I was in California
election campaign of 1968; my family an I listened to some of the returns on NPR
. I'm not sure how many elections since have been so covered.
My sojourn in San Francisco was cut short because of the change in policy that Trudeau, as new Prime Minister, initiated. My father, who worked for the Canadian Government in a non-consular capacity, had his whole function--attracting skilled Americans, and Central Americans, and South Americans to Canada--terminated.
Part of Lord Brawl's history, shows the policy that Trudeau altered, or created. And that is probably his greatest legacy.
From his days in Quebec as a contributor to the fifties' periodical, Cite Libre, in opposition to the then premier, Maurice Duplessis, to his time as professor of law, before being called to Ottawa by Lester B. Pearson, through his transformation of the Government, Pierre Trudeau was always an intellectual.
A stylish intellectual, to be sure, whether fop turning a pirouette behind the Queen, or as gunslinger during election campaigns, or saying "Just watch me!" before declaring martial law, and invoking the War Measures Act during the FLQ crisis--he was always brilliant.
Some still hate him, some even loved him--though the personal man was never on display. His apparant affaires with Barbra Streisand, and others were only hinted at in the press, both popular and serious. And his life after his wife Margaret left him, was very private.
But for good or ill--probably good and ill, it was the mind of Pierre Eliot Trudeau that has shaped modern Canada.
We should be lucky to have such intellect in government today.