Trudeaumania - Pierre Elliot Trudeau - 1968 Election Thesis Sample

Published: 2021-06-28 19:25:05
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Category: Education, Women, Canada, Democracy, Politics, Law, Leadership, Elections

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Introduction
Trudeaumania was a name given by the media during the elections of 1968 when Pierre Elliot Trudeau became popular in Canada for the changes he promised to do while campaigning. Trudeau believed in equal rights of all citizens therefore, while he was in control the country was able to make many constitution changes which catered for all people. Through his constitutional changes that benefited a lot of people he was able garner a lot of fame especially by the youth to the point where people were asking for his autograph. Trudeau as the prime minister of Canada was able to do a lot of things that will be remembered by the future leaders in Canada and the world. This research looks at the earlier history of Trudeau which will pave way to the fame he got known as Trudeaumania during elections of 1968 and also the changes he made as the prime minister.
History of Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Pierre Elliot Trudeau was born in 1919, in Montreal and died in 2000 in Montreal. His parents were Grace Elliot and Charles Emile Trudeau. He is of Scottish and French descent. He has two siblings a brother and a sister. His was brought up in a wealthy family thus he was able to attend the most prestigious schools where he was able to be a supporter of the Quebec nationalism. While he was in his mid teens his father passed away and affected him and the rest of the family but he was able to keep up a good relationship with his mother. In 1943, he got his law degree at the University of Montreal. Through the national resources mobilization act Trudeau was conscripted to join the Canadian army while he was still studying. He became an officer and only served in Canada. In a by-election in Outremont he campaigned for a person who was anti-conscription. This caused him to be expelled from the army because they believed what he did was a betrayal to the army (Riendeau, 2007). He went back to school and did his masters degree of political economy at the Harvard University.
While he was in Harvard that is when his views about everything changed. The other thing that changed him was by moving to other countries for studies where he was able to get other ideas. Emmanuel Mounier greatly influenced him thus became a follower of personalism. Before joining politics Trudeau worked as an intellectual in Montreal. He is also known to be an avid supporter of the workers who were protesting against the asbestos that occurred in 1949. He wrote a book called La grève de l'amiante which talked about the strike which he claims was one of the ways in which the people were rebelling against the conservative leadership (Southam, 2005). In 1949 to 1951, he worked as an economic policy advisor for the liberal prime mister called Louis St. Laurent in Ottawa. This is where he was able to get connections that he would use later when involved in politics.
In the 1950s, he was banned from entering the United States because he went to a conference in Moscow. He was to appeal and the ban was lifted. In the 1950s, he rejected the social democracy and soughted for the liberal democracy to be a priority. In 1961 to 1965, he was at the University of Montreal as a law professor when he became interested in the liberal party (Riendeau, 2007). This is because it favored the rights of the people over that of the states. This made him be the opponent of the Quebec nationalism which was what ruled the country. In 1965, he was persuaded to join the liberal party and accepted and went to win the elections of that same year.
He was appointed as the parliamentary secretary for the Prime Minister Lester Pearson and thus was able to travel a lot to the international events or meetings. In 1967, he was able to be appointed as the minister for justice. When he was serving as the prime minister he was able to introduce the criminal law amendment act. This act was very efficient especially to the women who wanted to do abortions, use contraceptives and for the gay and lesbian community. This act made it possible for people engaging in a homosexual act especially consenting adults to not be criminalized and sentenced. He was able to also liberalize the divorce laws which were against the Quebec mandate. Pearson stepped down as the prime minister in 1967, which caused Trudeau to contest for the liberal leadership. He was very energetic thus garnered a lot of the youths attention in that they considered him to be part of their generation.
The media also got attracted by his campaign strategy thus were able to broadcast him a lot. This is when the term Trudeaumania was introduced to the public. During the time of the campaigns he had gotten a lot of publicity and followers but there were some people who believed that he was not fully committed to the liberal party. This was because he had only joined the party five years earlier. There were other people whose beliefs contradicted to that of Trudeau in areas such as homosexuality, abortion and divorces. In 1968, although many people were questioning his work or leadership he was able to win the election defeating prominent and long serving leaders such as Paul Martin Sr. his people also won their respective roles therefore, forming a majority in the government (Riendeau, 2007).
The 1968 elections
Before the elections of 1968 Trudeau had only being in the House of Commons before being the liberal leader. In 1967, the then prime minister Lester Pearson resigned his post although he was still liked by the people. Many well-known public figures contended for the post as well as Trudeau who was not well-known by the people. He was endorsed by Gerald Pelletier and Marchaland who were not ready to vie for that position at that time. At that time of the election the country had begun changing in that they were fighting for equality of all. This period was known to be the rebellious era, because people were tired of the leadership they had. This is why when Trudeau campaigned people became fascinated with him and they wanted changes therefore, they looked at him and thought he was young thus will bring changes that befitted them. When he was a minister for justice he brought about changes that benefited the people more. In that election the term Trudeaumania was formed by the media because of the popularity that Trudeau had generated making him more of a celebrity than a leader (Palmer, 2009).
