, Mr. Trudeau will not use the personal power the election has given him to the detriment of the country’s vital interests.
Centralization — 11 July 68
Mr. Trudeau apparently intends to centralize departmental information services.
What the rules laid down by the Prime Minister seem to amount to is such a centralization of both political and administrative information under his direct control that only the totalitarian regimes seem to out-do the emerging setup in Ottawa.
Mr. Trudeau may think that his own frankness in public should more than offset the muzzling of everybody else in government, but who can tell how frank he will be when his administration runs into difficulties?
A system of official information monopoly that is ultimately controlled by one man, no matter how good the initial motivation of the scehem may be, poses a mortal threat to a free society.
Sloganeering — 17 Feb. 69
One of Prime Minister Trudeau’s slogans which has caught public imagination is “participatory democracy.”
The combination of the two words conjures up the image of direct and constant involvement of masses of people in the management of public affairs.
This image implies that government ceases to be the executive instrument of the ruling party whose program is subject to scrutiny by the elected representatives of the people, and becomes a sort of seismograph of hitherto undetected undercurrents of the formative process of collective political will.
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The whole thing may be an interesting theoretical proposition for ivory tower contemplation of revival of ancient Greece, but as a practical method of modern government it’s a non-starter.
With all the marvels of electronic communications and computerized data systems at its command, the Government simply cannot conduct a constant plebiscite and reflect in its actions from day to day and hour to hour the often haphazard variations of the ever-changing pattern of public opinion.
“Participatory democracy” is therefore a gimmick of political sloganeering …
Unfortunately, none of those alleged innovations amount to more than empty vote-getting slogans which in some cases may be designed to divert attention from attempts to shortchange or smother the democratic process for the sake of “efficiency” in government.
The extreme example of this ruse is the “people’s democracy” slogan of the Marxist totalitarians who, while initially creating the illusion of direct mass participation in their administrative system, ushered in the cruellest form of dictatorship.
‘Re-orientation’ — 24 Apr. 69
Only the deaf and blind can still pretend not to know what the Prime Minister means by “re-orientation” of our foreign and defence policy. He means abandonment of the course of collective security we have been following for the past two decades.
Public’s Fears — 14 May 69
More and more of my readers who write to say that they agree with the views expressed in this column ask
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me not to use their names because they fear they would be hounded by those holding opposite ideas.
For example, a high school teacher who strongly opposes the changes in our foreign and defence policy wrote recently that he would not dare to open his mouth in discussions on the subject because his “left-wing” colleagues and students would make life miserable for him and he could perhaps even lose his job.
“I have a wife and young daughter, am dependent upon my salary for support,” he said. “Therefore I don’t want to attract any attention to myself.”
Another correspondent wrote: “Would appreciate your not mentioning my name to protect the family.”
This is a fairly recent and disturbing phenomenon.
It is disturbing because it indicates a budding atmosphere of fear which is making people unwilling to voice and defend their views on public matters …
“I am not a coward,” a reader writes, “but what can you do when you are repeatedly shouted down and treated like a leper? I have a family to look after and cannot afford to run the risk of losing my job.”
Another one says: “What worries me most is that people who privately agree with my views no longer dare to support me when the ‘activists’ attack me at our meetings. I have no experience with dictatorial practices, but isn’t a climate of fear in which civic courage dies an essential part of the setup?”
It certainly is. And when civic courage dies, freedom dies with it.
Ideologies — 19 Feb. 70
After a lengthy examination of the Federal Government’s anti-inflation program, I have come to the tentative conclusion (one can never be absolutely certain about these things) that the Trudeau administration has
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chosen a wrong approach and that the reason for it is, in all probability, the Trudeaucrats’ obsession with ivory tower abstractions of reality.
They are so enmeshed in the political and economic theories which flow with impeccable logic from these abstractions that when an actual situation does not fit the preconceived concepts they try to make it conform at any cost. The result of this academic (or, in a broader sense, ideological) approach to the complex task of government is that facts which are at odds with theories are rationalized away or simply ignored.
In other words, policies tend to be based on ideological formulas whose logical perfection in the vacuum of abstract theorizing is deemed to justify any butchering of reality.
This, in a nutshell, is my explanation of what is now widely regarded as dangerous rigidity, obstinacy and arrogance of the Trudeau regime. Fairly convincing examples of the reality-be-damned stance are the re-orientation of our defence and foreign policy, the constitutional revision process, the downgrading of Parliament and the anti-inflation campaign. In all these instances, preconceived concepts are being imposed, regardless of the damage, on a reality that does not fit the theories.
There is another, far more alarming explanation. I heard it in recent days from several very worried members of Parliament.
The gist of this hypothesis — and I want to stress that it is as yet no more than that — is that all the major policies introduced by the Trudeau Government fall into a pattern designed to produce radical changes in Canada’s social, political and economic structure. The ultimate aim is seen to be transformation of Canada into a “socialist state.”
To accomplish this aim, the transformation hypothesis, maintains Mr. Trudeau, who in his earlier writings advised Canada’s socialists how to go about it, has to
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convince the country that our pluralistic political and economic system no longer works. Hence his constitutional rigidity on the one hand and “creeping republicanism” on the other (presumably to pave the way to a Gaullist-type semi-dictatorship as a way out of seemingly insoluble political difficulties).
Hence also, in the economic field, the choice of anti-inflation measures which produce stagnation and rising unemployment …
Leaving aside Mr. Trudeau’s advocacy of the “socialist” system for Canada in his academic past, there is as yet no hard evidence to substantiate this interpretation of his policies. But it is symptomatic of the growing political uneasiness that such an interpretation is now being seriously discussed and weighed by members of Parliament.
Since I am not at liberty to quote from private conversations, I’ll quote from a speech in the Commons which voiced some of these fears.
Relating constitutional problems to economic policies, Gordon Ritchie (PC, Dauphin) said (Cf. Hansard of Jan. 27, P. 2888):
“It appears to me to be a strong possibility at least that, using the combined provisions of the Estate Tax Act already passed, and the proposals in the White Paper on tax reform yet to come, the Government will effectively reduce individual Canadians to easily controlled and easily manipulated economic units.
“Other legislation, notably the proposed measure dealing with investment, will shackle business to government so that business decision … would be at the control of the central authority. When that day comes, Canada may well be, in everything but name, an authoritarian socialist state.”
If this interpretation of what the Government is doing is completely incorrect, Mr. Trudeau has himself to blame for the misunderstanding. For, again apart
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from his earlier writings and speeches which he never repudiated, he said in an interview last spring while discussing his efforts to change the course of the ship of state:
“… One has to be in the wheelhouse to see what shifts are taking place. I know that we have spun the wheel and I know that the rudder is beginning to press against the waves and the sea … but perhaps the observer, who is on the deck and smoking his pipe, or drinking his tea, sees the horizon much in the same direction and doesn’t realize it, but perhaps he will find himself disembarking at a different island than the one he thought he was sailing for.”
Well, it seems to me that the passengers, some of whom are pretty close to the wheelhouse, are beginning to wonder out loud where Captain Trudeau is sailing.
Alarming Pattern — 26 Feb. 70
A week ago I reported the gist of conversations with several members of Parliament who think they discern an alarming pattern in the Trudeau regime’s policies.
The feeling that the Government may be following some systematic program of “socialization” at home and appeasement of Marxist totalitarianism abroad is not confined to Parliament Hill. It has been cropping up for some time in letters I get from readers of this column.
The following are excerpts from a probing and challenging letter written by a worried academic.
“You repeatedly deplore what you take to be the blindness, wishful thinking, amiability or delusions of our governors to the reality of menacing acts by the Communists. You seem to assume that if only so and so were less idealistic he would see that his conclusions do not stem from facts but from mere hope and Canadian good will.”
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“This may well be so. But should you not consider the alternative and direct point of view that he simply favors the Communist ideology to an extent sufficient to defer to it whenever other circumstances permit?
“Should you not take as one possibility that our people who support this ideology on one point or two may support it generally? You would then convert a suspicion of their credulity into an examination of the consequences of their acts.
“As to why a man has a belief, who can say — even the man himself? But we may try to discern the actions prompted by that belief.
“All I need to observe is that time and time again Canadian socialist (Liberal and NDP) leaders lean toward support of the Communists in this or that in order to predict that they will continue to do so. Their stated reasons are of secondary interest to me except to help recognize their pattern of response as new situations arise.
“Their tolerance of bloody regimes which have killed tens of millions of people, which have kept the world in 25 years of continual turmoil and put it to untold waste expense, which are barbaric and brutal, passes my understanding. Yet there they stand, courting the Maoists, thumbing noses at allies, harming our defence, admitting U.S. Army deserters and Communists, never raising a protest against North Vietnam’s savage attacks upon her neighbors, and acting as if the Cuban Government was as respectable as any.
“The Liberals with these views have been in power a long time. Should you, as a critic and disbeliever, assume that our governors come to their views through delusions? Should you not assume that they may be serious?
“For instance, what was the result of Mr. Pearson’s celebrated peace effort in Egypt? Instead of there being British and French at Suez now there are Russians,
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and Israel is beleaguered by them. Stripped of ornamentation, there is the eventual fact. Was his peace effort, nevertheless, worthy or idealistic, or was it a parst of a consistent pattern of ‘socialist’ advance?
“Who is Mr. Pearson’s successor? A fellow idealist bent upon contributing to worlde amity or a socialist whose main visible moves have been to recognize the Peking regime, to get out of NATO and to seek confiscation of property at home?
“Suppose we watch two teams, A and B, and observe a group of spectators who do not boo when A players commit a foul, who seem complacent if quiet when A gets a goal, who talk in comradely fashion to members of the A team. Would you be deluded not to consider that they may actually be sympathetic to the A team and not just well-intentioned good sports?
“Is a Canadian yawn in the face of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia just Canadian affability embarrassed in the summer heat, or a revelation of a true sympathy? Does our pride in getting a scientist into Russia or a Soviet scientist into Canada just denote a pathetic interest in novelty or a satisfaction in weaving a thread? Do the Liberals still share Mr. King’s distaste for the Gouzenko disclosures?
“What about our media’s long history of tolerance of things Communist? What about singling our Tanzania for help — is it just tolerance of a different system or a positive support of it? And is the confiscatory philosophy of the White Paper on taxation expressing a laudable urge to give everyone a fair shake or part of a long-term pattern to impose the socialist ideal of an insignificant role to private enterprise?
“We do have a right to assuage fears by scouting a supposed enemy, and to judge our locals by what they do. If, imbedded in the brutish breath of Communism, there is a subtle odor of deep-seated humanity to which the Canadian socialist nose is sensitive and ours is not,
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let us be advised. But let us have a debate of the issue in full view and not engage in some sort of poetic dialogue in which nothing is said explicitly but only by indirection, hint and suggestion.”
New Order — 20 June 70
Since the collapse of the isolationist doctrine of the 1930s, the top priority of our foreign policy has been peace and security. From now on, in line with Mr. Trudeau’s view of the world, the top priority of our foreign policy will be economic growth. Next come social justice and quality of life.
Policies designed to foster peace and security have been down-graded to fourth place.
This new order of foreign policy priorities would conceivable make some sense in a world free from danger to peace and security and composed of self-sufficient, perfectly balances national states. If such a world exists in the realm of academic abstractions, it certainly does not exist in reality.
The world we live in is a world of ideological and power conflicts which demand from the functioning democracies subordination of all other considerations to the overriding task of preservation of peace and freedom. Without peace, economic growth is meaningless, and without freedom, social justice is an empty phrase.
Diversions — 27 Feb. 70
Whenever a government — any government — needs to divert public attention from domestic difficulties, it starts beating the drums of nationalism. It’s a sure-fire formula for creating an atmosphere of fervent, self-righteous emotionalism which makes calm reasoning look like treason.
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Raw emotionalism works best in primitive societies, but even relatively sophisticated nations, which take pride in their polished veneer of civilization, succumb to chauvinistic tantrums when their leaders make a pitch for tribal instincts.
All politicians know the unfailing effectiveness of the nationalistic appeal and few hesitate to use it when the going gets tough for them. The Trudeaucrats are no exception.
Having run into serious political and economic difficulties … the Trudeau Government is busy whipping up nationalistic sentiments to ease the growing pressures …
Canada’s Emperor — 18 Feb. 71
What’s all the fuss about? Don’t people realize that, as the uncrowned emperor of all Canadians, Pierre the First has to be even-handed in the use of the two official languages? National unity demands no less.
He can’t afford to be more lavish with his bon mots to one group than to the other. Such favoritism would create jealousies which could — heaven forbid — lead to civil war.
So, having shouted one of the choice French language obscenities at a group of demonstrating Francophones on Parliament Hill recently, Pierre Trudeau had a moral obligation to even the score in the other official language as soon as possible.
Since waiting for a suitable group of English-speaking demonstrators could have created an unfortunate impression of deliberate neglect of the Anglo-Saxons, Mr. Trudeau discharged his heavy burden of impartiality in the Commons when a pesky Tory backbencher wouldn’t stop asking irritating questions about unemployment.
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The ancient rules of the House, which insist on a certain standard of decorum, prevented Mr. Trudeau from shouting the idiomatic equivalent of the previously used French vulgarity. But he surmounted that silly obstacle magnificently by forming the four-letter phrase with his expressive lips and hurling it across the floor with an unmistakable gesture of his hands.
No one who watched that superb piece of pantomime had the slightest doubt that what the Prime Minister said was as close in the other official language to “mangez de la merde” as any expert can get.
Bearing in mind the unenlightened prudery of the rules of the House, he subsequently denied it in front of TV cameras and microphones, but no one, including himself, took the denial seriously. His playful suggestion that what he was mouthing may have been “fuddle duddle” simply did not fit the movement of his lips and hands.
The opposition, which together with the Press Gallery and visitors (including a bunch of delighted school kids) lipread the message without the slightest difficulty, wanted the phrase recorded in Hansard for posterity.
Mr. Trudeau modestly demurred and pointed out, quite correctly, that he did not say anything.
(Hansard records every word spoken in the House but cannot cope with silent acting.)
I suggest a special committee be set up — the subject is too narrow to justify a Royal commission — to study the oversight and make appropriate recommendations.
One solution could be the hiring of additional Hansard reporters with postgraduate training in pantomime deciphering and lipreading in both official languages. Another would be televised Hansard with daily lighlights and summaries on the national networks.
Listening to and reading comments on the Prime Minister’s unspoken obscenity, I notice that most opinion-
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ion makers concentrate on the vulgarity of the scene. This, in my humble opinion, is relatively unimportant. The Prime Minister has been publicly vulgar before on quite a number of occasions.
What needs explaining, it seems to me is why he does these things, not what obscene phrases and vulgar gestures he uses.
My impression is that these tantrums which debase the office he holds are the dark side of the dazzling coin of Mr. Trudeau’s intellectual brilliance. He feels so superior to everybody — and I mean everybody — in the country that chose him as its leader that he regards any expression of doubt about his omniscience and any questioning of his policies and actions as stupid and intolerable effrontery.
His description of all members of the opposition parties in Parliament as “nobodies” was not accidental. From his point of view it was a matter-of-fact description of the political reality as he sees it.
Since he, and he alone, knows precisely how the country should be run and what needs to be done at any given moment, Mr. Trudeau regards Parliament as an outmoded nuisance.
He therefore considers the procedural requirement of presenting himself daily for questioning by the elected representatives of the opposition parties as a total waste of his time. For anyone who opposes him must be, by his definition, a hopeless fool. He feels no obligation to suffer fools gladly.
In his intellectual conceit, Mr. Trudeau does not seem to have a much higher opinion of his supporters either. They too are fools, but at least they are useful fools who serve his purposes.
With this mental makeup, which could be the product of a freak combination of elitist upbringing and absorption of certain ideological certitudes, Mr. Tru-
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deau cannot but feel that the power he has acquired is his due and that he is entitled to use it as he sees fit.
When his political opponents are so idiotic that they don’t realize and accept his right to autocratic rule, they are asking for contemptuous treatment.
And since, in Mr. Trudeau’s view, they are too stupid to be worthy of rational argument and tolerance, he treats them with derision and profanity.
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Rule 16-A — 18 Dec. 68
Will people realize the totalitarian danger inherent in Rule 16-A and will they manifest their concern in time to prevent the ramming of the measure through the House?
Much depends on the mass media, for only they can explain the seemingly complex procedural issue in its crude simplicity without arousing suspicions of political partisanship; and only they can transmit the atmosphere of alarm and urgency in the Commons.
After a slow start, most of the newspapers across the country I have seen are now paying a good deal of attention to the rules debate, particularly in their editorial columns. But the coverage is still far from what, in my humble opinion, such an important fight for preservation of basic democratic freedoms deserves and should receive.
The same applies to television and radio coverage.
People can hardly be expected to sense the crucial importance of the struggle in the Commons against the Government’s grasp for dictatorial powers if, for example, the CBC’s main television public affairs program on Sunday evening does not even mention it.
The core of the issue involved in the rules debate is
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so important to the future of Canada’s political structure that it should scream daily in big headlines from the front page of every newspaper and top every TV and radio news bulletin.
The alarm and urgency that is needed for persuading the Government to desist from muzzling Parliament can hardly be generated by a few analytical editorials and a few commentaries tucked away into the odd corners of television and radio programming.
Since virtually nobody reads Hansard and the public galleries in the Commons are almost empty after the daily question period, the mass media are the only means for alerting the country to the importance of what is at first sight a dull and incomprehensible subject.
The opposition parties are doing their level best in the Commons to protect the country against the totalitarian implications of Rule 16-A. But they cannot succeed without strong public support.
Mere Ornament — 19 Dec. 68
Liberal MP Steven Otto (York East) wasn’t kidding when he told his incredulous constituents that Parliament was in acute danger of becoming a mere ornament of Prime Minister Trudeau’s personal rule.
Mr. Otto sees the emasculation of the role of Parliament coming in two ways. First, as a result of Mr. Trudeau’s bypassing of his own backbenchers through the establishment of the so-called regional desks; second, as a result of the proposed Rule 16-A which envisages complete control of the Commons by the Prime Minister through the Government House leader who would be able to impose closure before debate.
The regional desks, which are supposed to keep the PM’s office informed of the mood and wishes of the
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people, are being staffed by hand-picked appointees from among Mr. Trudeau’s friends and admirers. Mr. Otto describes them as “local informers.”
Their network, when completed, will provide the Prime Minister with an organization of political commisars answerable not to the Liberal Party but to him personally. Reports from this private outfit, Mr. Otto tells us, will be edited and forwarded to the Prime Minister in the form of briefs on future policy.
The elected Liberal members of Parliament will thus cease to be the political transmission belt between their constituents and the Government. In Mr. Otto’s words, “the MP, as he is now known, is dead.”
He will be simply told in caucus of policy decisions based on information culled from the “local informers”, and his sole function in the House will be to vote as instructed by the party whip. His role in the committees of the Commons will be equally ornamental, for under the new rules no Liberal member of the committees, as Mr. Otto sees it, will dare to question anything the Government does for fear of being instantly removed. (This power will now be vested in the party whip instead of in the House as a whole.)
All this will render the Government backbencher completely impotent and his constituents will soon discover the futility of turning to him with their problems. The public will therefore seek the attention of the appointede “local informers” who, according to Mr. Otto, will have powerful influence in the PM’s office not only in the shaping of policy decisions but also in all areas of Government patronage.
In short, if Mr. Otto’s projection of the budding pattern of authoritarian exercise of power is correct, the Prime Minister will downgrade and bypass Parliament by building a thinly-disguised system of personal rule based on the two-way function of his regional desks.
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Mr. Otto is resigned to what he sees as a clearly emerging shift from parliamentary democracy to a semi-dictatorial Federal Government enforcing the will of one man.
Rubber Stamp — 20 Dec. 68
Opposition leader Robert Stanfield: “The great majority of the members of this House know that if Parliament becomes a rubber stamp it becomes useless.
“No Government in the free world has the power that is now being sought by the Government of Canada.
“The proposals should not be viewed in isolation from other developments which together have the ominous effect of building the power of government at the expense of the individual citizen …
“Pass this proposal, and the volumes that have been written by the Prime Minister over 20 years on the rights of the minority will be categorized as sanctimonious hypocrisy. It would be no democracy at all if the Government could use Parliament as a rubberstamp.”
Dictatorship — 26 June 69
When the Government found it politically inadvisable six months ago to impose the “closure in advance of debate” rule 16-A on the Commons, the Prime Minister was asked whether he intended to come back with some new version of the measure. His answer was: “Very much so.”
At that time Mr. Trudeau explained his temporary retreat as a trick on the opposition. Rule 16-A, he implied, was deliberately drafted in a provocative and unacceptable way so that the opposition would pounce on
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it and overlook the rest of the package of proposed reforms of parliamentary rules and proceedings.
The trick, he said, worked beautifully.
