Monday, September 28, 2020

Pierre Elliott Trudeau's Death Affected Me

Minutes ago I learned, or was reminded, that Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Canada's 15th prime minister, father of our current leader, died twenty years ago today. I have a strong memory of how it affected me. For a few days I felt gloomy.

"Me, feeling a loss over the death of a politician?" I sure did.

I was just old enough to have understood "Trudeaumania". Though I was living in then West Germany in 1968, nodes of excitement tickled their way across the Atlantic, ending up on my schoolroom's "Current Affairs" board. I remember my teacher talking about him to the class. This was the year after Canada's 100th birthday, after Bobby Gimby serenaded us air force brats with the song "Ca-na-da". Prime Minister Trudeau would go on to be one of this great country's most controversial, and perhaps, authoritative, leaders. It could be argued that his brand of leadership was exactly what we needed in the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s.

In my need to brush up on PET and his terms as PM, a few years ago I read Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Nino Ricci's fine human biography, and found it to be fair, balanced, and in the end, a panegyric to a great man.

I'm feeling gloomy again....



4 comments:

Greg Woods said...

I was thinking of his death the other day, oddly enough. Seeing Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro at his funeral taught me that many boundaries are imagined.

Simon St. Laurent said...

You are right.

DonaldAR said...

I wonder what the Northern Magus would think of how his first born is handling things these days...

Simon St. Laurent said...

Good question. I'm sure he'd be proud.

"But don't be afraid to be more decisive. You can't please those entrenched in feeble-minded ideology."

I just made that up, but I can almost hear his voice.