On 25 June 1968, Trudeau was elected as the prime minister and his party was the majority by taking 155 seats out of 264. The people who directed the elections were a group of young well-educated youths who were able to capture the attention of the youths in the country. During the elections many questioned his loyalty to the party because he had joined it in 1965 but he was able to impress them with his policies that he intended to implement ones he was elected. During the convention in Ottawa in the beginning they started by remembering the work of Pearson who was still well-respected by the people and the other leaders. In the convention the speeches made by Trudeau was very convincing to the people in that he was able to garner more supporters. In the convention he talked about bringing a just society in Canada. This was a bold statement that intrigued many people in the society. Once he won the election he remained the leader for a long period even though there was a time when he lost his sit but he was able to recapture it. He retired from politics in 1984 (English, 2009).
Changes made by Trudeau’s leadership
During the Trudeaumenia era it brought about many changes socially in Canada. These changes were brought about by the changes made in the constitution. When Trudeau was a minister of justice he was able to reduce the restrictions for the homosexuals, divorce and abortion. This made him popular among the youths before the election in 1968 (English, 2009).
Bilingualism
Trudeau was able to make Canadians be bilingual speakers. This is because after the British colony most people could speak English but most of them spoke French too. Bilingualism was made legal when the government passed the official languages act of 1969. This was also aimed to preserve the French culture in Canada whom they thought was being separated from the others. This is believed to be one of his most accomplished works for Trudeau as the prime minister. This has enabled people to be able to communicate without much difficult. Most especially to those people who do not know how to speak in English. The French-speaking were also given a platform in which they could engage in politics without much problem due to language barrier. Bilingualism was part of the just society that Trudeau promised the people of Canada during the elections campaigns of 1968 (Palmer, 2009).
Multiculturalism
Trudeau is well-known for his legacy to promote culture in Canada. When he was a prime minister he brought the motion of multiculturalism policy in the House of Commons in 1971. This was the first country to ever bring about this motion at that time therefore; he was able to gain popularity and respect from other countries. Countries such as Australia adopted this policy due to the immigrations of so many people from different background in their country. This made the immigration policy to be open for immigrants compared to that of the previous prime ministers. During the last terms of his leadership he fought for the Canadian museum of civilization and the national gallery of Canada to be maintained at the capital of Canada. He was also able to ensure that the entertainment industry was able to grow and promote the Canadian culture to the world (Stanford, 2002).
Just society
During the election campaigns Trudeau had promised a just society compared to the one they were in by improving the constitution. In his vision of a just society he was going to ensure that all people’s rights were protected. This included the minority and the people who were less privileged in the society. Before he was elected the country was facing division therefore, he ensured people of social justice that would make all people have equal rights under law. The constitution was added a charter for freedoms and rights. This ensured that the people living in Canada were not discriminated. This charter was approved by many people in the country because it benefited people one way or another. The homosexual community was very grateful because Trudeau was able to acknowledge that they existed and are not criminals by legalizing homosexuality (Bliss, 1994).
October crisis
The October crisis occurred in 1970, when the British trade consul James cross was kidnapped from his house by the terrorist group called Front de Liberation du Quebec. The minister for labor Pierre Laporte was also kidnapped five days later and killed after a few days. This caused Trudeau and his government to form the War Measures Act which gave the government mandate to arrest anyone involved with the terrorist without trials. There were some people who found this to be brutal but the public was pleased with this new act and how swift Trudeau was able to act. The terrorist group members were able to be captured and a few of them were transferred to Cuba in order for James Cross to be released unharmed in 1970. By 1968, there was big gap between the rich and the poor in that it brought about friction between the two people.
Rights for women
The women in Canada had changed after the Second World War thus formed organizations that will fight for their rights. This is because at this time women were working as well as taking care of their families. They were getting white-collar jobs which paid really low compared to the jobs men were doing. In 1970, it is reported that one-quarter of the women who were married were working. This did not go well with the conservative people who still believed that women should be at home as a housewife. The organizations formed by women was to fight for their rights to education, equity in employment and the family law should be looked at and changes to be made. Under the Trudeau government they were able to hear the cries for women and thus formed new offices which would be in charge in catering for women’s rights. The Canada labor code was also reviewed so that it could remove some of the restrictions it had about women working. There were other reforms made that also helped in reducing the discrimination of women. In 1971, the national action committee on the status of women was formulated by the women’s organizations because they still felt like they were still not treated equally (Palmer, 2009).
