Nor is there truth to the theory that Trudeau possessed any original political ideas. He was a run-of-the-mill 1960s social democrat who wanted big government, the nanny-, know-it-all-state, high taxes, and the confiscation of income from those who had earned it for redistribution to those who had not in exchange for their votes (far beyond what could be justified by the acquisition of votes for federalism in Quebec, where the money transfer was also largely from the non-French to the French).
It was hard to square Trudeau’s professed enthusiasm for civil rights with his friendship with Fidel Castro and other dictators who ruined their countries, such as Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, and his cold-shouldering of Soviet dissidents and other international civil rights advocates, and even the Canadian victims of the Korean airliner the Russians shot down. This was of a piece with his fawning deference to the Soviet leadership and his antagonism to Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and even Richard Nixon, who all regarded him as little better than a communist fellow traveller (and told me so).
His campaign to reorient the Canadian economy away from exports to the United States was authoritarian rather than based on any fiscal incentivization of competition, and was a fiasco. His pursuit of arms control was chimerical; he disarmed Canada, did nothing to reduce the country’s military dependence on Washington, and produced a nonsensical plan for more conferences to agree on the unverifiable “suffocation” of defence spending.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Pierre Trudeau: "a run-of-the-mill social democrat"
Don't miss Conrad Black's comments on the late great Pierre Trudeau in today's National Post. An excerpt: