Skip navigation

Globe essay

The one we love to hate was our best leader in years

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Trudeau was the best man. Chrétien the best politician. But Mulroney was the best prime minister ...Read the full article

This conversation is closed

  1. Rob G from Calgary, Canada writes: I strongly disagree with the author's conclusion, although not with the idea that a bad person can be a great leader. The fact of the matter is that Brian Mulroney's achievements were the cause of a great many of the problems that Chretien's government had to resolve during the '90s. All the blather about Liberal deficits couldn't hide the fact that it was the Mulroney government that spent Canada almost into oblivion.
  2. Double Speak from Canada writes: The only good PM that Canada had in recent modern times was Louis St Laurent (50's) ... The worst two PM's of Canada has been in Canada's history was no doubt Jean Chretien Head Master of the librano mafia (adscam, Hrdc scandal, Gun registry, Shawingate) and Brian Mulroney (Airbus ) . Both were also backstabbers ..Chretien backstabbed Paul Martin and John Turner. Mulroney backstabbed Joe Clark.
  3. Broken Record from Victoria, B.C., Canada writes: All were bad - some worse than others but have we really had a good Prime Minister, ever? Canadian Prime Ministers have too much power and not enough checks against it. If they didn't they would have to do a good job.
  4. Brent Raby from City State of Toronto, writes: I respect Brian Mulroney.

    He single handedly derailed the nutcake vote in the mid 80's that wanted to restore capital punishment.
  5. chris jenkins from Free the West, Canada writes: Trudeau is the reason that Canada is falling to pieces.
  6. siren call from Canada writes:
    In order to accept Mulroney as best PM, based on this column, you have to also accept that free trade has been an unequivocal good for Canadians.

    I don't think the issue is that clear.

    Mr. Mulroney also brought us the Bloc, via Bouchard.

    And personally, I will never forgive him for waking that sleeping dog with his Meech and Charletown Accord.
    Nor for the rancour and smarm with which he tried to sell the accords.
  7. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: What a raving piece of drivel from Gordon Gibson has written. He likes NAFTA, while praising Mulroney's environmental record, even though NAFTA tore our environmental protections to shreds. He talks about Mulroney's economic policies even though the man left us indebted to the gills while still managing to destroy social programs.

    Mulroney had to have the Shreiber fiasco now, because he was about to lose his place as the worst PM in Canadian history to Stephen Harper. Fortunately Shreiber saved the day, and his place as the most irresponsible, self-serving and dishonest will be safe for decades.

    Mostly, Mulroney will go down in history as the man who sold our country and our resources down the road by signing NAFTA -- without actually reading it. What a legacy.
  8. John Hinkley from Thornhill, ON, Canada writes: Each of these honourable gentlemen (and I use both terms in their loosest sense) had good points and bad points.

    Trudeau repatriated the constitution but gave much too much power to the judiciary with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Mulroney gave us NAFTA and GST - both necessary evils for Canada's economy but gave away too much under NAFTA and set the GST rate too high. He also turned the public against politicians with his blatant patronage.

    Chretien gave us nothing but even more dishonesty and outright fraud.

    All three of these gentlemen showed disproportionate favouritism towards Quebec at the expense of the rest of Canada.

    However, if we measure by virtue of the good they did for Canada and Canadians, I guess I'd have to go with 'Lyin' Brian who has yet to tell us what really went on between himself and Schrieber.

    Let's face it a partila truth is the best lie and Brian has been at his dissembling best by avoiding the real problem areas and putting the committee on the defensive in areas that should be ignored.

    None of these men were leaders in the real sense. No truth. No call to duty. No valour. No honour. No sense of true public service.
  9. V ADS from Canada writes: When I was young(er), I thought Brian Mulroney was a terrible Prime Minister, second only to Pierre Trudeau who had a terrible habit of befriending some of the worst dicatators of his day (Fidel et al).

    Mulroney was supposed to be a conservative, yet was a tax-and-spend liberal. His Charlottetown Discord was a dog's breakfast of collective rights that advocated making some provinces more equal than others. But I've mellowed and now appreciate many of his accomplishments, notably free trade and his defense of free markets.

    Mulroney has been unfairly and grossly persecuted over the years too (notwithstanding the 'two biggest mistakes' of his life), yet has endured the slings and arrows with dignity and forbearance.

    Harper's best days are ahead of him. He is the the brightest and most decisive leader of recent times, and also has the most integrity.
  10. Brian Nicholas from Canada writes: John, anyone with truth, call to duty, honour, sense of true public service or valour would never, ever, get elected in this bizarre, unintelligible system we call Canadian politics.

    Chretien, Trudeau and Mulroney did what they had to do to survive. They were excellent politicians.

    I think this article hits it right on the head. History will be friendly to Mulroney, as it should.
  11. siren call from Canada writes: V ADS from Canada, I think that unless something changes rather quickly, Harper's best days are behind him.

    If Harper continues in the vein he has so far set, history will be most unkind to him, as it should.

    Mr. Harper is easily the most bitterly partisan PM of the 3 mentioned in this article (although Mulroney like). Harper's hatred of the Liberals is approaching a near pathology.

    Look at the recent issue of the medical isotopes dispute. Rather than just deal with the issue, Mr. Harper rose in Parliament to call the head of the safety watchdog a Liberal appointee, suggested that she was incompetent and that Liberals were trying to run government from 'beyond the grave'.

    Playing politics with nuclear fusion is just wrong. And literally wrong; the woman is not a political appointee, but a career bureaucrat.

    The head of the Chalk River Plant though -- a conservative appointee whose expertise is in fundraising.

    Harper's attitude to women, while I'm typing here -- let the female historians at his record.
  12. Paul Wallnutz from Ontario, Canada writes: BM the best PM? Is this clown serious???

    The author must accept cash payments, and this explains what happened to the missing $75k (when KHS gave BM $300K and he could only count $225 one-thousand dollar bills).
  13. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Broken Record from Victoria, B.C., Canada writes: '... have we really had a good Prime Minister, ever?'

    Arthur Mieghen was the only real statesman since Wilfred Laurier to occupy the post.
  14. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Brian Nicholas from Canada writes:'Chretien, Trudeau and Mulroney... were excellent politicians.'

    So were Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot.

    That doesn't mean that any of them were statesmen.
  15. Popeye Dillon from North Vancouver, Canada writes: GlynnMhor: Sir Robert Borden would be my pick as our greatest Prime Minister. He nearly clubbed Loyd George over the the loses the Canadians suffered in the First World War. He died with a broken heart.
  16. Trudeau is reason Canada is falling to pieces from Toronto, Canada writes:
    'chris jenkins' (12:54 AM ):
    Trudeau is the reason that Canada is falling to pieces.
    -------------------

    Excellent 'Chris'. More from citizens' political movements:

    '...
    Since 1867 only four Prime Ministers have left an enduring mark on the country: Macdonald, Laurier, King and Trudeau. In every case they established - or fundamentally changed - our basic, constitutional attitudes about how Canada should work.

    Other PMs, whether good or bad, strong or weak, left the fundamentals much as they found them.
    ...
    People thought Trudeau was a constitutional wizard. Perhaps he was. He was certainly relentless, and he dragged the whole country reluctantly to the left.
    ...
    What Trudeau screwed up, we think ... is determined to fix.
    ...
    What ... has in mind are in fact constitutional changes ...
    ...
    But these changes are revolutionary, and won't come without a fight. Over time they will create a Canada quite unlike the one we have today , and much more like the one we had before Trudeau showed up in Parliament in 1965.
    ...
    Three constitutional objectives:

    1) Restrict federal spending, ( Spending will decline only as taxes decline)

    2) Reform the Senate,
    (The purpose of Senate is to give provinces representations in Parliament - s. 22 of the Constitution. Provincial premiers (e.g., McGuinty of Ont.) are NOT that.)

    3) Restrain the Courts
    [ Canadian Goddess of Injustice Beverley McLachlin and out of Control Social Engineering, 'Special Interest Groups' sucking taxpayers' money for their OWN personal 'Agendas' to the detriment and destruction of the people, men and women and their children]
    ...'
  17. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Popeye Dillon from North Vancouver, Canada writes: 'GlynnMhor: Sir Robert Borden... nearly clubbed Loyd George over the the losses the Canadians suffered in the First World War.'

    On the other hand, he collaborated with the company that produced the hideous Ross rifle, which was responsible for at least some of the Canadian casualties.

    For WWI leaders, I'd take Byng and Currie over Borden.
  18. Robin Hannah from Canada writes: An interesting essay. I love the mention of Muldoon, 'Yet to use that Frank Magazine nickname is to be at one with the vast majority of Canadians in the 1990s, who despised Brian Mulroney more than any other prime minister.' You bet. 'Still, in judging greatness, history tends to assess deeds rather than character.' I disagree. Character is all that matters.

    'Conrad Black did whatever he did with his companies, but his contribution to Canadian journalism and politics will remain great.' What do you mean, Mr. Gibson? Many of his journalists at The National Post, by all accounts, loved working under him, and agreed with his politics, and he ran a great newspaper. Would they now agree that 'whatever he did with his companies' was worth going to jail for?

    And Jimmy Carter, you say, was a terrible president but a good man, and Nixon a good president but a terrible man. And, you say, 'Prime ministers should be assessed on this basis, too.' Yes.

    Character is the basis of leadership. Without it, you're no leader at all. And you're not much of a person, either.
  19. Paul Wallnutz from Ontario, Canada writes: I thought that old Joe Clark, given a chance to return to office was one of the better PM's. Until of course 'the great chin' and his teutonic backers (and their slimy front man KHS) ousted him.

    BTW, has Brian paid his beloved GST on all that cash yet?
  20. Robin Hannah from Canada writes: Yes, bring back the Hon. Joe Clarke, and let him work with the Hon. Stephane Dion, and, god, let civility and intelligence reign once again in our House of Commons. Please.
  21. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Robin Hannah from Canada writes: '... bring back the Hon. Joe Clarke, and let him work with the Hon. Stephane Dion, and, god, let civility and intelligence reign once again in our House of Commons.'

    Well, which do you want? Clark & Dion in the same party or civility and intelligence in the House?

    You can't have both your wishes.
  22. Bob in suburbia from Etobicoke, Canada writes: Mulroney was the government that actually turned the corner on government spending inherited from Trudeau [that guy that ran on no price controls - remember - then imposed them almost immediately - lying pierre if you will] so Rob G better get his history books out. And who else did more for the environment? and darn it, who else tried, yes actually tried, to make Canada a home to more of its people [which we have only now gotten around to]. Lets remember the GST which negated the tax AGAINST Canadian manufacturers in favour of foreign importers - gee he must be anti Canadian for that!
    Was Brian perfect - of course not - was he the best - darn right! by a very long shot - at least he wanted the best for his country and not his party.
  23. Raj Rama from Toronto, Canada writes: Mulroney like other PM's may have had his flaws, don't we all, but lets not forget the good he did for Canada. The 7 % GST vs. 13.5 MST helped business be more competitive. It helped pay down and manage that huge fiscal deficit issue he inherited [isn't that why Chretien did not kill the GST, because a VAT is more efficient than a MST, etc.?]. NAFTA opened the doors for our Auto, Telecom and other key sectors to grow and prosper. We should take what we have learned from NAFTA and make all the sensible bilateral trade deals we can, we should take the lead and be global traders and managers. We have a lot to proud of, I was born here and I have traveled the globe and there is a big reason we are one of the most coveted destinations for immigrants and capital. We have no one to blame but ourselves for the lack of Peace Order and Good Government [POGG] we get. When was the last time you sent a letter, met with or called your MP, MPP, MLA, Premier, Mayor, City Councilor and demanded more accountability, transparency, smaller & more efficient government? I do it regularly and if more people joined our non profit, CFIB, CTF, etc. Canada would be a better place. Stop complaining and start demanding lawful/ legitimate action/ change, we will all be the better for it. For example we have a grass roots Prime Minister and he actually listens, thinks and acts; lets take him up on that & make Canada the best it can be...That is my goal, what is yours? Raj Founder www.casanow.ca
  24. Raj Rama from Toronto, Canada writes: Btw, lets focus on the real issues and priorities and leave Karlheinz Schreiber to the courts and a special prosecutor. Parliament should focus on it's legislative agenda, not Karlheinz Schreiber's agenda...
  25. Gary Thomson from Surrey, BC, Canada writes: Trudeau at this point but Chretien could be a surprise. I'm looking forward to sizing Harper up for the position. However, if this Mulroney fiasco hastens his departure then, technically , he'd be the best exPM.
  26. Robin Hannah from Canada writes: GlynnMhor - I'm sorry you think they're exclusive.
  27. Robert Nadeau from Ornex, France writes: With respect to Trudeau's multiculturalism policy, Mr. Gibson states that it 'made the French fact less special, as just one more culture...' How about the English fact? is it special, or just one more (more than what?) culture?
  28. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we all have our personal biases.

    Trudeau was the young swashbuckling incredibly eloquent fella who came along during the advent of television and changed the concept of the old boring politician. But taking a step back, had the media truly scutinized the past of Trudeau up to that time, I do not believe Canada would have accepted his beliefs and I do not believe he would have ever been PM. He certainly shook up the country, but I am not exactly sure for the better. Being good buddies with the communists Castro and Kruschev is not my Canada.

    BM did some great things but his lagacy as PM will be tarnished forever. Canadian confidence in the PMO will not change until all the past sins are revealed and legislation put in to NEVER allow this to transpire again. I can only hope the Inquiry also studies the Lobby groups from the Trudeau years, more importantly the Chretien years, and also today-as the rules have NOT changed even with the vaunted Accountability Act.

    Chretien? One has to just Google 'Chretien accomplishments' and notice nothing of consequence durng his majority reign. Sad..History will not be kind to him!
  29. Bert Russell Paradox, BC from Canada writes:
    Your GM Poll is typical of GM Polls - it asks who is the best PM since Pearson, but doesn't include Harper.
    Memory of submitters must include many revisionist histories of Trudeau. I think his little pirouette while following the Queen capsulated Trudeau.
    His finger was his best known gesture to Canadians.
  30. c rob from Canada writes: There are things that our leaders can instill in us wehn we are young that have little to do with jobs or economic wealth. They may be the intangibles, such as love of country, the desire to help others and become part of the political process, and a faith in something beyond our individual bank acounts. We see our leaders through the lens of whatever generation or age group we belong to and this fact cannot be overlooked. A boomer will have a different take on our leaders during the past forty years. Their parents will view things differently. Generation X would easily disagree with the boomers. And this current generation of young people? What ideas for the future of this country are our leaders instilling in them now? Through the lens of my youth, I respected Trudeau, distrusted Mulroney completely, and saw hope dashed during Chretien. But the man I admired the most and still have the utmost respect for, was Ed Broadbent. Young an impressionable, he instilled in me that idea that in a nation so rich, it was inconceivable that so many should be so poor. Trudeau's legacy has diminished for me with the passing of time, I still distrust Mulroney completely, and choose to no longer think about Chretien. Broadbent is a man I will always view as a man of integrity however. Maybe it is not about who wins the top job in the end. Maybe it's about the intangibles, what ideas someone passes along to a younger generation regardless of what side of the house he or she sits on. And considering the leadership we currently have, I do wonder what 'intangibles' are being passed on to our younger generation now?
  31. Jean-Michel Rocheleau from Montreal, Canada writes: '... [Trudeau opened] up immigration to dilute the ratio of 'old stock' francophones, policies were mobilized to crush the other side ...'

    An indisciplined assumption at best; a right wing hack that exposes that political class's indifference to Canadian culture and history for the cynical purpose of undermining of our country's true sense of itself.

    Immigration has been the foundational cornerstone of the Canadian experience since Jacques Cartier made landfall at Hochelaga.
  32. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: It's not easy to determine who's been the best;since everyone marked it's era in a different and special manner.It's like asking who's been the best between Maurice Richard,Guy Lafleur,Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky .

    I am almost 60 years old and I knew very well all of them since John Diefenbaker (before him I was too young).The only thing I can tell you is that Brian Mulroney has been my favorite and the last Liberals Martin,Chretien and, above all ,Trudeau have been the worst.It's about time that the Canadian people give a chance to someone coming from the West for a change! If
    Stephen Harper would get a majority government ,he would probably do
    a significant 'virage' for this country.

    N.B I am from Quebec and I am still a federalist...
  33. Anuradha Bose from ottawa, writes: A very fair assessment of a very flawed Prime Minister. Mr. Mulroney was brought down by greed-nothing else.
  34. Russ Kehoe from Canada writes: Red Fox, what is the matter with you? Muldoon didn't get the moniker 'Lyin Brian' by accident. Using such foul language, LOL, your mommy will take your comp privileges away.
  35. Red Fox from Canada writes: Russ Kehoe from Canada -

    I don't care about muldoon.
    I don''t like liberal party hacks.
    I know them well, those trolls.
  36. Nortonss Ontario from Canada writes: The best PM Joe Clark,Worst PM by far Trudeau,Harper i think will be a good PM after he fixes the screw ups made by the Liberals.
  37. Allan Martel from Canada writes: Tombstone for Brian Mulroney:

    Here Lies Myron Baloney (again)!
  38. S. Ives from Ottawa, Canada writes: Canada deserved better?

    I would say we got exactly what we wanted each and every time. And that is not nearly so bad as everyone hastens to point out.

    Look at the vitriol spouted in many of the comments here and, in general, throughout the G&M comment section on any given day. Consider the trolls and others. Then ask whether you would wish these folk to be in a position of political leadership of any form... let alone whether they could be elected at all.

    Frankly, and this doesn't come through at all, we've been less lucky than we could have been... but a heck of a lot less deserving.
  39. James Pearson from Hamilton, Canada writes: Agreed. He led and accomplished things.
  40. Earl Anthony from Sudbury, Canada writes: Trudeau came in when Canada was at its greatest. When he left he had firmly planted the seeds of our destruction in his arrogance: massive deficits, entrenched socialism, a disenfranchised military.

    Mulroney stemmed the rate of growth of the deficit, gave us the means to balance our budget with NAFTA and the GST.

    Chretien balanced the books on the back of the provinces, gave votes to criminals, almost started a Middle East war, and attempted to destroy Canada's relationship with the anglosphere while building up the francophonie.

    No question that Mulroney was the best statesman, Trudeau the most destructive and Chretien the biggest embarassment.
  41. Gord Cee from Canada writes: The worst, most arrogant, most damaging to the Canadian economic and social fabric, most most educated with least street and real life smarts, and in general just plain idiotic, was Trudeau. The fact that the majority of Globe readers picked him reinforces my opinion that G&M readers are simply not very bright
  42. Doug Lippay from Sunderland, Canada writes: I think that history will be much kinder to Mulroney than either of those other two. Trudeau and Chretian took the country in a far different direction than what I think was for the best of the country.
  43. Rick Flair from T.O., Canada writes: This article is a joke. First off, starting from the assumption that Free Trade has been great for Canada is somewhat debateable. Now, lets see: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms vs. Free Trade. Seems to be a non-contest to me. Rights of Canadians vs. Market Rights. Come on, what nonesense. Mulroney was good, but based on accomplishments, he could never surpass Trudeau.
  44. Kevin Cochrane from Ft. McMurray, Canada writes: Mulroney didn't cause the ballooning of the national debt, Trudeau got us there with his ridiculous social spending and then when interest rates went to staggering numbers, then the debt grew at a near-geometric rate. Don't anyone here ever give Trudeau a free ride on the debt that exists to this day and will for decades, he caused it and the feel-good-its-the-70's generation that kept voting him in there are as much to blame.
  45. Paul Thompson from Canada writes: That's right C Rob, Ed Broadbent was the best prime minister we never had.
  46. My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: When you look at the scandals of the Mulroney era, the number of ministers who either resigned or who were charged with criminal acts and then couple that with the state in which the Conservatives were reduced to, I find it hard to draw an inference that this guy is our best PM.

    The talk of the success of the FTA is so overblown that it's hilarious. 85% of our trade was already free when that deal was inked. Our prosperity today is not directly tied to that deal. Look at the nature of what's driven prosperity recently, commodity gains, and that would have happened irrespective of this so called policy wonder known as the FTA. Ask the softwood lumber exporters how good it was for them.

    Mulroney also dropped the ball opening up the constitutional mess again. There was no pressing need to open up that can of worms. It was, typically, Mulroneys arrogance and wish for a legacy that indirectly led to the Bloc Quebecois and a ever more fractured Canada.

    If recent events are any indicator, Mulroney envisions himself above the law and he has broken trust with Canadians. Even if nothing wrong was done, it has the smell of something wrong.

    Mr. Mulroney has his legacy but I don't think it's the one he was hoping for.
  47. Michael Tripper from Vancouver, Canada writes: Gordon Gibson - Credibility: Zero.

    from this day forth.
  48. Fram Framson from Canada writes: Sorry Paul T and C Rob, going to have go with Robert Stanfield as the best Prime Minister we never had.

    It's embarassing actually. With Stanfield vs. Trudeau, I'd have to say that the level of public debate through the 70's was far higher than anything we've seen since the 90's or even the 80's. And today? The state of debate in Parliament is TERRIBLE.

    But hey, never have so few Canadians paid attention to our politics or history. We'll reap what we sow there I suppose.
  49. John L from Nowhere near Mulroney, Canada writes: You malign Chretien and Trudeau too much for hurting nationaly unity. Mulroney opened up the can by telling Quebecers that if we failed in our attempts at Constitutional change Canada would fail. And Bouchard was Mulroney's man.

    And if you think that Mulroney left Kim Campbell a walk in the park? I find way to many flaws in your arguments. I seriously do not think that Mulroney enhanced the economy or his GDP spending on programs was better than Chretiens. I think that our low dollar was our mismanagement of our business, and that Chretien's slashing expenses was a sad reality. Once we started paying our debt, the burden lightened.

    Mulroney remains a brown mark on the bottom of my Canada.
  50. M Warren from Ottawa, Canada writes: TRUDEAU - MINUSES: Invoked both the War Measures Act and the NEP too broadly. Machiavellian tendencies. Failed to bring Quebec into the constitution.

    PLUSES: Solidified Canada's role as international intermediary during the cold war, didn't take crap from seperatists (the other side of the coin of the WME, I suppose), Began worthy programs such as Katimavik and Participaction.

    COMMENT: In light of those 'brilliant' contemporaries of his - folks like Callaghan, Nixon, Brezhnev, and Mao - the too-easy criticism of his economics are rarely in context. It's like criticizing FDR for not anticipating the Vietnam War.
  51. Jean Luft from Calgary, Canada writes: Joe Clark was (and remains) a bad joke. Trudeau was the worst thing that ever happened to Canada with Chretien and Pearson close behind. Liberal politics is not about properly running the country, but rather is about nothing more than the survival of the Liberal party itself and they don't care if they have to destroy the country to do it.
  52. M Warren from Ottawa, Canada writes: MULRONEY - MINUSES: Sold the farm. Mistakenly viewed his coalition of Quebec Separtists and Western Reform-minded people (an illusion which eventually disintegrated the PC party itself) as the basis for a similarly phony national consensus to build the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords on. Like Trudeau and Harper, Mulroney had machiavellian tendencies. Like Trudeau and unlike Harper, however, he had the mandate to justify it.

    PLUSES: Clarity of vision, Reagan-friendly though it was.

    COMMENT: Sometimes Mulroney let his blind hatred of all-things-Trudeau make him dismissive of the weight PET's words still carried among many Canadian voters. Were Mulroney not so outdone by his own hubris in this regard, Meech Lake could have worked. The element of personal vendetta was too visible.
  53. Tommy Shanks from toronto, Canada writes: Mulroney, without a doubt, has been our best prime minister since John A Macdonald.. if we measure greatness by brokerage, pork barreling patronage politics that is. Getting all those Quebec separatists and Alberta rednecks to get along in a party for that long is a bit like that rock star trick of sleeping with a different woman every night of the week and then having them all show up at the same party at the end of the week get them all to get along. That's Brian for you. Sure there are the scandals, the failed policies (eg Meech) and the strokes of genius (GST, Free Trade). You can't be a great prime minister without having all three of those But the greatest scam is all the apologists who managed to credit Trudeau with inventing multiculturalism - what a lie. Canada was going to end up a multi-cultural country ever since the British crown chose Indian Treaties and the Quebec Act over assimilation and conquest, and in return the Indian nations and French Quebec sided with the Anglos in kicking the invading Americans out in 1812. Trudeau single-handedly held back Alberta's economic development by a decade and nearly bankrutped the country thanks to the NEP, white elephant regional pork barrelling projects and yes, that wonderful interest rate in the early eighties. As for supposedly his greatest triumph, the Charter, what a load of sh.. oops manure. Funny how an innocent man accused of being a terrorist in Great Britain gets charged within 60 days and a proper trial is scheduled. In Canada, the same man can be locked up without trial indefinetly. Only one of those countries has a human rights Charter
  54. Anne Peterson from Canada writes: I have a new flash. Canada isn't falling to pieces. It is a rich (except for the poor our politicians forget about) well endowed (though we sell it off a fire sale prices) healthy (until the Cons succeed in privatizing medical care) well educated and, until recently, very respected country. Where else would you get good pensions that allow you to sit at your computers and complain endlessly.