Everyone who followed the pre-Christmas rules debate knew that the Prime Minister was inventing things. With the exception of the dictatorial rule 16-A the reform package was the product of an all-party agreement and as such was assured of smooth passage through the House. There was no need for any trick to obtain the opposition’s approval of reforms.
The truth of the matter is that rule 16-A was slipped in by the Government with the hope that the opposition would pass the whole package without realizing the consequences. When this did not happen and the outcry in the Commons against the attempt to muzzle Parliament grew until the public took notice of it, the Prime Minister ordered a retreat and invented the “smart trick” explanation of the pullback.
Agreeing to refer rule 16-A back to the committee on procedure and organization with instructions to draft an alternative, Mr. Trudeau made it clear that he wasn’t dropping the issue. Speaking for the Opposition, Mr. Stanfield made it equally clear that any attempt to re-introduce the dictatorial aspect of rule 16-A would be fought resolutely.
The clash, which is about to flare up again in the Green Chamber, is not over the principle of a time-table for the business of the House. The opposition parties agree with the Government that there is need for some provision regulating allocation of the bulk of debating time but they insist on a reasonable consultative procedure and refuse to accept the Government’s insistence on arbitrary imposition of closure in advance of debate whenever agreement cannot be reached.
After six months of work on the problem, the standing committee on procedure and organization came up
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with a re-draft of rule 16-A in the form of three new rules: 75-A, 75-B and 75-C.
Rule 75-A provides for a time allocation when there is agreement among the representatives of all parties. In practice this means agreement among the four House leaders.
Rule 75-B provides that if three out of the four House leaders agree on a time allocation, such agreement may be put before the House for a two-hour debate ending with a vote. In this case the mandatory short debate provides an opportunity for the dissenting party to state its objections to the proposed time allocation before the prescribed vote is taken.
The opposition parties accept rules 75-A and 75-B. They are determined, however, to fight rule 75-C which was added against their unanimous objections by the Liberals on the procedure committee.
Rule 75-C, which contains all the autocratic features of rule 16-A, empowers a minister of the Crown to present the Commons with a time allocation order whenever the House leaders of all the parties fail to reach unanimous or majority agreement on limitation of debate.
The rule provides for a two-hour debate of the arbitrary closure-in-advance motion but, as NDP House leader Stanley Knowles points out, “The Government majority is there, and the picture is clear.”
The picture is indeed clear. Passage of rule 75-C would effectively destroy the only chance the opposition has under a Trudeau-type majority Government to prevent the degradation of Parliament into an automatic rubber stamp of the executive.
For unless the opposition that faces an autocratically controlled majority can challenge the Government in debates lasting long enough to alert the public to potentially harmful legislation and policies, Parliament it-
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self becomes meaningless and useless. When that happens, dictatorship moves in.
Liberal Fascism — 24 July 69
Demonstrators on Parliament Hill called it the beginning of an era of “Liberal fascism.” That is, it seems to me, an exaggeration — at least for the time being.
A more fitting term for the system of government the Prime Minister and his colleagues are moulding is “Trudeaucracy.”
In other parts of the world this system is sometimes called “guided democracy.”
The essence of it is autocratic rule with the trapping of self-government. Parliament is not abolished but its role is downgraded to that of a mere rubber stamp of the ruling clique or individual.
Elections continue to be held at regular intervals but they cease to be free expressions of the political will of the electorate.
An all-pervasive fear, which can be induced by intellectual terror without recourse to the crude methods of a police state, guarantees perpetuation of the autocratic setup in power.
In plain language, a more or less subtle dictatorship — depending on the sophistication of its practitioners and the social milieu in which they operate — sets up shop behind the facade of democratic institutions and constitutionality.
This, I am afraid, may be the prospect we are facing in the wake of the Government’s decision to ram the Parliament-muzzling Rule 75-C through the Commons by closure.
Many people will no doubt feel and argue that this sort of thing is conceivable in some distant countries
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which never knew genuine democracy, but not in Canada.
Let’s not kid ourselves. In this day and age of “scientific” manipulation, of conditioned Pavlovian reflexes, of unprincipled, cowardly self-deceptions and decadent abstractions, it can happen anywhere.
With the rape of Parliament it is, in fact, already happening here.
What’s more, the process of transition from the system of parliamentary democracy we have known in the past to what I call Trudeaucracy, though unnoticed by most people, has been going on for quite a while. It started the moment the bewitched Trudeaumaniacs gave their idol the power he was seeking when he selected the Liberal party as his political tool.
For those who did not bother to read Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s writings but did not succumb to blind adulation, the first glimpse of his autocratic tendencies came before last year’s election when he told one of his press conferences that in his interpretation of our political system the Prime Minister “is the nearest thing to a dictator ….”
This alone should have been a warning, but hardly anybody paid any attention, just as hardly anyone paid attention to his admiration for Machiavelli and “that superb strategist, Mao Tse-tung.”
Yet these were clear signs of the shape and direction his regime would take.
Once elected, the Prime Minister started implementing the dictatorial concept of his office, concentrating on downgrading the role and function of Parliament.
His regional desks, his rota system for Cabinet ministers, his transfer of the control of the purse to standing committees which he could easily control, soon fell into a pattern of snubbing and bypassing the Commons ….
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Change Rules — 25 July 69
To be able to safeguard the sovereignty and freedom of the people it represents, Parliament must be fully in charge of the rules and procedures under which it operates, for these rules and procedures determine the scope and effectiveness of its control of the executive.
In other words, only Parliament as a whole can, if it finds it necessary, change its own rules, and any such change has to be the result of an all-party consensus. The Government, regardless of the size of its majority in the House, has no right to tell the Commons how it should operate. In our political system the Government is the servant, not the master of Parliament. Reversal of the positions is the hallmark of the various forms of dictatorship.
This is so basic that no democratic government would ever try to change the rules of parliamentary procedure unilaterally unless it intended to reduce Parliament to a rubber stamp of what in the end amounts to dictatorial rule.
So when the Trudeau Government went beyond the all-party consensus reached on allocation of time for debate, the opposition parties, already uneasy about Mr. Trudeau’s tendency to treat Parliament as a nuisance, could not help suspecting that the PM was laying the ground for autocratic rule.
Hence their united stand in their own holiday time against the Parliament-muzzling Rule 75-C and their last-ditch effort to stall the ramming of the dangerous measure through the House by closure.
Having deliberately provoked the confrontation, the Government stooped to cynical misrepresentation of the Opposition’s desperate defence of the essential rights of Parliament as wanton obstructionism.
This is the standard Big Lie technique …
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Betrayal — 28 July 69
Once started, the process of betrayal of basic democratic principles, or of tacit acceptance of the first step along the slippery path of authoritarianism, generates its own momentum.
Seemingly convincing arguments are always found for justification of the unfolding sequence, because every subsequent limitation of freedom stems from and feeds on the logic of the preceding move.
The moment you gag Parliament, you are on the way to gagging the press, to restricting the freedom of assembly, and so on, until there is nothing left for the boa constrictor to crush but its own tail.
It need not necessarily be planned that way, but that’s how it tends to develop once the parliamentary safeguards of the democratic process are broken …
For a while the whole operation is neat, seemingly efficient, but despite its professed noble aims it becomes increasingly inhuman.
New Democrat David Lewis summed it all up in our particular case of budding Trudeaucracy when, pointing his finger at the Prime Minister in the heat of the closure debate, he said:
“There but for the grace of Pierre Elliott Trudeau sits God.”
‘Just nil’ — 30 July 69
In his pompous, insulting speech in the Commons last Friday Prime Minister Trudeau dismissed opposition MPs as a bunch of “nobodies.”
“When they get home,” he said, “when they get out of Parliament, when they are 50 yards from Parliament Hill, they are no longer honorable members — they are just nobodies … Give them holidays and they vanish out of the picture.
“They become nobodies — they are just nil.”
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Coupled with his 1963 dismissal of the Liberals as a “bunch of idiots,” this leaves only the Trudeaucrats of his administration as a group of any political consequence and explains his contempt for the parliamentary form of government ….
Freedom’s Loss — 20 Mar. 70
Whatever his shortcomings and failings as Prime Minister and leader of the Official Opposition, John Diefenbaker has always been an exemplary parliamentarian. His life-long devotion to the concept of Parliament as the embodiment and guardian of democratic freedoms cannot be questioned.
so when Mr. Diefenbaker voices concern over what he sees as systematic degradation of the function of Parliament in our society, his words are cause for alarm.
Using the wide latitude of the budget debate in the Commons, Mr. Diefenbaker delivered this week a solemn warning to the nation about the Trudeau Administration’s treatment of Parliament.
“I have been deeply concerned and am now,” he said, “about what is happening to this institution, for if it goes, freedom goes …
“When this institution becomes a place in which there is no difference of opinion it will die. I am forced into the opinion that what is happening is that while the Government gives to Parliament a kiss of approval it is a kiss of Judas … While pretending to support Parliament, he (the Prime Minister) contributes to its destruction …
“Unless members in all parts of the House stand up for their rights, this institution will not much longer be the custodian of freedom … We do not want this institution to be a cemetery operated by its own inmates. This is what is coming about ….”
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Turning to the larger question of where the Trudeau regime was heading, Mr. Diefenbaker used a fascinating but little known Trudeau quotation …
“I have read what the Prime Minister said in London on Jan. 13, 1969 when he gave his view and his testimony to Canadian university students in the United Kingdom. One of the questions was this: ‘What society would you choose to make Canada? Socialist or capitalist?’
“This was his (Mr. Trudeau’s) answer: ‘Labor Party socialist — or Cuban socialism or Chinese socialism — socialism from each according to his means.’
“And then the questioner said: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. (i.e., the Marxist formula). Would you support that?’
“The Prime Minister said: ‘Yes, in theory, but not entirely in practice. I think in history there have been some small communities who have done that, and I support this and admire it. I do not think it is workable under present circumstances. There is still a lot of hate and violence and injustice and inequity and racial discrimination which we shall have to overcome before ever reaching such a state.
“‘But if you ask me if it is an ideal, a beacon, something which the world should have, yes I think it is.’
“Analyse those words,” Mr. Diefenbaker said … “and then come to your own conclusion.”
The quotation does not need any elaborate analysis. It confirms what perceptive students of Mr. Trudeau’s writings have been saying, namely that his ideal of social organization is some form of Marxist “socialism” and that his views have not changed since he joined the Liberal Party and became our Prime Minister.
Quo vadis, Canada, under such a stewardship?
Dare Criticize — 19 Feb. 71
Under the Soviet system, people who dare voice criti-
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cism of their Government are declared insane and put into lunatic asylums where their minds are methodically destroyed.
Under the Trudeau regime Government critics are labeled stupid nobodies by the Prime Minister and treated with derision.
While there is, thank heavens, still a world of difference between the two methods of dealing with opposition spokesmen, the rationale behind them is not entirely dissimilar.
Both regimes believe that they are all-knowing and infallible. In the Soviet case this is an institutionalized certainty — hence no opposition of any kind is tolerated to what is presented as the ultimate and absolute verities of “scientific socialism.”
Both regimes believe that they are all-knowing and infallible. In the Soviet case this is an institutionalized certainty — hence no opposition of any kind is tolerated to what is presented as the ultimate and absolute verities of “scientific socialism.”
In the case of the Trudeaucrats it’s mainly intellectual conceit which does not yet have an institutionalized form, though attempts to devise a suitable machinery for its application are discernible all over the place …
While he may not seek to simply eliminate all opposition groups by force as Lenin, Mao-Tse-tung and Castro have done, Mr. Trudeau is doing his best to emasculate their function and discredit them by contemptuous ridicule.
The downgrading started in Parliament under the banner of long-overdue procedural reforms.
Many of the reforms introduced and enacted by the Trudeau regime have, no doubt, been sorely needed. But wrapped up in the packages of necessary reforms (some of which have been demanded and formulatede by the opposition parties), the Government rammed through changes which gag the opposition and gradually transform Parliament into a rubber stamp of the executive.
From the point of view of men who seek autocratic rule, this does constitute a major improvement in the
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efficiency of the Commons. (In this sense the most efficient Legislative Assembly is the Supreme Soviet which simply passes without question whatever the dictatorial executive puts before it). But from the point of view of effective representative self-government it is, to say the least, an ominous development ….
I don’t think Mr. Trudeau would start sending his critics to lunatic asylums if he could get away with it, but by treating them as demented, contemptuous idiots he is exhibiting quite a few aspects of the mentality that motivates the Soviet practice.
The Press — 1 Aug. 69
When it was all over in the Commons last week and honorable members (“nobodies” and “somebodies” alike) were sipping their drinks at the end-of-session party in the Speaker’s chambers, I asked the muscle-flexing and obviously self-satisfied Prime Minister what his next target was now that he had finished with Parliament.
Was it the press?
Mr. Trudeau’s eyes twinkled with the sort of are-you-kidding amusement when he said: “I finished with the press last January.”
(Last January, as some people may still recall, Mr. Trudeau kicked the press in the posterior, to use his recent expression, for the reporting of his dates in ye olde London town and got considerable public applause for it.)
So Mr. Trudeau has “finished with the press.” p He hardly ever, by his own admission, bothers to look at the papers anyway and shrugs off the rest of the mass media with equal disdain.
He never had much use for the press — except for the period when he himself used the printed word for in-
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structing the “socialists” how to make headway in Canada under another label, and for the few months last year when the Trudeaumaniacs in the media did their mesmerized best to catapult him from obscurity to the highest office in the land.
But that’s all in the past. Mr. Trudeau no longer needs the media. In fact, increasingly critical of their own creation, they have become a bit of a nuisance; a pesky fly in the intoxicating ointment of power.
April Fool — 1 Apr. 70
April 1 — All Fools’ day. In Canada it should be renamed Information Canada Day to mark the operational launching of the Federal Government’s new information agency.
Proposed by a special task force last November, the creation of Information Canada was announced by Prime Minister Trudeau on Feb. 10 amid Opposition cries that the Government was establishing a ministry of propaganda ….
Robert Stanfield was so alarmed by the whole setup that he made a public pledge to dismantle Information Canada if he became Prime Minister.
J.L. Gagnon — 7 Apr. 70
From the moment the announcement of Mr. Jean-Louis Gagnon’s appointment to the directorship of Information Canada was made last month, spokesmen for the opposition parties have been voicing concern over the record of partisanship in Mr. Gagnon’s political past.
They have been wondering out loud if a man who once headed the propaganda and publicity committee
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of the federal Liberal Party in Quebec was the right person for the highly sensitive top position in the new controversial Federal agency. …
Had the Opposition members of Parliament done their homework, they would have discovered that Mr. Gagnon’s political past had been questioned in the Commons once before.
In 1956, as I pointed out last week, the then Prime Minister St. Laurent was asked if he was aware that “Jean-Louis Gagnon, who has been closely associated with (Soviet spy) Fred Rose and other well-known Canadian Communist leaders, is presently one of the main publicity agents of the Liberal Party in the Province of Quebec …” (Hansard for May 30, 1956, Page 4461).
Mr. St. Laurent’s refusal to comment on the question was perhaps justified at that time, for Mr. Gagnon was a party functionary and not an official of the Federal Government …
This time the situation is different. Mr. Gagnon’s appointment to the directorship of Information Canada, which is a Federal agency financed by the taxpayers, is not an internal party matter. Prime Minister Trudeau cannot therefore brush off questions about Mr. Gagnon’s background as irrelevant without enhancing suspicions that there may be something to hide.
Political style — 9 Mar. 70
Style, as we have seen since his dazzling campaign for the leadership of the Liberal Party two years ago, plays an important part in Mr. Trudeau’s grasp for and exercise of power. But it should be obvious by now that the PM does not regard style as an end in itself but as a means to an end.
That end, judging by the piecemeal and far from
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complete evidence of the Trudeau regime’s operational thrust, could well be a fundamental restructuring of Canada’s social fabric in the image of Mr. Trudeau’s politico-economic concepts.
Those concepts are no secret. They have been defined in Mr. Trudeau’s political writings over a period of more than two decades. Anyone willing to do a little research will find them spelled out with admirable clarity and precision. They are the ideological substance of the Trudeau regime.
Since the seemingly random assembly of the jigsaw puzzle of the Trudeau regime’s domestic and foreign policies does not as yet reveal an undisputable master design, it is possible to see it as a series of disjointed ad hoc measures held together only by Mr. Trudeau’s political style.
The casual onlooker, who knows nothing about Mr. Trudeau’s carefully evolved political philosophy, may indeed be at a loss to understand what the Prime Minister is trying to do. …
Having offered, with a “trust me” smile, no discernible, let alone specific, program of government to the electorate, Mr. Trudeau is free to do what he pleases and as he pleases. What’s more, the blank mandate he asked for an got under the hazy “Just Society” and “participatory democracy” slogans entitles him to exercise a virtually unlimited one-man rule.
In a country with deeply rooted, though perhaps no longer acutely felt and diligently cultivated democratic traditions, a one-man rule still has some limitations. Exercising his wide-open mandate, Mr. Trudeau has to be careful not to alarm the public by moving too fast and too blujntly.
Every arbitrary measure has to be presented as a beneficial, “progressive” reform designed to make the democratic process more efficient, more just and therefore stronger.
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Thus, for example, Mr. Trudeau downgraded Parliament while claimking to be doing the opposite. Too bad the opposition parties did not see it that way. His sole concern, the Trudeaucrats told the public, was to make the institution more efficient and in fact more powerful through a revised, modern committee system.
What they did not say was that parliamentary committees are easier to manipulate by the executive than the whole Commons. The public, confused by involved arguments over complex parliamentary rules, sighed with relief when Mr. Trudeau silenced the anguished protests of the opposition groups.
The fact that the Prime Minister pays no attention to committee recommendations when they do not fit his policy design, goes largely unnoticed.
The net result of the arbitrarily imposed House “reform” is that Mr. Trudeau no longer has to worry about Parliament being a serious obstacle to one-man rule. And the feat was accomplished in a style that left the impression that the PM had struck a blow for greater “participatory democracy.”
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Anti-Inflation — 6 Feb. 80
Since the Government’s anti-inflation measures are designed to grapple with psychological as well as economic factors, their desired effect depends more than ever on a thorough explanation of the nature of the problem and the methods and means chosen for its handling.
In this respect, it seems to me, the Government has done very little. It has done even less in convincing the various segments of the economy that the means and methods it chose for combatting the cost-price inflation are suited for the job in our particular circumstances.
This, more than all the sophistry of the Prime Minister, his minister of finance and the governor of the Bank of Canada, may explain why the fiscal and monetary policies imposed on the country by a secretive Government show none of the intended results. If, as Mr. Rasminsky says, they are beginning to bite, they must have invisible teeth or do the biting in the wrong places.
They do, however, have some effects which may not have been contemplated and which are harmful to the country.
The most noticeable and alarming of the detrimental effects is rising unemployment at a time of rising costs
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and prices. There can be little doubt that this double jeopardy is the result of a marked slowdown in the overall growth of the economy, which, in turn, is the result of a prolonged period of tight money. …
Slow Down — 16 Mar. 70
Mr. Benson had to admit in his budget speech that while the rate of economic growth is slowing down considerably as a result of the tight fiscal and monetary policies of the last two years, “There has been no slowing down in the rate of increase of prices and wages and other incomes.”
“Costs,” he said, “continue to push prices up. Slower real growth has not yet reduced inflation.” He expects it to do so “as the year proceeds.”
How realistic is this expectation which accounts for the Government’s determination to risk recession in order to bring costs and prices down?
What our economy is increasingly suffering from is insufficient effective demand for the goods and services we produce. By artificially depressing the existing demand, the Government is therefore aggravating the problem.
According to textbook economics declining demand should, in due course, force costs and prices down, lower prices then stimulate buying which clears the piled-up inventories and restores balance between supply and demand.
There was a time when the market forces followed this formula with little outside prodding. That time has passed with massive governmental, labor and capital intervention in the processes of the market place.
The cumulative result of these regulatory factors is that even when demand slackens or is depressed markedly, “costs continue to push prices up.”
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Why this is so is no mystery. The explanation can be found in Mr. Benson’s own budget papers.
Stated simply, big labor unions now have the power to force wage settlements out of all proportion to productivity gains even if the resulting higher costs and prices reduce sales, restrict production and increase unemployment.
This has been happening, together with capital and management efforts to pass the rising costs on t othe consumer, since the mid-1960s.
The budget papers show that output per worker in Canada declined from the average yearly increase of 3.2 per cent during 1961-65 to 1.8 per cent in 1965-69. At the same time wage costs per unit of output increased from 2.0 to 5.8 per cent annually. During the same two periods average corporate profits per unit of output went down from 5.9 to 0.2 per cent.
These figures demolish the labor argument that wages are not responsible for price increases. The budget papers show that in recent years wage costs amounted to about three quarters of the total rise in prices.
