Canada today is a very successful country. It has suffered less from the global economic crisis than any other major economy.
So Canadians may be tempted to be philosophical about disasters in their own past. Hasn’t all come out right in the end? Of course you could say the same about the invasions of Ghengis Khan.
I don’t draw any personal comparison between Pierre Trudeau and Ghengis Khan, obviously. But I want to stress: Canada’s achievement overcoming Trudeau’s disastrous legacy should not inure Canadians to how disastrous that legacy was.
Three subsequent important prime ministers – Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper – invested their energies cleaning up the wreckage left by Pierre Trudeau. The work has taken almost 30 years. Finally and at long last, nobody speculates any more about Canada defaulting on its debt, or splitting apart, or being isolated from all its major allies.
Yet through most of the adult lives of most people in this room, people in Canada and outside Canada did worry about those things.
And as you enjoy the peace, stability and comparative prosperity of Canada in the 2010s just consider – this is how Canadians felt in the middle 1960s. Now imagine a political leader coming along and out of ignorance and arrogance despoiling all this success. Not because the leader faced some overwhelming crisis where it was hard to see the right answer. But utterly unnecessarily. Out of a clear blue sky. Like a malicious child on the beach stomping on the sand castle somebody else had worked all morning to build.
That was the political record of Pierre Trudeau.
I want to examine the Trudeau record in 3 dimensions: What Trudeau did to the Canadian economy, what Trudeau did to Canada’s standing in the world, and what Trudeau did to Canadian political stability.
I’ll conclude by offering some thoughts about the personal and intellectual traits that animated Trudeau’s destructive career. And I hope you’ll agree with me at the end that Trudeau deserves at least this much credit: There was nothing small-scale or parochial about him. As a political wrecker, he was truly world class.
I hope you take the time to read the whole thing here. It is one of the most substantial pieces of writing I have seen in a daily newspaper in quite some time.
Frum could have, but didn't mention that it was Trudeau who led the process by which abortion on demand was legalized and homosexuality was normalized. Trudeau was a flower child fascist who was willing to trash tradition in order to implement his statist dreams. Canada is a much different and worse-off place because of him.