    Our present politicians have succeeded in convincing some that we are crime plauged and in danger of terrorist attacks any minute. It is how they build their support by being negative and playing to the negativity in everyone who will believe them.

    Thank your lucky stars you live here. Everyone who complains should be sent to live in Bangladesh or Iraq with the ordinary people for a year or two, as a lesson. Bet you negative people would change your tune then.
  55. Craig Cooper from Toronto, writes: And, of course, all three were from Quebec.

    What does that say about the 'condition of the country?'
  56. pik scott from Canada writes: Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: What a raving piece of drivel from Gordon Gibson has written. He likes NAFTA, while praising Mulroney's environmental record, even though NAFTA tore our environmental protections to shreds. He talks about Mulroney's economic policies even though the man left us indebted to the gills while still managing to destroy social programs. Mulroney had to have the Shreiber fiasco now, because he was about to lose his place as the worst PM in Canadian history to Stephen Harper. Fortunately Shreiber saved the day, and his place as the most irresponsible, self-serving and dishonest will be safe for decades. Mostly, Mulroney will go down in history as the man who sold our country and our resources down the road by signing NAFTA -- without actually reading it. What a legacy. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Your hatred is blinding you. Free trade and the GST is what paid down the debt, not chretien. Mulroney's attack on the acid rain is now paying off ,if you took the time to read about it. And why does everybody give trudeau a free ride .Mulroney took over a country that was in a mess. Multiculturism,metri system and bilingualism were very expensive policies. Take the blinders off vicky.
  57. Ian Berg from Canada writes: Picking the best Prime Minister from among Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien is just picking the least bad apple from a rotten barrel of apples. Canada's greatest Prime Minister is still probably our first one, Sir John A. Macdonald. Though he was certainly loathed by large swatchs of Canadians in his time, the list of his achievements despite the mammoth obstacles he faced is incomparable to what any Prime Minister has faced since. There was no guarrantee in 1867 that the new confederation of anglophone and francophone British colonies was going to survive into the 1890s.
  58. Anti Fascist from Canada writes: Ha HA HA HA AH Ah HA What a joke!
    Lyin' Brian? Don't you read the news?
    The guy is a traitor, a quisling, unbelievable!
  59. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Not all Mulroney did was bad. Some items on his list might even qualify as positive, but to conclude that on balance he was good for Canada you have to ignore too many historical facts.

    His era was characterized by an unprecedented spate of ministerial resignations in scandals (Fraser, Coates, Stevens, LaSalle ... ). This was not mere happenstance, it was the tone of the whole Mulroney approach. And it continues to taint our society still.

    Under Mulroney the civil service, including the RCMP, was de-professionalized and politicized and we still suffer the effects today.

    Mulroney promised fiscal prudence and delivered bloated deficits.
    And unlike the Keynsian spending under Trudeau the country got nothing to show for it.

    Finally, Mulroney's ill-conceived, ego-driven, legacy-seeking constitutional blunders are the direct antecedents of the revived separatism which led to the creation of the Bloc Quebecois travesty and the near loss of yet another referendum.

  60. david waye from Halifax, Canada writes: Trudeau, by far was the best Prime Minister. He was the man for the time. He handled the f.l.q. . He started the made in Canada saying. He told the USA where to get off. He put Canada on the map for the world to pay attention. One of his famous comments was, Lady, if you do not want to read french, turn the box around. He was a friend to Cuba when The USA was trying to crush them. He took no guff from anybody and made us proud to be Canadian. Ask this question a few years from now and I think that Harper could be there. watch out for him to come out fighting in the New Year. You can see the changes now and he will steam roll over the Libs. , NDP and The Block.
  61. Jack Knight from Canada writes: Years ago the then Premier of Manitoba, Sterling Lyon, labelled Trudeau as a 'WALKING DISASTER' and he was accurate in his assessment. There are a lot of people who would remember this phrase. Chretein used to his advantage his facial quirk but in any event he was hollow and everytime Martin spoke it appeared he was crapping his pants.Were these three Prime Ministers stellar/what you would expect? The answer is NO!
  62. pik scott from Canada writes: Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: What a raving piece of drivel from Gordon Gibson has written. He likes NAFTA, while praising Mulroney's environmental record, even though NAFTA tore our environmental protections to shreds. He talks about Mulroney's economic policies even though the man left us indebted to the gills while still managing to destroy social programs. Mulroney had to have the Shreiber fiasco now, because he was about to lose his place as the worst PM in Canadian history to Stephen Harper. Fortunately Shreiber saved the day, and his place as the most irresponsible, self-serving and dishonest will be safe for decades. Mostly, Mulroney will go down in history as the man who sold our country and our resources down the road by signing NAFTA -- without actually reading it. What a legacy. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Your hatred is blinding you. Free trade and the GST is what paid down the debt, not chretien. Mulroney's attack on the acid rain is now paying off ,if you took the time to read about it. And why does everybody give trudeau a free ride .Mulroney took over a country that was in a mess. Multiculturism,metri system and bilingualism were very expensive policies. Take the blinders off vicky.
  63. pik scott from Canada writes: Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: What a raving piece of drivel from Gordon Gibson has written. He likes NAFTA, while praising Mulroney's environmental record, even though NAFTA tore our environmental protections to shreds. He talks about Mulroney's economic policies even though the man left us indebted to the gills while still managing to destroy social programs. Mulroney had to have the Shreiber fiasco now, because he was about to lose his place as the worst PM in Canadian history to Stephen Harper. Fortunately Shreiber saved the day, and his place as the most irresponsible, self-serving and dishonest will be safe for decades. Mostly, Mulroney will go down in history as the man who sold our country and our resources down the road by signing NAFTA -- without actually reading it. What a legacy. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Your hatred is blinding you. Free trade and the GST is what paid down the debt, not chretien. Mulroney's attack on the acid rain is now paying off ,if you took the time to read about it. And why does everybody give trudeau a free ride .Mulroney took over a country that was in a mess. Multiculturism,metri system and bilingualism were very expensive policies. Take the blinders off vicky.
  64. sean smith from Canada writes: Does the Fraser Institute pay the Globe to post its right wing blatherings from their paid pundits?
  65. kenneth corbett from matheson, Canada writes: in my understanding Trudeau is best PM while Quecbec is in crisis remember martial law when the FLQ kidnapped Mr Cross ( not sure that one) he is really world stateman ! I know he did made (friends) Fidel Castro ! but Canada remained true to peace! thanks !
  66. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: A note on Chretien ... he will never be considered Great because his best accomplishments were things he stopped rather than things he did.

    His first acheivement was putting an end to Mulroney-toryism which was apt to destroy the country if it had continued (even under the shakey 'leadership' of Kim Campbell).

    His government also took the needed steps to restore fiscal balance halting the lunatic mismanagement of the Mulroney years.

    And Chretien's greatest moment was halting the march to waste, death, and ignominy occasioned by George Bush's contrived war in Iraq.

    Chretien had too many 'negatives' as well, but it is the reactive quality of his positives that prevent his consideration as one of the greats.
  67. Michael Tripper from Vancouver, Canada writes: anti-fascist - exactly right.

    Quisling.
  68. Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: The best policy PM in recent history; Mulroney had to deal with the dead economy that Trudeau left us: 23% interest rates 12%unemployment and 16% inflation, with a deficit PET built despite warnings that he was spending our children's and grandchildren 's future. Then the Liberals fought the Tories every step of the way on any budget cuts. The scandal ridden Trudeau Liberals brought corruption to an art form Mulroney fine tuned it. The Liberals left our Armed Forces in tatters (under Trudeau and Chretien) along with the RCMP; later sent our troops to Afghanistan unarmed (Martin), and cut foreign aid in the 80's , while letting on they were so avant- garde. The anti GST free trade Liberals expanded both. Having an armed force allows us to have our own say on the world stage and we can assert our own opinion while remaining apart from ill advised types like Bush. By the way Clarke and Mulroney led the world against Apartheid and Trudeau said 'we were too small to influence international policy' as he ignored the plight of the majority in South Africa. His unwillingness to track the Nazi thugs in Canada while he was PM points to his shallow understanding of the war effort and the evil most others stood against. Mulroney had very questionable judgement at times but Trudeau's was over rated and selfserving.
  69. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: Louis St Laurent and Lester Pearson are great PMs who have been very much undervalued for their significant contributions to Canada. They stand head and shoulders above the various flaws attributed to Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien.
  70. Rick Sieb from Edmonton, Canada writes: Harper is hands down the worst ever.
  71. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Joe MacIntyre, are you for real?

    How can anyone line up the three men Trudeau, Mulroney, and Chretien and conclude that it is Trudeau that is SELF-serving????

    Disagree with his policies one might, but Trudeau is the only one among the three who didn't pull the levers of government on his own pecuniary advantage.
  72. Lou Dobbs from Vancouver Island, Canada writes: Whenever I think of the Mulroney-era, one quote comes to the fore --'Roll the dice' -- as if the future of the country was some kind of crap shoot. With all due respect, Mr. Gibson, if that way of dealing with our constitutional problems makes for the 'best Prime Minister', you must be confusing the Christmas season with April 1st.
  73. Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: Well NR its like this Trudeau did nothing for the economy little for the poor and went in the opposite direction of everyone just to be opposite. Fine if its constructive; his Celsius policy was only bizarre and of course costly.
    His North South dialogue was a veiled attempt at a Nobel prize as he was going out the door; he endorsed the dictator Fidel the man who never allowed an opinion in 40 years and he did all of this just to make himself appear cool to the short sighted. Brian at least was trying to build the economy which he did with the GST and NAFTA (against the Liberal hype;) which the USA wants to revise, brought Canada into the G8 and stood against the US El Salvador policy S A Apartheid, worked out the acid rain agreement pushed back the capital punishment wing nuts and Trudeau brought in the Young offenders act with out regard for virtims.
    Just for starters. Are you for real?
  74. Elisa Brun from Canada writes: Brian Mulroney will go down in history as the PM who sold Canada to the Americans and turned this country into little more than a U.S. suburb.
  75. Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: Okay Elisa,
    Don't just say it, explain it. Canada's economy has grown in leaps and bounds and is at its strongest in two generations. We are the envy of the world and a great part of that is due to Mulroney's economic plan. There is no doubt that policies from left, right and center had a role, but the the NAFTA is the crowning jewel in Canada's economic revival and Brian Mulroney paid a steep price for that. He was right and the NDP and Liberals were wrong to condemn him in the way they did.
  76. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: Well NR its like this Trudeau did nothing for the economy little for the poor ... Fine if its constructive; his Celsius policy was only bizarre and of course costly. His North South dialogue was a veiled attempt at a Nobel prize as he was going out the door; he endorsed the dictator Fidel ... Brian at least was trying to build the economy which he did with the GST and NAFTA ... pushed back the capital punishment wing nuts and Trudeau brought in the Young offenders act with out regard for virtims. ============ Joe, that's a sad misinterpretion of history. Trudeau did tons for the Canadian economy. His policy of economic nationalism is the direct cause of our ascendance to a level of industrialization which places us among the G7. Virtually every defense against poverty that exists today in Canada was established or improved by Trudeau. The metric system, so decried by dynosaurs everywhere was the coming reality, like it or not. Castro is a dictator, yes, but a better one than many coddled by other leaders and of merely peripheral importance to judging Trudeau's contributions to Canada. The GST was Mulroney's tax-and-spend answer to his bloated mismanagement. NAFTA was a sell-out that bought Muldoon his corporate directorships. And HELLO, capital punishment was abolished under TRUDEAU. And the young offenders act, despite its problems was a step away from the ludicrous barbarism of criminalizing children. So come on, Joe, let's go some more if you want.
  77. Jesse Winger from Cardston, Canada writes: Mulroney was a decent PM, for sure, and got along famously with Ronald Reagan. Both are/were Conservatives.
    Chretien was just as decent a PM and got along famously with Bill Clinton. Both are Liberals.
    Mulroney, a well trained lawyer, took cash in plain brown envelopes from a shady promoter: the rest is history.

    Mr. Gibsons assessment of our former PM is very generous (as partisan conservatives are wont to do) given the dreadful (and ongoing) moral lapses of big Brian.
  78. Flames Forever from Canada writes: Let's face it..Canada is very difficult country to govern with huge population gaps between the East and West. The PM has to understand all parts of the country yet garner only certain parts to gain power. This is why we have mistrust between East and West, French and English. Take for instance Chretian he said he preferred Eastern politicians over Western ones. Not a wise thing to say when national unity is framented at best.
  79. mpb from Vancouver Island from Canada writes: How can you neglect Mulruiney's introduction of the butcher (Bouchard) into federal politics? Canada still bears the burden of that never ending story, not to mention the mountain of debt he buried us under.

    Erik Nielsen, his former Deputy PM, said it best when he characterized him as 'Lying Brian' in this very edition.

    How dare you compare this liar favourably to Lester B. Pearson!
  80. LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION from Gatineau Qc, Canada writes: LESTER B. PEARSON (IN MEMORIAM) 1897-1972.....' Gentle, humble, admired around the world, he laid the foundations for our health and social policies. Federal-provincial relations were good. We have never felt better about ourselves.' (Gordon Gibson - Globe and Mail essay) ........In the future of time a monumentt in Memory of Mister Pearson will be unveil in Wakefield (Québec), a beautiful little town in the Gatineau Hills where he choosed to rest for eternity with his beloved wife and two of his best friends. Thank You-Merci.
  81. Bob from Montreal from Montreal, Canada writes: Lyin Brian was the best PM alright - the best of the worst.
  82. Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: NR, Red Fox is as skewed as you are but I must admit 'the metric system was the coming reality' that statement explains much of the rest of your dribble. Trudeau's arrogance towards things that he didn't agree with was an indicator in many cases of his poor insight. Saying Mulroney had a tax and spend approach is just plain wrong. The bloated mismanagement you talk of was the out of control approach the Liberals took to the economy, they had no plan except to be re-elected and the ludicrous barbarism of criminalizing children must have been okay by Pearson because he was the PM before Trudeau and I certainly am not advocating such treatment of misinformed children, I'm talking about murderous near adults who are rapists and thieves getting away with three years of punishment at a maximum. For your information there were hundreds of thousands of people in poverty before during and after Pierre Trudeau left office. Trudeau had many sound pearls of wisdom, fuddle duddle, why should I sell your wheat, his diplomatic mocking of the Queen and the famous finger to the hard working voters protesting his free train tour for he and his family.
  83. Red Fox from Canada writes: Jesse Winger from Cardston, Canada -

    I want to introduce you to a logical fallacy called Poisoning the Well.

    This sort of 'reasoning' involves trying to discredit what a person might later claim by presenting unfavorable information (be it true or false) about the person. This 'argument' has the following form:

    1. Unfavorable information (be it true or false) about person A is presented.
    2. Therefore any claims person A makes will be false.

    Just because Mulroney took brown envelopes, his legacy is worthless??
  84. Larry Robinson from white Rock, Canada writes: Given that after 140 years, industrial research and innovation is not part of public policy, we churn our guts over the most mundane issues and then don't act, we are totally dependent upon the U.S. to buy 75-80% of our exports, our armed forces eroded to being on par with Luxembourg, provinces still threaten separatism when things don't go their way, and our economy is built upon the stuff in the ground below us which we sell to foreigners for their price .... have we had a nation building PM devoted to an independent distinctive Canada?

    Trudeau's legacy is not what he did, other than the Charter and repatriation of the Constitution, but that his vision and intelligence provoked the best group of provincial premiers this country has seen and their actions played a pivotal role in defining the future unlike the current group of micro-managing policy dweebs.
  85. Albin Forone from Toronto, Canada writes: I ask myself, what was the 'state of the nation' when the PM left office, and how much of that was due to external influences? The best result is obviously Jean Chretien's government. His dominance is moderated only by credit to Paul Martin for tenure as Canada's best Finance Minister. JC obviously let PM do his thing for as long as he could stand the relationship. Mulroney / Wilson was a fiscal, moral, and federation disaster.
  86. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: Rob G from Calgary, Canada: A lesson for you on Canada's national debt history. When Mulroney took office this country was in shambles. David Peterson is quoted as say 'Brian Mulroney inherited one hell of a mess.' Jean Chretien admitted 'We left the cupboard bare.' By the time Trudeau left office the Federal gov't was spending $1.23 on programs for every dollar it took in taxes. The National debt grew by 1,100% and interest rates peaked at 22.75%. The deficit grew to 8.7% of GDP, the largest in Canadian history. When Mulroney left The deficit was 5.9% of GDP - down one-third The prime rate was 6% - the lowest in 20 years Inflation was down to 1.5%, the lowest in 30 years The GST and the North America Free Trade Agreement in place...the tools that provided the revenue and economic stimulus for Canada to eliminate the deficit. Program spending was reduced to 97 cents for every dollar of revenues. In other words the only reasson we still had a large deficit was because of the huge interest payments (33 cents on every tax dollar) Canada had to pay to service Trudeau's debt. Trudeau may have been liked by Canadians in Central Canada; but he was a terrible Prime Minister.
  87. Tim in Texas from United States writes: I say Kim Campbell... I can't think of a single thing she screwed up, except her own election.
  88. Elisa Brun from Canada writes: >

    Joe, there's no explanation required. Just open your eyes and take a look around.
  89. Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: Forone you are ill informed as well. The conservatives put the tools in place to fix the economy. The deficit grew thru those years in part due to the Liberals fighting every mearure the Tories came up with to cut spending; look it up.
    Explain the hatred of the GST and NAFTA under the Tories while the Liberals came in and expamded both.
  90. dar cullihall from Rocky Harbour, NL, Canada writes: Why am I not surprised the editors of the Globe and Mail allowed this timely piece of Pro-Mulroney trash to be in today's edition.? After we saw the most pathetic attempt at justifying taking cash in envelopes, the editors at the Globe and Mail decided this would be an excellent time to drag out a guest columnist who would smother us with facts and figures in a feeble attempt to boost the sad fortunes of a disgraced former Prime Minister. Leave it to the Globe and Mail. I'm surprised they didn't come up with some poll results showing high credibility toward Mr. Mulroney's testimony. They'll likely leave that bit of trash to their cohorts at the Conservative Television Network (CTV). Can't wait for Monday's edition of the Globe and Mail and Mike Duffy Live. Headline: Canadians confident Mulroney did nothing wrong; Most believe he's still best Prime Minister ever: poll
    And I still seek out the Globe and Mail everyday on-line!!! WHY?
  91. Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: Elisa ; come on now facts with your hype. The right wing wingnuts are in a similar predicament; reality would be good.Tweek Harper to the left a bit and maybe we move on with action and sound policy.
  92. James Cyr from Balmertown, Ontario, Canada writes: Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien: what a choice! I will pass on this one..
  93. Canadian Citizen from to, Canada writes: Even people on other ends of the political spectrum praise Mulroney.

    'Had we been paying more attention back in 1988 when Mulroney was elected prime minister for a second term, we might now be celebrating his legacy as an environmental visionary.' - David Suzuki
  94. My Gestalt! from Canada writes: Canadian Citizen from to, Canada writes: Even people on other ends of the political spectrum praise Mulroney.

    'Had we been paying more attention back in 1988 when Mulroney was elected prime minister for a second term, we might now be celebrating his legacy as an environmental visionary.' - David Suzuki
    ===========================================

    Here's another more timely quote from Erik Neilson

    Asked if he bought Mr. Mulroney's testimony, Mr. Nielsen, interviewed from his home in Kelowna, said 'no' before chuckling and adding. 'I know Brian.'
  95. Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: Mr Suzuki will we benefit by the US signing on to Bali?
  96. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    'Who was the best PM since Pearson?' (an all-time favourite)

    The question states,' best Prime Minister'-which one would assume the Prime Minister of the country as a whole, respected even somewhat grudgingly of all regions......

    If one looks at the Trudeau reign, he was far from representitive of the country.

    He possesed seats in the east, was the default federalist choice in Quebec and alienated nationalists with his arrogance and rhetoric, and did not hold a seat west of Manitoba. He was forced to appoint western Senators to his Cabinet for representation purposes.

    He was a regional enigma for central Canada-really nothing more!
    .
  97. John Doucette from Canada writes: Gibson, ya like crooks eh?
  98. V ADS from Canada writes: Mulroney and Trudeau are alike in that people either love or hate them. Notwithstanding, both were transformational leaders, unlike Chretien, Martin, Diefenbaker or even Pearson.

    Pearson left a truly remarkable legacy, but was too bland and boring to shake-up and alter Canadian society, as Trudeau and Mulroney subsequently did. Pearson never really connected with 'the people' either, unlike his nemesis Diefenbaker, or Trudeau or Mulroney.

    Simply put, Mulroney and Trudeau were both visionaries, albeit ones with very different visions of Canada. Both men were bundles of contradictions. People think of Trudeau as a 'groovy '60s dude' even though he rolled the Army into Quebec like a tin-pot tyrant.

    Mulroney was a conservative who performed much better on the world stage than Trudeau. Mulroney fought for the environment and against opression (apartheid, etc), whereas Trudeau thumbed his nose at Canada's traditional allies and hob-nobbed with dictators.
  99. Rick Flair from T.O., Canada writes: God...we already have a Conservative government in power. How much Conservative propaganda needs to be drummed up in order to brainwash Canadians? Free Trade, GST, Mulroney's legacies. Arguably, both were necessary for Canada, but at the same time, they also had many negative effects upon many Canadian people. However, Trudeau's legacy shouldn't be questioned. Too many people focus upon the FLQ crisis, as if it he reacted any differently than a Conservative would have. Haha...imagine what someone like Mulroney or Harper would have done. The real focus should be on the most important contribution to Canadian society in the last 100 yrs...The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. How can anyone debate that? I'm sure right wingers would complain about every single Canadian having basic rights. Harperiites make me laugh on that one. Somehow the rights of the majority are more important than those of the minority...Not in Canada, thank God. For this thank Trudeau.
  100. Mr. Justice from Canada writes: Well . . . apparently Mr. Mulroney was the best P.M. money could buy, no ?
  101. My Gestalt! from Canada writes: Todays Globe Question on best PM since Pearson

    Trudeau 4335 (51%)
    Clark 490 (6%)
    Turner 120 (1%)
    Mulroney 1928 (23%)
    Campbell 242 (3%)
    Chretien 1086 (13%)
    Martin 332 (4%)
  102. Alexis Savanarola from Rockcliffe Park, Canada writes: For the record, Pearson is an admirable Person ['though Trudeau thought he was a second rate bumbler with a cunning streak]. And for the record, whitebread Canadians ignore the fact that when he won the Nobel Peac Prize, he was a co-winner with Dr. Ralph Bunch, the brilliant black American Under-Secretary of state [disproving University of Western Ontario tenured professor of Psychology Phillipe J. Rushton's theory that black people are of sub-human intelligence]. For the record, Pearson did admirable work, but it was Professor Bunch who did the heavy lifting, at a time when the US Government was itself practicing racism in many of its institutions. He had to be more than brilliant. By the way, I cannot find any contemporary reference to this important fact related to Lester Pearson's Peace Prize shared with a Black American in The Globe & Mail. Or any Canadian mass medium. Shame. But what's new? Our racism is so subtle.
  103. V ADS from Canada writes: Rick Flair says...'just imagine what the Conservatives would have done in the FLQ crisis.'

    There is no way that any Conservative Prime Minister would have dared do what Trudeau did, which was to declare the War Measures Act (martial law) and roll the Army from Ontario into Montreal.

    Ask any military officer from that time (as I did), and you'll find out how shocked they were to be used as a show of force. The FLQ crisis was a job for police officers, not the Army.
  104. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia, writes: ... Saying Mulroney had a tax and spend approach is just plain wrong. ...