This being so, the Government is obviously fighting a wrong war by attacking a non-existent demand inflation and augmenting unemployment. It should be obvious that, short of bankrupting the economy, these nonsensical measures will not bring costs and prices down. Unless corrected soon they will, however, cause a lot of human misery and material damage.
Unemployment — 26 Jan. 71
A year ago the main domestic preoccupation of the Trudeau Government was inflation. Now it’s unemployment.
The two problems are interconnected — not by some
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natural law but by the method the Government has chosen to deal with them.
Faced with rapidly rising costs and prices — a situation the Trudeau regime inherited from the Pearson Government — the Government diagnosed the currency-based pressures as “demand inflation” and launched a vigorous deflationary campaign.
It soon became obvious that the diagnosis, based on the Keynesian economic theory, did not fit the actual circumstances. Far from suffering from demand inflation (i.e., too much money chasing too few goods), the economy was producing more goods than the effective demand could absorb. This meant that the real trouble was relative overproduction, which is the opposite of demand inflation.
I am using the term relative overproduction advisedly, for some categories of consumer needs (particularly housing) remained unsatisfied by the available supply. This happened not because the construction industry could not produce more houses, but because it priced itself out of reach of the average income group.
The same, though to a lesser degree, happened to a large variety of high-priced durables and even clothing which started piling up in stores and warehouses.
The deflationary monetary and fiscal measures taken by the Government against the wrongly diagnosed demand inflation worsened this novel malfunction of our economy. Tight money and higher taxes depressed the already lagging effective demand which forced cuts in production and induced a snowballing rise in unemployment.
For a while the Government thought that these were merely the inevitable side effects of its anti-inflation remedy, which was expected to cause some temporary employment difficulties while “cooling” the presumably overhead economy. The layoffs were in fact regarded as a sign that the medicine was doing its work.
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For accordin to the Keynesian formula, the artificially induced economic slowdown was to force costs and prices down, thereby automatically restimulating effective demand for goods and services.
The trouble with this formula is thaqt it relies on free interplay of supply and demand in a fiercely competitive market economy. No such conditions exist anywhere in the world. Even in the so-called capitalist countries the interplay of supply and demand is now subject to such a degree of governmental, trade union and managerial interference that the textbook laws of the market economy are largely irrelevant. In these circumstances an economic slowdown with its accompanying rising unemployment no longer automatically depresses costs and prices quickly enough to revitalize effective demand. And if prices do not fall, or at least stabilize, fast enough to boost demand quickly, a slowed down economy can only start sliding into recession. The relative overproduction at the start of the slowdown turns into a chronic and steadily worsening waste of economic capacity.
With idle manpower, machinery and available but unused raw materials, this obviously is not a natural calamity but man-made folly.
Academic Approach — 1 Mar. 71
It has been obvious for several months that the Trudeau Administration, which has an assured majority in Parliament and does not have to call an election before spring, 1973, is in serious trouble.
Its use of orthodox deflationary measures for dealing with the highly unorthodox causes of cost-price inflationary pressures has created largescale unemployment which the artificially depressed and uncertain economy cannot absorb in a hurry, no matter how earnestly the
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Government may try to correct its blunder by belated easing of the monetary and fiscal screws.
It goes without saying that massive unemployment is political dynamite, especially when people are beginning to understand that much of it has been caused by the Government’s mishandling of the economy. It certainly makes mockery of the Prime Minister’s Just Society slogan.
While unemployment is Mr. Trudeau’s main problem, it’s not his only headache.
Much of the support he got in the 1968 election stemmed from a feeling across the country –and particularly in Ontario — that if anybody could solve the steadily worsening Quebec crisis, Trudeau was the man.
Here again his actual performance dealt a cruel blow to hopeful expectation. Under the management, and partly due to his constitutional rigidity coupled with old personal feuds, the Quebec crisis deepened and polarized until last fall we had to resort to an unprecedented application of the War Measures Act to check political violence.
His use of the troops and pre-dawn arrests, while applauded by the vast majority of the deeply shocked and frightened Canadians, made mockery of the vision of ethnic harmony in growing national unity under his leadership.
This is not to say that Mr. Trudeau deliberately planned and engineered the polarization of divisions and animosities within the country that took place under his regime. As with his handling of the economic difficulties, he may have had the best of intentions to ease and gradually solve the problems he inherited from the Pearson Administration.
If so — and I don’t think there is reason to doubt Mr. Trudeau’s good intentions — what went wrong?
After watching and analyzing the operations of what
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I call Trudeaucracy for close to three years, I am convinced that the root of Mr. Trudeau’s troubles lies in his academic approach to the far from academic political and economic reality.
His whole mental makeup, shaped as it was by the dialectical sophistry of Jesuistical and Marxist philosophizing, is geared to handling social problems in neat abstractions.
Within this lofty framework you don’t deal with individual human beings but with statistical categories and preconceived assumptions of the presumably objective causes and effects of any given situation. You juggle these ingredients of the “scientifically” dehumanized mixture until you get the combination which, in theory, would solve the problem.
These intellectual exercises, which invariably produce beautiful logical structures on seemingly scientific premises, provide excellent material for academic disputations but are seldom applicable outside the playing field of ivory tower dialectics.
The reason for this is that political and economic reality is not shaped by “scientific” abstractions but by the constantly changing and largely unpredictable sum total of a multitude of individual human needs and aspirations.
Most of Mr. Trudeau’s mounting troubles stem from his apparent inability to understand that he cannot impose abstract theorems, however perfect he considers them to be, on the imperfect human reality that shapes the political and economic scene.
He also seems unable to admit a mistake when some of his premises (such as the premise of his deflationary measures which spawned mushrooming unemployment) prove to have been misconceived.
As his difficulties mount, he is compounding them by losing his cool and behaving like a spoiled brat who
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goes into a tantrum whenever he does not get at once everything he wants.
His contemptuous, derisive treatment of the opposition MPs as a bunch of hopeless idiots has now reached such a disgusting low that the very essence of the Parliamentary system is in jeopardy.
Yet, having missed no opportunity to degrade and emasculate the Commons, Mr. Trudeau has the gall to charge the opposition with wrecking Parliament.
Anti-Industry — 26 Mar. 71
Exercising its legislative and executive powers, the government is in a position to create conditions which help or hinder the private sector of the economy. Either can be done in any number of ways, ranging from the obvious instruments of taxation, credit rates and rules governing industrial relations, to the more subtle aspects of the whole gamut of social legislation.
If, for whatever reason, the government is hostile to private enterprise — as, among others, Dr. O.M. Solandt, chairman of the science council of Canada suspects our present Government to be — it can play havoc with the economy. (Dr. Solandt charges the Trudeau Cabinet with hostility to private industry and says that “below the ministers are a level of civil servants who are strongly anti-industry, especially against successful industry”).
While the extent of the validity of alleged hostility may be debatable, the fact remains that the Trudeau regime has, over the past three years, followed policies which have done considerable harm to the private sector of the economy.
The result, intended or not, is massive unemployment, depressed market conditions, sky-rocketing welfare costs and a general atmosphere of uncertainty which inhibits economic growth …
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Tax Cuts — 29 Mar. 71
Opposition leader Robert Stanfield has been calling for tax cuts as one of the essential means of economic recovery for quite a long time. Earlier this month he was joined by the Canadian Labor Congress and last week by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
The same day the Chamber presented its pre-budget submission to Finance Minister Edgar Benson, former transport minister Paul Hellyer urged tax cuts in his first major speech in the Commons since he resigned from the Trudeau Cabinet 18 months ago.
When Mr. Stanfield started putting emphasis on tax cuts as the best stimulant of our depressed economy, the Government accused him of playing cheap, irresponsible partisan politics. This charge is now hard to sustain, for even the blind bats among the emotional supporters and apologists of the Trudeau regime cannot seriously maintain that the CLC, the chamber of commerce and Paul Hellyer are playing partisan politics. The idea that Mr. Stanfield would get support from such disparate quarters as organized labor and business (not to mention Paul Hellyer) for a vote-getting game is simply too ridiculous to be credible.
The unusual combination of the calls for tax cuts materialized because more and more people, regardless of their political persuasion, are reaching the conclusion that the Government has mismanaged the economy and that tax cuts may offer the best way out of the mess, which Mr. Hellyer described as “technically and financially a near total disaster — morally a total disaster.”
Proliferating — 30 Mar. 71
All the relief and stimulation programs introduced by
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the Government so far have one unmistakable common denominator: They increase administrative control of the economy, make more and more people directly dependent on handouts and subsidies dispensed by the central authority, and thereby strengthen the structure of welfare statism with its proliferating bureaucracy.
While none of the individual measures, when considered separately as a response to a particular problem, can be interpreted as an all-out attempt to change the structure of the economy, their cumulative effect cannot in the long run but extend government control to the point where the pluralistic eocnomic base of political and individual freedom disintegrates under the weight of regulations and restrictions.
Deficits — 23 June 71
There is a limit to spending on services. The limit in every self-governing country which stands on its own feet is determined by the performance of the productive sector of the economy …
Democratic governments try to meet the ever mounting costs of the expanding services the public demands by raising taxes on all incomes that exceed a certain minimum level. Since wages and salaries in the service sector come, in the last analysis, from the surplus realized by the productive sector, the tax burden is in fact borne by the material wealth-producing base of the economy. (It’s obvious that the whole structure would collapse if all the taxpayers were civil servant, teachers, doctors, lawyers, artists, journalists, philosophers and salesmen with nothing to sell).
Taxation of the productive sector of the economy in a democratic society has a limit beyond which it starts killing the goose that lays the golden egg. When this
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limit is reached, the government faces an agonizing dilemma.
It can either resist pressures for further expansion of costly services, thereby courting political defeat, or resort to deficit financing.
Deficit financing is justified if the bulk of the borrowed fnuds is used for stimulation of the growth rate of the base of the economy so that its wealth-producing performance would eventually offset the higher cost of services and provide money for repayment of debts.
With the exception of a national emergency which, as in war, requires a temporary restructuring of the whole economy, this is the only responsible use of large-scale deficit financing. When it is used exclusively or primarily for providing services the productive sector of the economy cannot support, deficit financing, though politically attractive in the short run, is economically irresponsible because, apart from mortgaging future generations, it is highly inflationary.
There can be no doubt that the basic impetus for the severe cost-price inflation of the past three years came from the unbroken deficit financing of new costly services throughout the 1960s.
From 1962 to 1969 our Federal Governments piled up budgetary deficits totalling $3.97 billion. Most of this deficit financing was used for expansion of public services (including a corresponding expansion of the bureaucratic machinery) which the country could not really afford.
The Trudeau regime, which came in with a pledge of balanced budgeting, has now added two huge deficits (the estimate for fiscal 1971-72 is $750 million) and its non-budgetary cash requirements are expected to zoom in the current year to $2.5 billion.
This means that the Government is placing a new time bomb of devastating cost-price inflation under the
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economy. The ticking may not be heard until after the noises of the coming election die down, but it’s there.
Hate America — 17 Dec. 71
There is a marked inconsistency in the propaganda efforts of our economic nationalists.
On the one hand they range Canada among the highly industrialized countries when they appeal to pride of achievement — on the other hand they depict our economy as an undeveloped appendage of the industrial juggernaut south of the border when they seek to whip up “patriotic” anti-Americanism.
Instead of facts and figures, the public is getting emotion-laden slogans which alleged “colonial exploitation” of our raw materials. Canadians are portrayed by this propaganda as “hewers of wood and drawers of water” for “American imperialism.”
Well, how much wood have you chopped, and how much water have you drawn lately for the “colonial exploiters” south of the border?
An unfair question, you might say, because the wood and water bit is a figure of speech — it’s not meant literally.
All right, then, let’s put it another way: Are we exporting chiefly raw materials or manufactured products to the U.S.?
In its latest report the Economic Council of Canada gave a breakdown of exports in 1970 by commodity groups and countries. The table, based on data from Statistics Canada, shows that last year’s exports amounted to $16.8 billion. Of this total $11 billion worth of goods went to the U.S.
That, no doubt, illustrates Canada’s dependency on the U.S. market for exports. So these basic figures are often repeated and fairly well known.
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But the breakdown by commodities which gives the relation between raw materials and processed goods is virtually unknown to the general public.
Of the $16.8 billion export total, raw materials accounted for $3 billion, processed materials and highly manufactured products for $11.9 billion.
These two figures alone show that the widespread impression of primacy of raw materials in our exports is untenable.
Next comes the even more illuminating breakdown by destination.
Of the total of $5.9 billion worth of highly manufactured (i.e., high labor content) products, 83.7 per cent went to the U.S., 2.9 per cent to the European Economic Community, 2.1 per cent to Britain, 0.4 per cent to Japan, and 10.9 per cent to the rest of the world.
That’s hardly indicative of economic or any other kind of imperialism.
Considering the high cost of our production, there can be little doubt that without access to the rich U.S. market the bulk of our finished export goods would have remained unsold, for there aren’t many customers in other parts of the world able to pay our prices.
In processed materials, where the labor content is slightly lower than in highly manufactured products and selling in overseas markets therefore a bit easier, the U.S. is again our best customer.
of the $5.9 billion worth of processed materials exported in 1970, the U.S. bought 61.8 per cent, the United Kingdom 13.5, the European Common Market 7.7, Japan 4.2, and the rest of the world 12.8 per cent.
These figures are worth remembering, for they show the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” jingle for the emotional nonsense that it is.
In both the categories which provide most jobs in
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our export industries, the maligned Yanks are by far the biggest buyers.
Like other highly-developed countries with which we trade, the U.S. purchases all the raw materials it can get from us. But unlike the other buyers of Canada’s unprocessed natural resources, the Americans provide a major outlet for our manufactured goods. This outlet is essential for Canada’s industrial growth.
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Separatism — 21 May 69
The three Quebeckers who now dominate the central Government in Ottawa entered Federal politics with the stated purpose of saving the unity of the country through measures designed to make the French-speakers feel at home from coast to coast.
Yet Quebec separatism did not wither away under their impact on the Federal scene. On the contrary, it grew in scope, cohesion and respectability with the consolidation of the Trudeau regime in Ottawa.
There is no explanation of this seeming paradox other than the traditional Quebec suspicion of estrangement of those of its politicians who make a mark on the “English” Federal scene. It is this suspicion of betrayal of the essential Frenchness of Quebec’s political aspirations that René Lévesque, the one-time close friend of the ruling troika in Ottawa, is so successfully exploiting.
The result of this irrational but effective process appears to be a steady acceleration of Quebec’s drive for political self-determination. The gap seems to widen in proportion to the measures the Quebeckers in Ottawa are taking to federalize the French Fact across the country.
And since these measures, of which the Lan-
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guage Bill is but one example, are at the same itme alienating many of the English-speakers who last year voted for Trudeau in the belief that he was going to “put Quebec in its place,” tensions between the “two founding races” of Canada are actually growing.
Those who find it exasperating should realize that the country is merely getting what it so enthusiastically voted fror last June.
Blackmail — 15 Feb. 71
Throughout the 1960s most English-speaking Canadians assumed that Quebec was after bilingualism in the Federal structure and more money from the Federal treasury. This impression was reinforced by the reports of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism which the Pearson Government established in 1963 with the hope of keeping Quebec’s “Quiet Revolution” quiet. The demand for more Federal funds and the right to use them at the discretion of the Government in Quebec City became a standard feature of the federal-provincial conferences and of direct Ottawa-Quebec negotiations.
Below this visible, amply publicized and endlessly analyzed surface, close observers of the ferment soon detected a steady and strong undercurrent of Quebec pressures for considerably more than money and extension of bilingualism beyond the confines stipulated in the BNA Act.
By about the middle of the past decade it became apparent that what Quebec really wanted, while the rest of the country was slowly waking up to the two visible issues, was a fundamental political restructuring of the country that would give the Francophones “equality of partnership” in Confederation.
As conceived by Quebec politicians (or rather the
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moderates among them who rejected the extremism of the militant separatists), equality seemed to mean complete cultural and nearly complete political autonomy for Quebec, and a French-English parity, or something close to it, in the running of the country as a whole. In short, a two-nations concept in a new Federal structure that would have to depart from the principle of political representation in the central administration on the basis of population ratio.
In practice this would have meant that while Canada could retain the administrative division into 10 provinces, in the Federal decision-making process, Quebec, regardless of the size of its population, would assume the same weight as the rest of the country.
What Quebec really wanted, and what the Pearson Government tried hard to hide from the increasingly bewildered public in the nine English-speaking provinces with large minorities of other than English or French origin, was Federal dualism with an autonomous Francophone state within the structure, all firmly entrenched in a new constitution.
Meanwhile, outright separatism was gaining ground in Quebec, forcing the moderates to jack up their price for keeping the equal partnership proposition alive. The late Quebec premier Daniel Johnson put the emerging two-tier Francophone blackmail in a nutshell in his “equality or independence” slogan.
Conscious of the political storm a full disclosure of [the] gravity of the situation would unleash in the English-speaking provinces, the Pearson Administration tried to temporize and buy time for some diplomatic muddling through by devising various “opting-out” formulas for the Quebec autonomists and by pushing through with saturation publicity an extensive bilingual program as the fulfillment of Francophone aspirations.
Mr. Pearson’s fond hope was that these appease-
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ment gestures would deflect Quebec’s pressures for a fundamental revision of the constitutional framework into less dangerous channels of the English-French “dialogue.” Apart from the search for a “patriation” and amending formula which he inherited from the previous administration, he was determined to preserve constitutional status quo.
When he found the impetus of John Robarts’ Confederation for Tomorrow Conference impossible to contain, Mr. Pearson chose the worst possible instrument for constitutional overhaul and stepped down.
By then the public had an inkling that the constitutional issue would play a big, perhaps the decisive, role in the handling of the steadily worsening Quebec crisis and this, no doubt became a major factor in the selection of Quebec federalist and constitutional expert Pierre Trudeau as Pearson’s successor.
Seen in retrospect, it’s quite possible that Trudeaumania was, at least in part, a subconscious expression of the fervent hope of a large number of English-speaking voters that in Mr. Trudeau, Quebec may have produced the savior of national unity.
Many Quebec voters, on the other hand, may have seen him, equally subconsciously, as the man who will carry and implement Quebec aspirations on the Federal scene.
Mr. Trudeau obviously cannot satisfy both these projections of his role. So far he has tried to dodge his political dilemma by bluffing his way through the contradictory expectations. Good as he is at playing everybody’s hero, he can’t get away with it indefinitely. The crunch will come when Quebec spells out what it wants constitutionally as the irreducible price for not tearing Canada apart.
When this final blackmail move comes, Mr. Trudeau, whose doodling with the constitutional issue aggravated the national crisis, will lose his game, no mat-
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ter which way he jumps, for one decisive segment or the other of the electorate will turn against him.
Botched up — 24 June 71
Back to square one on the constitutional chess board, and back to cost-price inflation in the economy with only a slight decline of the unemployment rate.
Two great achievements of the Trudeau regime on top of its “reorientation” of foreign and defence policy.
While the constitutional issue is in fact the old Quebec problem, the failure to reach agreement with Quebec on at least patriation of the BNA Act is a failure of the Trudeau Administration. In essence, it’s a personal failure of the Prime Minister, for Mr. Trudeau was elected in 1968 primarily on the assumption that he was the only man on the Federal political scene who could solve the Quebec problem. A Quebecker himself and a staunch theoretical federalist, he was seen by most English-speaking voters as the ideal choice for bringing the Pearson-started constitutional revision process to a successful conclusion.
These expectations were reinforced when the Union Nationale administration in Quebec City was replaced by a Liberal Party government headed by a young man who was thought to be Mr. Trudeau’s handpicked choice.
Even in this presumably ideal setting, Mr. Trudeau botched the job by seeking, as he does in all other fields, to impose his preconceived academic abstractions on a reality that does not fit his theories.
Like every messianic autocrat, Mr. Trudeau is convinced that he and he alone has the correct solutions for all problems. If the preconceived solutions don’t work out, it’s not because the impeccable logic of his intellectual exercises may have been based on false
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premises but because some idiots somewhere failed to grasp the workings of his superior mind.
Hence Mr. Trudeau’s disdain for Parliament (a bunch of “nobodies”), his impatience with any opposition (why should he waste precious time on listening to and arguing with ignoramuses?), his treatment of the provinces as component parts of a theorem he alone understands, and his brushing off of any advice that does not confirm his own ideas …
The constitutional exercise failed not because Quebec misunderstood Trudeau but because Trudeau built his rigid constitutional theory on a premise which had little in common with the actual political and social ferment in Quebec. Bourassa, who cannot afford to ignore the actual situation in his province, had no choice but to say no to Trudeau’s formula to save his own political skin. Mere re-wording of the formula is not likely to change anything.
The same type of clash between academic abstractions and reality accounts for Trudeau’s mismanagement of the economy.
Violence — 13 Aug. 70
Some people seem to regard the killing of diplomats kidnapped by left-wing guerrillas in South America as a new phenomenon on the international horror scene.
