Sunday, April 10, 2011

Was it Wise For Stephen Harper to Invoke Memories of Pierre Trudeau?

The above picture appears in Pierre Trudeau's Memoirs. The caption reads: "Amid unusually comfortable surroundings at London School of Economics I chatted with Michael Ignatieff, son of distinguished Canadian diplomat George Ignatieff." (8) Igantieff not only taught at the London School of Economics, but also Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Paris.

On the campaign trail Stephen Harper brought up Pierre Trudeau as a "warning" of what we might expect with Michael Ignatieff as Prime Minister.
“I‘m not going to get into personalities here, but the comparison I am obviously making is the fact that we all know that in 1972 to 1974 we had a Liberal government that relied on the NDP for ongoing support,” said Harper.

“All they did was spend money. That led to two decades of not just runaway spending, higher taxes, double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates. We were a generation fixing those problems. And when I look at the Liberal platform today and its obvious appeal, and its obvious, frankly, mimicking of the platforms of the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois, I’m saying that that’s the alternative. That is the route the country will go down unless it stays on the path we’re on with a strong, stable, majority Conservative government.”
The period when the Liberals and NDP worked together was one of our most prosperous. The record deficit was left by Brian Mulroney, and a new record set by one Stephen Harper, who spent us into a deficit before the recession hit.

This is a man who wasted $247 million of our money in a "Aren't I doing a great job" advertising blitz. Has the public service and Senate stacked with his cronies. Makes no apologies for paying a half million dollars in hush money to the former ethics czars, for burying 200 complaints against his government.

Is wasting billions and billions and billions on poorly designed and overpriced fighter jets. Billions more on new prisons for imaginary crime and billions more still for corporate tax cuts. And he wants to criticize spending?

Trudeau spent on us, and with the help of the former NDP leader David Lewis, helped to chart us on a course that made us the envy of many other nations.

And he wants to invoke Pierre Trudeau as a scare tactic? I wish.

Michael Ignatieff worked on Trudeau's campaign when he was just a young man, and if he takes some of Mr. Trudeau's passion and concern for our country with him to the office of prime minister, we'll be OK.


  1. There was no greater time in Canada for social justice then during the periods of Pearson and Trudeau, Douglas and Lewis. The greatest minority governments where real things got done for the middle class. We've gone downhill since.