    ===================

    Well, Joe, that's the only part of your meandering diatribe worth addressing, so let's look at the facts, shall we?

    Please refer to this link:
    http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/887-e.htm#1.%20Operating

    Regarding Spending: Figure 2 shows that the budgetary deficit ranged from twice to four times as bad during the Mulroney years compared to the prior governments. The results of this terrible management can be seen in Figure 3 showing the federal debt growing from 30% to over 60% (!) of GDP during the Mulroney years.

    Regarding taxing: My friend, the GST was a tax, and it was Mulroney who brought it in.

    Accordingly, I'll say it again. Mulroney was a tax-and-spender of the worst kind.
  105. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Rick Flair from T.O.- Afternoon RF.

    It is terribly erroneous to believe Trudeau was totally responsible for the Charter-as if nothing existed before that! You may wish to study the Canadian Bill of Rights which was passed by Diefenbaker in 1960.

    He NEVER received recognition-somewhat similar to the Clarity Act whose roots clearly come from Harper/Manning who also never received any public recognition-one could say 'hijacked' ideas....

    A 'few' highlights of that Bill: Sound Familiar?

    The Canadian Bill of Rights protects numerous rights, most of which were later included in the Charter. Examples include:

    Freedom of speech and freedom of religion (now in Section 2 of the Charter)
    Limited equality rights (more complete rights are contained in Section 15 of the Charter)
    The right to life, liberty and security of the person, and in another section, rights to fundamental justice (the Charter combines those rights in Section 7)
    The right to enjoyment of property, which is not enshrined in the Charter
    The right to counsel (now in Section 10 of the Charter).

    This was NO new and inspiring revelation Trudeau solely takes credit for! Far from it.

    .
  106. rick copenace from Kenora, Canada writes: I enjoyed this article. I thought Gordon Gibson did a good summary. One thing I especially agree with is that Canada has too much judge made law-supreme court judges with big egos. I'd like to see law more made up by the people that are electected by the people. Us Canadians do have good judgement, precident setting is going to erode the orderly development of Northern Ontario for example. I believe Aboriginals, backed by any wing-nut group with money is going to prevent or block further development projects (mining, forestry) because hundred year old Treaties are being re-interpeded, and re-invented to the current obscure situation we find ourselves in where Native bands, living on the expense of tax payers (housing, heating, clothes, food ...not in the Treaties) demand mandatory concent for approving projects (again, not in the Treaties). We're going to kill the goose that writes the (welfare) check. Which future leader is going to manuover Natives to provide for themselves (work) and contibute to the modern world. Canadians will have to do it by draging them into it kicking and screaming.
  107. aubrey bannister from toronto, Canada writes: Mulrooney,Nixon, G.W.B. and S.H (in good time)..all in the same boat.
    The Titanic.
  108. Ron Pacific from Vancouver, Canada writes: Trudeau and Mulroney were visionaries. Trudeau gets high marks for standing up to the Americans, taking a hard line with the separatists and for bringing in the Charter of Rights - influential whether you hate it or love it. While inflation was running rampant during the Trudeau years, that was the pattern in most countries in the world including the USA. Mulroney in retrospect gets good marks for NAFTA (although I don't think Canada really negotiated assertively enough against the Americans - witness the problems with softwood lumber today) and surprisingly, for bringing in the hated GST which is a better tax than income tax. Mulroney's downfall was his enormous ego and we almost broke up the country just to satisfy it. I recall his gloating over 'rolling the dice' with the country during Meach Lake. Chretien gets great marks in my opinion because he didn't rock the boat as Mulroney and Trudeau did. After Mulroney and Trudeau, Canada needed a boring unimaginative leader. Chretien actually is the most conservative PM we have ever had (including the present one) because he was the least radical. I think that was what the times called for - someone to keep Canada out of trouble (ie Iraq) and to pay down the debt and deficit. Unfortunately, the nicest and most decent PM's were the least successful politically: Clark, Turner and Campbell come to my mind - a sad state of affairs. Our current PM Harper I think combines the worst of all of the last successful PM's: he is as insufferably arrogant as Mulroney, sucks up even more than Mulroney to the US, is as much as a dogmatic hard-a*** as Trudeau ever was, and worst of all, is even more insufferably partisan and Machiavellian as Chretien. He is as much of a control freak as Chretien.
  109. Ron Pacific from Canada writes: Trudeau and Mulroney were visionaries. Trudeau gets high marks for standing up to the Americans, taking a hard line with the separatists and for bringing in the Charter of Rights - influential whether you hate it or love it. While inflation was running rampant during the Trudeau years, that was the pattern in most countries in the world including the USA. Mulroney in retrospect gets good marks for NAFTA (although I don't think Canada really negotiated assertively enough against the Americans - witness the problems with softwood lumber today) and surprisingly, for bringing in the hated GST which is a better tax than income tax. Mulroney's downfall was his enormous ego and we almost broke up the country just to satisfy it. I recall his gloating over 'rolling the dice' with the country during Meach Lake. Chretien gets great marks in my opinion because he didn't rock the boat as Mulroney and Trudeau did. After Mulroney and Trudeau, Canada needed a boring unimaginative leader. Chretien actually is the most conservative PM we have ever had (including the present one) because he was the least radical. I think that was what the times called for - someone to keep Canada out of trouble (ie Iraq) and to pay down the debt and deficit. Unfortunately, the nicest and most decent PM's were the least successful politically: Clark, Turner and Campbell come to my mind - a sad state of affairs. Our current PM Harper I think combines the worst of all of the last successful PM's: he is as insufferably arrogant as Mulroney, sucks up even more than Mulroney to the US, is as much as a dogmatic hard-a*** as Trudeau ever was, and worst of all, is even more insufferably partisan and Machiavellian as Chretien. He is as much of a control freak as Chretien.
  110. John McCaffery from Australia writes: I think with Gordon Gibson's synopsis was excellent and basically I agree with the conclusions, particularly that Chretien was the greatest politician so true. I always thought that Mulroney made the tough decisions, risked popularity, but did them for the best of the country - that is a true leader in my mind. Trudeau was positioned by Pearson and others to do a job - Trudeau never really wanted to get into politics - he was chosen because he was a great man and charismatic, etc...the fact that he messed up the country, well, that's just another long and sad story. The fact that Pearson was instrumental in positioning Trudeau, drops Pearson off my list of greatest PMs.
  111. My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: V ADS from Canada ,

    Perhaps you ought to do a bit of background. Trudeau invoked the WMA at the request of both Premier Robert Bourassa and Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau. Even Rene Levesaue agreed that is was necessary given the circumstances.

    As for your milirary friends who were shocked. They shouldn't be. As the army were primarily patrolling, it gave the police resources far more time to spend actively pursuing FLQ-istes. Based on the FLQ's own assessment that in the upcoming year Bourassa would be facing 100,000 revolutionaries, armed and organized, the military response was more than justified.

    Moreover, in the election of 1972, the Liberals still picked up 55 seats in Quebec, down from 57 in the 1968 election so, where it counted, the electorate of the Province of Quebec didn't penalize Trudeau for the WMA
  112. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    For a Chretien legacy, help would be needed:Ideas?

    With a fractured and very weak right concerning leadership, it appears he became the default PM and rode the coat tails of his experienced team.

    Therefore did he actually lead, or did Canadians figure it out ourselves despite him.

    My legacy recollections are as follows:

    -Chretien almost lost the country in 1995 when he went AWOL during the Quebec referendum while Tobin and Charest basically saved the day.

    -While credit is given about 'taming the deficit,'reality was Canada was moving towards better economic times and many expenses were downloaded to the Provinces.

    -Kyoto was signed and ratified, yet the reasons were for legacy purposes only-knowing very well that there would be NO effort to achieve the goals of Kyoto.

    - Iraq war? The truth remains we had nothing to offer-were not asked to contribute 'boots,' yet still 'quietly' supported with vessels in the Gulf!

    - Toronto SARS? AWOL again!

    - ADSCAM? (and left Martin with HIS mess)

    - A 2 year global adventure to say 'good-bye' to friends around the world using tax payers dollars!

    - Clarity Act? A Harper/Manning idea!

    Legacy?
  113. Alex Miller from Toronto, Canada writes: All three men were successful Prime Ministers with obvious accomplishments. However, both Mulroney and Chretien are tainted by corruption in their governments with Mulroney being by far the most tainted. Trudeau, on the other hand, has seemed to retain a clean image compared to the other two. It helped that he was a wealthy man before entering politics with no need to look for future income in return for political favours but still, he has the cleaner image.

    The bigger issue in the article is not Gordon Gibson's opinion of who is the greatest Prime Minister but his dismissal of most Canadians opinions as irrelevant since they are limited to who they like the most. This is very elitist and shows why he was never elected to public office. His disdain for the common man's opinion is shared to too many of our elites. I find some of the greatest political wisdom comes from taxi drivers, farmers, truck drivers and other ordinary Canadians who exhibit extraordinary wisdom at the ballet box when they chose who they think is the greatest Prime Minister. These people voted Pierre Trudeau into office in four elections over 18 years - something that Brian Mulroney did not even come close too and was too cowardly to try. At least Trudeau ran against Joe Clark when it was clear that he couldn't win and accepted with defeat with grace and humility. Mulroney bailed when it was clear he would lose and saddled Kim Campbell with baggage she could not overcome. Trudeau came back to lead Canadians for another four years and achieved greatness in his last term with a Constitution and Charter that continues to change our country even now and well into the future. He defeated poisonous ethnic nationalism in Quebec in the 1980 referendum, raised the Quebecers struggle for dignity and equality in Canada from bombing mailboxes and killing politicians to a sophisticated political discourse where ideas triumph over the gun and bomb.
  114. J L from thunder Bay, Canada writes: Well I agree with Go Oilers Go from Edmonton-Mr Trudeau single handly thru his governance almost put this country into fiscal ruin,Mr Mulroney added to the deficit and it wasn't until the last term of the Chretien government with Mr Martin as Finance Minister that the deficit was eliminated,and surplus became the norm under the brief Martin 18 month governance and it wasnt until the Harper Government took office that any real serious attempt to reduce the National Debt was made,which costs Canadians Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Interest charges annually,So who may you ask do I believe has been the best PM since Pearson Well Mr Chretien has AD Scam on his resume and Mr Martin well he earned the nickname Mr Dithers,geez that only leaves ? Yes sir the only true Conservative among the lot and that includes Mr Mulroney who let us not forget was a Progressive Conservative and governed like a right of centre LIBERAL.as most Progressives did and do provincially.
  115. John McCaffery from Australia writes: Ron Pacific, Are you saying that Harper is rolled up into one, the greatest man, politician and PM ever?
  116. Gunther Hooberschwellen from Canada writes: Anyone but Trudeau....I hope he burns in hell for wrecking our country. Damn communists!
  117. Jesse Winger from Cardston, Canada writes: Red Fox: I still believe B. Mulroney was a good PM. I just think he's be much better thought of if he would just level with Canadians. He's not fooling anyone.
  118. LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION from Gatineau Qc, Canada writes: John McCaffery from Australia...John, you're entitled to your own oppinion, but in your own reasonning..if you meditate on that one...On the day that Power was tranferred from Mister Pearson to Mister Trudeau , in his diary Mister Pearson wrote only ONE word...This word could be the missing link you missed in your deduction...
  119. John McCaffery from Australia writes: LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION - You have me intrigued. Is that missing word, 'regret?'
  120. Albin Forone from Toronto, Canada writes: Silly Joe from Nova Sco, the Mulroney Tories had a voting Parliamentary majority and used it to createh the crippling Reaganesque (ideological nee 'ideotic') budget deficit, later cured by the Chretien/Martin Liberals - where were you? In diapers? Certainly not in Canada. The Mulroney 'solution' to the federal problem was Meech, i.e. gut the Federation in favour of every Province (have or have not) for itself.
  121. scott thomas from Canada writes: Poisoning the Well. I guess that's what Muldoon is trying to do to Schreiber.
  122. Jacquelin Ouellette from St-Gabriel de Brandon, Canada writes: Of the worst prime minister it certainly include Trudeau and Chrétien.
    The best one was St-Laurent, Mulroney was not bad at all.

    Trudeau and Chretien have contributed to the destruction of what remains of Canada and its core values. The future will prove it.
  123. Harper is a liar from Canada writes: What a joke! Trudeau was an amazing leader, politician, and Canadian. He has given Canada a lasting legacy and maintained our role as an international leader (something Mulroney and Harper jeopardized). Mulroney gave us theft and scandal. Look at him in front of the Ethics Committee... he's sweating bullets. The hounds are getting closer, Mulroney. Your time is nearly up.
  124. Homer Gibson from Canada writes: Britney Spears for PM!!!
  125. LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION from Gatineau Qc, Canada writes: John from Australia...You'll have to find it and you will understand...
  126. Angry West Coast Canuck from Canada writes: I'd have to go with Pierre Trudeau.

    Only because the only good politician is an honest politician, and the only honest politician is a dead politician. As I believe Trudeau is the only one of the group that has conveniently passed on, he wins.

    Cynically yours,
    AWCC
  127. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Harper is a liar from Canada writes: What a joke! Trudeau was an amazing leader, politician, and Canadian. He has given Canada a lasting legacy and maintained our role as an international leader (something Mulroney and Harper jeopardized).

    Enlighten me and and please justify your position with a few examples!

    'Lasting legacy?' And what was that?

    'International leader?' Do you mean hanging around with the Communists Castro and Kruschev of the former URRR, was more important than leaving Nelson Mandella hanging out to dry?

    That acting like a literal moron with our most important trading partner at that time was wise while he pursued connections with Communists?

    Perhaps that is YOUR Canada-it is NOT mine!
    .
    Let ad hominen begin.....lol!
  128. V ADS from Canada writes: As I recall, both Rene Levesque and Tommy Douglas raked Trudeau over the coals for suspending civil liberties and invoking the War Measures Act to deal with an internal crisis. I quote Levesque's 'Quebec no longer has a government' speech?

    'The bit of country over which we had any control has been swept away by the first hard blow. The Bourassa cabinet has stepped down and is no more than a puppet in the hands of the federal leaders.'

    Of the 450 people rounded up and detained by the Act, most were released without charges. The FLQ crisis was a dark time in Canadian history, true, and many people supported Trudeau's actions. Others did not, as governments had other powers to deal with insurrection.

    Trudeau's actions undermined his legacy as a democrat and also strained Canada's relations with Quebec for many decades afterward.
    But as history shows, no Prime Minister was, is, or can be perfect.
  129. LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION from Gatineau Qc, Canada writes: Mister Louis Stephen St-Laurent was the mentor of Mister Pearson who had the greatest Respect and Admiration for him.
  130. My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: Yup Levesques initial reaction was totally against Trudeau in early October, 1970. At the end of October, in his daily newspaper column though he said 'The Army occupies Quebec. It is unpleasant but undoubtedly necessary in times of crisis.' Even he knew the seriousness of the potential threat.

    But we can agree that no prime minister can be perfect.
  131. Ochin Gloopiye from Peezdyetzville, Gavnuke County, Russian Federation writes: I'm only concerned about the entertainment value. The notions of character or substance are simply too slippery to waste time analyzing. Politics is boring. All three were boring. I'd pick Archie Bunker, Alex Keaton and Homer Simpson.
  132. Hunteroffortune Alberta from Canada writes: Funny, over 150 comments and not one person who supports Trudeau mentions that great idea of his, the NEP, the main reason that Alberta will not vote Liberal for a long, long time. Why aren't you Trudeau supporters mentioning that wonderful program? Short memories I guess. Then we get this comment: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Harper is a liar from Canada writes: What a joke! Trudeau was an amazing leader, politician, and Canadian. He has given Canada a lasting legacy and maintained our role as an international leader (something Mulroney and Harper jeopardized). Mulroney gave us theft and scandal. Look at him in front of the Ethics Committee... he's sweating bullets. The hounds are getting closer, Mulroney. Your time is nearly up. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Who seems to have forgotten that Chretein and his cabinet, of which Dion was one, stole 40 million dollars from taxpayers that we still haven't seen. But Mulroney in private business takes some cash, declares it as income, but he gave us theft and scandal? So, have those Liberals who took the 40 million declared it on their income taxes yet? Maybe Chretein should be brought before the Ethics committee to tell Canadians where the missing taxpayers money is?
  133. Mark Lanovaz from B.C., writes: When Jean Chretien considered winning three majority governments his greatest accomplishment while he was Prime Minister I wasn't surprised. Proof that Chretien didn't give a damn about this country. Power at all costs. It's the Liberal way. J.C. was the dirtiest player in the history of Canadian politics. Nothing to be proud of.
  134. John McCaffery from Australia writes: LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION - Better still when you find the little secret, let us all know, some of us are sitting on pins and needles! In the meantime, we will have to live with reality, ignoring the little secrets, but rather reviewing the legacy of a fractured country mostly to be attributed to a clever but misguided Mr. Trudeau.
  135. Mahesh Uttamchandani from Canada writes: A well written article. I might swallow hard and except the ultimate conclusion but the author is WAY OFF on PET's legacy. The idea that we have 'too much judge-made law' is a fallacy that is promoted with complete intellectual dishonesty. Canadians, particularly those under 40, overwhelmingly identifiy the Charter as the country's greatest acheivement - greater than confederation even - and the strides it has allowed our society to make (abortion, gay rights, equality) are easily understood when one compares our present legal environment to that of the US. In each of these cases, the court moved us just beyond public opinion but, to the credit of Canadians, public opinion quickly caught up. PET 'pushed all the chips into the centre of the table' as you say, and drew a straight flush on the river! That legacy will be with us longer - and serve us better - that the FTA, GST or any of Mulroney's acheivements. Official multiculturalism, whatever the disputes about it that may arise, is the tool by which we market ourselves to potential immigrants to lure them away from more financially attractive markets like the US and UK. To think that, in this day and age of the rise of India and China and the major global shifts in economic power, that we somehow goofed in adopting a policy that helps us punch WAY ABOVE our weight in immigrant recruitment is, frankly, idiotic. These people aren't the starving, poor, huddled masses. They have their choice of destination and, let's be honest, Canada has a hard time competing with Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Official multiculturalism has allowed us to position ourselves as a place where one can come and, while becoming Canadian, continue to ceelbrate one's birth culture. There's nothing seditious or fractious about that. The idea that Canada is still about 'two founding peoples' (French and English) is not only historically inaccurate (first nations people?) but bizarrely out of touch with modern reality.
  136. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    For a Chretien legacy, help would be needed:Ideas?

    With a fractured and very weak right concerning leadership, it appears he became the default PM and rode the coat tails of his experienced team.

    Therefore did he actually lead, or did Canadians figure it out ourselves despite him.

    My legacy recollections are as follows:

    -Chretien almost lost the country in 1995 when he went AWOL during the Quebec referendum while Tobin and Charest basically saved the day.

    -While credit is given about 'taming the deficit,'reality was Canada was moving towards better economic times and many expenses were downloaded to the Provinces.

    -Kyoto was signed and ratified, yet the reasons were for legacy purposes only-knowing very well that there would be NO effort to achieve the goals of Kyoto.

    - Iraq war? The truth remains we had nothing to offer-were not asked to contribute 'boots,' yet still 'quietly' supported with vessels in the Gulf!

    - Toronto SARS? AWOL again!

    - ADSCAM? (and left Martin with HIS mess)

    - A 2 year global adventure to say 'good-bye' to friends around the world using tax payers dollars!

    - Clarity Act? A Harper/Manning idea!

    Legacy?
  137. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: I think that Joe Clark was the only one of the bunch who had the so called integrity, devotion to duty and honesty. He just never got a chance and as a result, we never had the opportunity to see him in action.

    I don't think that Prime Ministers have to be larger than life figures and I also don't think that nice guys finish last. Joe Clark was and is a nice guy. He deserved better than what he got.
  138. martha stewart from Canada writes: Paul Martin was the best ditherer.

    Kim Campbell was the best potential child bearer.

    John Turner was John Turner.

    Joe Clark was the nicest.

    Trudeau was the most arrogant and interesting.

    Chretien was the meanest thug and best manipulator.

    Mulroney was, according to the Greens, the best PM for the environment. Elizabeth May said so.

    Harper is the best PM we have right now.
  139. John McCaffery from Australia writes: martha stewart - I think your comments are the closest to the truth!
  140. diane marie from calgary, Canada writes: Larry Robinson:-- Mr. Trudeau made Canadians feel cool to be who they were. He is the only prime minister the average foreigner can name or remember. He was prepared to attend the ballet, admire art, read literature, and enjoy classical music - we haven't had a cultured PM since. I was going to say something about hockey-puck kissers, but...;-).
  141. Robert Wiseman from Scarborough, ON, Canada writes: It is really clear that Mulroney is not the best Prime Minister in decades. One can't separate character and the example a political leader sets from an evaluation of their record. The current testimony of Mulroney is an expample of a manipulative and highly dishonest man. One has only to look at the way he handled the money. It didn't come in one payment, so his suggestion that it was a mistake on the spur of the moment doesn't wash. He made that same 'mistake' three times over two years. Why hide the money in safety deposit boxes and then only declare it when it looks like you will get caught? Finally, if he paid out the bulk of the money in expenses, how is it that it sat in safety deposit boxes for so long? None of what he says is rings with truth and as a result he must not be seen as a good prime minister. We all learned the truth about him a long time ago and history can't change or re-write that truth.
  142. V ADS from Canada writes: Brian Mulroney was the most investigated Prime Minister in modern Canadian history -- by the RCMP for almost a decade and the nation's top 'investigative journalists' for almost two decades.

    Not one shred of evidence was found linking him to being 'on the take' in the media-fabricated Airbus scandal, not even by the latest fact-finding Parliamentary committe. Doesn't matter. Prime Ministers must be above reproach, or at least be perceived as such, and Mulroney has obviously failed on at least one of these two fronts.
  143. LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION from Gatineau Qc, Canada writes: Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada...Well said..
  144. Stephen Green from North Saanich, Canada writes: I do not know why we focus our standard of PM's on Lester Pearson. Other than his United Nations stuff, Pearson did nothing for
    Canada of any note, in fact the state of the nation was positively quiet. Succeeding PMs have killed our traditions, expanded corruption, vastly increased the Public Service and taxes. McKenzie King certainly did his job well.
    The current PMs identified Chretien/Martin are the most corrupt and did nothing. Mulroney did well, but was undermined by Trudeau.

    Harper will do well if allowed. There are no apparent other leaders in the wings. Stephane Dion is flat cannot speak english, Jack Layton and his crew are true idiots, Liz May is nothing but a curiosity with only a passing flavour of interest. The BLOC should not exist.

    The best JOhn Deifenbaker by far.
  145. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Hunteroffortune Alberta from Canada writes: Funny, over 150 comments and not one person who supports Trudeau mentions that great idea of his, the NEP, the main reason that Alberta will not vote Liberal for a long, long time. ...seems to have forgotten that Chretein and his cabinet, of which Dion was one, stole 40 million dollars from taxpayers that we still haven't seen.

    ==============

    Regarding the NEP, why would anyone mention it? Other than the the petulant over-reaction it provoked among some Albertans, it was a rather minor part of history. But it's funny ... one Liberal PM rolls out a program that briefly distributes the benefits of Canadian oil broadly among Canadians and some people decide to hold an irrational grudge against the whole party for time immemorial. Grab some perspective, people!