It is, in fact, but the latest refinement (if one can use that word in this connection) of the old doctrine and practice of revolutionary violence. Neither Hitler nor Stalin hesitated to take, torture and kill countless political hostages.
The totalitarians have always maintained that violence is an essential tool for the achievement of their purpose. Karl Marx described violence as “the midwife of every old society which is pregnant with the new.”
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His disciples decreed that everything is good and moral, including individual and mass murder, if it serves to advance the aims of the revolution.
Mao Tse-tung preaches that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
Violence has thus been justified and sanctified in the eyes of the “revolutionaries.” Kidnapping and execution of hostages when conditions for their release are not met by the “enemy” is a logical extension of the doctrine of political violence.
Before the technique was used by the terrorist groups in Latin America, it was described and recommended in a manual for urban guerrillas written by Brazilian “revolutionary” Carlos Marighella …
Since diplomats are an easy target and their kidnapping has international repercussions, the pattern set by the guerillas in Latin America is bound to be followed by political terrorists in other parts of the world. It would be foolish to assume that Canada, which already has bomb-throwing “revolutionaries,” is immune to this sort of thing.
‘Amenable’ — 9 Oct. 70
Written before the shock administered by the political terrorists in Quebec, the Trudeau Government’s third Speech from the Throne is full of the we-are-better-than-everybody-else smugness which has bred the now tattered “it can’t happen here” illusions.
None of our problems, says the Speech in its concluding paragraphs, “takes the form of those dilemmas or irreconcilable issues which elsewhere fire the violence of despair.”
In other words, we are above such things. And it is not, the Throne Speech continues, simply a matter of good luck.
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“Good fortune is a factor,” the Government allows with strained modesty, “but we should accept gracefully the fact that we are also more amenable to reason and, perhaps, more capable of wise decisions than we are normally willing to admit …”
Had the drafters of the documents waited a few days, the tone of their regal prose would probably have been a little less boastful, a little less cocksure.
The only uncertainty they have shown is in the quasi-philosophical preamble to the outline of the legislative program for the third session of the 28th Parliament.
But it’s the type of uncertainty that stems from impatience with the democratic process of reform and change rather than from doubts about the nature and direction, let alone the effects, of the change envisaged by the Trudeaucrats.
The new parliamentary session, the Throne Speech says, “commences in the decade of the 70s, a decade we dare not assume will be a continuation of the past.”
From this it is difficult not to infer that the Trudeaucrats are thinking in terms of revolutionary rather than evolutionary change, for evolutionary change cannot but be a continuation of the past. And since the democratic process is the methodological essence of evolutionary change, the statement, if it really means what it says, implies repudiation of the substance of democracy.
if the Trudeau regime does not intend to go that far, it should watch its language. If, on the other hand, it is a Freudian slip of the pen, the electorate better take notice of the implications.
Security — 13 Oct. 70
… instead of anticipating and preventing the crisis that
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hit us last week seemingly out of the blue, the Trudeau regime helped to create it by its amoral overpermissiveness which is misconceived as enrichment of civil liberties.
Throughout this debilitating process, which the self-styled “progressives” in the mass media and the academe hailed as eminently desirable, the Government received a number of well-substantiated warnings and urgent pleas for re-consideration of the downgrading of the basic safeguards of external and internal security.
The first authoritative warning which came from the Royal Commission on Security which submitted its report in 1968. The Trudeau Government sat on the document for almost a year, obviously annoyed by what amounted to a clear-cut challenge to its own pet theories.
“The main current security threats to Canada,” the report said bluntly, “are posed by international Communism and the Communist powers, and by some elements of the Quebec separatist movement.”
It found both domestic and foreign Communist involvement in the militant separatist groups and urged the Government to take
“at the very least … adequate steps to inform itself of any such threats, and to collect information about the intentions and capabilities of individuals or movements whose object is to destroy the federation by subversive or seditious methods.”
A much more specific warning came in March 1969, when the Montreal city administration tried to draw Mr. Trudeau’s attention to the increasingly dangerous activities of some of the extremists who had infiltrated the Quebec branch of the Company of Young Canadians and were actually using Federal funds for financing their preparations for “revolutionary” violence.
Mr. Trudeau, who a few months later could not recall having received such a communication from Montreal, answered it at that time by saying that he was
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“fully aware of the relevant circumstances” but that there was no reason for alarm because his colleague, State Secretary Pelletier, assured him he had the situation under control.
In October, 1969, another warning, revealing some of the close links between the militant separatists and international Communism came from T.&nbdp;R. Anthony Malcolm, the vice-president of the Quebec section of the Liberal Federation of Canada.
This was followed shortly by the testimony of Montreal Executive Committee Chairman Lucien Saulnier before a Commons committee about the advanced stage of preparations for political violence in Quebec and other parts of Canada.
Had the Government and most of the opinion makers given these warnings the attention they deserved, the penalty for their smug, contemptuous dismissal or ridicule as hysterical alarmism need not have been paid.
Synchronization — 30 Nov. 70
Since the Montreal kidnappings and invocation of the War Measures Act, Canada has paid little attention to events outside her borders.
Preoccupation with the traumatic, at first unbelievable Quebec crisis virtually blotted out the world scene.
The Government contributed to the intensity of the inward look by maintaining that the “apprehended insurrection” which necessitated the emergency measures was a purely domestic affair.
There was, it said, no evidence or clear sign of foreign involvement and therefore no reason for consideration of the FLQ outrage in the international context.
Some of the security experts I talked to during the past two months disagree with this official assessment
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of political terrorism in Canada. They recite the findings of the Royal Commission on Security (the commission told the Government in 1968 that “the main current security threats to Canada are posed by International Communism”) and the many known trips of FLQ members and other “revolutionaries” for terrorist and ideological training in Cuba, Algeria, the Middle East and the countries of the Soviet bloc.
They also have little doubt about the mission of the large number of foreign agitators who toured Canada or came to settle here during the past decade which also produced international conferences of left-wing militants on Canadian soil.
While watertight evidence of an international conspiracy is hard to come by, the security people say there is good reason to suspect an overall plan and a world-wide organization behind these goings-on.
I don’t think there need be any doubt about the existence of such a plan and organization.
Both were revealed with sufficient clarity at the so-called tri-continental conference which was held in Havana in January, 1966.
Organized by International Communism and funded primarily by Moscow and Peking, the conference produced a blueprint of subversion for all the non-Communist parts of the world and set up machinery for its synchronized execution by the assorted “liberation movements.”
The common denominator of the scheme was a world-wide anti-American campaign as an integral part of the endeavor of the two major Communist powers to disrupt the defence alliances of the free world and isolate and outflank the United States.
This, of course, has been the primary objective of Soviet foreign policy since the 1940s when collective defence based on U.S. military and economic power stopped Soviet post-war expansion.
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The new element introduced into this drive by the 1966 tri-continental conference was the world-wide synchronization of the mushrooming “liberation movements” for the attainment of the Kremlin’s objective.
To hide the direct subordination of these movements to Moscow or Peking from their non-Communist dupes and potential supporters, the synchronization was done through Havana with great stress on exploitation of nationalistic feelings and local rather than international issues.
The Trudeau Government’s diagnosis of FLQ terrorism as a purely domestic issue rooted in Quebec nationalism and economic grievances fits perfectly this camouflage.
So does the rising wave of xenophobic Canadian nationalism which, under the prodding of such ostensibly non-Communist outfits as the NDP waffle group, equates patriotism and sovereignty with anti-Americanism.
As the closest neighbor, friend and ally of the United States, Canada undoubtedly has a prominent place in the Moscow-Peking-Havana plan for isolation and outflanking of the only serious obstacle in the path of Red expansion.
For if Canada could be alienated from the U.S. and manoeuvered into “neutrality” in the global East-West conflict, the rest of the Atlantic Alliance, which has so far denied the Communists domination of Western Europe, would crumble.
The preoccupation of Canadians with seemingly purely domestic affairs and the resulting neglect of the larger and inextricably intertwined international issues was reflected at the Liberal Party’s national convention.
The policy forum dealing with international relations attracted less than 10 per cent of the registered delegates.
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The small attendance made it possible for a group of “revolutionary” students (one of whom sported a Che Guevara pin under his Fideslist beard) to play havoc with the session which, before anyone realized what was happening, knocked from the final ballot list the following resolution:
“Canada should retain close association with the Western world politically, militarily and economically,” but left untouched the one calling for increased contribution to NATO and NORAD.
It’s not difficult to see the purpose of this seeming illogic. Most delegates, despite their disinterest in international affairs, would have endorsed the one that was deleted while they could be counted on rejecting [sic] the other that remained on the list as a token of policy choices.
The student Red Guards, two of whom declared their brand of “liberalism” by voting with clenched fists, were jubilant. Most of the rest apparently couldn’t care less.
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Foreign and Defence Policy
Silver Spoon — 15 June 70
Mr. Trudeau came in with a neat package of ivory tower abstractions and determination to translate his academic socialism into practice.
The ease and speed with which one of his theories worked out — namely the capture and use of the ruling party for his purpose — must have convinced him that htere is nothing he cannot do.
Born with a silver spoon in his mouth and accustomed from childhood to having his way, he took the Trudeaumania of the 1968 election that gave him a solid majority of the House as his due. it did not take him long to bend Cabinet and Parliament to his will.
His political philosophy, shaped by the late Harold Laski’s brand of Fabian socialism, is roughly that of the left-wing academic of the Western World: Abstract egalitarianism; unilateral disarmament regardless of the perils of the international situation; relativism of moral values; and boundless faith in elitist social engineering within an idealized concept of altruistic collectivism.
Like all intellectual socialists who contemplate social problems in collective categories that ignore individual human problems and needs, Mr. Trudeau assumed that what looks good in theory must have good practi-
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cal results. So he began applying his ivory tower theories, starting with the politically least sensitive area of foreign and defence policy.
Even here, however, though most of the “ordinary” people hardly care what the Government does in external affairs, he ran into the difficulty of forcing esoteric theories, however idealistic they might be, onto a hard and far-from-idealistic rality.
King Pierre — 7 Apr. 69
After almost a whole year of uncertainty we still do not know what the future actual shape and course of our defence policy will be.
Opposition Leader Robert Stanfield diagnosed the nine months of gestation as a false pregnancy. Prime Minister Trudeau says no, the pregnancy has been real in the philosophical sense and the actual baby will emerge in due course. It just so happens that in this particular methodology of birth the principle and the substance come in separate stages.
This may be a bit confusing to ordinary mortals but that’s the way it is in the reign of our philosopher-king.
What King Pierre announced last week was not the substance of a new defence policy but, as he himself described it, the philosophy, the basic principles of his Government’s concept of Canada’s contribution to the maintenance of world peace.
What are these basic principles?
First, the surveillance of our own territory and coast lines, i.e., the protection of our sovereignty.
Second, the defence of North America in co-operation with United States forces.
Third, the fulfilment of such NATO commitments as may be agreed upon.
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Fourth, the performance of such international peacekeeping roles we may from time to time assume.
These foud principles, none of which is new, flow from the recognition that Canada, due to its geographical position, history and socio-political ethics, cannot be neutral or non-aligned in the global conflict between totalitarianism and democracy.
It was the reaffirmation of this fundamental premise of Canada’s place in the world that was the actual bone of contention of the long and still unfinished review of foreign and defence policy.
It’s no secret that when Mr. Trudeau launched the review last spring he was attempting to demolish that premise and introduce a radical change of course leading to an allegedly pacifist posture of “neutrality”.
From the start he ran into determined opposition within his Cabinet, caucus, party and public at large. The opposition came mostly from people who, unlike Mr. Trudeau, took part in the difficult and enormously costly defence of freedom against the onslaught of totalitarianism in World War II and Korea.
On the other hand the PM found considerable support for the “pacifist option” among the left-leaning academics who cultivate idealistic notions of abstract socialism, among the emotional anti-Americans, the witless anti-militarists and the various other fraternities of self-styled “progressives.”
While undoubtedly a minority, the advocates of neutrality or non-alignment have been more vocal, more articulate and more skilful than their opponents in projecting their views through the mass media.
Looking back, I think it’s fair to say that what saved Canada from succumbing to their influence was the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. …
Slowly and reluctantly the Prime Minister came to realize that what he calls “the option of absolute pacifism, absolute neutrality” would be unacceptable to
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most Canadians. But he still wanted to leave the door open for further implementation of his original intention to withdraw from NATO.
The compromise he finally hammered out in his badly split Cabinet is the rejection in principle of “any suggestion that Canada assume a non-aligned or neutral role in world affairs,” coupled with the intention “to take early steps to bring about a planned an phased reduction of the size of the Canadian forces in Europe.”
The logic, if one can call it that, of this position is reflected in the re-arrangement of the order of priorities in the four familiar principles of our defence doctrine. NATO no longer heads the list.
Since the shuffling of priorities makes no sense, it seems highly probable that the PM intends to use it for accomplishing indirectly and gradually what he has found politically impossible to do directly in one go.
NATO — 11 Apr. 69
When a decision you make aggrieves your friends and pleases your foes you can be sure it’s a wrong decision — unless, of course, you are switching or planning to switch sides.
It’s obvious now that Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision “to bring about a phased reduction of the size of the Canadian forces in Europe” at an early date has aggrieved our friends and pleased our self-declared enemies.
The dismay and alarm of our allies can be gleaned from reports of the 20th anniversary of NATO meeting in Washington. The gloating of our adversaries is evident in dispatches emanating from the Soviet capital.
There is good reason for these reactions.
Ever since NATO was formed in the wake of Sta-
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lin’s Berlin blockade and Communist seizure of Czechoslovakia, the Kremlin regarded it as the main obstacle of Soviet expansionist policy. Removal of that obstacle has been one of the major goals of Russia’s dictators.
Fearing a nuclear clash as much as we do, they had to rule out a frontal assault on the defence line of the Atlantic alliance. This caution was dictated not by abhorrence of war but by the certainty of immediate involvement of the North American continent in a European conflict.
Soviet NATO-wrecking strategy therefore had to be based on flexible tactics of selective external pressures and internal subversion aimed at isolating Western Europe from North America.
This approach, interspersed with lures of détente and peaceful co-existence, scored its first big success when de Gaulle opted for military separatism.
Trudeau’s decision to reduce Canada’s contribution to NATO, despite the Soviet invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia, has given the Kremlin its next major triumph. No wonder, as The Telegram’s Moscow correspondent Aaron Einfrank reported earlier this week, that Trudeau’s stock with the Kremlin was rising.
In de Gaulle’s case the Soviets played on the old general’s dream of a French-dominated Europe divorced from North America. In Trudeau’s case they played on our Prime Minister’s preconceived idea of NATO as a hindrance to East-West détente.
Some Canadians who oppose reduction of our forces in Europe without a reciprocal Soviet move tend to regard the Trudeau decision as a sort of nebulous political compromise which remains open to change after a careful second look at the situation.
This, I am afraid, is a grave mistake.
The Trudeau decision is indeed a compromise but not of the kind that leaves the door open to second thoughts about the withdrawal course.
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The concession the Prime Minister made was not to arguments of the continued importance of Canada’s military role in NATO but to his own realization of the political inadvisability of the complete pull-out from the alliance he had in mind when he assumed office.
He needs more time for that. Any future revision of the “decision in principle” on defence is therefore bound to be in the direction of further downgrading of NATO.
The reason for this is, or should be, self-evidence.
Unlike Opposition Leader Stanfield, Mr. Trudeau entered Federal politics with a very definite concept of the international scene and of Canada’s place in it. That concept, which sees the world through the tinted glasses of what may perhaps be termed “academic socialism,” is spelled out in Mr. Trudeau’s writings over the past 20 years.
Anyone familiar with that material and with Mr. Trudeau’s statement of only a year ago that he stands by what he wrote, cannot have the slightest doubt about the direction the Prime Minister has charted for Canada’s foreign and defence policy. …
Some people are still trying to convince themselves that the essence of Trudeau the politician is not dogmatic rigidity but pragmatic flexibility.
These wishful thinkers better brace themselves for more shocks to come, for the PM’s pragmatic flexibility is strictly a matter of tactics, not of substance. He will zig-zag when necessary while implementing his preconceived ideas which are impervious to facts and arguments that do not fit the abstract pattern of his ideological theorems.
The methodology of the zig-zag is both simple and effective. It starts with the threat of the seemingly impossible (e.g. rule 16-A or complete withdrawal from NATO). Then comes a sidestep which creates the impression of a great pragmatic concession.
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Finally, amid the general sense of relief, a new push is made in the original direction. If need be, the whole manoeuvre is repeated until all resistance crumbles.
Image Abroad — 2 June 69
Canada is losing her reputation for sober, level-headed, responsible and steadfast conduct on the international scene. Our image abroad, and particularly in the eyes of our long-standing friends and allies, is rapidly deteriorating into a smudge of bewildering tantrums.
Some of the candid comments one hears overseas suggest that we are well on our way to become a sort of hippie of the Western world.
Nowhere was this more apparent than at last week’s conference of the NATO defence ministers in Brussels. Our partners in collective defence — 13 of them — simply could not understand why Canada should choose this moment for weakening the Atlantic alliance when every knowledgeable assessment of the international situation calls for its strengthening.
“You have no reason for creating these difficulties,” one European politician told me in Brussels. “From what I gather about your domestic political situation, there was no strong public demand for pulling troops out of Europe and you have no pressing financial reasons for it either. Your Government knows that Canada’s security depends as much on the credibility of NATO’s front line in Europe as it does on the American nuclear deterrent.
“So why weaken the only practical and effective contribution you can make to your own safety& How can your Parliament and public opinion accept such a decision?”
There isn’t much one can say in answer to these questions and arguments, for an honest explanation of
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the mechanics of the “reorientation” of our foreign and defence policy would make Canada look like a banana republic run by a dictator who doesn’t give a damn about the views of the Cabinet, Parliamnet and the public.
‘Phase 2’ — 22 Sept. 69
Defence Minister Leo Cadieux’s announcement last Friday of the shape of “phase two” of Prime Minister Trudeau’s unmistakable drive to weaken NATO ends the protracted uncertainty about the size of Canada’s military contribution to collective defence in the immediate future. But it raises a new question: Will there be a “phase three? …”
“Phase two,” by actually shrinking our NATO contingent to what Opposition leader Stanfield calls “meaningless tokenism,” has all the earmarks of psychological conditioning for complete withdrawal. For once our troops in Germany are cut below the level of operational usefulness (both as a viable combat formation and as a potent contribution to NATO’s nuclear war-deterring posture), why keep them there at all? The clamor for their withdrawal, which has so far come mainly from the New Democrats and the Communists, will spread. …
Speaking in Calgary on April 12 (i.e., only a few days after the “phase one” decision was announced), Mr. Trudeau said:
“… We will not say, until our foreign policy has been determined and presented to Parliament and presented to the country, we will not say in a final way what forces we will put into NATO and what forces we will draw out of NATO. It is our foreign policy which must come first, and not the defence policy and not the military alliance.”
Since no results of the still unfinished general review
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of foreign policy have been presented to Parliament and the country, the decision to reverse the sequence is, to say the least, peculiar. WHy the sudden rush to spell out “what forces we will draw out” when Parliament is not in session and when consultations with our allies, started last May, could have gone on until the December meeting of the NATO ministerial council?
Retreat — 3 July 70
There is no future for Canada, says former prime minister Lester Pearson, if it retreats into a national shell.
It’s Mr. Pearson’s indirect way of telling us that the Trudeau Government’s foreign policy is taking Canada on a wrong path in world affairs.
As the chief architect of Canada’s postwar internationalism which tried to combine the early U.N. dreams of global harmony with the collective security measures that were forced on the democracies by Soviet imperialism, Mr. Pearson cannot but be alarmed by the thinly-veiled nationalistic isolation of the Trudeau regime’s foreign policy blueprint.
Security 6 July 70
Some people maintain that Canada’s basic and overriding interest is national sovereignty. Others are convinced that what really matters is economic growth.
Still others give highest priority to social justice. There are also those who believe that all effort should be concentrated on transformation of the United Nations into a world government.
Yet another view holds that the most urgent problem we must tackle is pollution of [the] natural environment.
It is not difficult to find arguments in support of every one of these positions. But that does not mean
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that any one of them qualifies as undisputable number one national priority.
That place surely must be reserved for the historical priority of free men throughout the ages, namely preservation of freedom. Without freedom there can be no national sovereignty, no social justice, no economic growth worth working for, no peace and no enjoyment of life even in the cleanest natural environment.
The fact that from time immemorial people have valued freedom above life itself attests that there is no higher priority in the scale of human values. Doubts on this score can only come from those who have inherited the blessings of freedom, take them for granted and have no notion [of] what loss of freedom means.
In a world composed of nation-states, preservation of political and individual freedom where it exists or has a chance to evolve, is linked with national security.