Economical changes
This was one of the plans by Trudeau during the elections to reduce the gap between the two. In 1969, the Department of Regional Economic Expansion (DREE) was formed to help in the creation of job opportunities (Stanford, 2002). This department was able to give firms grants which would be used to expand their business and create more job opportunity for people. In 1971, the government was able to introduce the unemployment insurance scheme which could expand the eligibility for people to get benefits. This insurance scheme was turned into a welfare system that helped the poor people in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. This scheme was very effective in helping the poor but it became costly for the country. The working class people began feeling that it was unfair to them because they were struggling to get meals on their tables while the others were given money for free. This scheme also made people lazy in that they stopped looking for jobs and waited for the government to give them money. The country began having debts and the unemployment rate also increases. Most people began feeling that Trudeau was not concentrating on increasing the country’s economy.
Environment
In the 1970s, the people of Canada were already beginning to feel that the environment was being polluted a lot. This was because of the increase of the industrial development. This caused the Canadian people to start demanding the local, federal and provincial government to act faster so as to contain the pollution and protect the environment. In 1971, the Trudeau administration formed the department of environment to look at how the environment was being polluted and contain it. The federal environmental assessment review office (FEARO) was formulated in to monitor the industries pollution levels in the environment (Stanford, 2002).
End of Trudeaumania
In the 1980 elections, Trudeau was able to restore his seat by defeating Clark. One of the last things that Trudeau did before retiring from the prime minister post was the patriation of the constitution. In 1982, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the constitution act. The ratings of Trudeau continued to decline to the point that if he did not step down the liberal party would fall with him. In 1984, Trudeau finally resigned his post and thus marked the end of Tudeaumania. After he left his post the conservative party are the ones who came to power winning majority of the seats. Though Trudeau resigned from his post as prime minister his policies have gained recognition all over the world (Stanford, 2009).
Conclusion
Trudeaumania was brought about by the popularity and fame that Trudeau had in the 1968 elections. Trudeau was a very charismatic, confident and refreshing to see in the Canadian elections for the people. This is because the country was beginning to change and the people were tired of the former leaders. In the campaigns Trudeau promised the country that under his leadership there will be a just society. There are many reasons that led to the Trudeaumania period and it begins with the history of Trudeau. Trudeau was born in 1919 in Montreal from a wealthy family. He went to prestigious schools but unfortunately his father died when he was in his teens. He went to the University of Montreal to get his law degree. While he was still studying he was recruited in the army which was a requirement at that time. In 1942, due to the support he had for Jean Drapeau who was anti-conscription he was discharged from the army.
In 1965, he was persuaded and joined the liberal party in 1965 with his two fiends whom people referred to them as the three wise men. He was then appointed as the parliamentary secretary for the prime minister. Later on he was made the minister for justice. As a minister he was able to have constitutional changes and brought the criminal law amendment act which made it legal for abortion, homosexuality and use of contraceptives. This law had some harsh critics especially from the conservative people. In 1967, Pearson the then prime minister stepped down and paved way for Trudeau to run for that post. At first people were skeptical of him and his loyalty to the party this is because he had only joined the party four years earlier. He was able to win people’s hearts by proposing a better nation at a time of the rebellious era in Canada. In that election he became more of a celebrity than a leader because people stopped him on the streets and asked for autographs. After he won that election he made so many changes in the constitution that brought about multiculturalism, bilingualism, rights of the individuals and implemented schemes that would help the poor in the society.
Trudeau as leader did accomplish a lot of things but he also made a lot of mistakes that made the country be in debt and made the poor people to be poorer due to lack of unemployment. He lost his popularity which made him lose his seat in 1979 election. He was able to regain his seat in 1980 elections after Clark was voted of no confidence by the people in the House of Commons. This however did not get him back to where he was instead the people thought that he was arrogant. This declining and end of Trudeaumania is what caused him to resign his position in 1984. Trudeau might have lost his seat but he is considered to be among the best prime minister and politicians in Canada. He gained recognition and respect from people from all over the world especially since he believed in peace.
Reference
Bliss, M. (1994). Right honourable men : the descent of Canadian politics from Macdonald to Mulroney (1 ed.). Toronto: HarperCollins.
English, J. (2009). Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Volume Two: 1968–2000. Toronto: Knopf Canada.
Kees Aarts, A. B. (2011). Political Leaders and Democratic Elections. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Palmer, B. D. (2009). Canada's 1960s: The Ironies of Identity in a Rebellious Era. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Riendeau, R. E.(2007). A Brief History of Canada. New York: An imprint of infobase publishing.
Southam, N. (2005). Pierre: colleagues and friends talk about the Trudeau they knew. Toronto: McCelland & Stewart.
Stanford, F. (2002). The Prime Ministers of Canada. S& S learning materials.

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