    Regarding $40M, remind us what you're talking about please.
  146. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Vicky Armstrong, you're comments about NAFTA display such a complete and total 'Maude Barlow-ish' kind of ignorance about trade and economic issues, I don't know why you even bother talking. What problems did Chretien 'fix' exactly? He left the FTA alone. He left NAFTA alone. He left the GST alone (and now it's the 'liberal-progressives' who whine about cutting the GST), he cut social programs even deeper than Mulroney. Seems to me that rather than 'fix' anything, he just continued on with the policies that Mulroney had put in place, because they were right for the country. Chretien and Martin do deserve credit for balancing the budget and putting us back on the road to fiscal responsibility. However, they had the good fortune of inheriting a federal government AFTER much of the unpopular but necessary policies had already been put in place. Does anyone really believe that the deficit would have been eliminated if Canada had continued on as the quasi-socialist country we were in 1984? Does anyone believe Canada's economy would have boomed in the late 90s and through to today without replacing the manufacturers sales tax with the GST, and without the FTA and NAFTA? Does anyone believe that Chretien and Martin would have supported John Crow as he ruthlessly crushed inflation, setting us up for 15 years of low inflation and low interest rates, which we are still enjoying today? Yes, we suffered a lot in the Mulroney years, because so many adjustments needed to be made, because by 1984 the country had become such an awful mess. Mulroney was far from perfect, but he at least stuck his neck out and tried to restore our competitiveness. He did many needlessly stupid things, but waking us from our slumber and forcing us to face up to our economic malaise was not one of them.
  147. James Cyr from Balmertown, Ontario, Canada writes: Martha Stewart: regarding your post of 8:49 PM, well summarized! I would, however, have a few more adjectives for Trudeau.
  148. diane marie from calgary, Canada writes: NR Connor:-- Albertans tend to take everything that was happening at the time (world-wide recession, for example, not to mention the dirty kitchen floor) and attribute it to Mr. Trudeau and the NEP. There is no question that the NEP was ill-considered, costly, and damaging. I believe that Paul Martin acknowledged as much. However, many (but not all) Albertans nurture the hurt ad nauseum and ad infinitum. Reminds me of Quebec...not to mention the Confederate South. Move on, folks.
  149. Watcher 1983 from Just around the corner, Canada writes: Trudeau was the worst and his marxist hangover is still poisoning this country. Mulroney dwarfs the rest although he turned out in the end to be just another Eastern Canada centric politician with Meech and the Charlatan's Accord. Harper looks set to dominate all of this group.
  150. Ron Pacific from Victoria, Canada writes: Agree with DM above - the 1980's are over and so is the NEP! Time to move on Alberta! I do agree with Peter Kells' comment aboug Joe Clark, though. I'm generally a Liberal but I have to say that Joe was the nicest of all of them and it is too bad he had such a bad run of luck. The same applies to Jimmy Carter in the US - another nice guy who did not finish first, unfortunately.
  151. Michael Doyon from Canada writes: All I want for Christmas is for Brian to crawl back under the rock he slithered out from. And the rest can join him there
  152. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: A number of people have leapt into this discussion with comments to the effect that 'Trudeau ruined the country'. The notable consistency among them is the lack of explanation, support or backup for these assertions. I suggest that we can conclude from that lack that their opinions on that point are based on mere emotion or partisanship rather than on reasoned analysis.
  153. James Cyr from Balmertown, Ontario, Canada writes: NR Connor: for a partial answer (or explanation) as to how Trudeau and the Liberals of the day harmed this country, you have only to look at events of the sixties and seventies. Government spending grew astronomically. The politicization of bureaucracy was initiated under Trudeau, as was the concept of wage and price controls. Government grants grew completely out of control. And for a partial, definitive answer ('reasoned analysis') I refer you to the book: 'The Sorcerer's Apprentices' by Peter Foster.
  154. ALASTAIR JAMES BERRY from nanaimo bc canada, Canada writes: Trudeau ruined Canada Because of Metrification(the half baked stytem is still not working) Because of QUOTAS in the military(and other Federal Agencies) for Francophones(The CBC fired Bill McNeil!) Because he folded up many of the Traditional Armouries. Because he promoted Rochdale and Pestalotsky open universities, both disasters. Because he did not adopt the LeDain Commission report and action it. Because he gave Julius Nyrere an expensive railroad locomotive workshop able to over haul one loco a month but it never did more than three/year.(and he had CAF pilots operating what was virtually a private air taxi service for NYRERE.) Because he said that nobody need work in Canada if they did not want to.....and he subsidized YOUTH TRAVEL round Canada utilizing Militia Armouries. Both disasters. AND BECAUSE HE REPATRIATED CANADA'S CONSTITUTION AND DELIBERATELY EXCLUDED ANY RIGHT OF A CITIZEN TO OWN OR ENJOY his own PRIVATE PROPERTY AND CODIFIED CITIZENS RIGHTS so that ANYTHING THAT WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY STATED AS A RIGHT DID NOT EXIST as a RIGHT for a CITIZEN. THIS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF COMMON LAW WHERE ONLY WHAT WAS SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED was refused to a CITIZEN all other rights remained for the citizenry. AND FINALLY HE WROTE IN THAT WHATEVER HAD EXISTED FOR OUR ABORIGINAL FIRST NATION'S BROTHERS WOULD NOT BE ABRIDGED IN ANY WAY!! CANADA IS STILL SUFFERING FROM THE ABUSE TRUDEAU EXPOSED IT TO!! Desoronto and Caledon are examples but BC has dozens of these confrontations simmering!
  155. Gail Thomas from Canada writes: Earl Anthony from Sudbury..best comments on here. Couldn't have said it better myself. Mulroney was the best PM and now we have another great PM in Harper. Only the lefties find that hard to believe because they know it's true but don't want to admit it. They're just jealous. Louis St. Laurent was also great.
  156. John McCaffery from Australia writes: NR - Is a fragmented and indebted Canada enough examples, or does one need to spell it out?
  157. Brad Reddekopp from Hazelton, British Columbia, Canada writes: Trudeau's best achievement was transferring a measure of power from democratically-elected politicians to the judiciary. I blow my nose at those who think that democracy equals freedom. ;)
  158. e. fischer from Canada writes: regarding Mahesh Uttamchandani's comments:

    Thank you for your well-reasoned commentary. I absolutely agree. The article in question appears somewhat short-sighted. It seems to, purposefully or not, misinterpret Mr. Trudeau's considerable achievements.

    The Charter dragged Canada (albeit, judging from some of these comments, kicking and screaming) into the 21st century. Yes, it is true, one only has to compare the Canadian legal and social environment with that of the U.S. to understand the ramifications. And having lived in Quebec, I can assure the writer of this article that separatism was alive and seething well before Mr. Trudeau appeared on the polical landscape and if anything, multi-culturalism helped defuse that situation.
  159. Etienne Forest from Japan writes: Trudeau's multiculturalism and his Charter (which americanized us to the bone despite the usual claims by the Libs that the Cons lick the butts of the Yanks), will destroy us.

    Trudeau was the most important prime minister Canada ever had and we will pay for that. As for reducing the 'French fact' in Canada, well the only reason we still have an English fact is because English is the lingua franca of the world.

    But honestly Sharia in French or English, and all the bending over backwards to accomodate despicable practices from abroad, it is Trudeau's destructive legacy. In whatever language it comes in, it sucks.

    What was wrong fundamentally before Trudeau came in? Our grandparents fought and die for a pre-Trudeau, pre-Charter and pre-multicultural Canada. It could not have been that bad...
  160. e. fischer from Canada writes: Etienne Forest:

    'But honestly Sharia in French or English, and all the bending over backwards to accomodate despicable practices from abroad, it is Trudeau's destructive legacy. In whatever language it comes in, it sucks'

    Yes, that is unfortunately true. But at the time of the introduction of these policies, no one could have imagined the ugly re-emergence of religious fundamentalism. Remember, this was the 60's, a time of, perhaps foolish, idealism. The hope that human beings, finally sick of wars and destruction, learn to treat eachother fairly and with kindness.
  161. A B from Calgary Area, Canada writes: 'It's about time that the Canadian people give a chance to someone coming from the West for a change! If
    Stephen Harper......'

    LOL.... Stevie Harpler is from the TORONTO area.
  162. Michael Crowell from Halifax, Canada writes: After 10 years of the RCMP, the Justice Department and journalists working full time investigating PM Mulroney not one criminal charge has ever been laid. Ah Canadians the kind, warm hearted people we are will give people like Omar Kadar the benefit of the doubt yet Mulroney is guilty because the journalists said so. All we heard was Airbus kickbacks. Now that that has been disproven everyone jumps down another hole. Timelines are kicked around as if everything he has done was while he was the PM. So all you Mulroney haters please put the criminal charges on the table so we can all see for ourselves your allegations. What PM Mulroney did and does as a private citizen is his business. I am trying to get hold of Stevie Cameron for a frank conversation but she has disappeared. Stevie should give the money back to all those who bought her books. She is the one who lied. It is amazing just how stupid so many Canadians really are forming opinions on a CBC 10 second news clip.
  163. Simply Red from Canada writes: Mulroney the best PM?

    This shameless, American butt-kissing, thousand-dollar- bills- in- the- basement- safe- hiding poor boy who was so insecure he thought he had to bring his FAMILY into parliament so he could (sort of) apologize for a collossal and REPEATED error of judgment -- the kind of error that would have landed anyone else in the slammer for tax evasion (and under investigation by the RCMP for producing income for which there was no discernable paper trail) -- you think HE's the best PM???

    He rolled the dice with our country -- oversaw the resignation of more ministers for conduct unbecoming, engineered the election of Stephen Harper, that soulless right-wing idealogue -- and you think he's the best we can do? Remember the recession? The jobs lost, the homes lost, the families wrecked -- and he was worried he didn't have enough money to outfit his new mansion in Westmount after leaving politics? Give me a break!
  164. Etienne Forest from Japan writes: I forgot to add: Trudeau was not only the most influential PM but perhaps the smartest as well.

    Quebec excelled in producing 'pain-in-the-butt' smart politicians. The two most undemocratic leaders in Canadian history (Trudeau and Mayor Drapeau) conspired to give us the 1970 War Measure act. Just read the letters Drapeau and his police chief wrote to Trudeau... now that we need this to combat gang warfare in Toronto, these two dictators are in their grave...

    Then we had Rene Levesque and Lucien Bouchard....

    So I feel happy that finally in Mr. Harper we have someone from Alberta (well Toronto originally) who is on par with the likes of Trudeau....

    Western Canada deserves to have a chance to remodel our country. They are a dynamic place. Take the Reform movement: even if you do not agree with it, like the original separatists in Quebec and Trudeau, it was under Manning, a fresh ideological movement of dedicated grassroot workers. The Libs in Quebec or Progressive Conservatives were a corrupt shell.... Just look at Stronach buying her way with fake Quebec delegates in a failed attempt to hijack the new PC. Sickening....

    OK Bed time here in Japan.... good luck Canada.
  165. Zacarihia Smith from Montreal, Canada writes: Fair is fair.I wanna 10 year investigation for the liberal government from 1993 to 2006. I wanna know more about Shawinigate and hotels and golf courses and grants before approved and I wanna know more about adscam.What about all the boxes they took out of the house last summer from the adscam guy the friend of cretin.I wanna know about all the big contracts and i wanna know about all the lobby groups at that time.I wanna know more about helicopters and french lobby groups and cretin's nephew being the ambassidor to france.i wanna know a lot about that time.I wanna investigate why we paid 500 million dollars to cancel a helicopter deal.I wanna full investiation in HRDC that one aint over by a longshot.Bring it on and lets wash all the laundry.
  166. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Once again,I agree with Etienne (even if I think that ,this time, he is a little bit 'mechant' with women) and I still think that Trudeau (a Montrealer and a Quebecer) has been the worst Prime Minister of Canada.
  167. Cynthia MacLean from Windsor, Canada writes: We may have missed our chance to have the best Prime Minister since Pearson. Trudeau would be my choice from the list that is there.
  168. Clive Gingell from Ottawa, Canada writes: I wonder how many Trudeau supporters actually experienced the screw-ups he wrought, and how many are merely mouthing the platitudes they 'learned' at school?
  169. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: The idea is not to be wright,or to be wrong ;but to give our comments.And on this,I think the Globe & Mail gives everybody,here in Canada,the chance to do it. It'a about time that (thanks to the internet) we start the dialogue and not always let the politicians speak in our name.
  170. Gronck the realist from Canada writes: AGREED. PERIOD
  171. Cynthia MacLean from Windsor, Canada writes: Clive: I lived through Trudeau's time and yes he made some bad decisions but I was certainly prouder to be a Canadian then than I am under the current regme.
  172. M W from Williams Lake Bc, Canada writes: The author has to be paid by the conservative party, Not Mulroney's PC party as he was such a bad PM that in one election it went from being the party forming the government to not existing as a party. That is Mr Mulroney's legacy. Government so bad that the people of Canada eliminated the party.
  173. Clive Gingell from Ottawa, Canada writes: Cynthia: We must agree to disagree. I actually voted for Trudeau, first time around, before I realized he was an unmitigated disaster.

    Cheers.
  174. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: James Cyr writes: NR Connor: for a partial answer ... Government spending grew astronomically. The politicization of bureaucracy was initiated under Trudeau, as was the concept of wage and price controls. Government grants grew completely out of control. And for a partial, definitive answer ('reasoned analysis') I refer you to the book: 'The Sorcerer's Apprentices' by Peter Foster.

    ================

    Thank you for your reply. I'll address each of the issues you raise...

    Deficit spending - it is true that Trudeau originated substantial deficit spending. However, his spending was not ruinous -- much of it has proved to be valuable investment in physical and social infrastructure which we benefit from today. By contrast, Mulroney DOUBLED the debt with nothing to show for it. Therefore, to blame Trudeau's spending is misplaced. See my next post for further replies...
  175. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: James Cyr from Balmertown, Ontario, Canada writes: ... The politicization of bureaucracy was initiated under Trudeau, as was the concept of wage and price controls. Government grants grew completely out of control. ...

    =================

    1. Regarding politicization of the bureaucracy, my memory differs completely from yours. Bilingual requirements in the bureaucracy grew, but politicization in the sense of partisanship did not.

    2. Whether wage and price controls were a good idea or not, they can hardly be called a ruination of the country. Same for government grants.
  176. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: ALASTAIR JAMES BERRY writes: Trudeau ruined Canada Because of... Metrification ...QUOTAS in the military(and other Federal Agencies) for Francophones ... he folded up many of the Traditional Armouries.... promoted Rochdale and Pestalotsky open universities, ... did not adopt the LeDain Commission report ... gave Julius Nyrere an expensive railroad locomotive workshop ... and he had CAF pilots operating what was virtually a private air taxi service for NYRERE.) ... he said that nobody need work in Canada ... he subsidized YOUTH TRAVEL round Canada utilizing Militia Armouries ... DELIBERATELY EXCLUDED ANY RIGHT OF A CITIZEN TO OWN OR ENJOY his own PRIVATE PROPERTY AND CODIFIED CITIZENS RIGHTS so that ANYTHING THAT WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY STATED AS A RIGHT DID NOT EXIST as a RIGHT for a CITIZEN. ...AND FINALLY HE WROTE IN THAT WHATEVER HAD EXISTED FOR OUR ABORIGINAL FIRST NATION'S BROTHERS WOULD NOT BE ABRIDGED IN ANY WAY!! ... ============ Thank you for your reply. My first thought is that most of those policy complaints are absurdly minor as evidence of 'ruining' the country. (Metric and youth travel destroyed Canada? Oh please.) Next, it seems to me that most of your major complaints refer to changes that upset you in an ideological sense, rather than being objectively harmful to the wellbeing of the people. Last, some of your complaints appear to be based on a mistaken understanding of key facts. In particular, you misunderstand the structure of rights under common law and its interaction with the Charter. The Charter is directed solely at governments and did not in any way remove previous rights from individuals.
  177. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: .....this is hardly surprising coming from a Fraser Institute paid hack...they obviously like the GST and the free trade deal....
  178. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: John McCaffery from Australia writes: NR - Is a fragmented and indebted Canada enough examples, or does one need to spell it out?

    ===============

    Thank you for your question. A fragmented and indebted Canada are perhaps less than ideal, but (1) fragmentation is not Trudeaus legacy, it is Mulroney's. (2) Whether debt is bad or not depends on how big the debt is relative to your ability to pay and what the money was used for. Taking out a mortgage you can afford to buy a home is sensible. Running up credit card debts you can't afford to go to the movies is not. History indicates that Trudeau, for the most part was doing the former and Mulroney was doing the latter. Accordingly, attempting argue that Trudeau is to blame for ruining the country with debt is a reductionist (probably partisan driven) argument at best. I refer you to my earlier post discussing debt and deficit charts for the relevant years, above.
  179. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Simply Red from Canada writes: Mulroney the best PM?

    This shameless, American butt-kissing, thousand-dollar- bills- in- the- basement- safe- hiding poor boy who was so insecure he thought he had to bring his FAMILY into parliament so he could (sort of) apologize for a collossal and REPEATED error of judgment ...

    ============

    Yes, that WAS a strange thing to do, wasn't it. Bring his wife along -- okay. But what was bringing in his four cream-fed beneficiaries supposed to prove?
  180. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Zacarihia Smith from Montreal, Canada writes: Fair is fair.I wanna 10 year investigation for the liberal government from 1993 to 2006. I wanna know more about Shawinigate and hotels and golf courses and grants before approved and I wanna know more about adscam.What about all the boxes they took out of the house last summer from the adscam guy the friend of cretin.I wanna know about all the big contracts and i wanna know about all the lobby groups at that time.I wanna know more about helicopters and french lobby groups and cretin's nephew being the ambassidor to france.i wanna know a lot about that time.I wanna investigate why we paid 500 million dollars to cancel a helicopter deal.I wanna full investiation in HRDC that one aint over by a longshot.Bring it on and lets wash all the laundry.

    ===============

    Right on. Lets investigate both former governments, in chronological order.
  181. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ....doesn't the selling of the government's furnishings count for anything?...this is really thievery...not mentioning the passing of thousand dollar bills in hotel rooms....this article is an insult to the intelligence of all Canadians....Gibson now shares the same credibility as Lyin' Brian....
  182. Beleaguered Middle-Class from Canada writes: If we were voting on closet communist wannabes, then Trudeau and Chretien would win hands down.

    The best PM the country saw since Pearson would be Mulroney. He saved Canada by negotiating the free trade deal. The only down side was that he and his cabinet dealth the dollar to get the Americans on side.

    Other than that his was definitley a noteworthy run, the other two simply bought the votes they needed with plenty of taxpayer dollars.
  183. Clive Gingell from Ottawa, Canada writes: What should be remembered is that, for most of Mr Mulroney's tenure, interest rates were high worldwide, with Government of Canada Bonds often paying 10-11%, this meant that repayment of debt run up during the Trudeau years cost a %$#@ of a lot more to repay, with government services to maintain and only one taxpayer to cover the bill........so the debt increased.

    http://www.bankofcanada.ca/pdf/annual_page10.pdf
  184. Barney Panofsky from Vancouver, Canada writes: Carter is not a good man. He is a arrogant do-gooder posing as a saint.
    Trudeau was a tyrant posing as an intellectual. Trudeau's accomplishments were minimal in hindsight. Many of our social issues today are a direct result of Trudeau's policies. The national debt, immigration issues, and others (such as marriage etc.) have become extremely devisive in our society. Personally a miser, he spent us into debt as no prime minister before him. Having no experience in the real world, his fanciful agenda was a waste of time and our resources.
    Yes, Peirson was our last good leader. The good news is that Harper will become such a leader if we are wise enough to give him the time and trust he has already proven he deserves.
  185. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: There's just too much absurdity in so many of these comments. It's getting hard to take.

    Defenders of Mulroney selectively ignore his corruption and the disasters he created (Meech - Charlottetown - Bloc Quebecois - Resurgent separatism).

    Detractors of Trudeau claim destruction based on minor complaints and blame him for the debt that Mulroney doubled.

    Pfaugh!
  186. My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: Mulroney should be disbarred.

    The wuss left because he knew he would have his arse trounced in an election. Trudeau stayed and took it like a man.

    And let's not forget, the WHOLE country chased Brian, Kim & Co. out of office.
  187. b mac from Canada writes: Harper and Pearson are very similar. Both are / were honest, hard working and both had the public interest at heart.
    .....................................................................
    Unlike the current Liberals and NDP who put their party first and their country second, both Pearson and Harper put the country first and their party second..
  188. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Defenders of Mulroney selectively ignore his corruption and the disasters he created (Meech - Charlottetown - Bloc Quebecois - Resurgent separatism

    My reply to NR Connor:

    All these were created by LIBERALS dissidents (Jean Chretien,Clyde Wells,etc).Mulroney almost succeded to reunite this country and get the Constitution signed by everybody.Separatism was created by Trudeau and his arrogance.The Bloc came after all this, because the Quebecers had lost all their faith in federal politicians.It's well written on all our license plates: JE ME SOUVIENS.
  189. 1 1=1.999999 not 2, not 3 from Canada writes: I too respect Mulroney for his great attempts and his great achievements, notwithstanding his loose concept of the truth...
  190. rob murray from Canada writes: A very Interesting article , Mr.Gibson . I would mostly agree with the main points of your essay, but. I do believe one of Mr Mulroney complete stubborness and ego where the main motivations involved in his attempts to unify Canada. Mainly a desire to accomplish what Mr Trudeau could not and have a legacy that would surpass his in the eyes of historians. As for his current issue those are best left for another article. In your closing , we did get who and what we voted for and undoubtly with our choices today not much will improve in the short term. Which brings the question of electoral reform, which if we had such a thing Undoubtly Mr. Chretien would not have had his czar like rule of the country for a decade. All in all a interesting perspective and a good read
  191. Clive Gingell from Ottawa, Canada writes: NR Connor: I guess compound interest doesn't ring a bell?
  192. Mark Lanovaz from B.C., writes: My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: Mulroney should be disbarred.

    The wuss left because he knew he would have his arse trounced in an election. Trudeau stayed and took it like a man.

    Funny, why didn't Trudeau run in 1984? He ran and left Turner to take the fall.
  193. Blair . from confused, Canada writes:
    So Mulroney is being lauded for bringing in the GST because it was a more efficient tax, helped putting the country on better financial footings, etc etc, etc.

    Would be interested so see what the opinions of those lauding the GST think of the economics behind Harper reducing the same tax.
  194. My Gestalt! from Canada writes: Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, It's well written on all our license plates: JE ME SOUVIENS

    =========================================

    Well, in your case, as well as that of most Quebeckers, the plate should read Je me souviens tres selectivement! If you had any clue about recent history, you would know it was a Harper that scuttled Meech Lake and not Clyde Wells.

    Elijah Harper, NDP, caused a filibuster in the Manitoba legislature that effectively saw the MLA go unratified in Manitoba. Consequently, there was never any need for a vote in Newfoundland because Manitoba effectively killed the deal.

    Mulroney contributed to creating the Bloc, not Chretien or anyone else. Even Mulroney can't stand that traitor Lucien Bouchard so I suggest you get outside, shovel through the 25cm of snow and get yourself some proper plates for the future.
  195. My Gestalt! from Canada writes: Mark Lanovaz from B.C., writes: My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: Mulroney should be disbarred.

    The wuss left because he knew he would have his arse trounced in an election. Trudeau stayed and took it like a man.

    Funny, why didn't Trudeau run in 1984? He ran and left Turner to take the fall.
    ==============================================
    Trudeau got smacked around by Clark and was asked by the party to fight the 1980 election. He did, and won. Three years later, after 15 years as PM and in the interests of the party, not himself, he left.

    He could have left in 1980 but the party wanted him to stay. I didn't see the Conservatives clamoring to keep Brian around wheh he wanted out. And leaving after 15 years in power and five elections can hardly be described as running away.
  196. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: ... All these were created by LIBERALS dissidents (Jean Chretien,Clyde Wells,etc).Mulroney almost succeded to reunite this country and get the Constitution signed by everybody.Separatism was created by Trudeau and his arrogance.The Bloc came after all this, because the Quebecers had lost all their faith in federal politicians.It's well written on all our license plates: JE ME SOUVIENS.

    =========

    Mulroney's 'solution' was clearly unacceptable to Canadians. In any event, there was no need for any constitutional meddling -- Quebec's signature was not required. In fact, Quebec's resistance to repatriation was rather offensive and silly, being based on it's unreasonable demand for a veto in the amending formula. Separatism long predate Trudeau as you would well know if indeed you did 'souvien'.
  197. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Clive Gingell from Ottawa, Canada writes: NR Connor: I guess compound interest doesn't ring a bell?

    ===============

    Now that you bring it up, I will mention that part of how Mulroney doubled the debt (apart from inflated contracts to cronies and lavish entertaining) was (1) placing debt off-shore, and (2) maintaining a high dollar/high interest rate policy so that debt repayment was more costly.