And since, in the age of atomic bombs and intercontinental missiles, national security can no longer be provided by any single state, including the most powerful, it can only be attained through pooling of resources and harmonization of national policies.
In short, national security in this day and age depends on adequate collective security arrangements. Collective security thus becomes, by necessity, the top national priority.
No Approval — 7 July 70
Mr. Trudeau sought a blank mandate not because he intended to base his decisions on policy reviews but because he wanted to reshape major policies according to his preconceived ideas under the smokescreen of ongoing assessments. His decision to cut Canada’s contribution to NATO leaves no doubt that he wasn’t waiting for the outcome of the foreign policy review.
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It is interesting to note that while Mr. Trudeau, implementing his long-held personal views, downgraded collective security, the new British Government, which had done its homework before the election, is moving to strengthen it.
“The main job of British foreign policy,” says The (London) Economist about the measures the Heath Government is taking on the international scene, “is to help limit the expansion of Communist power.”
The Trudeau regime, which sought no electoral approval for what the Prime Minister is doing under the guise of policy reassessments, is steering Canada in the opposite direction.
Sharply Critical — 5 July 70
Before Parliament rose last week, the Commons Standing Committee on External Affais and National Defence tabled its report on the Government’s new course in foreign policy.
The report is sharply critical of the conceptual framework of the Trudeau regime’s line in external affairs.
The committee, which is dominated by a comfortable majority of Grit MPs, has been studying the rationale of Mr. Trudeau’s “re-oriented” foreign policy for eight months. The study concentrated on the first of six policy papers the Government published a year ago under the collective title Foreign Policy for Canadians.
These policy papers, put out by the Queen’s Printer in six colorful brochures in June, 1970, were the product of two years of “fundamental rethinking” of the guiding principles of Canadian foreign policy under the programmatic directives issued by Prime Minister Trudeau in May, 1968. The report of the committee deals with the tone-setting policy paper which lays down general guidelines as conceived by Mr. Trudeau …
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“The committee is disturbed,” says its report, “by the lower priority accorded to peace and security,” because “desirable domestic goals can only be attained under conditions of interntional peace and therefore peace and security should be the supreme priority …
“In considering foreign policy, it is not only necessary to ask, ‘What kind of Canada to we want?’ but also ‘What kind of world do we want?’
“In foreign affairs it is inevitable that there will have to be reaction to unexpected developments or crises. No degree of concentration on national aims can immunize Canada from their effects in an increasingly interdependent world. What is more important in the committee’s opinion is to ensure that Canada is prepared to react effectively and speedily and constructively when the need arises …”
In short, the 57-page report amounts to a challenge of Mr. Trudeau’s whole conceptual framework of external affairs which has already created problems for the western alliance to the delight of the totalitarian powers.
Bonds — 20 Oct. 71
The way things are going it need not take long before Prime Minister Trudeau’s wish to have the same type of relations wiht the Soviet Union [as] we have with the United States comes through.
Relations with the U.S. have been deteriorating so fast under the Trudeau regime that it would not take much of an improvement of contacts with Stalin’s heirs to put official dealings with out southern and northern neighbors on equal footing.
It’s a popular speculation.
Canada and the United States share not only the bulk of the land mass of North America but also the philosophy of life on which their political and economic
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institutions have been built in a unique symbiosis of virtually identical national interests. The Soviet Union, sitting behind a barrier of ice, represents a social-structure rooted in an ideology that is intrinsically hostile to all our aspirations.
The intimate spiritual and material bonds between Canada and the U.S. grew out of shared concepts of human life within the framework of the highest degree of individual and political freedom ever attained anywhere in the world.
No one maintains that the socio-politico-economic system of North America, as practised with minor variations in Canada and the U.S., is perfect. Perfection in the sense of idealistic abstractions is beyond the grasp of human nature. But with all its obvious shortcomings our social system provides a flexible structure of unparalleled liberty and unparalleled affluence.
The Soviet system of coercive messianism, spawned by contempt for what Marx called “the miserable individual,” and fuelled by organized hate, has produced a rigid totalitarian structure that cannot tolerate any of the expressions of freedom we take for granted.
At the same time, while building an enormoous military machine and providing material privileges for the upper crust of its self-appointed ruling clique, it maintains a low general standard of living in what is in effect an archaic police state.
It takes a peculiar mind to seek cordial relations with the rulers of such a society. And it takes a streak of perversion (or perhaps blindness) in that peculiar mind to set as a national goal the same type of intimate relations with a totalitarian state that we have enjoyed, until recently, with the congenial democracy south of the border.
Mr. Trudeau has such a peculiar mind.
While he was exercising it in the ivory tower of the
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academe, the harm he could do, though not negligible, was fairly limited. As prime minister, who commands a rubber-stamping majority in Parliament, he is in a position to put the country on collision course with its vital interests.
When Canada urged the formation of a Trans-Atlantic defence alliance in the late 1940s, it was not dancing to the tune played by the U.S. and Britain. It was an independent decision of a sovereign state acting to safeguard its vital interest. These interests coincided then, and still coincide today with the vital interests of the major democracies which are our historical allies.
The enemy of the democracies was then and still is today the totalitarian Soviet Union. If anything, the Soviet threat is greater now because of the rapid build-up of Russia’s military strength in recent years, and because of the refuned methods of Communist espionage, sabotage and psychological warfare.
While the tactics of the Soviet rulers have undergone many changes in the past 25 years, their constantly re-affirmed goal of an eventual Communist world hegemony has remained unchanged. Whoever doubts it only has to read Brezhnev’s report last spring to the 24th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party to find a clear restatement of the ultimate objective.
And if words alone are unconvincing, every Soviet move on the world scene confirms the proclaimed strategy of gradual global conquest short of nuclear war.
Soviet wooing of Canada away from her historical allies and friends, and particularly away from the United States, which is the only major obstacle in the Kremlin’s path, is an integral part of the latest “peaceful coexistence” version of the old divide and conquer strategy.
The immorality of Mr. Trudeau’s response to this stratagem is, or should be, self-evident, for it implies
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not just acquiescence in but approval of the crimes perpetrated by the Soviet regime against humanity. These crimes exceed by far the bestiality of the Nazi regime.
Yet, there are people who, far from discerning the depravity and the mortal danger of Trudeau’s separarist foreign policy, see it as assertion of political independence and courageous pursuit of both national interest and East-West détente.
To predict a painful awakening from these delusions is superfluous because it’s inevitable.
‘Jolly’ Nazis — 10 May 71
Once upon a time the late Right Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King traveled to Nazi Germany to warm up Canada’s relations with the regime of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists.
There were, if newspapers of those days are any indication, no public demonstrations or protests of any kind against that “bridge-building” trip.
A plausible explanation of the absence of moral indignation is that few people at that time were aware of the bloody savagery of Nazi totalitarianism. Mr. King, having been shown none of the Gestapo torture chambers and horrors of the concentration camps, liked what he saw of the neat surface of the Third Reich and found Hitler a jolly, though perhaps a bit too simple, peasant.
In a few days our present peripatetic (or is it pathetic?) Prime Minister will be off — with love — to Russia. It’s an official visit to the Soviet Union whose achievements in the macabre art of totalitarian rule far exceed those of Hitler’s reich.
Again, no demonstrations, no protests of any kind, though this time there is no excuse for ignorance of the nature and deeds of the totalitarian regime. Mr. Trudeau is seeking to befriend on behalf of all Canadians.
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Ship of State — 25 May 71
Two years ago, discussing his operation of the ship of state, Prime Minister Trudeau told an interviewer:
“One has to be in the wheelhouse to see what shifts are taking place. I know that we have spun the wheel and I know that the rudder is beginning to press against the waves and the sea … but perhaps the observer, who is on the deck and smoking his pipe, or drinking his tea, sees the horizon much in the same directioon and doesn’t realize it, but perhaps he will find himself disembarking at a different island than the one he thought he was sailing for.”
This remarkable statement of Mr. Trudeau’s intentions and operational methods should have caused quite a stir, for it foreshadowed arbitrary changes in our domestic and foreign policies by the new man in the wheelhouse. It went virtually unnoticed, although, as Mr. Trudeau put it, he had already spun the wheel.
At home the Prime Minister was busy with downgrading the role of Parliament and shaping his campaign to combat cost-price inflation with high unemployment. In foreign relations he was cutting down Canada’s participation in the Western system of collective security as the first step toward a far-reaching political realignment on the international scene.
Both these moves foreshadowed major changes in the course Canada has consistently followed o nthe high seas of politics under the imperatives of her geography, history and philosophy of life. Yet Mr. Trudeau’s revelation of what he was doing caused no alarm, for as he had shrewdly remarked with Machiavellian cynicism, the horizon appeared unchanged to his passengers. Even those closest to the wheelhouse — members of Parliament — failed to notice the drastic shift in the direction Captain trudeau was making two years ago …
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If the spectacle of Mr. Trudeau plotting with the most abominable and dangerous totalitarian regime against our closest allies and friends does not shake Canada to its senses, every apathetic passenger on the Trudeau ship will richly deserve the chilling surprise of “disembarking at a different island than the one he thought he was sailing for.”
As former defence ministery Douglas Harkness put it in the Commons last Friday:
This cosying up to Russia, when one considers the implications that may have so far as defence arrangements and national security of Canada are concerned, could have very far reaching effects … (because) the only real threat to Canadian security and to the security of all countries of the Western world at present comes from the Soviet Union.”
Kremlin Chums — 31 May 71
Just as you can tell a good deal about a man by the company he keeps, you can tell a good deal about a Government by its choice of friends on the international scene. In both cases birds of a feather tend to flock together.
Until the advent of the Trudeau regime, Canadian Government, reflecting the views of the overwhelming majority of the electorate, sought and cultivated close ties with countries who share our concept of social organization based on respect of fundamental human freedoms.
In practice, this meant close friendship and alliances with the major Western democracies and cordial relations with other like-minded nations practising or striving to attain democratic self-rule.
Shaped by their historical origins, Canada’s colonial links evolved naturally into firm bonds with Britain and France. Geography and affinity of life supplemented
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these basic ties with equally firm bonds with the United States …
Yet our Prime Minister, disregarding all these facts, wants us to believe that conditions have changed and the time has come for making friends with the men in the Kremlin.
What has changed?
Has the root cause of East-West tensions — i.e., Soviet enslavement of half of europe — been eliminated? …
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that had Mr. Trudeau revealed his intention to chum up with the men in the kremlin when he sought the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1968, he would not have been chosen Lester Pearson’s successor.
Even now, after strenuous conditioning of public opinion with his partial withdrawal from NATO, he must have been aware of the violence he was doing to the spirit of the country with his Moscow pact for he left Parliament and the nation in the dark until it was a fait accompli.
… Mr. Trudeau repeatedly stated in the Soviet Union that he was seeking a special relationship with the Kremlin in order to counter an alleged U.S. threat “to our identity from the cultural, economic and perhaps even military point of view.”
This is such an outrageous and dastardly assist to Soviet foreign policy and Communist propaganda that if Mr. Trudeau were an agent of Moscow he could hardly do any better.
‘Innocent’ Abroad — 2 June 71
Attempts to explain the Prime Minister’s performance in the Soviet Union as the actions of an innocent abroad are an insult to Mr. Trudeau’s intelligence. In-
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nocence denotes simplicity and guilelessness rooted in bona fide ignorance.
Mr. Trudeau’s actions and pronouncements during his Soviet trip were neither simple nor guileless, and they certainly cannot be ascribed to ignorance. Even if one could assume — which is not the case — that he had never given a thought to the nature of the Soviet regime before he became Prime Minister, he was briefed on the subject when he assumed office.
Apart from that, in 1968 he received the report of the Royal Commission on Security which warned him in the clearest possible terms that “the main current security threats to Canada are posed by international Communism and the Communist powers …”
The Kremlin spared no effort and expense to demonstrate the significance it attached to Mr. Trudeau’s official visit.
Mr. Trudeau himself is said to have been astonished by the royal treatment accorded him and his party on the trip. He was, to use his own words, “a bit surprised at the tone in which they are willing to deal with us as a great power.” A super power, no less.
Well, why not? In terms of Soviet external as well as internal psychological warfare, the Trudeau regime represents at the moment the greatest power on earth.
Mr. Trudeau rewarded his beguiling hosts not only with signing the friendship protocol they suggested, but with two gratuitous statements which are priceless to the Kremlin.
One was his assertion in Kiev that Soviet and Canadian citizens were living under similar Federal systems of government, the other was his repeated allegation of acute U.S. “danger to our identity from the cultural, economic and perhaps even military point of view.”
The Kiev utterance is the cruelest blow any Western politician could have inflicted on the countless millions of ruthlessly regimented people — not only in the
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Ukraine but throughout the Soviet totalitarian empire — who look to the western democracies for at least moral support of their aspirations of a bit more human life. Along comes the Prime Minister of Canada, their dreamland of freedom, and tells them that the political system in his country is not really much different from the Bolshevik dictatorship. No head of government of any other free country (including Finland which lives in fear of and under constant pressure from Moscow) has ever come anywhere near rendering such a macabre service to the Kremlin.
And on top of that Mr. Trudeau tells the world from Soviet soil that Canada is in such a danger of being smothered by the U.S. that he finds it necessary to seek Moscow’s support for the preservation of Canadian identity and independence. No wonder the butchers of Hungary and Czechoslovakia were falling over themselves in honoring Trudeau.
See-no-evil 7 June 71
Faced with a crisis in Quebec which his own political theories and attitudes helped to bring about, Pierre Trudeau admitted last October that his assumptions “may have been naive.”
That was in a situation he grew up with an knew intimately.
He has obviously also been naive in his judgment and handling of the country’s economic problems.
How much more naive is Mr. Trudeau likely to be in the more complex and less familiar international affairs which he has always viewed through the distorting pink glasses of academic “socialism”?
For example, as a young man of military age Mr. Trudeau saw the conflict between Hitler’s totalitarianism and democracy as an “Imperialist war” and deplored and opposed Canada’s involvement in it. That,
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it so happened, was also Moscow’s official policy and Communist propaganda line around the world until Hitler betrayed and attacked his Soviet ally.
It was very naive, despite Mr. Trudeau’s youthful ignorance and the atmosphere of his Quebec milieu.
Is he, however, any less naive in his ripe middle age when he says that he takes at face value what Brezhnec and Kosygin told him last month in Moscow? There are good reasons for doubting it.
What did the men in the Kremlin tell our Prime Minister?
They told him that they wanted close, friendly relations, based on mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs.
Haven’t they told the same to Alexander Dubcek?
They told the PM they were anxious to reduce tension in Europe through mutual withdrawal of troops from the east-west confrontation line and commended his unilateral initiative in this respect.
Yet when Mr. Trudeau asked what specific proposals they had in mind, he got no answer. Nor did they explain what prevented them from responding earlier to the NATO proposal of mutual and balanced force reductions which was made at Reykjavik in the spring of 1968 and repeated by the Atlantic Alliance ever since.
Besides, who created the tension in Europe? …
Who butchered the freedom-seeking Hungarians after their leaders had been tricked by Moscow into negotiations which turned out to be a death trap? Who armed the Arabs to threaten Israel with obliteration? Who raped Czechoslovakia? Who is denying basic human rights to hundreds of millions of people? Who is destroying the minds of dissenting intellectuals in lunatic asylums?
Mr. Trudeau did not ask any of these questions on the theory that you don’t mention unpleasant facts
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while seeking to establish cordial relations in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.
It’s a peculiar theory. History shows tha respect and trust between states can only be based on mutual honesty and candor in facing existing reality. Cordiality does not necessarily require identity of views on everything under the sun, but it certainly cannot be achieved through the hypocrisy of mutual flattery which sweeps serious differences and problems under the rug.
Nor can international tensions be reduced, let alone eliminated, by careful avoidance of any mention and discussion of their root causes.
Mr. Trudeau, it is true, has not invented the see-no-evil approach to relations with totalitarian regimes. A generation ago France and Britain pioneered that folly in their dealings with Nazi Germany. Daladier and Chamberlain were just as willing and eager as Mr. Trudeau is now to be blind. They were just as willing and eager to accept at face value Hitler’s assurances of his concern for peace, for easing of tensions, for cordial neighborly relations. They were taken for a ride which led straight to World War II.
Western left-wing intellectuals have for decades held and promoted the same attitude to Soviet totalitarianism. Even the shock of the Soviet-Nazi pact and the accumulating evidence of the brutality of the Soviet regime, both at home and in establishing and maintaining its colonial empire, failed to open their eyes.
Canadian-Ukrainians — 9 June 71
Briefed on the political damage caused by his suggestion in Kiev that Canadian and Soviet federal systems hd much in common and by his comparison of jailed Ukrainian intellectuals with FLQ terrorists, Prime Minister Trudeau apologized to Canadians of Ukraini-
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an ancestry, not for what he had said but for what he now maintains was a misrepresentation of his remarks.
That’s not good enough.
Mr. Trudeau’s speeches and press conferences during his Soviet trip and back in Ottawa are on tape, and his own office issued transcripts. Both the tapes and the transcripts show that the PM was neither misquoted nor misunderstood. His attempt to blame the newsmen who were with him on the Soviet safari for misrepresentation of his statements is therefore a rather unsavory manoeuvre. …
Mr. Trudeau, however much he may now want to deny it, rendered the men in the Kremlin invaluable service by telling their helpless subjects that the Bolshevik dictatorship was not much different from the Canadian system of government and by alleging American military threat to our sovereignty.
Both these boosts of Soviet psychological warfare operations overshadowed by far Mr. Trudeau’s additional outrage of linking the jailed Ukrainian intellectuals, who merely tried to assert their constitutional and basic human rights, with FLQ terrorists.
It was the outcry of the Ukrainian and other “ethnic” groups in Canada which hit the headlines, but this cannot obliterate the fact that the PM offended all Canadians, regardless of their origin, for he offended the spirit of freedom which, one would hope, is still alive in most people of this country.
‘Normal’ Relations — 10 June 71
The communique Prime Minister Trudeau brought home from Moscow pledges Canada to strive, jointly with the Soviet Union, for “normalization of relations among all European states on the basis of the principles of independence and sovereignty, territorial integrity
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and inviolability of frontiers, renunciation of the use of force or the threat of force, non-interference in internal affairs and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.”
What a farce. Doesn’t Mr. Trudeau know what the Soviet regime means by “normalization of relations?” The Kremlin has now been “normalizing” relations with Czechoslovakia for three years. The process involved threat of force, actual use of force, violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of a presumably independent European state, as well as massive interference in its internal affairs.
Since there can be no doubt that this is what the terminology of the communique means to the Soviet Government, this is what Mr. Trudeau endorsed and pledged to support. Even if one assumes that the words mean something else to him, it makes no difference. He won’t persuade, and he can’t compel, the man in the Kremlin to accept and abide by his interpretation.
This being the case, what right does Mr. Trudeua have to endorse Soviet international gangsterism in the name of all Canadians?
… if the documents he signed in Moscow mean anything, they mean Canada’s ratification of the Soviet-enforced division of Europe, torpedoing of the NATO position, flouting of international law, contempt for Parliament and the electorate, and indifference to, if not approval of, Soviet international and domestic terrorism.
Quite a mouthful for Mr. Trudeau’s supporters to swallow, even if they season it with his “participatory democracy” and “just society” slogans.
Cold War Ogres — 14 June 71
Since Mr. Trudeau’s return from his third trip to the
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Soviet Union, people who see the Prime Minister as a pioneer of a new era in East-West relations have been portraying critics of his Moscow deal as cold war ogres who oppose and condemn any contact, let alone friendly negotiations, “with the Russians.”
This attempt to discredit and silence those who question the motives and implications of Mr. Trudeau’s arbitrary reorientation of Canada’s foreign policy is a typical example of both malevolent and stupid confusion mongering. It’s malevolent on the part of well-informed Trudeaucrats and sophisticated mass communicators; stupid on the part of blind Trudeaumaniacs who believe that their hero can do no wrong.
The basic nonsense of the charges of cold war hysteria over what Government spokesmen hail as an historic breakthrough in Canadian-Russian relations is this: Neither Canada, nor any other country in the world, can break through the Communist barrier that screens Soviet citizens from the rest of the world. The Russians, and the rest of the inhabitants of the Soviet Union have no say in the selection of their rulers and no way to influence their politicies. All contacts and negotiations with the Soviet Government are therefore contacts and negotiations with a handful of self-appointed top manipulators of an unchallengeable totalitarian structure.
In theory, the dictatorial clique in the Kremlin represents and is accountable to the sole political organization in the country, the Communist Party, whose membership comprises less than 5 per cent of the population of the Soviet Union. In practice even this limited accountability is pure sham, for the party structure serves as a transmission belt and enforcing agency for top-level decisions. Questioning of these decisions is not only not permitted but is severely punished when it does occur.