    Thanks for coming out.
  198. V ADS from Canada writes: Zando Lee, the Mulroneys did not try to sell 'the government's furniture'. They tried to sell their excess furniture to the government.
  199. James Cyr from Balmertown, Ontario, Canada writes: N R. Connor: Of course Trudeau did not 'ruin the country'--after all, we are still here. His policies, however, and those of the government of the day, did a lot of harm to the social and economic fabric of this country. The examples I gave above are but a few.
  200. Gord Lewis from fair trade or no trade, Canada writes: What a piece of condescending drivel. I did not have to wait until Mulroney's demise in 1993 to despise him . . . that began when he stabbed Clark in the back. As now as it turns out, there may have been foreign influence. On free trade, please don't lecture me on the undiluted benefits of it . . . remember the giddily abusive fool named Reisman who was charged with negotiations, while the Yanks were laughing at him behind his back? Get a deal at all costs! Did anyone seriously believe the Yanks would get into a poker game without the cards being marked? Of course no one can be against more trade, but the agreements that were foisted on us were more about the free movement of capital, jobs, and materials for the benefit of corporations. I was ridiculed at the time for suspecting it, and today take no satisfaction in saying 'I told you so', now that the Yanks have worn us out on soft-wood lumber (and our current obsequious Tory government making a terrible 'deal' to try and salvage something. The cost of being 'good neighbours' I suppose). And most of the economic 'boom' would have happened regardless. On Qubec - how did they manage to find two tories to rub together, never mind 70 ?? Turns out we were duped again, since most turned out to be separatists. Meech lake was more about Mulroney's 'legacy' than about national unity. A bad deal that I was happy to see shot down. Mulroney's legacy is a sad one of vainglory, self-aggrandizement, and dirty politics. And that stupid duet with Reagan still makes me cringe when I recall it. It is a sad commentary on the Canadian character (I am an immigrant) that we suffer these 'elites' . . . nothing much has changed since the Family Compact.
  201. Comments are Closed from Toronto, Canada writes: Sorry but this is one story that won't get a rise out of me. No PM has been so deserving of damnatio memoriae than Muldoon and his other thugs.
  202. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    NR Connor from TO, Good afternoon NRC-obviously you are staying off the streets today.....

    In regards to your mention of the Mulroney Meech-Charllotetown, I believe his intentions were good and honourable, but perhaps his timing was not.

    The shadow of the Trudeau arrogance was still evident, and he did not stay quiet, or some would say, to be overshone by Mulroney in uniting the country-A failed part of the Trudeau legacy

    After the fiasco of the repatriation of the Constitution, ( Night of the Long Knives...) Rene Levesque and Trudeau had just gone through the wars with each other. Those two would have never gotten along.

    Levesque had the charisma and heart or the Quebec people, but was jealous of the supposed Trudeau 'class,' while Trudeau could never win the hearts of Quebecers and was seen as a power hungry man- never believing in any form of de-centralized government-hence, the problem still exists today.

    What was also amusing about the national referendum was that the ROC voted NO-believing they would be giving too much power away, while Quebec also voted NO-believing they were NOT receiving enough power.

    How ironic!

    .
  203. Gord Lewis from fair trade or no trade, Canada writes: continued . . .

    Trudeau, with all his faults, was the only leader we have had who stood up to Washington. And he was extremely intelligent and articulate -- you will be reviled for that in this country. Slam the intellectual elites while the power/money elites make off with the loot. And once again it has taken the Yanks to show us how to prosecute one of them, in Chicago.
  204. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: I have to reply to:

    a) My Gestalt! : I knew about Elijah Harper (and his feather);but it's not Mulroney that created the Bloc. It's the failure of The Meech Lake Accord.
    Robert Bourassa (a liberal and convinced federalist) was the Premier and was backed-up by the whole National Assembly.Quebec will always want to preserve it's special status (only french-speaking nation inside Canada and North-America)

    b) NR Connor : How can you say that the Quebec demands were unreasonables,since the federal and 9 out of 10 Provinces were ready to 'live with it'. Separatism (FLQ /RIN/PQ) were created in the Trudeau's years.Before that,there were no organized rebellions,in Quebec,since 1837 (before the British North-American Act)
  205. P Jones from NB, Canada writes: The best? Stephen Harper

    The worst? TRUDEAU ... there can be no other
  206. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: R.Carriere---Good comment! ....and now I am going out to shovel!!!
  207. vijay r from edmonton, Canada writes: the best pm is the one where at the end of their term we can ask ourselves are we better off than we were prior to their term.... the best pm is without question jean chretien, he kept us out of the iraq war, this is without question is greatest achievement in addition to our soaring economy despite inheriting a disaster from mulrooney.... it is quite clear had chairman harper been pm we would be knee deep in that disaster. harper should be included because he without question the worst pm this country has ever had, far worse than mulrooney.
  208. Clive Gingell from Ottawa, Canada writes: Eric Margolis, (who I am usually no fan of), on Trudeau:

    http://www.ericmargolis.com/archives/2000/10/trudeau_canadas.php
  209. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    vijay r from edmonton, Canada writes: the best pm is the one where at the end of their term are we better off than we were prior to their term.... the best pm is without question Jean Chretien.

    Good afternoon VR;

    Perhaps a much better analysis is how he is portrayed in history some 10-20-50 years later. Contrary to your respected beliefs, I feel he will go down of one of the WORST PM's to ever hold the position.

    -Chretien almost lost the country in 1995 when he went AWOL during the Quebec referendum.

    -While credit is given about 'taming the deficit,'reality was Canada was moving towards better economic times and many expenses were downloaded to the Provinces.

    -Kyoto was signed and ratified, yet the reasons were for legacy purposes only-knowing very well that there would be NO effort to achieve the goals of Kyoto.

    - Iraq war? The truth remains we had nothing to offer-were not asked to contribute 'boots,' yet still 'quietly' supported with vessels in the Gulf!

    - Toronto SARS? AWOL again!

    - ADSCAM?

    - A 2 year global adventure to say 'good-bye' to friends around the world using tax payers dollars!

    - Clarity Act? A Harper/Manning idea
    .
  210. Beleaguered Middle-Class from Canada writes: Mark Lanovaz from B.C., writes: My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: Mulroney should be disbarred.

    The wuss left because he knew he would have his arse trounced in an election. Trudeau stayed and took it like a man.

    Funny, why didn't Trudeau run in 1984? He ran and left Turner to take the fall.

    The answer is easy, My Gestalt was not born at that time, He knows nothing of the real Trudeau years, leftist idiot that he is.
  211. Bergeil DeBungie from Victroia, Canada writes: The only people who deal in cash payments in the 100's of thousands of dollars on the hush-hush are those who sell drugs/guns/humans......oh and Brian Mulroney too!
  212. Jack Knight from Canada writes: THE RECENT LIBERAL PRIME MINISTERS OF CANADA HAVE BEEN DEVIOUS AND PLEASE NOTE MANY OTHERS WOULD CALL THEM BLATANT LIARS. ONE OF THEM CAMPAIGNED AGAINST WAGE AND PRICE CONTROLS AND AS SOON AS HE WAS ELECTED THESE CONTROLS WERE BROUGHT FORTH. ONE OF THEM CAMPAIGNED AGAINST THE GST AND SAID IT WOULD BE REPEALED IF ELECTED AND WHEN ELECTED THEY CONVENIENTLY FORGOT ABOUT THEIR PLEDGE. ONE OF THE THEM CAMPAIGNED AGAINST FREE TRADE AND THE LIST CONTINUES. COULD ONE NOT FAIRLY SAY THESE LIBERAL PRIME MINISTERS WERE IN FACT LIARS?
  213. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: Mr. B Mac - aside from the fact that this forum was about past prime ministers (not Mr. Harper) I think that your comparison of Mr. Harper to Mr. Pearson is a bit of a stretch. Mr. Pearson acquired his reputation as an effective diplomat and politician by following a simple rule - he always negotiated in such a way that his adversary could change direction while still saving face. Mr. Harper has exhibited none of these qualities.

    Also, Mr. Pearson's early life experience was in the Great War. After having seen the horror, he spent the rest of his life trying to find another way to resolve issues of human conflict. Consequently he was a mulilateralist and was strongly involved in the formation of the United Nations and other international organizations. I see no parallel with Mr. Harper here either in terms of life experience or approach. If anything, Mr. Harper has shown a predilection to simplistic military solutions.

    Thirdly, Mr. Pearson oversaw the most productive minority government in the history of Canada - why? Because he had the skills and the wisdom to bring people of opposing views to concensus. Mr. Harper is presiding over the most acrimonious, and outright nasty sessions of parliament in the history of Canada - why? Because Mr. Harper neither has the skills or the desire to reach consensus. He has an agenda to impose and offers 'take it or leave it' proposals.

    To compare Mr. Stephen Harper to the likes of Lester Bowles Pearson is at best a travesty!
  214. My Gestalt! from Canada writes: Beleaguered Middle-Class from Canada writes: Mark Lanovaz from B.C., writes: My Gestalt! from Montreal, Canada writes: Mulroney should be disbarred.

    The wuss left because he knew he would have his arse trounced in an election. Trudeau stayed and took it like a man.

    Funny, why didn't Trudeau run in 1984? He ran and left Turner to take the fall.

    The answer is easy, My Gestalt was not born at that time, He knows nothing of the real Trudeau years, leftist idiot that he is.
    ===========================================

    That you can't argue the point but have to resort to name calling says far more about you than me. Your screen name gives away a sheep mentality too as it's a heavily borrowed MSM catchphrase.

    Not that it's important to my argument but I've been voting in federal elections since the late 70's and as a Quebecker, have a better appreciation of Trudeau and Mulroney than you need to know.

    When you greet family or friends over the holidays, use the term leftist idiot because there's a high probability that some of them have voted liberal in the past and will do so again in the future.

    Good luck with the rest of the beleagured, sounds like you'll need it.
  215. Dana Cruickshank from Canada writes: All of Canada's prime ministers of recent years have been rather dismal. None of them seem to unite the country at all. But maybe thats a problem with the people of Canada having so many different opinions about different things, along with a very high fear level and caution level in canadian citizens have problably made it impossible to unite everyone. The last truely great prime minister, a man of stature, was probably King. For me, the best is Mulroney hands down, Trudeau didn't do a great job, he was just a man of great charisma and was larger than life. Chretien was the ultimate politician. I still don't know what he thought about anything, he just went by what thought would get him elected. Good for him, probably bad for the country.
  216. Dana Cruickshank from Canada writes: Also we should probably note that Pearson came at a time of oppurtunity for Canada. Canada was still largely British, supported the 'empire' for the most part, and all of the Canadian diplomats were good ol' Oxford and Cambridge boys who had high connections and could make deals. Canada needed to be multilateral at this time (to make sure that US would support Europe, and that they would stay in NATO) and Pearon recognized this. He did what was needed, but he had a lot of advantages that none of these other guys did.
  217. Sam G from Toronto, Canada writes: Since the author of this article did not find it important, I would like to remind everyone that Canada became an independent and souvereign country thanks to efforts of Pierre Trudeau. Whatever your opinion of that man, his contribution to Canada's brand on the international scene is undeniable.

    I find it very strange that Trudeau's name is not on any landmarks in Toronto. There are plenty of landmarks which celebrate glorious past when Canada was still a British colony (or a dominion, same thing).

    Or maybe we should all strive to bring Canada back under UK's colonial wing, together with some banana islands?
  218. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: 'I would like to remind everyone that Canada became an independent and souvereign country thanks to efforts of Pierre Trudeau.'

    What a shame!

    Canada has still a Constitution rapatriated by a 'coup de force' and has maintained a few links with the British Crown (we still have Governors Generals who represent the British Queen).And please ,never forget that all this has been done without the signature of Quebec (one of the founding nations)
  219. Sam G from Toronto, Canada writes: Vianney, let me be clear: the world sees Canada as an independent and souvereign country thanks to efforts of Pierre Trudeau. Consequently, the question of who was the best PM will be closely related to the Canadian view of national identity (not its international perception), which is still pro-royalist. Maybe there is still a chance to re-join the British Empire, and re-live glorious past and finally wipe out Pierre Trudeau from history for his contribution. What do you think?

    As of Quebec's signature (and attitudes) remind me more of those radiated from the Balkans than from a self-proclaimed civilized place.

    Small-mindedness can be boundless. Just look at some of the PM's on the list.
  220. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Sam,I understand your point;but I don't share your opinion over Trudeau.For me (and for most Quebecers) he has been the worst PM since Pearson for the reasons I (and some others persons) mentionned before.
  221. Beleaguered Middle-Class from Canada writes: My Gestalt: I suppose you approve of Trudeau putting troops in your streets then?

    He was the worst PM the country ever saw, and successfully divided the country along linguistic lines with the joke that is official bilingualism.

    Nice handle by the way, unfortunatley you need to become aware of its' meaning.
  222. Sam G from Toronto, Canada writes: Vianney, I understand your point as well although I do not share it.

    The real difficulty here is that PMs were serving themselves first and Canada second. Mulroney is the best example for that. I am too young to remember Pearson but any pro-British Empire politician is just a puppet of some funny-hat regime. Chretien was the funniest puppet of all and even talked like one - and even forgot to clean up his dirty laundry before departure.

    The best PM is yet to come; one that will make Canada a truly modern country, without ties to some decrepit empire and which will be proud to call itself a democracy rather than 'parliamentary monarchy'.

    Also, I doubt that anyone in Quebec really knows what the fuss between Quebec and rest of Canada is all about. Kind of like Middle East but without bullets and burning tires.
  223. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: 'The best PM is yet to come; one that will make Canada a truly modern country, without ties to some decrepit empire and which will be proud to call itself a democracy rather than 'parliamentary monarchy'.

    I have to agree with you ,Sam,especially on this (up above).You seem to be a very clever and intelligent man.Nevertheless,it's not only in Quebec that people ignore the fuss that exist between us because of some of the leaders that WE voted for in the past.In french we saÿ : 'On a ce qu'on merite'
  224. George Hall from Canada writes: Whatever PM is responsible for producing balanced budgets makes it with me...this has led to a lot of prosperity.
    I don't understand how the writer can say Mulroney did good for the environment.
    Trudeaus panache, free spirit, intellect and compassion gave many Canadians pride
    I think Muldoneys business acumen in hidsight has served Canada ok for now but he was far too cosy to America.
    Pearsons winning of the Nobel Prize gave Canada worldwide respect as a role model for a peacekeeping nation and it is only of late that has fallwn to the wayside
  225. s t from montreal, Canada writes: I met in person six of our former Prime Ministers.
    Here is my assessment.
    a. Trudeau-- Highly intelligent (met him on the street)
    b. Clark --Passive not exactly a leader! (met him in a convention)
    c. Turner -- Ignores the 'common man' (met him on a plane!)
    d. Martin -- He wanted to mark his father's missed opportunity. (met him in the House)
    e. Chretien- like he says a small town man...he could have never risen to be a high intellectual...but
    loved the country. (met him in a professional association meeting)
    f. Mulroney --I was afraid to extend my 'hand' for fear he would want connections and power--I had none!! (met him in Ottawa)
    who was the best Prime Minister? No idea -- I judge people by their approach to the people of this nation.
    Voila.
  226. Sam G from Toronto, Canada writes: Beleaguered Middle-Class: I doubt that Trudeau divided Canada as you suggest.

    Try this. When you go back to the office, announce loud and clear that you decided to learn French. Thunderous cynical laughter from your fellow coworkers and citizens of Canada will draw the line you are ascribing to Trudeau.

    You may get brownie points with HR clowns, because they are all about diversity.
  227. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: James Cyr from Balmertown, Ontario, Canada writes: N R. Connor: Of course Trudeau did not 'ruin the country'--after all, we are still here. His policies, however, and those of the government of the day, did a lot of harm to the social and economic fabric of this country. The examples I gave above are but a few.

    ===========

    I can't say I agree. I would summarize the problems Trudeau particularly can be blamed for as follows:

    -failing to be realistic about the costs of bilingualism
    -failing during all his years to address the Native issues
    -being dismissive of Western concerns when diplomacy would have served better
    -to an extent, perpetuating Canada's culture of political patronage
    -not realizing early enough that deficit spending could cause trouble.

    And that's about it. Hardly a perfect record, but balanced against his accomplishments it puts him far out ahead of most other PMs.
  228. David Gibson from Hamilton, Canada writes: It is true that if you asked Canadians who the best PM was, they would take it as a question of popularity contest. Very few think in terms of policy, and if you asked which PM was best as regards policy, most people would not know what you meant by policy. People want someone who is touchy-feely and talks with a mouthful of sugar. One is not to take it very seriously. A very un-serious political system has been constructed, and it should be treated as such.
  229. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Trudeau is the reason we have so many stupid mis led people in this country. We have a twin debt that most the public is not aware of. The twin debt unfunded liabilities to the tune of 2.83 Trillion and the vast majority of it due to the Trudeau dictatorship of give , give give to the people don't tell them how it will be paid for by thier great grand kids. It won't matter I will be retired and out of politics when the bill has to be paid and best of all I can keep getting reelected over and over again. Back when Martin moved Canada pension to a payin payout ratio system what the public was left in the dark about is that 72% of the liabilities was dumped onto the twin debt under a title of the Retirement Income Supplement. So in otherwords when we hear CPP is in good standing that is totally false. It is if you only consider it from payin / payout from the date of the changes but that will not be valid anymore once the 8 million baby boomers come on board over the next few years. Those who will fall under the new CPP payout rules in the future will not even be getting a pension cheque that reachs 30% of the poverty level at that time.

    Back in the 1970's we had a federal government who for every dollar they handed out in expenditures from social programs, present and future entitlement they would only be taken in six percent and pileing up the other 94 cents for the future generations to pay.

    The most destructive leader and influential with the ability to brain wash the people by buying their trust and votes was Trudeau by far.

    What other PM do you know of that had the ability of being able to kick anyone out of his party that went against him? None as Trudeau is the only one who had the charisma to pull it off just as Ronald Regan did in the 80's for the USA.

    Sadly is all parties including the liberial party today now realize the economic destruction Trudeau has caused for todays people and parties to deal with.
  230. George Hall from Canada writes: You are right David Gibson...Joe Clark could have been a good PM and so may Stephen Dion..but I don't think either one these guys is overly charasmatic.
    George Bush is full of charisma but the planet will be lucky to survive his tenure.
  231. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: This column is so pro-Mulroney its laughable and dosnt reflect the polls. He was a party man? Thats quite a feat destroying the founding political party of confederation (it reminds me of the great Robert Charlebois lyric: la difference entre un skuda et le parti conservateur - le skuda il a 4 sieges). Mulroney's great Free Trade feat leading us into great prosperity? Well thats one way of writing economic history - Canadians may not wish to now upset the cart by abrogation, but I dont hear anyone cheering but bankers. And the apartheid in South Africa - Mulroney rode that issue cunningly since apartheid was dying from years and years of international pressure - in the Trudeau era.
    Jean Chretien gets the shaft from this Globe and Mail columnist - sure Chretien was lucky but he also made some tough decisions, and had the best interests of canadians in mind more than lying Brian ever did.
    The odd pro-Mulroney journalist isnt going to change the basic fact - Mulroney was a disgrace to Canada
  232. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes: ...In regards to your mention of the Mulroney Meech-Charllotetown, I believe his intentions were good and honourable, ... The shadow of the Trudeau arrogance was still evident, and he did not stay quiet, or some would say, to be overshone by Mulroney in uniting the country-A failed part of the Trudeau legacy ... After the fiasco of the repatriation of the Constitution, ( Night of the Long Knives...) ... Trudeau could never win the hearts of Quebecers and was seen as a power hungry man- never believing in any form of de-centralized government-hence, the problem still exists today.... ========= Hi RC, I would reply as follows: Mulroney's constitutional forays were for the purpose of self-aggrandizement, nothing else. His high-handed approach in the face of criticism made it worse. Trudeau resisted the proposed changes because they would have been disastrous. The repatriation of the constitution was overdue, and Quebec isolated itself simply because Levesque could not bring himself to accept progress for Canada. I don't know about winning hearts in Quebec, but Trudeau certainly managed to win seats. Finally, despite its great value being an article of faith among some, 'decentralization' is simply a code-word for eviscerated government and dismantling of Canada.
  233. George Hall from Canada writes: I am not an expert by far but thought that Trudeaa made it loud and clear he did not want and would fight vehemently for Canada to be a united country and for Quebec to remain an integral part of it.
    He like Chretien were not going to mollycoddle Quebec separatists.
  234. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes: Would it be the Rt. Hon. Mr. B. Mulroney, an honourable man whose only mistake was that he met with Mr. Karlheinz Schriber?
  235. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Quebec could not survive on thier own but what can people expect but resistance by them as you look to the history of England which was the most hypocrtical nation in the world that exploited and used people and countries all over the world for thier own interests. Sadly I still don't understand how the USA is the most hated country in the world when it should be England. Englands history was to enslave other nations where as the USA was to free them and let them become self relient. Most people including american's don't realize all over the world even in Canada when you are pumping gas into your car you are buying gas that is subsidised by the American Tax payers.

    It is the USA that for 40 yearsspent trillions of dollars to keep aircraft carriers in the gulf just to ensure one Arab country doesn't jump on another thus allowing oil prices to remain stable over decades. This in turn allowed countries economies to grow also without the worry of energy shortages.

    Now I know some people are going to say not true as we have our own oil. Oil is priced on a gloabl scale and supplies will move to where higher prices would be paid leaving Canada's population short of it's own oil if they would not be willing to pay what others around the world will. Thus higher and unstable prices here at home.
  236. Beleaguered Middle-Class from Canada writes: Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Trudeau is the reason we have so many stupid mis led people in this country. The most destructive leader and influential with the ability to brain wash the people by buying their trust and votes was Trudeau by far. Sadly is all parties including the liberial party today now realize the economic destruction Trudeau has caused for todays people and parties to deal with.

    Sadly, the Liberal party is too proud to admit that Trudeau was every bit the a##hole Nixon described him as in his infamous tapes. Nixon had it right. Trudeau was a communist and tried to turn us into Cuba North. Small wonder Castro loved him so much. The man was the ultimate disgrace tour fair country. Too bad he brainwashed so many on the way to his glory.
  237. George Hall from Canada writes: I don't think Trudeau was a communist but maybe someone who believed in some level of equality for all Canadians
  238. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Trudeau is the reason we have so many stupid mis led people in this country. We have a twin debt that most the public is not aware of. The twin debt unfunded liabilities to the tune of 2.83 Trillion and the vast majority of it due to the Trudeau dictatorship of give , give give to the people don't tell them how it will be paid for by thier great grand kids.

    ================

    You're full to they eyeballs of the brown and smelly, amigo.

    The combined public debt of all levels of government in Canada is about 800 billion, not your absurd 2.8 trillion.

    Your claim about Trudeau's contribution is utterly false. Mulroney doubled the debt, so at the very least half of the debt is his fault.

    I urge you, and all people who want to blame Trudeau for the fiscal problems Paul Martin eventually addressed to grab a few facts for a change. Review this link:

    http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/887-e.htm#1.%20Operating
  239. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: wow! siding with Nixon over Trudeau? That dosnt seem to me to be a very commonly held opinion nowadays. Of course back in the 1970's the anti communist forces were trying to stop Trudeau from allowing consciencious objectors come to Ontario - and they did come. Wasnt the founder of the Ontario tabloid industry charged with treason for undermining Trudeau's policy? Anti-communist forces indeed.... more like anti democratic

    Sure Trudeau experimented with socialism, and most canadians loved him for trying to navigate the modern world stage. Trudeau was famous and loved around the world for a reason - and it had nothing to do with brown paper envelopes stuffed with thousand dollar bills. As for blaming Trudeau for the economic crisis of 1973 and 1981 its hardly fair. He made mistakes, times were tough, and he successfully asserted the role of the federal government that eventually allowed Chretien to balance the budget. Mulroney's era was also was the cause of debt - Brian can hardly be seen as the good economic manager, unless perhaps you were the recepient of his pork barrell largesse
  240. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: NR Connor from TO That 800 billion is national funded debt I am talking about unfunded Liabilities debt.
    Just so you know the USA has just over a 9 trillion National Debt but they also have a 73 Trillion unfunded Twin debt which makes their future look not very good compared to the rest of the world.
  241. George Hall from Canada writes: I think deficit financing was the rage amongst all the western nations in Trudeaus time....I don't recall too many speaking out against it at the time...and at times when unemployment and interest rates are extremly high times are really tough for a lot of people
  242. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: NR Connor from TO also Unfunded Liabilities debt is not accounted in the Government budgets they work as a pettey cash out system that is not included in the fiscal budget. The budget only accounts for National Debt that is funded from the general accounts.

    All the G7 have twin debts that they don't account in the general budgets and reports.

    Over the next few years when baby boomers come on board the CPP many millions of them will be appling for the RIS which is unfunded and not included in the debt budget. RIS=Retirement income supplement also additional funds for transfer payments to the provinces to help cover the cost of drugs and medical along with other services for the growing elderly who will need assistance and are entitled it under contract laws and entitlement programs signed in the late 60's and enhanced further by the Trudeau government in the 70's. These programs are not included within the fiscal budget and deficit numbers. These programs & expenses when in full force run around 6 times what the national debt is. Don't feel bad though because The USA and England are in the worse shape in the world for twin debt issues. Actaully considering Canada has done some hard but amasing changes under both the Federal Libs and Conservatives after Trudeau. which should help us design new more flexable strategies in the future for budgets and expenditures.
  243. Mike Sumners from Anytown, Canada writes: Why did this 'best of' contest start with Pearson as the standard? It was Pearson and later Trudeau who foisted multiculturalism on Canada and look at the mess that created!
    Mulroney had his faults, but at least he knew who our friends are (the US, the UK, the West in general) and didn't play footsie with Castro or go off half-cocked on some hippy-dippy groovy peace mission like Trudeau did. What an embarrassment that was!
  244. Ryan Lemay from Gatineau, Canada writes: Who balanced the budget?

    Fact: During the Mulroney era the debt skyrocketed, we almost went broke. We almost did. for that we can count ourselves lucky.

    Like him or hate him (of which the National Post was the hate sides campaigns manager) Chetien balanced the books. And no right wing propaganda can whitewash that fact. The 'Liberals' balanced the books. Kinda hard to say, but true!
  245. Jack Knight from Canada writes: Ryan Lemay above, you best do some homework because you have no idea what you are talking about. You said Chretien balanced the books. This may be corect but understand the fact this was done solely through off loading by Martin which any fool could have done. Consequently you are the type of individuals the Liberal Party has brain washed and preyed upon for years.
  246. Sam G from Toronto, Canada writes: Vianney, after reading the comments on this board, I can only say that Canadians deserve the leaders they have. Or, as you wrote: 'On a ce qu'on merite'
  247. Sam G from Toronto, Canada writes: To all the hobby economists on this board who write about PMs and balanced budgets. 'Balancing' you write about came at a huge personal cost of each and every Canadian, through increased taxes. Think EI fund for example. Billions upon billions in govt coffers.

    Continue to pay your exorbitant tax bill. For the love of your fav. PM.
  248. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: NR Connor from TO That 800 billion is national funded debt I am talking about unfunded Liabilities debt.
    Just so you know the USA has just over a 9 trillion National Debt but they also have a 73 Trillion unfunded Twin debt which makes their future look not very good compared to the rest of the world.

    ============

    I guess I am to take it that you are basically talking about projected CPP liabilities. Is that right?
  249. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Jack Knight from Canada writes: ... Chretien balanced the books. This may be corect but understand the fact this was done solely through off loading by Martin which any fool could have done.

    ===================

    That is only part of the story. Martin's deficit turnaround was accomplished through several measures in combination:

    -reduction of federal spending including 'off-loading' and straight cuts,
    -repatriation of debt, so that interest payments accrued within our domestic economy rather than going off shore, and
    -a low dollar/low interest rate policy.
  250. Nick Diederichs from Edmonton, writes: Brian Mulroney made me want to throw a brick through the T.V. Why? Because he was at the heart of it, a man who was in it for himself.
  251. Jeff Hemlin from Vancouver, writes: My vote would go to MacKenzie Bowell, an execrable man, who's government excoriated itself. Oh if only we could have MPs like that today!
  252. D. Patrick from Toronto, Canada writes: Several posts mention Primer Minister Mulroney's poor fiscal record, and, true, national debt spiked during his terms. But his proper contribution is in having started the process of preparing public and political opinion for making fiscal balance a virtue and make the cuts to achieve that. It was on his watch that the Trudeauian ideal of rising spending and an ever expanding state was confronted and stopped. And one must recall that the Liberal party of the day opposed every spending cut proposed. Privately, they had come around to the same view and went much further when in office.
  253. John McCaffery from Australia writes: NR Connor - I can't agree that Mulroney is to blame for a fragmented Canada - certainly Mulroney had some attempts at bringing Canada together, but don't blame him for trying. The only reason Mulroney had to try and bring the country together was due to the damage created by Trudeau. What damage you might say? In a nut shell, Trudeau's aim was to appease the militant separatists, his strategy was to sort of make a Canada that a separatist could love - in doing so he drove Quebec inward, isolated the west, and removed the average Canadian from the federal workings of the country - and this is putting it very mildly.
  254. John McCaffery from Australia writes: NR Connor - one more comment - I see you are from Toronto - have you noticed that Quebec has a federal party that is a separatist party? Have you also noticed that your present federal government was born from a reform or protest party from western Canada? The reason I say this is that I grew up in Ontario - no protest parties from there. Coincidentally, but sadly; I think it was Ontario that allowed Trudeau to succeed in reeking havoc on Canada – funny enough, it also seems mostly people from Ontario that somehow have this fond memory of Trudeau.
  255. Raymond Brisson from United States writes: 'On a ce qu'on merite' and 'Move on folks'.

    Two comments worth repeating.
  256. John McCaffery from Australia writes: Raymond Brisson from United States - it is a bit like coming across an automobile that just blew its engine, and the only thing you can say is: 'move on!' How about helping to fix the engine? Ontario can help fix the engine. i.e. help put a legitimate government in a ruling majority position - I believe Ontario is preventing Canada from going forward. There are huge numbers of people in Ontario that would vote for the liberals even if a monkey was leading them.
  257. Margaret Mean from Vancouver, Canada writes: Trudeau and Chretien were loved by anglo-canadians because of their special way to put Quebec at his place. If an anglo prime minister would have done the same he would have been named racist.
  258. Keith who is from Ottawa, Canada writes: Now we have Americans and Australians pontificating about what they feel would be best for Canada. We like our minority government just fine, thank you. I kind of like democracy and consensus for a change, rather than the usual situation of just going along with the dictates of The Politburo PMO. Checks-and-balances are sometimes nice. Neither of the two mainstream parties deserve an outright majority right now.
  259. Keith who is from Ottawa, Canada writes: Brian Mulroney very nearly drove this country into IMF receivership status. Mulroney was/is a liar and a crook. He was in it for himself and his corporate buddies just like any other good CON. If it wasn't for good friends getting grease-money in high places, no one would give him the time of day. Instead, he has the best lawyers money can buy. This should give you some insight into the 'integrity and accountability' of the CON movement in this country. It's been the same since day one in 1867.
  260. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: Trudeau dealt with Quebec like he should have - it was appropriate at the time. Would a Tory PM have capitulated to a movement that was on the cusp of becoming Ulster? Remember we are talking about a place where a cabinet minister was assasinated and his assassins were folk heros to many. I dont think there is an easy answer.
    Although Quebec is an issue for Ontarians, its being overblown - any PM will have to be tough with Quebec demands no matter what the party.

    I think Ontarians think fondly of Trudeau for the same reason as they remember Chretien: standing up to the USA. Mulroneys leap of faith turned out to be a leap of madness: USA are not free traders and never will be. Harper knows that canadians (especially Ontarians, most that he has written off) dont buy the continental integration solution to everything - thats why Harper does not trumpet his true beliefs. He's a pro-american by stealth, and may end up being a bigger quisling than Mulronbey.

    Its unfair to blame Trudeau for the demographic solitudes that make up Canada - governing this Nations disparate regions, which have little in common historically, is a balancing act. Our modern times have been ever changing and a challenge to any PM.

    Trudeau is remembered as someone who fought for Canadian interests of a just society. Did he make mistakes - sure. Mulroney fought for a North American society - and lied and cheated all along the way and its catching up with him. Harper will no doubt continue the same objectives, but much more cunningly - the true sorcerers apprentice.
  261. T. J. Snowbound from Canada writes: 'Robert Nadeau from Ornex, France writes: With respect to Trudeau's multiculturalism policy, Mr. Gibson states that it 'made the French fact less special, as just one more culture...' How about the English fact? is it special, or just one more (more than what?) culture? '
    In Canada the English fact is not recognized whenever Our Prime Minister is French from Quebec. The English Fact is only recognize at vote getting time. If in Doubt analyze this situation; When choosing a Leader for a Party, Quebec rejects anyone who's French is not good enough. English Canada often gets stuck with unilingual French Leaders as if it was not given the same choice as Quebec. Canada is now stuck with a Liberal Leader that is not fluent in the Language of 9 provinces. You be the judge of fairness for the English fact as you so mention.
  262. Louis Desjardins from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: Mr. Gibson's conclusion is understandable if the question he asked himself was: Bearing in mind the adage: 'What doesn't kill us makes us stronger', who was the best prime minister since Lester Pearson?
  263. Carl White from Canada writes: Raj Rama from Toronto, Canada writes: 'NAFTA opened the doors for our Auto, Telecom and other key sectors to grow and prosper'

    Have they grown and prospered?

    Why do I keep reading about autoworker layoffs. And about NorTel once again reissuing accounting statements and struggling for yet another quarter. And wave after wave of core Canadian companies being bought out by foreign interests? And how white-collar jobs are leaving the country, being 'outsourced'. And recently, an assessment that if it weren't for our resources, Canada would be on par with a 'developing nation'?
  264. Carl White from Canada writes: 'What doesn't kill us makes us stronger'

    Without commenting on the message that was trying to be conveyed, I never did like this adage.

    If you chop off a man's leg and he survives the blood loss, have you made him stronger?
  265. Christopher Kiely from Canada writes: In Mr. Gibson's opinion a bolloxed hoor for money is our best PM ever??? How sad...
  266. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: D. Patrick from Toronto, Canada writes: Several posts mention Primer Minister Mulroney's poor fiscal record, ... It was on his watch that the Trudeauian ideal of rising spending and an ever expanding state was confronted and stopped. ...

    ==========

    But that is simply not true. Mulroney spoke about the need to do that, but it was pure lip-service. The record is quite clear and easy to see if you look at this link:

    http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/887-e.htm#1.%20Operating

    Table 1 shows that Mulroney's years (1983-93) had the highest deficits (almost doubling in 1983 and begining to sharply decline again in 1994).

    Figure 1 shows that expenditures in each of those years we higher than any before.

    Figures 2 and 3 are also instructive.

    I'm not sure whether Mulroney supporters are incapable of understanding this data or if they are unwilling to admit it, but the story is crystal clear -- Mulroney was a fiscal disaster.
  267. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: John McCaffery from Australia writes: NR Connor - I can't agree that Mulroney is to blame for a fragmented Canada - certainly Mulroney had some attempts at bringing Canada together, but don't blame him for trying. The only reason Mulroney had to try and bring the country together was due to the damage created by Trudeau. What damage you might say? In a nut shell, Trudeau's aim was to appease the militant separatists, his strategy was to sort of make a Canada that a separatist could love - in doing so he drove Quebec inward, isolated the west, and removed the average Canadian from the federal workings of the country - and this is putting it very mildly.

    ========

    You seem to have lived in a different country than me. Trudeau's policies were all about helping Quebeckers and other francophones find welcome in the ROC. This did piss off some reactionaries, but your interpretation of his policy bears no resemblance to the reality.

    As for Mulroney, his constitutional efforts were unnecessary and wrongheaded, implemented horribly, and led directly to resurgent separatism.
  268. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Hands down - Mulroney is the best PM since Pearson.
  269. Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: One thing in particular stands out in my memory of Mulroney campaigning across the country. On more than one occasion he pitted regions of the country against one another for his political gain. He was never one to miss an opportunity to isolate, or even worse, ridicule, Ontario when he was politicing in other parts of the country. I remember thinking at the time that this was no way to behave as a national leader. Trudeau was the prime minister when I was in my youth. Today, it is fashionable to denigate this man, but I have never felt as good about this extraordinary country since his early years as Prime Minister.
  270. A Chinaman from Canada writes: Trudeau is in fact the worst PM in recent Canadian history. His policy in bilingualism caused more divisions than before and is wasteful within the federal government. The Constitution and the Charter do not bring pride to the country but rather gives more protection to the convicted. He fractioned the conutry - Alberta does not like the Eastern part of Canada and Quebec wants to divorce.
    Chretien is a do-nothing PM. He was very fortunate because the opposition parties were weak during his time. His famous red book became a joke and most Canadians were fooled by him. He was great liar. He promised to tear up the free trade agreement and got rid of the GST - if they were that bad, why did he keep his promise ? These are the two achievements of Mulroney. In that sense, Chretien embraced the two policies. Therefor Mulroney is certainly better than Chretien.
  271. Paul Jones from kitchener, Canada writes: best PM? which PM managed to push through the LEAST amount of policy? considering the dipstick decisions that some of our PMs make, I would say that whoever did get the lest amount accomplished is our best PM.
    gotta love Canada - home of the leaderless and the inept.
  272. yves couture from Montreal, Canada writes: Two things struck me with this piece and the following comments. First, that the level of our political class may be what it is, but it's still far above the level of our citizenry. Canada is a very complex country to govern, for all sorts of reasons. But most Canadians seem to ignore those reasons and to replace analysis with cheap and empty moralizing. My second comment is about the piece itself. M. Gibson seems to put M. Pearson very hign, for reasons that he does not specify. On the other hand, one of his main critique against Trudeau, Mulronney and Chrétien is that they uncessessfully delt with Quebec. But he doesn't say how he would have faced the 40 years of crisis created by the necessary end of the hierarchical 'British' Canada of the past. So both the piece itself and its main reactions reflect the irresponsable way in which politics tend to be viewed in this country.
  273. Louise Pharand Doren from Toronto, Canada writes: I can name the best PM-THAT-WASN'T: David Peterson, Ontario's premier from 85-90. I should, as a native Quebecoise, take pride in seeing leaders from Quebec, as has long been a tradition, leave a mark on the country, but sadly, not since Laurier or St-Laurent has anyone been worthy of the privilege.
  274. Gord Lewis from Canada writes: Trudeau was our first 20th century leader; since then we have reverted to 19th century types. The way Mulroney went on about his 'honour' made me retch, considering all the greasy schemes he was up to. He did to the nation what he did for the Iron Ore Co. -- sold it out to its yankee masters. But let's face it, while Trudeau gave us a constitution, our system is still based on patronage, and party loyalty above all. It is a one-party dictatorship where the party in power is free to wreak havoc with any existing plans and beaurocracy, and the only role of the opposition is to complan loudly. Not very productive.

    So many provincial, parochial attitudes on display here. While I am Anglo myself, I lived in Québec and enjoyed it. It is a more progressive society than Ontario for sure. I came from a country where being bilingual is underachieving. My only demand for my kid's education was that it be in French, and I hope they don't stop at that. French instruction came too late for me unfortunately.

    So please stop the whinging about bilingualism; it only draws attention to our narrow, US-influenced attitudes. (Although I must say, our fierce anti-intellectualism is uniquely our own.)
  275. Ian Gunn from Minneapolis, United States writes: Good comments above. Great spread across the board. Nicely done all.

    I think this is why I like Mr Harper the most. You get what you see. There's nothing beyond that. He's hard nosed, tells it like it is, sets course and moves forward. Now sayings this, Mr Harper has to win a majority first before beind considered for 'best PM' .

    Mr Trudeau had similar qualities, but had no idea how to govern. He thought we all needed to be taken care of by the state.

    Mr Mulroney lied to us over and over again. I did like NAFTA, the switch to the GST and the immigration policies, but being told after all the bitter pills we swallowed, the deficit was going to be even bigger. Sorry.. doesn't work.

    Mr Chretien was lucky the right leaning part of the country was fragmented. No way this man should have EVER been PM.

    So I'm still waiting for the best PM of my generation. None of these individuals did a good job. The reason I'm so hard on these three is they've each had majorities and squandered them. Each had 2 or 3 good things happen during their time in office. For 8 years - 2 or 3 items? Geez, our standards must be really low.

    I think Mr Harper has the potential for being great, but he needs a majority to make that possible. I believe he's done a great job with a minority - granted the LPC are in such disarray.

    I do apologize for such a negative post. These three NEVER inspired me.

    Lastly, I do hope my friends in the Eastern and central provinces are safe after yesterday's snow storm. Remember, lift with your legs :)
  276. Mark McJ from Canada writes: Trudeau's greatest is an illusion, brough on by Cnadians need to create a 'Kennedy-esque' figure in Canadian politics. He acheived on matter of significance-0the Charter of Rights an dFReedom, but he alienated the West(NEP), Quebec(passing the constitution without Quebec's signature-' night of the long knives', and was a finnacial disaster. Fine he gave the media the finger-what an achievement.

    Chretien basically benefited from Mulroney's actions, and as a PM was a non-entity who ignored Kyoto.

    Mulroney-arrogant and like all gov'ts plagued by corruption. On ethe positive- GST, NAFTA, S. AFrica, GST, environment policy successes and Meech(which is waht we have without the benefits).

    In essence, all three were flawed, arrogant, partisan, occassionally corrupt, but strove to create a better Canada. It seems the better thePM, the more decisive they are and the more hated. Look at Joe Clark and Martin-nobody hates either because both achieved nothing!
  277. Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Best PM since Pearson was Kim Campbell. Runner up status goes to John Turner. A distant third? Joe Clark. None of them were in power long enough to screw anything up. Worst? PM Dithers was the worst by far. He set the mayors up to become a second group of 'premiers', and convinced them they have a legitimate claim on the federal purse. By doing so he permanently upset the traditional power relationship between the three levels of government, allowing the mayors to believe they could bypass the provincial governments and negotiate directly with the feds. From now on, whoever is PM will have to spend a great deal of energy and resources pacifying this second group of 'first ministers'. Like the premiers weren't enough of a pain. As a final insult to this nation, Dithers convinced a good number of Canadians that they are entitled to a national daycare program, funded out of taxpayer dollars - and left us on the brink of yet another Trudeau-style 'big government' national social program.
  278. Doug Lefler from Greenwood, United States writes: Mulroney sucked as PM. He destroyed the PC party and saddled Canada with a decade of corrupt, incompetent Liberal governments. He cuddled up to separatists to get power. He wouldn't even have become PM without cash from German corporatist idealogues. His so-called Free Trade cost Ontario 400,000 good manufacturing jobs, which were replaced by crappy service sector jobs. He slashed UI benefits during a depression when a lot of people really needed help. He stole from the middle class and gave to the rich.
  279. S Muhlberger from North Bay, Canada writes: There sure seem to be a lot of bitter cranks on this forum today!

    If so many PMs wrecked Canada, why is it not wrecked now?
  280. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: cranks? well maybe those of us who knew Mulroney was a corrupt con artist selling our country down the river are a bit annoyed to find out we were right all along, and so much water under the bridge since then, so much of canada's potential gone down the sewer because of lyin Brian.
  281. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Ian Gunn from Minneapolis, I think you said it best.
  282. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Doug Lefler from Greenwood, United States what are you talking about? Free Trade was probably the best thing for Canada at the time. So what 400,000 jobs were lost. Those jobs were paid for from Government Subsidised anyway through old 1970's Liberial work enhancement programs. Why should the wealth be able to sell products below cost and make profits from government kickbacks/grants and the likes there off. Free Trade allowed Canada to ride the down wave of the lower dollar and increasing national debt it also eliminated waste of industries that without government handouts never turned a profit anyways. The Texttile industry is a good example. Here in Windsor Ford secured five Car Plants after free trade but now that the USA debt load is out of control most of those plants are closing and plan to move to Mexico by 09.

    I will admit Free Trade was good at the time but now is the time to put the six month notice of exiting it. As once the U.S. government and Fed are exposed of covering up that Debt problem and its in ability to pay it the U.S. dollar has only one way to go.(DOWN) Which means Canada will loose big time if still in the trade agreement.
  283. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Overall it doesn't matter much if it is Liberial or Conservative after Trudeau as both parties realized the game is over with being saddled with major unfunded liabilities not included in the National Debt left behind from the Dictator Trudeau that bought votes and power at the expense of the future generations and that starts now.

    Trudeau was just another Chevez but in a different era and if it wasn't for the USA being next door he would have had Canada like Cuba or the old USSR. Thank goodness the Libs and Conservatives now see it for what it is.
  284. Susie Q from Canada writes: So, I guess he deserved his payoff...
  285. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: Scott - exiting the free trade agreement is not an answer. You mentioned the textiles industry as an example of the natural trend in free markets for productive industries to survive, and unproductive ones to be replaced. The auto industry is just like the textile industry. Regardless of whether we are in a free trade agreemnet with the US, this industry will decline as an NA employer due to our high wage costs. Labor will continue to move to emerging markets like Asia or Mexico because regulatory and labor costs are so low. Free trade with the US has no impact on this global trend. Free trade does however secure our access to our largest export market, the US, as near as a domestic market as can be. The fact that the US buying power will decline due to credit problems, only means that we need to expand our export markets. The free trade agreement gives some protection to us as we try to diversify our global markets. In the growing credit crunch, the last thing we need is to watch possible protectionist US legislation cut our access to this market, so we need to keep the free trade agreement. At the same time, we need to ackowledge that as a developed nation, all those comfy low skill union jobs in manufacturing are going to go no matter what we do (unless you are proposing that Canada become some sort of isolationist Soviet market, where we all drive state produced LADAs). Instead, we need to look at what can we export where we have a competetive advantage over the unregualated cheap labor economies. If the product is manufactured - the process needs to be automated enough, or require sufficiently high skill labor, or the product has to be inovative enough, that we compete globaly. Building another minivan, just like the one from Korea but at twice the cost does not cut the mustard. Why do you think you can't build a TV made in Canada? The same reason you will some day not be able to buy a car built here.
  286. Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: Sean L. from Toronto, I realize that higher wage jobs have to go as what most people tend to not understand is the fact that are standard of living should have never been as high as it is today. Through government in the 70's piling up a twin debt to pay for entitlement programs such as CPP, Medical and other security programs this allowed the under taxed populations of the time to enjoy the inflating of goods and services prices thus causing the demand for workers and others to need more capitaln to survive. What most people need to realize is that a realingnment has been occurring in Canada for the last decade and will continue for the next several. For to long governments have handed out more then they take in inorder to win votes well those days are somewhat over and the piper has to be paid now for the waste and free for all 70's.

    Personally I benefit from Free Trade so I would rather it stay in place.
  287. Able Bodied Man from Canada writes:
    The way some people complain about our Prime Ministers, you'd think they were elected to personally kiss each and every person's individual *rse.
  288. Able Bodied Man from Canada writes:
    Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien, Martin. All Quebecers.

    It is time we ended the Quebec stranglehold on the office of Prime Minister. Many in real time Canada are thinking Canada is run by and for the sole interests of 22% of the population.
  289. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: free trade might be a good idea if the Americans ever believed in it. They didnt at the eve of the agreement and they sure dont now. Mulroneys leap of faith was like a corrupt evangelist telling his flock if you sign over your house to me everything will be fine. Agriculture is the perfect example of USA hypocrycy - they have used non tarrif barriers to make sure free trade never would happen in agricultural products if it wasnt in their interest. They slapped duties on our hogs, they subsidize their corn for animal feed, ethanol production and crop production, and they closed the border to our cattle with a bogus health issue - they had mad cow disease also. Ive never seen so many conservatives (cattlemen) become so anti-american as they are now because of American bogus trade barriers. We let them buy out our beef industry, and now we are the dumping ground for their cheap meat since they cant get the Korean market. The idea of free trade with a country 12 times bigger than us is an absurdity - it will always be on their terms which is why we shouldnt haven given away all our bargaining chips (especially energy) right at the start. Free Trade is a one way street for Uncle Sam
  290. M. Thought from Calgary, Canada writes: First 'Lyin Brian' now 'Deceivin Stephen' - great Prime Ministers! Give me a break!
  291. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Mulroney accomplished some important and arguably positive things for the country, but please, when all is said and done (whatever that means) Pierre Elliott Trudeau will be recognized as the most significant PM of Canada of the 20th century, by a long shot. Like none of the others, he will remain iconic.

    I hate to put it this way - to use an American yardstick - but he was our Kennedy ... only 'our Kennedy' didn't have his 'presidency' cut short by a bullet.

    If Canada is still a beacon of human rights in this world, it is because of PET, far more than any other.

    If Canada has come of age as a sovereign, fully independent, modern nation, it is because of PET, far more than any other.
  292. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: S Muhlberger from North Bay, Canada writes: There sure seem to be a lot of bitter cranks on this forum today!

    If so many PMs wrecked Canada, why is it not wrecked now?

    ___

    Excellent point. I'd add, if Canada isn't wrecked (and by any yardstick, it ain't), why are there so many bitter cranks?