While this system of totalitarian rule assures the men
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in the Kremlin of absolute control, it also denies them the attributes of representative government. To maintain that talking and dealing with Messrs. Brezhnev, Kosygin, Podgorny and their underlings means talking and dealing “with the Russians” is therefore sheer hypocrisy or abysmal ignorance of the workings of the Communist dictatorship.
Emotional Nationalism — 18 Aug. 71
Since it took office in 1968, the Trudeau regime missed no opportunity for kicking our neighbor to the south in the shin.
The kicks were calculated to be particularly painful in the sensitive areas of foreign, defence and trade policies where Washington was trying to maintain some modicum of Western cohesion vis-à-vis the totalitarian powers. For good measure, some of Prime Minister Trudeau’s ministers (for example, Joe Greene in his Denver speech) went out of their way to add insult to injury.
All these moves delighted our latter day nationalists who hailed them as long overdue expressions of independence. And they urged more of the same, particularly in the economic field.
Our economy, they kept saying, must loosen and eventually sever its close links with the United States. The academic “New Left” exploited the whipped up nationalistic sentiments for its “independent socialist Canada” agitation.
Essentially anti-American, the ferment sought to pry Canada away from the framework of the Western collective security system, and particularly from the intimate continental partnership with the allegedly “imperialist” U.S.
In foreign and defence policies, where public knowl-
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edge of crucial strategic and ideological issues is scant, Mr. Trudeau’s “reorientation” process has met hardly any resistance. In the evonomic field, where people judge Government actions by their effect on individual pocketbooks, the going has been more difficult.
Here the agitation of the nationalists for “doing our own thing” regardless of the consequences ran into spiritied opposition, not only from the intertwined American-Canadian trade unions and the multinational corporations, but also from the governments of the provinces which need American and other foreign capital for their development.
Faced with this no-nonsense pocketbook front, Mr. Trudeau (who personally has no use for emotional nationalism except where it helps him to alter Canada’s course in the direction he has chosen to steer) moved slowly and cautiously along the path of economic nationalism. So slowly and cautiously that he has been branded a conservative by his initial left-wing supporters, and a continentalist by the rest of the anti-Americans.
This dichotomy in its political and economic policies has put the Trudeau regime into a peculiar position. On the one hand it is trying to buttress the international campaign that seeks to isolate the United States politically and strategically, thereby straining our relations with Washington, while on the other hand it expects and demands from Washington special consideration of Canada’s unique economic symbiosis with the U.S. which sustains our otherwise untenable standard of living.
Shortsighted 6 July 71
The next Federal election, whenever it’s called, will obviously be fought over economic issues. The combina-
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tion of high unemployment and high prices, which the Trudeau Government aggravated by its initial monetary and fiscal policies, is not likely to disappear or moderate sufficiently in the next 6 to 12 months to cease to be the major bone of political contention.
The Opposition parties, which have been hammering the mismanagemnet of the economy theme since early 1970, are therefore gearing their election campaign plans accordingly.
The concnetration on economic problems to the exclusion of everything else is understandable, for pocketbook issues are of immediate and absorbing concern to the electorate. In my opinion it is, however, a narrow and shortsighted tactic.
Important as the alleged mismanagemnet of the national economy undoubtedly is, it is nonetheless only one aspect of the Government’s conduct of public affairs. The economy operates within the country’s socio-political framework which in turn operates within (and is influenced by) the international structure.
The international structure of our time is neither uniform nor harmonious. It is split into two basic segments which are shaped by vastly different philosophies of life. Using the broadest definition, one of the two segments is self-governing, the other is totalitarian. One follows the historical pattern of evolution under the rule of law, the other the historical pattern of regressive tyranny.
While there are some shadow areas along the dividing line between these two social systems, this is the fundamental division of the world we live in.
The lifestyle of every individual is, in the last analysis, determined by the segment of the split international framework his country belongs to, regardless of how the alignment came about.
Historically, philosophically, and through the fortunate accident of geography, Canada belongs to the
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group of self-governing countries which has repeatedly fought for preservation of freedom and the Atlantic core of which is now banded together for collective security in the face of the latest version of the totalitarian threat to liberty.
As long as this threat exists in any of its changing forms, Canada has a vital stake in the maintenance of the collective security system which it helped to shape, for without the collective shield the country could not withstand the combined external and internal pressures of the totalitarians.
The primary concern of every responsible Canadian government in these circumstances must therefore be national security through collective defence arrangements of the principal democracies.
In practice this means that in shaping domestic policies the Government must constantly bear in mind this overriding task of foreign policy, for next to safeguarding freedom everything else is secondary. Anyone who doubts that only has to examine the plight of Czechoslovakia and all the other Soviet colonies to shed his doubts.
Until the advent of the Trudeau regime, all postwar Canadian governments recognized the paramount importance of a collective security-oriented foreign policy. The overwhelming majority of Canadians approved of and supported that course.
When Mr. Trudeau set out to change that course it wasn’t in response to but in defiance of majority Canadian opinion. He literaly imposed a new concept of foreign policy on his Cabinet, his caucus, Palriament and the country — a concept which ignores the self-evident reality of a perilous international situation and which weakens the structure of western collective security the totalitarians are openly seeking to undermine and destroy.
While vocal groups of ideological neo-Marxists and
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ivory tower pacifists hail the Prime Minister as a trail-blazer of a new era in international relations, the fact that the Commons committee on external affairs and national defence — dominated as it is by members of Mr. Trudeau’s ruling party — is alarmed by the downgrading of collective security leaves little doubt that the majority of the electorate shares the uneasiness of its elected representatives.
Since the international framework is indeed paramount in the shaping of Canada’s future, I think the Opposition parties (except, of course, the New Democrats who criticize Mr. Trudeau for not going far enough in snubbing our allies and courting the totalitarians) are making a grave mistake in basing their election campaign plans almost entirely on domestic economic issues.
Important as unemployment and price inflation certainly are to most voters, the effects of mismanagement of the economy pale next to the danger of mismanagement of foreign policy which could result in Canada’s loss of freedom.
Without in any way diluting its attack on the Trudeau regime’s mishandling of the economy, the official Opposition should therefore broaden the election issues to include a fundamental chalenge of the PM’s sharp change of Canada’s historically determined and tested foreign policy course.
Far from weakening the case against the Government, a major challenge of Trudeau’s foreign and defence policy would strengthen it.
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Signs of sobering up
Cracks — 4 May 71
Since the late 1950s, our governments have shown a tendency to disintegrate from within before electoral defeats.
The St. Laurent governmetn died of self-inflicted wounds in the pipeline affair. The Diefenbaker government tore itself apart in internal feuds. The Pearson administration was close to collapse when its head stepped down and the Liberal Party deceived itself and the country with the mesmerizing image of a philosopher-king.
By now the Trudeau Government, which looked unshakable when it marched in from the Grit leadership convention three years ago, is showing a number of cracks that seem to herald a repetition of the disintegration pattern.
The first sign that the initially smooth and shiny surface of the Trudeau administration could be misleading came with the resignation of Paul Helyer two years ago …
Then came the decision of Toronto MP Perry Ryan to leave the Liberal Party and sit as an independent in the Commons.
The next man to leave the Trudeau team was defence minister Leo Cadieux.
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Like Hellyer (who did not say so openly) and Ryan (who did), Cadieux was unhappy about the changes in defence policy the Prime Minister and his staff forced on the Cabinet, the Liberal caucus and Parliament. He fought hard behind closed doors to preserve a viable Canadian role in the Western collective security system, Cadieux dropped out, accepting the ambassadorial post to France as a reward for his silence.
The latest fullfledged defector is Eric Kierans, the communications minister who resigned last week.
Like Hellyer, Kierans came to the conclusion that under the Trudeau regime policy decisions are made not be elected representatives of the people but by academic task forces and top bureaucrats handpicked by the Prime Minister. It took Kierans two years longer than Hellyer to find this method of policy-making incompatible with the principles of parliamentary democracy.
This, rather than specific issues, is the basic reason for the resignations. For while Hellyer and Kierans may be poles apart on defence matters and would probably argue over many points of their economic policy concepts, they are equally appalled by the PM’s bypassing of Cabinet and Parliament in the decision-making process. …
In short, the resignations are protests against what the defectors see as systematic efforts of the Trudeau regime to smother the basic principles and practices of representative democracy with camouflage arbitrary rule. Men of conscience cannot remain indifferent to this process.
Obscenities — 4 Feb. 71
Prime Minister Trudeau seems to be losing his cool.
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Within days of his return from what some MPs have called his “trotting” and “frolicking” through Asia he has shown irritation in answering questions in the Commons, snapped at newsmen seeking clarification of discrepancies between his statements and those of his ministers on such touchy subjects as unemployment and civil service hiring. And traded obscenities with demonstrators on Parliament Hill.
In a man of Mr. Trudeau’s haughtily condescending and slightly amused attitude to Parliament, the press and assorted dissenters, these would be signs not only of annoyance and impatience with people who do not accept everything he says and does s the best and only way, but of fraying nerves.
Some of the keen observers of the Trudeau phenomenon have been saying since his meteoric rise in 1968 that the Prime Minister, who came to power without the usual long apprenticeship in party and parliamentary work, will one day get fed up and exasperated with the job and walk out of it just as abruptly as he stepped in.
I have never subscribed to this theory, for study of history and observations of the political scene in various parts of the world have convinced me that the taste of power invariably whips up appetite for more.
I don’t think that Mr. Trudeau is an exception to the rule that those who attain power, regardless of how it came about, fall in love with it. Paradoxically, it seems that those who are the most cogent critics of personal exercise of power before they get it, become its most jealous possessors, for they alone know what must be done.
This sense of a divine or historical mission usually turns such holders of power into high-handed, intolerant and arrogant autocrats who convince themselves that any opposition is, at the very least, a stupid outrage against their great mission.
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It is my considered opinion that Mr. Trudeau has been moving along the fringe of this category.
The whole thrust of his regime since he became Prime Minister by mesmerizing the Liberal Party he once despised, has been concentration of power in his own hands.
Protesting Farmers — 25 June 71
There is peculiar irony in the defeat of the Saskatchewan Liberals.
Though trying hard to dissociate themselves from the Trudeau brand of Liberalism, they were kicked out of office by farmers incensed by the agricultural policies of the Trudeau Government. The non-farm vote, though probably influenced to some extent by local issues, turned in the main against the Trudeau regime’s general mismanagement of the nation’s economy which hit Saskatchewan with particular severity.
The New Democrats, who exploited these two pocketbook issues to the hilt during the election campaigtn, thus rode to victory on a protest vote against Trudeau’s policies. The “anti-Liberal” protest vote had nowhere else to do.
The irony of the outcome is that the Saskatchewan voters, in order to register their protest against the essentially socialist policies the Trudeau regime is imposing on the country under the Grit label, put an openly socialist party in power in their province. Saskatchewan Liberals thus became victim of their nominal alignment (and in the minds of many voters identification) with the Federal perversion of Liberalism.
Whether or not the few genuine Liberals who remain on the fringes of the Trudeau Establishment realize it, this is one of the consequences of their party’s surrender in 1968 to a man whose lifelong political con-
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cepts have little in common with the mainstream of liberal philosophy.
Up until Lester Pearson’s opportunistic recruitment in 1965 of the “three wise men” (Marchand, Trudeau, Pelletier) from the Quebec left-wing constellation, Mr. Trudeau never made any bones about his academic socialism and his disdain for the Liberal Party. He campaigned for CCF and NDP candidates and accepted Pearson’s invitation to join what he called a spineless herd of Grit idiots only when he realized that the NSP had no chance to win a Federal election in the foreseeable future …
Few. if any, of the delegates who voted for Trudeau knew that their new leader once wrote:
“Indeed the experience of that subperb strategist, Mao Tse-tung, might lead us to conclude that in a vast and heterogeneous country, the possibility of establishing socialist strongholds in certain regions is the very best thing.”
In the Canadian context “establishing socialist strongholds in certain regions” clearly means establishing socialist governments in certain provinces.
Pierre Trudeau, no doubt, meant to do it unobtrusively under the nominal Grit label. This required a major reshaping of the provincial Liberal organizations under the guidance and pressure from the Trudeaucrats.
In this the otherwise smooth transformation of the Liberal Party into Trudeau’s party in its top Federal echelons ran into unforeseen difficulties. Some of the provincial Grit organizations – notably the one in Saskatchewan under Ross Thatcher — refused to fall in line. Yet even they could not escape a growing electoral disenchantment with Trudeau’s Federal policies which depressed the nation’s economy.
Where the protest vote has no alternative (as in Saskatchewan) or where it seeks at the same time to replace a worn-out provincial Tory administration (as in
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Manitoba), the result is NDP election victory. Mr. Trudeau is thus instrumental in setting up “socialist strongholds in certain regions,” though the way it’s coming about is not exactly the way he had in mind.
$Billion Pricetag — 6 Dec. 71
The Economic Council of Canada has put a price tag on the Trudeau regime’s mismanagement of the economy. It’s $3 billion a year.
The staggering figure appears in the council’s latest report, Performance in Perspective. It represents the difference between the potential and the actual performance of the economy.
By potential performance the economic council means the output and income that would be achieved under a sensible management of available material and manpower resources.
“The Canadian economy,” the council says, “recently has been operating at a level three to four per cent below its potential. In other words, there was a shortfall of about $3 billion on an annual basis, from levels of output and income that might have been achieved with reasonably full use of Canada’s labor force and other productive resources.”
While the council does not say so in so many words, it makes it abundantly clear that the huge shortfall (or “GNP gap”) resulted primarily from the government’s misconceived “war on inflation.”
The GNP gap, which emerged in 1970, was “partly a delayed reaction to the building-up in Canada in 1969 of a vigorously restraining combination of monetary and fiscal policies.”
These policies, which slowed down production and created large-scale unemployment, were imposed on
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the assumption that the economy was straining its capacity under “demand inflation” pressures.
The assumption was entirely unfounded.
Demand inflation describes a situation in which too much money chases too few goods and the economy, running at full capacity, cannot produce more. Scarcity of goods and labor pushes prices and wages up.
When Trudeau took office in 1968, there was no demand inflation. There was no shortage of goods and the economy, far from being overheated, was beginning to develop a slack.
But costs and prices were soaring. Not because of any strain on production capacity but as a result of accumulation of unrealistic wage settlements and drops in productivity.
In other words, the economy was suffering from cost-price inflation entirely unrelated to production capacity and actual performance.
The Trudeaucrats mistook this new phenomenon for a symptom of demand inflation and used orthodox deflationary fiscal and monetary measures to attack the wrongly diagnosed malaise.
This became obvious fairly soon in the combination of rising unemployment and rising costs and prices. Instead of tracing the trouble to the wrong diagnosis, the Trudeaucrats, convinced of [the] infallibility of their theories, increased the anti-inflation dosage which was poisoning the economy.
This pigheaded clinging to the increasingly untenable premise of Trudeau’s anti-inflation policy has caused most of the damage the economic council assesses at around $3 billion a year.
Even this astounding figure is not the full price the country is paying for Trudeaumania.
As a direct result of the Trudeau regime’s mismanagement of the economy, we now have over half a million unemployed, many of whom are sliding into the
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welfare category. Soaring welfare costs are siphoning off funds which would otherwise be available for job-creating expansion of production.
The size of this burden cannot be expressed in a neat figure, for no one can put a price tag on human anguish and suffering. But the purely economic size of it can be gleaned from the council’s estimate that a sustained growth rate of six per cent in real terms would be necessary for at least four years to reduce unemployment to around four per cent of the labor force.
Last year the GNP growth rate was 3.3 per cent. This year, after the government was finally forced to ease its strangling grip and start priming the economy with borrowed funds, the growth rate is expected to come close to five per cent.
Even this advance, achieved with deficit financing, cannot keep pace with the growth rate of the labor force, although that rate (2.8 per cent), contrary to Trudeau-Benson claims, is lower than it was during the second half of the 1960s (3.2 per cent).
So the prospect is more unemployment and another round of cost-price inflation, fuelled by staggering deficit budgeting.
It’s a hell of a price to pay for an electoral misjudgment.
Crossroads — 13 Dec. 71
Galvanized by a series of successes in Provincial elections and by Gallup polls showing decline of public support for the Trudeau regime, the Progressive Conservative Party staged a national convention which had all the earmarks of an election campaign primer.
Prime Minister Trudeau, alarmed by the widespread impression of his mishandling of relations with the United States, made a window-dressing trip to
Washington. And in parliament the stalled and jittery Government used the unsavory 1969 Guillotine Rule (a form of closure) to ram through its controversial omnibus Tax Reform Bill before the Jan. 1 deadline.
All these moves signify intensified pre-election jockeying by the ruling Liberals and the official Conservative opposition … which is emerging from almost a decade of debilitating internal feuds as a serious contender for power.
At the same time every one of the three big events of last week has profound long-term implications by being a major factor in the shaping of Canada’s political and economic course in the 1970’s.
Saying that a country is standing at crossroads has the sound of a worn-out journalistic cliché. It’s not a cliché in Canada’s case.
Since 1968, when academic Socialist Pierre Trudeau captured control of the Liberal party, his increasingly autocratic regime has been systematically altering the direction of Canada’s postwar domestic and foreign policies.
Broadly speaking, the push has been toward welfare statism and juridical amoralism at home, and toward graduated neutralism on the international scene with ideological overtones of the new left perversion of nationalism.
The step-by-step implementation of this “re-orientation” program has played havoc with the country’s economy and strained Canada’s relations with her traditional allies and friends.
The course Trudeau is steering is the focal point of aroused public concern and the growing portion of the electorate which finds the Government’s policies disquieting is looking for an alternative to the Conservative party.
The basic characteristic of the tensing pre-election mood is a feeling that the country has reached a cross-
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roads of partisan politics and history. A wrong choice at this point could have disastrous consequences.
Arrogant Shepherd — 22 Nov. 71
As Robert Stanfield’s self-confidence grows, Pierre Trudeau’s cocksure arrogance dwindles.
Not because the Prime Minister is less certain about the preconceived abstractions he set out to impose on the country when, to use his own expression, “the spineless herd” of the Liberal Party chose him [as] its leader in 1968, but because he senses a change in electoral mood.
As the philosopher-king he fancies himself to be, Trudeau has no doubt that his social theories are flawless. As Prime Minister who cannot entirely ignore mundane political realities, especially in election calculations, he now knows that his public support is waning. Signs of it are all over the place.
In the four recent provincial elections those associated through their party label with Trudeau’s Federal reign suffered grievous setbacks. The Grit candidate in a tell-tale Federal by-election ended a poor third. In the Commons the Opposition smells blood.
Trudeau’s grand design for Canada’s international re-alignment is causing bewilderment and anxiety all over the country. Quebec separatism, which Trudeau was expected to contain, is on the rise and poses a more serious threat to national unity than ever before.
Trudeau’s economic policy is in ruins. Canada’s closest friends and trading partners have been alienated to the point where we face potentially disastrous isolation – a prospect the Trudeau-courted totalitarians are doing their utmost to exploit.
Yet in the conceit of his self-righteous assumption of intellectual superiority Trudeau sees nothing wrong
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with the course he is steering. While conscious of his mounting economic and political difficulties, he ascribes them entirely to public ignorance, inertia and innate resistance to what he regards as necessary change.
Like every Messianic elitist, Trudeau sees himself as a shepherd chosen by destiny to steer a dumb herd into a paradise he alone perceives.
A dictator endowed with this type of mind and vision simply breaks and smothers all resistance. The glorious end result he is sure to accomplish justifies the use of every coercive means at his disposal.
Trudeau does not have complete dictatorial powers. Not yet.
That’s annoying to a man of his mental makeup, for it necessitates compromises, delays and even postponements of some of the structural changes that are indispensable for implementation of his grand design.
Hence Trudeau’s distaste for parliamentary process, his disdain of the “nobodies” in the Commons who have not yet accepted the purely ornamental role assigned to them in his concept of “participatory democracy” that boils down to participation in bowing to his will.
Since the core of Trudeau’s grand design is Canada’s international re-alignment, he started with and concentrated on prying the country loose from the Western system of collective security.
Trudeau’s virtually undisturbed long run in the foreign policy field was largely due to Stanfield’s inexperience in international relations and disbelief that the Prime Minister could be doing anything harmful to the country’s vital interests.
For these reasons Stanfield hardly moved until Trudeau’s ruinous economic policy sent him running to the alarm bell. Even then it took some time before he added cautious foreign policy warnings.
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That period of hesitation is now over and an aroused, more clear-sighted Stanfield is on the attack along the whole front.
Forced into retreat, Trudeau is proving to be the most effective wrecker of the myth of his omniscience and invincibility. Even his television image, which bewitched the electorate in 1968, is beginning to look like a runaway from the silly movie, The Planet of the Apes.
All this is reflected in Trudeau’s dropping public support.
Disenchantment — 29 Dec. 71
On the domestic scene 1971 has been a relatively quiet year. Quiet, that is, in comparison with the FLQ crisis that shook Canada during the first year of the seventies.
While the absence of spectacular violence calmed the ruffled surface, an undercurrent few people anticipated a year ago swept across the electoral bedrock of the country and changed its complexion.
Slow in finding a coherent expression during the bleak winter months of mushrooming unemployment, the changing political mood gradually crystallized into widespread disenchantment with the Trudeau regime in the second half of the year.
The first sign of it came in June when the Liberals suffered a crushing defeat in the Saskatchewan Provincial election. Though the late Premier Ross Thatcher sensed the undercurrent and tried hard to dissociate the Provincial Liberal Party from the Prairie image of the Trudeau regime, even the tenuous link of his Grit label with Ottawa that remained in the mind of the voter scuttled his administration. The New Democrats took
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the Province because no other party offered a viable alternative.
While the washout in Alberta could still be blamed on Prairie misconceptions or misunderstandings of Trudeau policies, the poor Grit showing in Ontario made it clear that the Provincial elections were reflecting a national trend.
And when such an ardent Trudeau supporter as Joey Smallwood couldn’t hold the line, it became obvious that the trend must be shaped by a strong undercurrent of electoral disenchantment with more than just one or two specific provincial branches of the Liberal Party.
Had Thatcher been repudiated as Trudeau’s critic, Smallwood would have been enthusiastically endorsed as one of Trudeau’s earliest and consistent backers.
Coming as it did on the heels of Liberal setbacks on the Prairies and in Ontario, the Grit decline in Newfoundland confirmed the existence of a general political trend. For when the Party which holds power federally loses ground in four successive Provincial elections, the losses cannot be ascribed to purely local circumstances. They must have a common denominator.
And when in three out of the four vastly different provinces the beneficiary is the party that forms the official Opposition in Ottawa, it cannot be mere coincidence.
This conclusion, drawn from this year’s Provincial elections, has been confirmed by nation-wide public opinion surveys.
The Trudeau Party (which is what the Liberals have become after their 1968 leadership convention) ended last year with 59 per cent of popular backing. The Conservatives, whose standing nosedived as a result of their uneasiness over Trudeau’s invocation of the War Measures Act, trailed far behind with 22 per cent.
Today the Liberals are down to 37 per cent and the Conservatives up to 33 per cent. This represents a loss
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of 22 per cent for Trudeau and a gain of 11 per cent for Stanfield since last December. Quite a swing in 12 months.
The most obvious reason for it is the realization during this year of the Trudeau regime’s mismanagement of the economy and of the systematic downgrading of Parliament by an arrogant executive which reflects the autocratic tendencies of the prime minister.
Less obvious, but perhaps almost as important, is the growing uneasiness about Mr. Trudeau’s re-orientation of our foreign and defence policy. While this uneasiness may still be too vague to pinpoint, signs of it have been cropping up throughout the year and particularly during the Kosygin visit.
Some observers maintain that despite its vagueness this apprehension could have been quite an important factor in the outcome of the Ontario election.
Be that as it may, a marked swing of the domestic political pendulum in 1971 is an undeniable fact. Whether the trend it denotes will gain or lose momentum between now and the Federal election is unpredictable. What is predictable is that Canada, as we know it, would not survive another four years of a Trudeau majority government.
The Rebels — 12 Jan. 72
Nine year ago Pierre Trudeau called the Liberal Party a bunch of idiots behaving collectively like a spineless herd.
Writing in the April, 1963 edition of his Cité Libre magazine Trudeau described Lester Pearson as a power hungry opportunist and stated:
“The head of the troupe having shown the way (in the defence policy controversy), the rest followed with the elegance of animals heading for the trough …
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there is not remaining in this party one single man for whom principles mean more than power.”
Things have changed since then.
When power beckoned, the angry academic who urged Canadians to vote NDP to save their souls and honor, not only joined the bunch of idiots but in short order became absolute master of the spineless herd.
Power, evidently, has come to mean more to him than the presumably pristine principles he once espoused.
On the other hand, several men arose among the Liberals for whom principles mean more than power.
The first to obey the dictates of conscience when he realized the illiberal nature and the devious policies of the Trudeau regime was Paul Hellyer. Next came Perry Ryan and Eric Kierans.
Now these top echelon “rebels” for whom principles mean more than power have been joined by the president and half the executive of the Grit organization in the Ontaroi riding of Leeds.
Like the three parliamentarians, these officials of what no longer is a Liberal Party are convinced that the Trudeau regime is doing harm to the country. And like Perry Ryan they follow their conviction to its logical conclusion.
They are making a clear break with the Trudeau Party and pledging voting support to Robert Stanfield.
This does not mean that they are ceasing to be small “l” liberals. It merely means that they see no chance for expression and implementation of the basic tenets of liberal political philosophy through the Trudeau manipulated machinery of the party that carries the Liberal label.
The contention of the Leeds “rebels” is that Trudeau has transformed the Liberal Party into a vehicle of his personal political credo which they call socialist in concept and autocratic in execution.
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In their view Trudeau is using the Liberal Party for forcing illiberal domestic and foreign policies on the country — policies that are harmful to Canada’s vital interests.
These charges are not new. They have been made repeatedly by Trudeau’s political opponents and independent critics since his first attempt to emasculte Parliament in 1968. But coming from within the organizational structure of his party they carry more weight.
When they brand the Trudeau regime as a menace to the democratic structure of our society, they do so out of deep convictioon that concern for the future of the country must override party loyalty.
No one whose service to a political party has put him in charge of a riding organization makes such a decision lightly. Coming as it does in an election year, the step taken by the Leeds “rebels” therefore represents an anguished warning to voters across the country.
Many people who have been watching the performance of the Trudeaucrats with growing uneasiness will find in the voices from Leeds a confirmation of their own forebodings. Those who haven’t paid close enough attention to the transformation of the Liberal Party into an instrument of a Gaullist type semi-dictatorial rule have now the problem of the next Federal election outlined for them.
In a nutshell, the problem is this: The Trudeau regime has shifted the whole political spectrum in Canada so much to the “left” that the Stanfield version of Conservatism now holds the position formerly occupied by the Liberal Party.
People who want to maintain the essentials of liberal democracy at home and of the Pearsonian internationalist posture in external affairs have to vote for PC candidates.
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Miscalculation — 14 Feb. 72
It now seems that Prime Minister Trudeau may have miscalculted his pre-election timing. …
Although official forecasts of the performance of the economy paint a rosy picture of recovery from the slump of the last two years, a sober evaluation of the facts on which Trudeau has to base his election strategy projects persisting high unemployment and rising prices through summer and fall.
With this in mind it’s obviously better for the Government to base its election campaign on forecasts of an economic upswing than on explanations of why the high expectations, whipped up by the forecasts, failed to materialize.
Hence Trudeau’s choice of what he thought would be a credible atmosphere of hope and optimism this spring. …
Abandoning his 1968 pledge of balanced budgeting, he resorted to huge deficit financing which was to create a pre-election semblance of diminishing unemployment by creating temporary jobs.
The buildup of optimism for the election campaign was to include a new trade deal and smoothing of strained relations with the United States, allaying of
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apprehension over the changed course of Canada’s foreign policy, and a major Cabinet shuffle indicating moderation of pressures on the business community.
Except for the Cabinet shuffle, none of the big pre-election moves turned out the way it was planned. Although more than half of the billion dollars earmarked for artificial job creation has already been spent, unemployment jumped from 6.1 percent in December to 7.7 percent of the labor force in January.
The price escalator, after a temporary slowdown in 1970, is accelerating again and can be expected to pick up speed under the pressure of accumulated cost increases.
The new trade deal with the U.S., which Trudeau’s negotiators have painstakingly constructed around the politically tough Autopact, has been rejected by Washington.
In short, the foundations of Trudeau’s election strategy have collapsed. Since postponement of the contest to 1973 could aggravate his position, he may now try to base his election campaign on straight appeal to the already inflamed emotions of fashionable anti-American “nationalism.”
Mocked by Statistics — 19 Jan. 72
Statistics are like Bible quotations. Carefully selected, and used with skill, they can render a semblance of validity even to diametrically opposed contentions.
Moreover, when they don’t fit a desired purpose, statistics can be juggled around, seasonally adjusted, averaged, interpolated or twisted into seemingly logical but non-applicable theorems.
Pushing this game ad absurdam to illustrate the potential, it could for example be argued “statistically”
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that if it takes one woman nine months to produce a child, nine women should do it in one month.
The government isn’g going quite that far in its juggling of economic statistics but it is moving in that direction when it tries to prove that things are improving markedly despite more unemployment and steeply rising prices.
The official treatment of soaring prices is particularly interesting.
A year ago the Government boasted that under its wise management Canada had achieved in 1970 the best price performance of all the industrialized countries. There was some justification for that claim which Prime Minister Trudeau presented as victory over inflation.
Our “adjusted” consumer price index rose in 1970 by only 1.9 percent. Compared to its equally adjusted 4.5 percent rise in 1969 and 4.1 percent increase in 1968 this was a truly remarkable improvement.
What the Government tried not to make quite clear was that the 1970 “victory over inflation” rested almost entirely on two non-repeatable factors: voluntary agreement by business to absorb a major portion of rising costs, and a supermarket food price war. …
Last year, while this untenable method of fighting price inflation drove the number of jobless to 8.1 percent of the labor force, business started to ease the pentup cost pressures through upward price adjustments.
Although these adjustments fell far short of reflecting the full scope of higher costs, they drove the consumer price index up by 5 percent in 12 months. At the end of 1971 the price index registered the sharpest November-December jump in a decade.
Faced with these Statistics Canada findings, the Government juggled the figures around and through “averaging” slashed the actual 5 percent jump in the
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consumer price index to a “comparative” increase of only 2.9 percent. …
I don’t think people can be fooled by such numbers games. Since the actual 5 percent price increase shows most acutely in grocery bills, everybody feels it. Particularly hard hit are old age pensioners with no supplementary private means, unemployment insurance and welfare recipients, and all low income earners. For them the artfully concocted statistical delusions are not only meaningless but offensive because every jingle of the cash register reminds them of the low opinion the Government must have of their intelligence.
Trudeau, Benson & Co. can indulge in statistical deceptions. To them it makes no appreciable difference whether prices go up by 2.9 or 5 percent. Pensioners whose cost of living bonus is fixed at 2 percent annually feel the difference in their bellies.
Being penalized by the Government’s mismanagement of the economy is bad enough. Being mocked by statistical mirages at the same time is an outrage which ought to show in the next Federal election results.
Twisted Facts — 11 Feb. 72
Trudeau’s ministers have been touring the country since Chairman Pierre shuffled them around for the forthcoming election campaign, boasting about an economic Oscar the OECD had allegedly bestowed on Canada.
They conjured up the economic Oscar from last year’s report of the Paris based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development which stated that, relatively speaking, Canada had achieved one of the best price and balance of payments performances of the 23 OECD member countries.
However, the OECD pointed out that the compara-
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tively good price performance was largely due to a purely temporary containment of cost pressures which were building up rapidly, and were bound to set in motion a new round of price inflation. It also noted that Canada had one of the highest rates of unemployment among the industrial countries and one of the lowest rates of productivity gains.
In short, far from handing an economic Oscar to the Trudeau regime, the OECD warned it of the inevitable consequences of temporizing with windowdressing exercises that may look good for a while, but in fact aggravate the underlying problems.
Gearing for an election the Trudeaucrats twisted the essence of the OECD sober assessment of our economy into an accolade of their managerial performance. The economic Oscar theme was to create a campaign euphoria which, backed by a billion-dollar outlay on temporary jobs, they expected to last until polling day.
It’s now obvious that this pre-election stratagem, though pretty good in theory, is not working in practice. The trouble from the Trudeaucrats’ point of view lies in the remaining imperfections of their control mechanism. There are still holes in it through which unwanted information slips out and plays havoc with the official line.
To make a good job of, for example, the misrepresentation of an OECD report which few people bother to look at, the Government would need supporting statistical data. In other words, phony figures nobody could check.
In its grasp for autocratic powers the Trudeau regime hasn’t yet dared to go that far. Emasculation of Parliament hasn’t reached the stage where such a step could be taken with political impunity. Information Canada still hasn’t reached the organizational potential of effective remote control of the media.
Projects of this magnitude need a lot of patient work
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that cannot be rushed. Too much pressure for transformation of our political scene into a one-man government could alarm the public. The process must be gradual, and always credibly presented as as desirable and necessary efficiency reform effort.
During its first four years the Trudeau regime has done most of the spadework for a wide variety of major structural and policy changes which are apparently slated for completion after the next election. Only then, assuming a convincing renewal of their blank cheque mandate, will the Trudeaucrats feel sufficiently secure to put the jigsaw puzzle together and plug the holes in their increasingly all-embracing control mechanism.
This is what Opposition House Leader Jed Baldwin had in mind when he warned last month: “Five more years of the type of government we have been exposed to would so weaken and diminish the means and the opportunity to resist the Caesar super group, it is doubtful if they could again be seriously challenged.”
People who may not discern the political danger cannot fail to see the economic plight of the country. The latest Statistics Canada figures, which the Trudeaucrats do not yet dare to doctor, show an increase in unemployment from 530,000 in December to 665,000 in January, and a jump in the Cost of Living Index from 130.3 a year ago to 136.7.
This at a time when the Government claims to have been awarded an economic Oscar by the OECD, when it claims to have licked inflation and when it is squandering a billion dollars on temporary jobs which will disappear without trace the moment the inflationary pre-election spending spree ends.
Dangerous Drift — 31 Jan. 72
Canada, with one-tenth of the U.S. population and
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one-thirtieth of the U.S. Gross National Product, does not have the strength for playing a major, let alone a decisive, role on the world scene. So international affairs tend to be regarded as a big power game the smaller countries can, at best, influence only marginally. Hence the marginal role of foreign policy in Canadian elections.
Occasionally there are exceptions.
The last time a defence aspect of Ottawa’s foreign policy became a hot election issue was in 1963. …
While nothing approaching the 1963 crystallization of the nuclear warheads issue is in the making on the Canadian political scene right now, there are signs that foreign and defence policy may become an unusually significant part of the forthcoming Federal election campaign.
The uneasiness stems from Trudeau’s by-now-unmistakable effort to loosen and downgrade Canada’s traditional ties with the democracies and forge closer links with totalitarian Russia, China and their satellites.
Trudeau’s supporters explain this reorientation of foreign policy as a judicious implementation of his version of the theory of countervailing forces. Trudeau, they say, is simply seeking to balance or offset the overwhelming influence of the United States and thereby assure and strengthen Canada’s independence.
Some of his critics see it as a naive and dangerous drift into untenable “neutrality” or the beginning of ideological re-alignment that would spell Canada’s political and economic ruin. If Trudeau merely wanted to balance American influence, why would be be weakening NATO?
While these views are not likely to surface in the election campaign in their stark essence, their presence in the public mind is bound to upgrade foreign and defence policy to a substantial matter.
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Historical Deflator — 2 Feb. 72
Paying tribute to Louis St. Laurent on his 90th birthday, former CCF Leader M. J. Coldwell described the former Liberal Prime Minister on a TV program last Sunday as the architect of Canada’s foreign policy and of the Western collective security system.
It was St. Laurent who, as Mackenzie King’s External Affairs Minister, laid down in 1947 the principles of Canada’s foreign policy in the postwar world of ideological and power conflict.
Those principles were: preservation of national unity and political liberty; Judeo-Christian ethics; and willingness to accept international responsibilities in defence of freedom.
Until the later 1960s all our governments followed these principles in shaping Canada’s role in the world When the Trudeau regime came in, it declared them obsolete and started discarding them. The result is a foreign policy that is causing anxiety at home (even Mr. Trudeeau’s party is splitting over the new course), worries our allies, and plays into the hands of the self-declared enemies of freedom.
The reason Trudeau gave for abandoning St. Laurent’s foreign policy principles was an allegedly fundamental transformation of the international scene. The whole premise of the East-West conflict as St. Laurent saw it has, we were told, lost whatever validity it may have had a generation ago.
How valid is this assertion?
Certainly many changes have occurred on the international scene since St. Laurent laid down his foreign policy principles in 1947.
Western Europe has regained economic strength and a modicum of political stability. So has Japan. Scores of new states have emerged in Africa and Asia with a nominally non-aligned status.
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The monolithic Soviet control of the Communist bloc has been shattered by the Moscow-Peking rift in the late 1950s. And in the last few years the Kremlin has opened the door to a whole series of East-West “détente” negotiations. This in turn is now forcing Peking out of its implacably hostile isolation.
Divorcing these developments from their historical and strategic background, it is possible to interpret them as a fundamentl transformation of the international scene. But seen against their background, they are much less than that. Their “historical deflator,” if I may coin a phrase, reduces them to mere tactical moves forced on the totalitarians by the imperative of survival in the nuclear age. Tactical considerations may alter the route to a given objective, but they do not change the objective.
St. Laurent formed his foreign policy principles on the premise tht the ultimate objective of the Kremlin was imposition of Red Fascism on the whole world.
Since the late 1940s that goal has been periodically reaffirmed as unchanged and unchangeable. For example, in his report to the 24th congress of the Soviet Communist party last March Leonid Brezhnev said: “The full triumph of the Socialist cause all over the world is inevitable. And we shall not spare ourselves in the fight for this triumph …”
What the Kremlin means by “Socialism” is quite clear from its theme for the 50th anniversary of Soviet power which declared that the victory of Socialism creates
“… the social, political and spiritual prerequisites necessary for the transition towards the building of a Communist society …”
Since a military shortcut to a “full triumph of the Socialist cause all over the world” could still be suicidal for some time to come, both Moscow and Peking are doing their utmost to weaken the internal and external defences of the democracies.
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The “détente” offensive is an integral part of this tactic which seeks to disrupt the Western collective security system and eventually crack the resistance of an isolated, thoroughly demoralized United States to nuclear blackmail in the name of world “peace”.
Seen in this context, St. Laurent’s premise and basic principles of Canada’s foreign policy are as valid today as they were 25 years ago. By abandoning those principles and taking the “détente” and “co-existence” songs from Moscow and Peking at face value, Trudeau is lending a helping hand to the totalitarians. The contention of his apologists that Washington is following his lead is preposterous nonsense.
Helping Totalitarians 00 18 Feb. 72
There is a vast difference between Prime Minister Trudeau’s and President Nixon’s dealings with Moscow and Peking. The difference stems from the positions Canada and the U.S. occupy on the international scene.
The U.S. is the only democratic country which can deal with the totalitarian powers from a position of trength. Nixon (as anyone who has followed his career and hasread his book Six Crises knows) has no illusions about the nature and intentions of the Communist regimes. The accommodation he seeks with them concerns conflict management in the nuclear age and is based on what he regards as a workable balance of power formula.
Canada is a relatively weak member of the Western collective security system that the Communists seek to disrupt and destroy. Ottawa cannot hold the totalitarians in check or withstand their blackmail.
Courting Moscow and Peking unilaterally while reducing Canada’s contribution to collective Western de-
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fence, Trudeau has, under the guise of détente, extended a helping hand to the totalitarians. Hence my contention that any comparison between Trudeau’s and Nixon’s foreign policy is preposterous nonsense.
The Smear Tactic — 26 Jan. 72
Confronted with criticism he cannot disprove, a wily politician does not waste time and energy on arguing. Instead, he concentrates on discrediting his critics.
The tactic is alien to the democratic process but can be effective. For if you manage to discredit your opponent, what he syas ceases to matter.
While the trick is as old as the dark side of the human mind, its systematic use in modern politics is associated with Lenin.
Lenin taught his disciples not to bother arguing with their critics and adversarie. His recipe was to demolish them with calumny, ridicule, innuendo — anything likely to divert attention from the criticism to some alleged imbecility of the critics that would discredit them in the public mind.
In a speech he made in 1907 on the power of hate, Lenin said:
“The working (of our campaign) is calculated to provoke hatred, disgust, contempt (of our adversaries). The phrasing must be calculated not to convince but to destroy, not to correct the adversary’s mistake, but to annihilate and wipe him off the face of the earth …”
Since Lenin’s time this smear technique leading at first to character assassinations and eventually to physical liquidations of political opponents, has been used by all the totalitarians. In modified forms it has also been adopted by unscrupulous demagogues in the democratic countries.
The practice of brushing off criticism or questioning
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as ridiculously irrelevant has gained momentum under the Trudeau regime. Its latest manifestation is the attempt to to discredit the group of Grit officials who left the Leeds Liberal Association in protest against what they regard as the Prime Minister’s dangerous policies and autocratic tendencies.
Led by the resignng president of the Grit association in the riding, the Leeds “rebels” have articulated a growing uneasiness within and without the Liberal Party about the course Mr. Trudeau is steering in both external and internal policies.
To argue with them would require explanation and justification of the premises on which the Trudeau policies are based. This would entail revealing to public view the philosophical and ideological foundations of the Trudeau regime.