    Fröhliche Weihnachten .. er, Merry Christmas! :-)
  293. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany: you are correct that Rudeau was iconic. It is also true that Rudeau was our Kennedy. Your only mistake is that hostroy forgets the personal problems and focuses on the accomplishments. Mulroney will be remembered very kindly by hostorians.

    Liberals love Trudeau and loathe Mulroney. Conservatives love Mulroney and loathe Trudeau. That can only signify that both men were very good PM's. Who talks about Joe Clark or Turner? Nobody because they accomplishments were minimal. People talk about Trudeau and Mulroney because their achievements were significant for Canada.
  294. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Trudeau...not Rudeau. Monday finger syndrome.
  295. shmeety shmeets from Vancouver, Canada writes: Conrad's 'contribution to Canadian journalism and politics will remain great'? Is that is it he greatly destroyed Canadian journalism? In the future, one would hope Mr. Gibson will refrain from dropping acid before writing his columns... Why is these insane ravings being published?
  296. Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: Able bodied man - I have also lamented over the long line of Quebec leaders and wished for a break from this apparent stranglehold. And finally, look what we got ......!
  297. jim Gower from Canada writes: As time passes I am more and more inclined to vote NONE OF THE ABOVE. Trudeau made so many messes especially for Quebec and the ROC; Mulligan was (and is) simply a greedy little less than honest individual; Johnny Cretien listened to too many neighbors and nobody else but Why go on? We have had very darn little good leadership SINCE pearson! On second thought--definitly none of the above.
  298. Richard Bill from Uzech, France writes:
    We have lacked effective leadership since Pearson. Really sad. We have to go back to Tommy Douglas to find a decent statesman too.

    Who me getting old?
  299. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany: you are correct that Rudeau was iconic. It is also true that Rudeau was our Kennedy. Your only mistake is that hostroy forgets the personal problems and focuses on the accomplishments. Mulroney will be remembered very kindly by hostorians.

    Liberals love Trudeau and loathe Mulroney. Conservatives love Mulroney and loathe Trudeau. That can only signify that both men were very good PM's. Who talks about Joe Clark or Turner? Nobody because they accomplishments were minimal. People talk about Trudeau and Mulroney because their achievements were significant for Canada.

    __

    Kind of think it's too soon to say what historians will say about Mulroney, as recent weeks have demonstrated. At best, he'll escape with the lingering scent of corruption that he's had since he left office. Plus, any PM who ends up ruining his party forever?? ... I mean even Joe Clark didn't manage that! (Couldn't resist that crack, though I think quite highly of Clark even still.) Conservatives love Mulroney? Really? You mean the masochistic ones who saw their party destroyed by his legacy?
  300. M M from Winnipeg, United States writes: Greatest Prime Minister? Greatest Man? I think the winner is 'none of the above.' Trudeau was brilliant, and there was a certain appeal to his 'I don't care what you think' attitude - but it was the attitude of a man so bright that he didn't have to work to get where he was. That was the hallmark of his administration. No effort, no thought. Each administration started higher and coasted lower, let the problems fester except for his pet project or two. The first started as a romp and ended in minority. The second started pretty good and ended in defeat. the third started as a small vicotry and ended with the virutal wipe-out of the part. Only Mulroney beat that record for defeat. His greatest triumph, the constitution, was a compromise wrought by others more interested in making things happen plotically. Joe Clark, the best Prime Minister who never was, forced it to the Supreme Court, who said 'find some compromise'. The kitchen cabinet guys found the compromise. Trudeau was the guy who was going to destroy the country to get the constitution HE wanted. Mulroney? Wouldn't take 'you lost' for an answer. When the party sadly needed unity, he tore it apart. He won the biggest majority in history and turned it into 2 seats. He made Quebec politics-as-usual the modus operandi for the federal trough, so much so it reverberates today. He spent his mandates trying to set his mark in history by destroying the constitution to make it even less workable than before. Fortunately, he failed - a fitting epitaph. He also promised to set federal spending on the straight and narrow, and failed there too. 2 tasks, 2 failures. It took our *real* best prime minister to actually do it. Since 1993 Martin did the job nobody else could do, turned the country's finances around; and he may appear boring, but less of the nastiness of Muldoon, Trudeau or Chretien is a good thing. (And I'm a former PC member, who's sick of Muldoon and Harper.)
  301. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Scott Anderson from Windsor, Canada writes: ... the Dictator Trudeau ... Trudeau was just another Chevez ...

    =======

    LOL. Did someone earlier mention 'bitter cranks'?
  302. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: jim Gower from Canada writes: ... Trudeau made so many messes especially for Quebec and the ROC ...

    ____

    Really? Seems to me Quebec separatists and provincial governments, particularly the one that lies between BC and Sask that shall remain nameless, were making the messes, while Trudeau tenaciously fought for the cause of a strong united Canada with its own constitution, identity, foreign policy and charter of rights. Still amazes me that so many ROC Canadians somehow blame Trudeau for staring down and beating the separatists.

    By the way, as for Trudeau's record with the country's finances, that matter cannot be intelligently evaluated without considering that there wasn't a developed nation in the world that wasn't running up gigantic debt at the same time. It was an era preceded by enormous global economic expansion and optimism, and spoiled voters everywhere had been electing politicians who spent rather than saved. With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to say that the Trudeau Liberals should have been more prudent, but that's not what voters were demanding then.
  303. John Smith from Canada writes: Mulroney's deficits were due to paying the interest on Trudeau's dept, Canada actually started running an operational surplus in the late 80s
  304. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Rebel Prince from Berlin: Confirming my point that Liberals loathe Mulroney.

    Sir John McDonald was involved in a scandal. Political junkies know this but 99% of Canadians do not.....history forgets these things. Mulroney will be remebered as one of Canada's best PM's and deservedly so. So will Trudeau.
  305. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Shawn Bull: MacDonald, not McDonald, was a drunk who played the game of political corruption, known then as 'politics'. Muldoon's mistake was perhaps to overlook how political values had changed in the intervening years since Confederation. Leaders are judged by the standards of their day, not by those of another time in world history.

    Mulroney will be noted for two things by your historians of tomorrow: delivering NAFTA (important but not necessarily positive) and single-handedly destroying the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada forever. The corruption allegations will probably never be proved.
  306. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: MacDonald, not McDonald.......I really should have known that...and I call myself a Conservative!!
  307. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Seems we both got it wrong. It's Macdonald - small d - not MacDonald. Whatever!

    From Wikipedia:

    Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his alcoholism. He is known to have been drunk for many of his debates in parliament. Two apocryphal stories are commonly repeated; the first describing an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out and said: 'Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!' Collecting himself, Macdonald replied 'I get sick ... not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.'[58] The second version has Macdonald responding to his opponent's query of his drunkenness with 'It goes to show that I would rather have a drunk Conservative than a sober Liberal.' (Montreal Gazette, 30 May 1862)
  308. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: I grew up in centretown Ottawa and met most of the contemporary PM's face to face. Trudeau was kind and charming, Clark was friendly and kind, Martin was overfriendly, and Mulroney - well he walked around with a phalynx of men in dark suits with sunglasses, and that was before he peeved off just about every canadian from every political stripe - i guess he knew he was up to no good from the start. And Chretien, well unfortunately I never got to meet him - I always wanted to thank him for standing up for Canada when Borge Gush was pulling his own con about WMD and Iraq. Chretien was the best, if just for that. Who would you want as PM if the 1995 referendum went to the OUI by 51% and Parizeau pulling down Canada flags across Quebec?
  309. Michael Crowell from Halifax, Canada writes: Joe MacIntyre from Sydney Nova Scotia: Good post Joe. Far to many people have never looked at the statistics and grasped the complex issue around trade. People talk about the GST and have no idea that it did replace the old FST. They believe the GST was a brand new tax. Frankly I will say it again; far to many Canadians are stupid. Trudeau was the most destructive PM in Canadian history. The man did nothing and was a myth dreamed up by the Liberal Party. Mulroney was by far the best and brightest. He had what the others lacked; vision. Thanks Joe!
  310. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: John Smith from Canada writes: Mulroney's deficits were due to paying the interest on Trudeau's dept, Canada actually started running an operational surplus in the late 80s

    =============

    Well, obviously interest payments were part of the budget during the Mulroney years. But that doesn't fully explain how the debt ballooned as it did during his years in office.

    In fact, the Mulroney government:
    -massively increased spending (mostly to fund graft for cronies, but also for lavish entertaining and lifestyle);
    -placed debt off-shore so that interest payments left our economy instead of staying inside; and
    -adopted a high interest rate/high dollar policy that made debt servicing a crippling undertaking.

    For anyone interested in the truth of how bad Mulphoney fiscal management really was, you could visit this link:

    http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/887-e.htm#1.%20Operating
  311. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Michael Crowell from Halifax, Canada writes: ... far to many Canadians are stupid. Trudeau was the most destructive PM in Canadian history. ...

    ==============

    MC, you are living proof of your own proposition.
  312. Malcolm Bromley from Victoria, Canada writes: Reading these comments, for the most part, explains why we have flawed leadership in our country. Cynicism, bitterness, criticism, disrespect, slander, blame - laying, griping, SELF-CENTERED NEGATIVITY!!! We constantly have our expectations dashed when human frailties smeer the reputations of our leaders - each of us has the same tendency to selfishness and pride, but, in most situations, our spheres of influence and our opportunities to 'profit' from our pride and self-interest are much smaller. To quote R. Rama from an earlier posting: '...We have no one to blame but ourselves for the lack of Peace, Order and Good Government [POGG] we get. When was the last time you sent a letter, met with or called your MP, MPP, MLA, Premier, Mayor, City Councillor, and demanded more acccoutability, transparency, smaller & more efficient government? ... Stop complaining and start demanding lawful/legitimate action/change, we will all be better for it....' WE NEED TO BE INVOLVED FOR DEMOCRACY TO WORK! Is it any wonder that younger generations of Canadians are either ambivalent or anarchistic - or simply downright disinterested in political leadership in the nation today! WE HAVE FAILED TO RESPONSIBLY MODEL A CITIZEN'S COMMITMENT TO CANADA! We are simply taking our peace, prosperity, and privileges for granted, and not protecting them by being vigilant and involved Canadians - thus setting an example to others. SHAME ON US - ME TOO!!! Robin Hannah stated in an earlier posting: 'Character is the basis of leadership. Without it, you're no leader at all. And you're not much of a person either.' I would like to modify this point - CHARACTER SHOULD BE the basis of leadership! Without leadership candidates who have integrity and honesty, encouraged by an electorate who actively hold them accountable, we will continue to experience men and women in leadership who are swayed by their own self-interest, under the influence of ideas and individuals who are self-serving! THE FAILURE IS OURS!
  313. Michael Crowell from Halifax, Canada writes: NR I just logged in a while ago and realized you have spent the entire day on this blog. You have changed zero minds with your rants and Liberal glee. I am on vacation this week and I am wonder if you are employed or a ward of the State. Your love of Trudeau would lead me to believe that you are in the latter camp. Now go upstairs make your bed and help Mom with the dishes. Oh by the way, a glass of wine, dinner and Fox News I am in my glory.
  314. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: we are to balme? Hmm. That dosnt sound right. Well i certainly particiapte in politics, campaign during elections, donate to electoral campaings, and spread the word through forums like this. I assume many of the readers/commentators are also politically active in one way or another or they would be talking about who cried when she didnt get the rose on the bachelor. Its certainly not my fault, or lack of my political activity that made Mulroney accept the cash. I didnt have the power to stop that. Blaming the voter sounds like some weird west coast granola platitude
  315. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: hey im not working - does that make me a bad person? Why dont you send me to my room? (oh yeah im already in it) Despite the babyishness that some commentators have resorted to, i think everyone who takes the time to debate canadian politics is doing something constructive. And if im looking for a job on workopolis and also participate in this blog, should i be denied that? There's a new spin on Tory nation: only taxpayers can vote, only gainfully employed people can write letters to the editor!!!
  316. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Quebec separatists and (Alberta) were making the messes, while Trudeau tenaciously fought for the cause of a strong united Canada with its own constitution, identity, foreign policy and charter of rights. Still amazes me that so many ROC Canadians somehow blame Trudeau for staring down and beating the separatists.' Excuse me while I digest this crap that you are peddling. OK - You blame Quebec and Alberta for being opposed to Trudeau's attempt to change Canada into a centrally planned system. Why of course would they have anything to complain about with this rewriting of the terms of federation? After all, NEP had no impact on Alberta, and multiculturalism was not really an attempt to mitigate Quebec nationalism through watering down the two founding culture principle on which this federation is predicated. Why indeed? Trudeau did not fight for a strong united Canada - he exasperated a long standing unity problem with his anti-Quebec strategy. His policies did not buttress our constitution, sense of identity, or foreign policy, but instead radically shifted gears and changed direction. He further made things worse with his needless glory seeking history place constitution initiative which provided very little different from previous documents. His actions precipitated the Mulroney governments to clean up after his mess, and the Chrtien governments problems with the referendums. 'By the way, as for Trudeau's record with the country's finances, that matter cannot be intelligently evaluated...' If your sentence had stopped here, most economists would agree with you. Trudeau's financial acumen was like every other socialist - pathetic and dangerous. Mr. Trudeau, I salute you with his official gesture - the salmon arm finger from the Kremlin to all the Siberian peasants out west. Why again would Alberta and Quebec not like this cretin?
  317. Jean Narache from Montreal, Canada writes:
    chris jenkins from Free the West, Canada writes: Trudeau is the reason that Canada is falling to pieces.

    I totally agree with you. And you know what, the Liberals from Ontario will finish the job the day Justin Trudeau will become prime minister...
  318. Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: While I loathe Trudeau, I do very much admire him for the way he crushed the FLQ terrorist movement in Quebec. That situation was well on its way to becoming turned into our own Northern Ireland, with all the perpetual violence and ethnic hatred that such an entrenched conflict entails. But Trudeau called the War Measures Act and utterly STOMPED them into the ground. Had PET remained the decisive, no-nonsense LEADER that he had been in those early years, I might very well have a different opinion of him. I believe that his declaration 'Just Watch Me' was one of the finest moments of any Prime Minister since Confederation. At that moment, Canadians knew that the government would act decisively to restore order to the land.
  319. The Workfarce from Canada writes: With all do respect to Mr. Gibsin, this is the worst load of BS I've read in the Globe & Mail in ages. Mr. Gibson seems to have little respect for the people of Canada. Brian Mulroney, aka 'Big Brother', is the most disprized Prime Minister because he and his government are remembered for lies, greed, corruption, lust for power and kow-towing to the Americans. PM Pearson and PM Trudeau, however, are well-liked and well-respected because they had vision, idealism, principle and integrity. They brought Canada to the world stage with optimism and hope for a brighter future, a vision of a better Canada and a better world far beyond mere economics.
  320. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: I am baffled as to how anyone can name PET anything but a terrible PM. He is responsible for exploding our debt and deficit; in fact Canada is still paying for his socialist delusions. The excuse that all leaders of the time were spending out of control does not absolve PET from being responsible for financially crippling Canada for 2 decades. PET sacrificed the ROC for his personal fight against Quebec separatism. Official multi-culturalism was introduced to spite the separatists; show them they are but one cultural of many within Canada. There was of course his most prominent brain fart of all...the NEP. That is Trudeau's legacy...divisive regional policy that has split Canada regionally ever since. The Charter of Rights is what every PET supporter holds up as his legacy. Great concept...to bad it wasn't Trudeau's idea to start with. In reality our Charter of Rights is far from perfect. A document hurried together to satisfy Trudeau's ego. Far too much judge-made law has been forced upon Canadian society; public policy now determined by non-elected officials. Wow the accountibility is astounding. No property rights were included; a mild oversight I'm sure. NDP Premier Alan Blakeney has gone on record as saying one of the biggest mistakes those who fashioned our CoR made was assuming people would use common sense in interpretation. Common sense would be the last term I would use. Finally the worst mistake of all was making it impossible to revise the Charter to fix any mistakes. Anyone who thinks the Charter is infallible on the first revision should give their head a shake. As it stands our Charter has flaws with virtually no practicable process to fix those flaws...so now we are stuck with a flawed document.
  321. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Hey folks! PLEASE read that again: 'I believe Ontario is preventing Canada from going forward. There are huge numbers of people in Ontario that would vote for the liberals even if a monkey was leading them.' (John Mc Caffery)

    Un vrai bijou!
  322. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: An read that AGAIN too: Margaret Mean from Vancouver, Canada writes: 'Trudeau and Chretien were loved by anglo-canadians because of their special way to put Quebec at his place. If an anglo prime minister would have done the same he would have been named racist.'

    There are still very brillant people in the ROC ...Wow!

    I do agree with wirh you Margaret
  323. Bruce Grant from Ottawa, Canada writes: I'm afraid Mr. Gibson's bias is showing. How could anyone conclude that two of the three (excluding Mulroney) passed poison chalices to their successors? When Mulroney departed, all the big guns in the party departed with him, seeing that the party was now unelectable.

    The party under Kim Campbell, the unlikely successor and sacrificial lamb, won only two seats in the next parliament and the party was left in disarray for a generation. In the poisoned chalice race, Mr. Mulroney must be awarded first prize.
  324. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Very good comment 'Go Oilers Go!
  325. Michael Crowell from Halifax, Canada writes: Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: While I loathe Trudeau, I do very much admire him for the way he crushed the FLQ terrorist movement in Quebec. Alistair good post but you have to answer the question where are the FLQ Terrorists today. After a stint in Cuba with Trudeau's friend Castro they are all back in Quecbec working and living the good life. As for Trudeau; if he would of hanged them all when they returned to Canada I would agree with you. Until that happens I still loathe Trudeau. The man was a myth and we still live with his socialist policies.
  326. joel connelly from Seattle, United States writes:
    If Brian Mulroney is Canada's best prime minister since Lester Pearson, than George W. Bush is my country's best president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  327. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: 'While I loathe Trudeau, I do very much admire him for the way he crushed the FLQ terrorist movement in Quebec.'

    I hope you didn't entirely realized what you said Allistair.Trudeau did almost exactly what General Mushharraf did to his people in Pakistan a few weeks ago! With the War Measure Act,Trudeau have sent hundreds of innocent people to jail and have stopped the liberties of million of Quebecers for a half of a dozen extremists.What a joke!...
  328. Able Bodied Man from Canada writes: Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: Able bodied man - I have also lamented over the long line of Quebec leaders and wished for a break from this apparent stranglehold. And finally, look what we got ......!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes. We finally have a PM not raised on the fantasy of Toroto as 'unverse central' or Quebec's so-called disgruntlement and refusal to recognize English as a language of Canada. A PM who knows there is something west of Toroto. A PM who is young, and not one of the gaggle of old geese layng golden eggs in the political nests of the Toroto-Monthrall-Ottowinallthetime axis of con-men vacuumng the pockets of the taxpayers.

    Although he's been in a short time and has much to fix, he gets my vote for having the cojones to at least care about the country in the face of the hypocritical whingings of the Liebs and the Noodle Doodlers.

    More non-pea-soupers please!
  329. Able Bodied Man from Canada writes:
    Although I will concede M.Chretien did very well keeping us out of the Iraq quagmire.
  330. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal:

    With one rather important difference, M. Prud'homme: Trudeau was defending a free and democratic society. General Mushharraf is a tinpot dictator, acting like a tinpot dictator.

    When terrorists are running around abducting and killing people - as they were - and those terrorists blend into the general public, and those terrorists are making demands on the state that would subvert democracy and justice, you have a genuine crisis on your hands.

    The War Measures Act was imposed because it was the only legal tool at the federal government's disposal that approximated what was required in that particular emergency. Though some aspects of the Act went beyond what was appropriate, ANY responsible government of ANY party would have had no choice but to do the same thing under the circumstances. There were obviously instances of overzealous, excessive application by the police (no big surprise there, unfortunately), but to assert that Trudeau was no different than General Mushharraf is just so much bile.
  331. Able Bodied Man from Canada writes:
    Mr. Mulroney's introduction of the GST contributed strongly to his downfall. Of course the Liebs campaigned on getting rid of it, and we see how they dealt with that cash cow that created thousands of tax collectors.

    Mr. Mulroney's scare tactics re Meech Lake may also have hurt him.

    Meech Lake was like Wobal Glarming -- lots of fear.
  332. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Michael Crowell from Halifax, Canada writes: ... You have changed zero minds with your rants and Liberal glee. ... Your love of Trudeau would lead me to believe that you are in the latter camp. Now go upstairs make your bed and help Mom with the dishes. Oh by the way, a glass of wine, dinner and Fox News I am in my glory.

    ========

    Aw, did I touch a nerve when I turned you childish insults back at you? Must be. Anyway, how do you know how many minds I may have changed? Do you think everyone here is as impervious to facts and data as you appear to be? And look you still have no content worthy of a post. Enjoy your tumbler of Thunderbird.
  333. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Why,then our government didn't do the same with the street gangs of Toronto and Montreal? Why not do the same with the Mohawks (remember OKA) and the the natives of Caledonia ,near Toronto?
  334. Steve baker from Ridgeway, Canada writes: Mulroney was a waiter cleaning the US tables. Argualbly that was a wise policy. However imagine Canada today if PT's NEP had not been stillborn. We would be living like Kuwaiti's or UAE dozin. Canada's natural resouces were sold out for a nickel on the dollar by lyin Brian.
  335. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: My reply was to Rebel Prince
  336. Carl White from Canada writes: 'yves couture from Montreal, Canada writes: Two things struck me with this piece and the following comments. First, that the level of our political class may be what it is, but it's still far above the level of our citizenry... So both the piece itself and its main reactions reflect the irresponsable way in which politics tend to be viewed in this country.' 'Malcolm Bromley from Victoria, Canada writes: Reading these comments, for the most part, explains why we have flawed leadership in our country. Cynicism, bitterness, criticism, disrespect, slander, blame - laying, griping, SELF-CENTERED NEGATIVITY!!! ... THE FAILURE IS OURS!' Ah, yes. Another mark of the politician. When things go awry, blame it someone else! And if that doesn't work, blame it on the people in general! Irresponsible view of politics? After a litany of lies and broken promises, greasy deals and blatant sellouts to corporate and foreign interests, naked partisanship instead of honest admissions of error and acknowledgements of acts worthy of respect by the opposition, transparent attempts to bribe the populace with tax cuts before elections, outright REFUSAL to debate important issues such as immigration, the increasingly dictatorial nature of the prime minister's office, and of course the ever-near-unanimous vote to raise their own pensions and incomes come rain or shine for the rest of the country, always cynically done just before parliament closes so that any negative media can be ducked... WE are being irresponsible? Us? What a joke!
  337. Carl White from Canada writes: Actually, the GST is one of the few things I didn't mind about the Mulroney years.

    They replaced an invisible and outmoded tax, the federal sales tax, with a visible tax, the GST, which had a lower rate but a broader base.

    What made everyone hate it so much was (1) the bureaucracy it introduced, which took getting used to, and (2) that people could see it on the bills they were paying.

    It didn't help that there were conflicting statements made about what it would accomplish, either. Herb Gray probably put it best: 'How can it be revenue neutral and decrease the deficit at the same time?'
  338. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: Trudeau's legacy is to have forced a poorly written half baked constitution on us, which compounded the long standing unity problem, and had the unexpected baggage of giving judicial activists the power to determine what Canada is, power that used to reside with the elected legislators. To make matters worse, it is near impossible to reform this document. He changed the character and nature of canadian culture with his multicultural policy initiatives - with the full intent to marginalize francophone soverignty, and with no regard for it's impact on Canada. Quebec soveriegntists have run at an estimated at 40-49 percent of the francophone population since confederation. Trudeau's policys aggravated the situation. Like many sovereigntists who believe that the federation can not by fixed under the current politica structure, I too support their goal of separation as I see this as the only way the rest of Canada will be able to free themselves from Trudeau's legacy (although we would still be stuck with the debt that his policies racked up). Viva la resistance!! Although I guess we could give it one more try, but Quebec would have to vote conservative, to offset the idiots in Ontario who seem to love the liberals no matter what. If provinces can vote to join confederation, I see no reason why they should not be able to vote to leave.
  339. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Sean L. from Toronto, Canada:

    Trudeau's 'centrally planned system'? LOL Yeah, Sean, that's it. Trudeau was bent on imposing Stalinist Russia on us all. No, Sean, I say Trudeau rightly worked hard to assert common Canadian interests and a common Canadian identity (built on diversity) - the kind of thing that just about every other nation of people takes for granted, but which many Canadians - and even more so - several provincial governments generally regard as pure evil. He set out to 'rewrite the terms of federation', because those terms were/are flawed with the effect that the provinces were cut too much power for the good of Canada. (To reach for Stalinist analogies here is to disregard that Canada is one of the most de-centralized countries on the earth.)