Having successfully concealed these fundamentals from the voters in the last election under a layer of sloganeering generalities, Mr. Trudeau and his in-group can hardly be expected to put them on display on the eve of another march to the polls. So the Leeds “rebels,” who are too much on the inside of the party structure to be ignored, have to be discredited so that no one would dare to follow their example for fear of ridicule and character assassination.
The campaign was launched by the guardians of the “progressive” line in the mass media. It took the form of amused dismissal of the criticism of Trudeau’s foreign policy. What, the implication was, could some hicks in Brockville know about foreign affairs?
After the opening round of ridicule in the media came a more direct attack. It was delivered last week by Sudbury MP James A. Jerome (Mr. Jerome is parliamentary secretary to the President of the Privy Council and obviously hopes to catch Mr. Trudeau’s eye for future Cabinet appointment) who called the Leeds rebels “Millionaire WASPs.”
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Apparently the image of a bunch of country bumpkins causing trouble over something they allegedly cannot understand wasn’t considered good enough.
So the ignorant yokels were turned into bigoted millionaires incensed by what Jerome painted as the Trudeau regime’s commitment to helping the poor and raising the status of ethnic groups. For good measure Jerome added that the Leeds “renegates” were “arch conservatives” who did not care whether they belonged to the Liberal or the Conservative Party.
A close look at the Leeds Grit rebels belies this image. They are as typical a cross section of our society as one finds in most political organizations across the country – farmers, workers, housewives, professional people, businessmen. And in the Leeds group of “arch conservatives” all are dedicated Liberal Party workers, many with long Grit family traditions.
Their resignation, they maintain, is a protest against what they regard as Trudeau’s misuse of the Liberal Party for imposing illiberal policies and autocratic government on the country. Religion and race have nothing to do with it.
As for millionaires, isn’t Pierre Elliott Trudeau one?
Self-Deception — 7 Feb. 72
When the Trudeau regime took office in 1968, the whole premise of Canada’s postwar foreign policy was broken to pieces and gradually replaced by assumptions shaped by a vastly different view of the world.
The re-orientation process, as it was officially called, led to a sharp downgrading of the Western collective security system. There’s now estrangement from Western Europe, relations with the United States are strained, our strident nationalists are depicting the Americans as imperialist ogres bent on smothering
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Canada’s independence, and the Trudeaucrats are chumming up with the totalitarian powers.
Quite a re-orientation.
Mr. Trudeau explains and justifies this change of course, which he charted and executed without consulting Palriamnet or even his own party, as a necessary adjustment to changed international conditions.
“We started from the proposition,” he said last month in a radio interview, “that our foreign policy should try and abstract itself from former prejudices, those mianly of the cold war.”
In other words, in his opinion the East-West conflict that bears the cold war label never had any substance. It was and is a “prejudice” from which he is “abstracting” Canada’s foreign policy.
Such an interpretation of postwar history is quite a feat. To be intellectually tenable, it has to ignore all the recorded facts — from the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948 to the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. It has to ignore the erection of the physical Iron Curtain which, far from rusting, is constantly reinforced.
It has to ignore the monstrosity of the Berlin Wall which still stands and still takes its toll, despite Chancellor Brandt’s Ostpolitik and the Four Power agreemnet to give the divided city a bit of the currently fashionable détente illusion.
Above all, the “abstracting” process has to ignore the inhumanity of the totalitarian system and take its propaganda version of itself as a new form of democracy at face value.
Mr. Trudeau accomplished that when, after hearing Soviet Premier Kosygin lie shamelessly in public in Ottawa last fall, he told James Reston of the New York Times: “I am rather inclined to be like that, rather inclined to always trust the other perosn and take a chance …”
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Trudeau’s External Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp gave the self-deception a more specific rationalization when he told a Toronto audience:
“We must assume that they (the totalitarian regimes) suit the Soviet and Chinese people well enough to keep the rulers in office by consent, whether expressed or implied.”
It’s hard to believe, but these are the new foundations of Canada’s re-oriented foreign policy which will seek electoral acceptance under the banner of national interests and world peace.
Values in Doubt — 4 Feb. 72
In his address to the National Conference on the Law, Prime Minister Trudeau spoke about what he called “the idea gap.” This, he said, rather than the much talked about “generation gap,” is now the major problem in our society.
An idea gap occurs, he explained, when crystallization of changing, or new social concepts in the public mind runs ahead of the legislative and policy expressions of those concepts. Elimination of this gap requires fast (i.e., executive) law and policy making.
There was a time when new social concepts took decades to crystallize and gain public acceptance, Mr. Trudeau said.
Nowadaus, according to Mr. Trudeau, the life span of new social concepts is much shorter. New ideas crop up, mature and become obsolete before they are translated into policy and legislation. Hence the idea gap within what used to be a generation gap.
To illustrate, Mr. Trudeau drew a comparison with the acceleration of technological change. A new machine, he said, now often becomes obsolete by the time it reaches production stage.
It was a vivid but misplaced imagery. It was mis-
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placed and misleading because no machine can be compared to social structure.
No piece of machinery, including the most advanced computers, can perform a single task for which it has not been programmed by human intelligence. It has no initiative of its own, it cannot think for itself. It has no conscience, no sense of duty, responsibility, loyalty, no notion of history and tradition, no concept of ethics.
No machine can therefore be compared with any social structure, for no amoount of “social engineering” can turn human beings into totally unthinking and unfeeling robots performing pre-programmed push-button operations. Nor can a valid comparison be made between technological and social change. …
The evolution of technology is not determined, or even greatly influenced, by moral categories. The evolution of social structure is. Its institutions are not machines that can be replaced at will by newer models, but living organisms which reflect concepts of human life.
In the totalitarian states social institutions have been arbitrarily imposed by a self-appointed coercive authority for the purpose of strict regimentation of all aspects of public and private life. In the democratic countries they serve the need of free individuals to harmonize their efforts for the common good under the rule of law shaped by the periodically tested will of the majority.
The totalitarian structure has no provision for adjustments to changing conditions other than arbitrary decisions of the dictatorial authority. The democratic structure provides for any form of change through consensus.
Since the consensus that has shaped and maintains the core of democratic institutions embodies centuries of experimentation and experience with forms of self-government rooted in the moral values held by free
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man, any major institutional change (such as doing away with Parliament in all but name) would require a firm conviction of the majority of the electorate that the “old” values have lost all validity.
Mr. Trudeau is tring to put those values in doubt by confusing passing fads and pressures from vocal minorities with the fundamentals of Canada’s ethics.
Vallière’s ‘conversion’ — 9 Feb. 72
The wave of violence that swept university campuses of North America, Western Europe and Japan in the second half of the 1960s has subsided.
Behavioral researchers offer two basic explanations. One is that, like an epidemic, the “revolutionary” madness has run its course. The other maintains that, having found political violence increasingly counter-productive, its instigators and organizers have called the campaign off.
Considering the synchronized international incidence of riots and the known movements of its foremost advocates from country to country, I think the second explanation is closer to the mark than the first … by now it’s fairly obvious that in their latest tactical zig-zag the Communist superpowers have shifted emphasis from fomenting political violence in the democracies to more subtle methods of subversion.
With the exception of the irresistible opportunity in Northern Ireland, the stimulus provided by the professional riot makers was temporarily withdrawn. In cases where local hotheads tried to sustain the momentum on their own, the acknowledged riot leaders even made public statements renouncing political violence.
Thus, for example, Rudi Dutchke, the mentor of young “revolutionaries” in Western Germany, renounced political violence when it threatened to torpe-
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do Soviet exploitation of Chancellor Brandt’s Ostpolitik and declared that the route to power must now be that of “the long march through the institutions.”
In Canada this task was performed by Pierre Vallières, the theoretician of the FLQ. While the FLQ is not strictly a campus setup, it is the most violent segment of our young “revolutionaries,” whose primary recruiting ground has been in the universities, colleges and high schools. The effect of Vallières’ “conversion” to constitutionality is therefore meant to be roughly the same as that of Rudi Dutchke’s.
Neither Dutchke nor Vallières have renounced their political goals. They are merely discarding a method of operation which has proved counterproductive and momentarily embarrassing to Moscow’s and Peking’s “détente” stratagems.
Apart from the wider “revolutionary” aims, Vallières specifically seeks dismemberment of Canada. Until a few weeks ago the one-time editor of Trudeau’s Cité Libre magazine was a fugitive from justice. His hiring by an agency financed by taxpayers’ money while he awaits a new trial for counselling kidnapping and murder of Federal and Provincial politicians, judges and prosecutors, defies comprehension. A Government which condones, and even defends, that sort of imbecility should be kicked out of office in the next election.
Who Will Save Us? — 23 Feb. 72
Watching the minuet of the Throne speech debate helps one understand why the assorted “revolutionaries” who operate outside the parliamentary framework feel confident that our political system is sick and can be finished off without most people noticing what’s happening.
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Here you have the supreme assembly of our elected representatives going through a stylized ritual of scoring partisan debating points while the real problem of the country, if touched at all, is glossed over in hazy and mostly misconstrued generalities.
While the debate cannot avoid nibbling at such obvious symptoms of public unease as high unemployment, cost-price inflation, increasingly divisive regionalism, poisoned economic atmosphere, and even strained relations with the United States and Western Europe, it tiptoes around the core of all the troubles, which is the Trudeau regime, its concept and exercise of power, its political philosophy and the policies flowing from it.
In practice this means the poliitical philosophy and policies of one man, for under Trudeau the decision-making process has become a one man operation which neither the Cabinet, the Liberal Party caucus, nor Parliament as a whole can influence to any substantial degree.
It is this change in the management of public affairs that is Canada’s basic problem and danger.
Quite a number of MPs on both sides of the Commons arae dimly aware of this core issue. many on the Opposition benches will tell you privately that Canada cannot survive another four or five years of the Trudeau regime. Some of them have made oblique public statements to this effect.
Yet in the Throne speech debate, which provides an ideal forum for a fundamental analysis of our political and eocnomic situation, they steer clear of the basic problem whch the public needs to understand if it is to avoid making a potentially fatal mistake in the coming Federal election.
The Grit MPs who see the authoritarian writing on the wall shun the subject for fear of scuttling their election prospects. The Tories limit themselves to mere
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scratching of Trudeau’s “Participatory Democracy” and “Just Society” mask, for fear of being branded as witchhunters descending into the gutter of personal attacks on the Prime Minister.
The New Democrats, who are disillusioned more with the still cautious form rather than with the substance of Trudeaucracy, are hampered by their ideological affinity with the formative past and the political essence of Trudeau’s mind.
And the Creditistes do not cunt, even if occasionally bits and pieces of what they do say may make sense.
For these reasons the public gets no clear, forthright analysis from its elected representatives of the gut feeling of uneasiness, and even fear, that stalks the country.
Instead of pinpointing Trudeau’s course and projecting it to its logical destination of politico-economic regimentation, the Opposition talks about “wasted (or empty) years.”
It’s an inane charge which is self-defeating in its implication that nothing much has happened to really worry about.
Trudeau won’t have much trouble dealing with this line of attack. All he has to do is cite his legislative record which, while not quantitatively outstanding, contains several necessary and useful reform measures. What he won’t say, and what the Opposition is fearful to tackle, is the fact of his primary use of the past four years for structural and policy transformation of our society — moves that await completion after the coming election.
Three years ago Trudeau boasted in an interview that he would change the course of the ship of state without his passengers suspecting anything, let along knowing where he was taking them until they would find themselves “disembarking at a different island than the one they thought they were sailing for.”
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The destination may not still be visible to the naked eye, but it already shows on the political radar screen our elected representatives are supposed to watch. No one can expect the electorate to save parliamentary democracy in Canada while the Opposition lacks the courage to state unequivocally and in terms every voter can understand where the danger lies right now.
Abuse of Power — 10 Mar. 72
A government which has an assured majority in the House is entitled by the tradition of our political system to implement the program it outlined to the voters in the election campaign. Enactment of a winning election program by its supporters in the Commons simply means that the public is getting what it opted for in a free political contest.
Having failed to obtain a combined blocking position in the House, the Opposition groups cannot complain too strenuously about the Government’s use of its voting majority for pushing a stated program through Parliament in a frankly partisan way.
In the present Parliament this applies only marginally. The Opposition has been placed from the start in a somewhat different role by the fact that the Trudeau party offered virtually no program in the 1968 election. Thus, faced with a majority reflecting largely the emotional sweep of Trudeaumania, it had no yardstick for measuring [the] legitimacy of the Prime Minister’s use of his voting steam-roller in the House.
This gave Trudeau an unprecedented scope for enacting policies and legislation which need not necessarily have secured public endorsement had he outlined them in his election campaign.
No policy or legislation could be fought by the Opposition on the grounds of contravention or disregard
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of the terms of the Government’s program, because none was specified.
While such a wide-open mandate can be used by an unscrupulous Prime Minister for dictatorial enforcement of policy and legislation, it does not give him the authority to spend public money as he sees fit.
The basic function and responsibility of the Commons as a whole — not just the Opposition — is control of the public purse. No government can interpret its mandate as a mandate to abrogate, curb or thwart this fundamental task of Parliament. When it seeks to do so, it attacks the very foundations of the democratic process. Any attempt to curb parliamentary control of government spending is therefore the first unmistakable sign of a grab for absolute power.
The Trudeau regime made its first camouflaged move in that direction when it shifted examination of departmental estimates from the committee of the whole House to the stanidng committee soon after it took office.
The reason given at that time was that the revised procedure would improve [the] efficiency of Parliament, allow more detailed scrutiny of the spending estimates in small committees where officials and experts can be questioned, and give the House more time to concentrate on legislation and policy.
In practice this theoretically attractive proposition boiled down to fragmentation and dissipation of the spending control powers of the Commons. It’s easier for the Government to run the small committees more tightly than the whole House.
Their meetings, often held concurrently, can seldomg be fully attended by the designated Opposition MPs, and most of them get little if any publicity. Their reports zoom through the whole House with hardly a question asked and the Government no longer depends on approval of cash advances for its spending.
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Trudeau’s next step was an attempt to muzzle the Auditor-General. Only a timely storm of public protest prevented the ramming of legislation to that effect through Parliament.
And now, when criticism of mismanagement and appalling waste of public funds comes even from within the administration (the recently leaked Information Canada memo), the Trudeaucrats are using their voting steamroller in the House for a clearly illegitimate purpose.
Action Canada — 29 Mar. 72
When Paul Hellyer launched his Action Canada movement last May, there was an outside chance that the experiment could start a general political re-alignment process.
His pitch was not only for the Grits who, like himself, became alarmed by Prime Minister Trudeau’s conversion of the Liberal party into an instrument of personal power, but also for the Tories and the New Democrats disenchanted with the performance of their parties. Had he managed to knit these strands of dissatisfaction together, Action Canada might have attracted the “floating” segment of the electorate and transformed itself from a vague protest group into a political party.
Although public mood seemed ripe for political re-alignment when Hellyer launched his experiment, it did not jell in Action Canada. The AC membership drive brought meager results and the founding convention of the movement failed to generate much interest.
One of the reasons for the flop may have been Mr. Hellyer’s personality. Too many people who might
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have responded favorably to the concept of political re-alignment, apparently suspect Hellyer’s motives. Whether or not the widespread impression that he was primarily after running his own show may have been unfair is now immaterial. What matters is that such an impression evidently took shape in the public mind and had a profound effect on Hellyer’s political appeal and potential effectiveness.
This is attested by the fact that none of the prominent defectors from the Trudeau camp went over to Action Canada. Former Liberal MPs Perry Ryan and Raymond Rock joined the Tories — so did half of the executive of the Liberal association in the Ontario constituency of Leeds, and a Grit fund raiser in Mr. Trudeau’s own riding in Montreal.
All thse men share Paul Hellyer’s conviction that the Trudeau regime is doing harm to the country and has to be stopped in its tracks before it’s too late. If they thought that Action Canada could do it, they would certainly have followed Paul. Their decision to join Stanfield’s rather than Hellyer’s fight against Trudeaucracy, reflects a sobre assessment of political reality, for it is now obvious that Action Canada is not a viable political force and cannot hope to weaken, let alone stop, Trudeau in the coming election.
Assuming that Mr. Hellyer sees the danger of another Trudeau majority government and seeks to combat it, his attempt to turn Action Canada into a political party fielding its own candidates is a big mistake. For although no Action Canada candidate is likely to get elected, their entry into the contest cannot but split the anti-Trudeau vote.
Mr. Hellyer should know that from his own experience at the 1968 Liberal leadership convention. It was the splintering of the stop-Trudeau forces (which together polled 1,638 votes against Trudeau’s 752 in the first ballot), that accounted for their defeat. Had they
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been able to suppress personal ambitions, there would have been no Trudeau regime.
Hellyer’s decision to wage his own quixotic battle with Trudeaucracy, despite the flop of his experiment with political re-alignment, raises the spectre of repetition of the same egotistic irresponsibility and stupidityin a crucial federal election.
As matters stand now, there can be no doubt that the only political organization that can seriously challenge the Trudeau machine in all but the Quebec ridings is the Conservative party. Any splintering of that challenge (again with the exception of Quebec where, by necessity, the main challengers re the Creditistes) therefore plays into Trudeau’s hands.
However sincere Mr. Hellyer may be in insisting on fighting Trudeau separately he is thus defeating his own purpose. Because all he can accomplish is division of the effort to stop Trudeau. A vote for Hellyer or any other Action Canada candidate, would therefore be wasted as an expression of rejection of the Trudeau regime and could actually give tightly contested ridings to the Trudeau men.
Election Timing — 5 Apr. 72
Although Prime Minister Trudeau hasn’t ruled out a June vote, his aides are now dropping hints of [the] growing probability of postponement of the campaign for six months, perhaps even a year.
Opposition leader Robert Stanfield still believes the march to the polls is imminent. He thinks the Prime Minister is merely trying to get his opponents off the track for a coffee break, and then blow the whistle.
The fact is that the pace of election preparations, which has been gathering momentum since January, isn’t slackening. Both Trudeau and Stanfield are main-
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taining heavy schedules of public appearances across the country, and their parties are mustering troops and resources for an early battle.
Mr. Trudeau has less than a month for weighing the relative risks of putting on the brakes or pressing the gas pedal right. The deadline for dissolution of Parliament for polling day in the last week of June is the end of April.
Unlike his easily swayed predecessor (Lester Pearson), Pierre Trudeau is not a committee man. He suspects any consensus of opinion so whatever his advisors may recommend, his ultimate decision will depend on his own reading of the political and economic factors.
Right now all the official and unofficial public opinion polls indicate strong disenchantment with the Trudeau regime. And the economy reflects lack of confidence in the policies and intentions of the administration.
The latest survey of the mood of the electorate by the Canadian Institute of Public Opinion shows a 10 percent drop in populat support of the Government since an identical pre-election poll was taken in 1968. While the major opposition group, the Progressive Conservative Party, also registered a drop, it lost only two percent.
More ominous for the Government than the narrowing of the pre-election gap between the two major parties, is an enormous increase of the undecided vote. it jumped from 29 percent in 1968 to 43 percent.
While this reflects general uneasiness, and perhaps confusion, of the electorate, it seems to offer a greater chance of gains to the Opposition than to the Government. The reason for this projection is the simultaneous sharp drop (22 percent) in Mr. Trudeau’s personal popularity. Since Trudeau’s charismatic pull was the decisive factor in the 1968 election, the absence of “Trudeaumania” in the next contest is likely to have a
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considerable effect on the outcome. It would be illogical for people who are disenchanted with Trudeau to vote for Grit candidates, because Trudeau has transformed the Liberal Party into his personal instrument of autocratic rule.
Assuming that the swelling of the undecided vote is largely due to the big drop in Trudeau’s personal following, the temporary fence-sitters who may find it difficult to declare their intentions, will probably come down in the polling booth on the side of Trudeau’s opponents. If so, the bulk of the huge undecided vote is likely to go to the Tories, for the two other opposition parties have no chance to form a government.
The obvious and growing decline of the Prime Minister’s personal following has already resulted in prominent desertions from the Government side of the House and within the Liberal Party hierarchy. Postponement of the election would increase the probability of more such spotlighted flights.
These political risks in election delay are compounded by bad news from the eocnomic front. With the exception of the U.S. market, exports are dropping sharply, unemployment remains around six percent, cost-price inflation is escalating and the investment outlook is bleak.
Figures published last week show that the increase in capital investment is liekly to fall from 11 percent last year to 5 percent. That means stagnation of the productive base of the economy.
Postponement of the election would aggravate this sorry state of affairs and hasten the erosion of Trudeau’s political position.
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– THE END –
Nota bene: The foregoing transcript was made from an original of the book scanned at Concordia Unversity Libraries (Webster Library) on Monday, July 4th, 2016. Download the scan here: http://xxxx xxxxx