    The NEP had a positive impact on Canada. What it did or didn't do for Alberta is secondary. Having said that, I see that Alberta survived the calamity rather well. (I just hope that future have-provinces DON'T remember many many Albertans' distinctly ungenerous reflexes of that period, should Alberta ever, God forbid, fall on hard times.)

    Multiculturalism has proved to be exceptionally successful policy, and one for which Canada is admired all over the world. If it help helped to mitigate the threat of Quebec independence, so much the better. The two-founding-culture principle WAS what the federation was predicated; the nation has moved on demographically. Noticed? Despite this, the health of bilingualism has only improved over the decades - the status of the French language in Quebec, as well.

    Trudeau's strategy was never anti-Quebec any more than it was ever anti-Alberta. (See paragraph 1.) The separatists managed to get you mixed up about something important: They are not 'Quebec'. He stood up for a the idea of strong united Canada with francophone Canadians - no matter where - as equal citizens. No more, no less.
  340. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Ah, so you've outed yourself as a supporter of Quebec separatists, Sean L! Lovely.

    You have nothing but my total contempt.
  341. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: Carl, you are right. The GST is probably one of the most outstanding fiscal policies passed in the last 40 years - without which the cretien liberals would have never balanced the books.

    Mulroney is like Nixon in some respects - a flawed person and leader, but without a doubt his government passed some of the most important legislation of the latter half of this century in Canada. Whereas Chretien's regime has almost no legacy, and will be remember for history as a footnote under adscam. trudeau, of course will continue to fool the liberal sycophants who buy his socialist drivel, and once this generation has shuffled off the mortal coil, historians will probabloy remember him for his popular standing in central canada and his vast damage to both national unity and the state of the nation.
  342. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Ah, so you've outed yourself as a supporter of Quebec separatists, Sean L! Lovely. You have nothing but my total contempt. '

    Ditto, back at you pal...
  343. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: Why,then our government didn't do the same with the street gangs of Toronto and Montreal? Why not do the same with the Mohawks (remember OKA) and the the natives of Caledonia ,near Toronto?

    __

    Simple. The street gangs weren't attempting to destabilize the state with force, and terrorize a society into accepting Quebec independence.

    Name a democracy that will not use such measures to thwart an armed revolution.
  344. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Wups, that last comment was for separatist supporter Sean L.
  345. Machinations ? from Canada writes: 'Ah, so you've outed yourself as a supporter of Quebec separatists, Sean L! Lovely. You have nothing but my total contempt. '

    Ditto, back at you pal...'

    It's not surprising to find those that support the FLQ now, since the decline of French schools. The truly insipid are the bread and butter of the separatist movement, indoctrinated from a young age by 'Francophonie' schools - as though anyone in France would understand a word of their patois - to hate English and often those who speak it. The racism and xenophobia of some towns in Quebec, particularly as you get further north, is truly stunning in this modern era. Damn the 'ethnic' vote, am I right?
  346. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: Trudeau as Musharef? unbelievable! As a bilingual man ive heard both sides in the Separation debate. It baffles me how victimized the Quebec separatists feel - it has nothing to do with historical tratment, its all about having long memories and wishing that the British hadnt won on 1763. Well they did!! What other country would even be having this ridiculous debate - of course Trudeau didnt overstep himself by calling in the Army. A cabinet Minister was kidnapped and assassinated, and the Quebec Premier called in the feds. And as one commentator observed, one of the ringleaders is out on the lecture circuit as a celebrity now? Oh the shame of the collossal egos and revisionists of the Parizeau camp. Chretien was right - you cant just walk away and take half!
  347. Machinations ? from Canada writes: 'Quebec soveriegntists have run at an estimated at 40-49 percent of the francophone population '

    Now THAT's a joke. On the decline, soon the 'separatist' party will be indistinguishable from the Tories except for their cloaking themselves in the Fleur-De-Lis. Separatism is about as popular as shooting oneself in the head, except amongst the aforementioned young and foolish.
  348. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: Ah, you really got me that time Rebel Duchess from Karl Marx Platz.

    Guten nacht kleiner junge.
  349. karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: CHRETIEN IS THE BEST PM (BACK TO TOPIC)
    Trudeau is too contoversial perhaps to have been the best, although im not that convinced he wasnt the greatest. Chretien did a good steady job, he stood up as a tough guy when we needed him, and he represented the basic canadian values and is generally well regarded by many in all regions.
    Mulroney is the opposite - generally despised in all regions. Dosnt sound like much of a contest to me.
  350. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Machinations ? from Canada writes: It's not surprising to find those that support the FLQ now'

    Wowww there, put down the crack pipe. Who said anything about supporting the FLQ. The FLQ is a terrorist group. The sovereignty movement is a legitimate political voice. As for the statistic, that is the historic average of support for soverignty in Quebec. The actual support at any given time can vary widely, it is at it's current lower level thanks mostly to the negative economic impact - but it has not gone away and you and the duke of dachau have demonstarted that you have no understanding of Quebec nationalism. Trudeau's vision of Canada was not the founders views, nor did he bother to build national concensus for this shift - why should Quebec sign on to this, when they were not even invited to the party. Mulroney was right about one thing, it needs to be re-opened, renotiated, and agreed to by all provinces - as long as things stand as they are Canada is a country in limbo.
  351. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany: If you wish to view Trudeau with rose coloured glasses that is your perogative; however your assertions are disingenuous. Trudeau most certainly did favour a centrally planned system; everything he did was to focus power in Ottawa. You are correct that he set out to 'rewrite the terms of federation'; refer to comment above about focusing power in Ottawa. It seems Trudeau's arrogance is matched by yours in asserting that the terms Canadian Federation 'were/are flawed with the effect that the provinces were cut too much power for the good of Canada.' That certainlyt fits PET's style doesn't it; every PM before him was wrong. Give me a break. 'The NEP had a positive impact on Canada?' It seems most Albertans don't feel throwing their economy under the bus so Canadians in Central Canada can get cheap gas was positive for Canada. In fact the NEP is a prime example of why Trudeau was a terrible PM. PET is directly responsible for the regional discord in Quebec and western Canada. I would argue that multiculturalism has not proved to be an exceptionally successful policy. In fact I would say the fact that every major Canadian city is littered with ethnic enclaves seeking their own education systems, civil legal systems and working hard to avoid pretty much everything but the benefits of Canada says the exact opposite. The rest of the world is starting to think so also. Many EU countries are moving towards Nationalism; Multi-culturalism it seems has led to the conditions in France, Denmark and Britain. Some British politicians are pushing for the introduction of a Bill of Rights; a document to define what it means to be British. Multi-culturalism was simply Trudeau's tool to stick it to the separatists; multi-culturalism says the Quebec Sovereignists that not only is their culture not distint it is merely one of many.
  352. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: ... Like many sovereigntists who believe that the federation can not by fixed under the current politica structure, I too support their goal of separation as I see this as the only way the rest of Canada will be able to free themselves from Trudeau's legacy (although we would still be stuck with the debt that his policies racked up).

    ================

    So let me get this ... you support separatism to destroy the country that you are angry an Trudeau for having destroyed? Riiiiiiight.
  353. Able Bodied Man from Canada writes: karl Rangnarsson from toronto, Canada writes: Trudeau ..., its all about having long memories and wishing that the British hadnt won on 1763. Well they did!! What other country would even be having this ridiculous debate - of course Trudeau didnt overstep himself by calling in the Army. A cabinet
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mmmmmmm.... Ireland, Bosnia et al, Czechia / Slovakia, Russia, Iraq to name a few...
  354. Able Bodied Man from Canada writes:
    There was the appearance that M. Trudeau didn't give a flying expletive about Canada outside Montreal. He found some inspiration in communism and was an elitist. His charisma was tapped by a bunch whose intelligence was limited to a small sphere, but who saw opportunity to gain votes. The Liebrals's first tenet is get votes by any means or any words. That's what led to the gun registry.

    M. Trudeau's comments to farmers, infamous Salmon Arm Salute, and dicking of the Alberta oil industry ( At the border I saw drills rigs lining up to cross into the US ) showed a contempt for the West that has not been forgotten.
  355. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: I am always amazed to see,read or learn the fixation that a lot of people of the ROC have on the 'Quebec Separatists'. PLEASE realise that the option is still supported by less than 40% of the population and the proportion is on a decline.Young Quebecers are more and more fed-up of this sterile debate and Quebec is more than ever a multicultural society.Beside the fact that multiculturalism creates all sorts of problems (and should be redefined), we have a federalist oriented government in power and the next one (ADQ...?) is also federalist.Quebec will always want to protect his specificity;but wants to
    remain in Canada.There will never be a third Referendum;but I hope that Canada will be able to redefine itself according to the new realities.You might say that I wear rose lenses;but I hope that the young people of Canada will find the solution...
  356. Vianney Prud'homme from Montreal, Canada writes: I agree with the conclusion of Gordon Gibson. It was my opinion too ,right from the beginning of this debate (Mulroney has been "le meilleur des moins bons")
  357. D. Hall from Brantford, Canada writes: Re: The one we love to hate was our best leader (Dec. 15, 2007) Gordon Gibson will never understand why Brian Mulroney was so disliked until he realizes how disastrous the Free Trade Agreement was to those in the trenches as opposed to those in the ivory towers. The ledger on Brian Mulroney’s &8220;achievements&8221; should be amended thus: Brian Mulroney was a Prime Minister who toadied up to the Americans and signed a disastrous agreement with the Americans called the Free Trade Agreement. This agreement was signed even though it subjected Canada to American trade law and was without as realistic dispute settlement mechanism. The Free Trade Agreement greatly worsened the recession of the early 1990&8217;s and caused the collapse of the Canadian dollar. In order to get this disastrous agreement Mulroney gave up the Auto Pact which had previously underpinned the economic success of Ontario if not the whole federation. In addition, Mulroney gave up our rights to our natural resources including possibly our rights to our water resources. To all intents and purposes Canada received nothing in return for gutting its economy and sovereignty.
  358. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Able Bodied Man from Canada writes: ...M. Trudeau's ... dicking of the Alberta oil industry ( At the border I saw drills rigs lining up to cross into the US ) showed a contempt ...

    ===============

    Yeah. Hurray for the foreign oil companies engaging in a deliberate attempt to disrupt Canada's natural resource sovereignty! Good for them! Bad Trudeau for thinking Canadian oil should benefit Canadians.
  359. Nestor C from Canada writes: One can banter all day about who did most good or who did most bad....partisanship knows no bounds or adheres to the passage of time it seems. Trudeau is loved for the simple fact that he is perceived to have put Canada first...period. You can point to examples and whether they are good or bad for the country but the perception still stands. Mulroney on the other hand is perceived to have sold out to the US and despite the fact that he wanted so desperately to be viewed as a complex and intelligent man (a la PET), is simply viewed as a man who always thought he had the long shadow of PET limit his greatness...people saw right through his facade and called a spade a spade. You need only read his memoirs to know that he wanted so badly to be the PET of Canada that he was so fully consumed with 'legacy' and beating his arch-nemesis that nothing, I mean nothing, else mattered. I my opinion, that does not a leader make. He wasn't a leader then and isn't now. Great leaders don't aspire to greatness they become great through their actions and through the memories of those he/she led..PET falls into this category It is the weak leader that aspires to greatness and let their actions be governed by this aspiration. ... And one final comment, NEP was not destructive to Canada, in it's purest form it could have propelled Canada (as a country) into the stratosphere it deserves....but what it did do was require greedy, no-nothing hicks to give up a bit for the betterment of the rest of the country....foolish Trudeau for thinking those who admire so fully the stupidity of Texans to think outside of the box for a while.....but hey...it's always about me me me right? And before you Western soapboxers start up, remember it was us jokers in Onterrible that kept you afloat even before the so-called NEP travesty sucked the life out your economy.
  360. Dan Hunter from Vancouver, Canada writes: P. Trudeau was the greatest screw up prime minister this country ever suffered. This was the person who doubled spending in 2 years. This was the person who gave us The national Energy Program: the Marxist theft of a provincial resource. This was a person who didn't have the courage to join the forces who were gathering world wide to defeat Hitler. He was a vain and disgusting dilletante with the myopic outlook of a backwoods peasant.
  361. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Yeah. Hurray for the foreign oil companies engaging in a deliberate attempt to disrupt Canada's natural resource sovereignty! Good for them! Bad Trudeau for thinking Canadian oil should benefit Canadians.

    What you and Trudeau need reminding of is that it is not 'Canadian' oil. Natural resources are Provincial jurisidiction.

    The Supreme Court of Canada seems to agree.

    Not to mention the concept of the NEP wasn't about Canadian oil benefiting Canadians.

    The NEP was about forcing an industry to sell the commodity below market price so Central Canada could get cheap gas.

    In essence, Trudeau willingly threw the Alberta economy under the bus to buy votes in Ontario and Quebec.

    It was terrible policy then and it would be terrible policy now.

    If you want to hold on to your delusions you have that option; however don't try to blow smoke up people's a$$es by sugar coating the disasterous effects the NEP had the economy of Alberta and the resulting regional bitterness that Trudeau is 100% responsible for.
  362. D. Patrick from Toronto, Canada writes: Nestor C, you may wish to observe your own dictum about partisanship and the passage of time. Heaping more odium on ones poltical foes a balanced contribution does not make. The great service this article has done is to open the debate about how and on what criterion are political leaders may be judged. The volume and passion of the posts made here indicate how successfult that has been. The author is also sparse in his praise of Mulroney, noting in full why/how he became such a reviled figure, even as he pursued policies that in retrospect former opponents have come to view as wise and worthy of keeping. He (Mulroney) was a political failure for failing to convince and carry the country with him on policies that there is now near unamity were right. It is his personality more than policies that floundered so completely. That is a complex and flawed legacy,
    Grudging respect may be as far as this country can go in reaching closure on this bitterness.
  363. Nestor C from Canada writes: Go Oilers Go...I take issue with your opinion and is exactly why Canada will never achieve greatness....because we're too worried about our own little part in it to see the big picture...this is where the US has us beat in spades....they act as one collective when it serves the interests of the country! Somehow we always find ourselves fighting ourselves or making money off eachother..... You saying that the oil is not Canadian but Albertan is like me saying the air I breath is Ontario air..foolhardy....just because some politician way back when (or some lawyer way back when) decided that energy was in the jurisdiction of the province doesn't make the oil any less mine as a CANADIAN! It just so happens it's in your backyard....so what....some of the things you get come from other parts of this fine nation....why can't narrowminded people like you see that....because you'd much rather make money of the backs of everyone equally rather than make more money off the backs of say the Americans which in turn would allow 'cheaper' goods for your own neighbours just speaks to the greed and me-first attitude that Alberta is reviled for...and you jokers think that Ontario is me-first...HA....Ontario has been the sacrificial lamb allowing the ROC to suckle its teet since the beginning......and it's still getting less than it's fair share! But Ontario doesn't begrudge other provinces....it keeps getting fleeced but gladly does so because we see the greater good...(except when it comes to QC) I'm happy that Alberta is finally paying up.....but it didn't take that long because of Trudeau.... I agree with another poster, if AB hadn't been so stupid and shortsighted, the entire country could be a UAE right now.....instead, AB counts their pennies and wonders how much more money it can make off the rest of its family.....
  364. Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Dr. Hall from Branford, the AutoPact was not given up until many years later under the Liberals. In any case, there was no need for it anymore. As for giving up the rights to our natural resources, we've done no such thing. What the FTA and NAFTA have done is prevented government ownership of resource companies and government restrictions on exports. The market now determines when and where resources are extracted and sold. The government still retains all rights to enforce environmental legislation and all other Canadian laws. What the government can no longer do is step in and create some socialist "made in Canada" pricing scheme in an attempt to redistribute wealth. That is not a disadvantage; that is one of the main ADVANTAGES of free trade.
  365. Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Nestor C, your attitude seems to be as follows: "Ontarians like being fleeced. You should too!" Yet you believe you deserve a discount on gasoline just because the oil is "Canadian"? You feel that those in the oil industry should not be able to sell their product to the highest bidder, and instead should be forced to offer you a "Canadian" discount. And you think that makes you more generous, as opposed to the "me first" Albertans. That feeling of yours is not generosity, but ENTITLEMENT. Right now, vehicles manufactured in Ontario are selling for many thousands of dollars LESS in the US than what they are selling for in Canada. Should I start demanding my "Canadian discount" on my next car purchase as well? Thing is, I don't feel entitled to a Canadian discount. I will simply buy my next vehicle from whomever gives me the best deal, whether that be in Canada or the US. Where it is manufactured is immaterial to me. I'm not entitled to anything other than the best price the market can give me. Neither are you. I've yet to hear an Albertan demand that Ontario stop exporting autos to the US so they can sell them more cheaply to Alberta. Only a self-centred windbag would suggest that Canada should reduce its resource exports so he can enjoy cheaper gasoline. And don't bother me with some imagined differentiation between resources and manufactured goods. The oil doesn't just bubble out of the ground and put itself into barrels. It takes a lot of investment and a lot of work to bring it to market, just as it does for an automobile.
  366. D. Patrick from Toronto, Canada writes: Alistair, you are correct to point out that NAFTA did not impose restrictions on government ability to regulate on the environment or any other issue of public remit, nor have given up our resources or sold ourselves out the US or any other foriegn party. As for Mr. Hall's alleged lack of an dispute resolution mechanism, we have one under NAFTA, which is something we did not before, a vulnerability for a trading nation such ourselves. Critics of the dispute resolution mechanism are wilfully unaware that one does not get all and everything they wish in a trade agreement--they are by definition negotiated mechanisms. But the more such tools we have for achieving ruled based trade the better, that is the means to defend our interests against arbitrary or protectionist measures from the Leviathan or other parties.

    Loading NAFTA with these sorts of allegations and untruths is extraordinary to say the least. It is remarkable that they still have any sort of standing in public opinion. Most western nations have long since made their peace with the trade offs involved in trade agreements and globalised trade more generally. That some Canadians are still debating the basic building blocks of the international trading system that underpins our own prosperity says much about how the debate has been conducted. For that, we must look to political leadership. The Liberals and even the NDP have long accepted that free trade is inevitable and desirable, whatever caveats they may have. It is only at the extreme margins of the anti-globalisation movement that it is questioned and though that has some standing in the NDP, more serious policy makers in the party know well enough to stear clear. But then again, that is implicit not explicit and it is convenient to have it both ways. That we are still debating the issue 20 years later should be laid at the door of John Turner who led the party and much of the country into the intelecutal cul de sac of the anti-FTA argument.
  367. jim Gower from Canada writes: Trudeau the most damaging and selfish. Remember NEP
  368. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: Nestor C from Canada writes: Ontario has been the sacrificial lamb allowing the ROC to suckle its teet since the beginning...... Seriously stop sniffing the glue. Throughout Canadian history every policy put forward has been to protect Ontario and Quebec. Remember the Crow tax? The only reason Ontario's manufacturing sector flourished was because politicians skewed the tax policies in this country to protect it. Or do you think it is fair that shipping costs more from Calgary to Toronto than Toronto to Calgary? Was that in Canada's best interest? Our country currently faces issues with reducing GHG emissions. With your logic it seems fairly evident that the correct course of action is to force Ontario manufacturers to sell hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles to Canadians out west at below cost. Of course it doesn't matter that all of the industry would pack up and leave...it's in Canada's best interests. Alberta doesn't have a 'me' first attitude...it has a 'watch out so we don't get f*cked by Central Canada' attitude. Why? Because history has shown Central Canada has no interest in the well-being of any Western Province...or Atlantic Province for that matter. It is Central Canada that is all about 'me me me'...the Liberal sense of entitlement. I'm happy you are satisfied that Alberta is "finally paying up". We've been a have Province since '62 but at least it only took you 45 years to notice.
  369. Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: You are absolutely correct D. Patrick. The distortion about NAFTA that bothers me most regards the "proportionality clause." I don't know how many times I've heard it argued that this particular clause "forces" us to guarantee the US a certain percentage of our oil (or all of our resources, depending on who's doing the fear-mongering). This is complete bunk. What the clause stipulates is that if Canada wishes to embark upon an oil conservation program and begin restricting exports to the US, Canada must reduce its own consumption of oil by the same percentage as it reduces exports. In other words, the Canadian government cannot step in and restrict exports to the US unless it curbs Canada's oil consumption by the same amount. It guarantees the US nothing other than the opportunity to pay market price for Canadian oil without the federal government stepping in and interfering. It in no way restricts the ability of Canadian O & G companies to export to other countries, or to sell within Canada - it only restricts government from attempting to direct this away from the US. As I stated earlier, this clause is very much to our advantage, as it prohibits the federal government from coming up with another redistributionist scheme like the NEP. The Nestor Cs of the world who whistfully remember such adventures in nationalist interventionism are no doubt disturbed by this. But they should be careful what they wish for. Alberta isn't the only province to export heavily to the US. Last time I looked, all ten provinces and three territories export to the US. None of them would benefit if the federal government stepped in and forced them to start selling their products "in-house" at bargain prices.
  370. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Last time I looked, all ten provinces and three territories export to the US. None of them would benefit if the federal government stepped in and forced them to start selling their products "in-house" at bargain prices.

    China does this. Their 'National' oil company is forced to sell domestically at below market prices.

    The company is also mandated to make a profit.

    The result...gas shortages in China.
  371. Alistair McLaughlin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Go Oilers, sounds like Manitoba Hydro. Manitoba could be rich from hydro exports if it were not a government-owned monopoly, with hydro prices suppressed by the provincial government. I guess cheap hydro is part of Manitoba's "Spirited Energy". I guess the "spirit" represents the ghost of all the energy wealth that COULD be produced, but isn't.
  372. D. Patrick from Toronto, Canada writes: Well put. What is lacking is recongition that it is very much in our interests to have access to the largest economy in the world, and on preferential terms. It is scarcely reasonable to imagine a viable alternative that could support current output and Canadian livelihoods on anything close to current levels. Under Trudeau's ill-fated 3rd option, the proportion of exports to the US increased. Has anyone noticed the US share of our exports dropping in recent years? That is surely a sign of a more internationally competitive economy that has been leveraged from NAFTA.

    In return, the proportionality clause is a reasonable accomodation for a large trade partner aiming to not be made vulnerable to sudden or arbitrary policy changes. And, as pointed out, it frees us from a return to market distorting domestic price controls. However, popular they may be to consumers in the short run, they lead to disaster over the longer term as no investor would seriously consider entering such a jurisdiction.

    The main issue of this article/forum was leadership. None of the main federal parties is seriously considering a return to the protectionist or trade distorting policies of the past, whatever rhetoric or demagoguery they may occasionally indulge, which is the clearest proof that they have taken these lessons to heart. For that, Mulroney, however, unpopuar then or now, need be recognised. That seems to be the nut of Gibson's argument and there has been no coherent argument made here to the contrary.
  373. John McCaffery from Australia writes: NR - I did once live in a different Canada - I call it: pre-1968!
  374. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: What you and Trudeau need reminding of is that it is not 'Canadian' oil. Natural resources are Provincial jurisidiction.

    ===================

    The constitution places the administration of natural resources with a province's borders under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. It doesn't give away the whole national interest in the resources. Accordingly, the NEP, for example, was constitutionally okay.
  375. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: The constitution places the administration of natural resources with a province's borders under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. It doesn't give away the whole national interest in the resources. Accordingly, the NEP, for example, was constitutionally okay.

    The Supreme Court of Canada thinks otherwise.
  376. john tonner from ST. CATHARINES, Canada writes: MULRONEY WAS A DISASTER. YOU OBVIOUSLY CAN'T SEE HE WAS A FRONT MAN FOR OTHER INTERESTS. WHO BACKED HIM TO DUMP JOE CLARK. THEN HE COMES UP WITH THE MEECH LAKE ACCORD WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE QUEBEC A SEPARATE COUNTRY. HE DID'NT GET NICKED NAMED LYING BRIAN BY ACCIDENT.
  377. D. Patrick from Toronto, Canada writes: John, what a thoughtful and balanced assessment.
  378. J L from Thunder Bay, Canada writes: Clearly Stephen Harper by a country mile.Mr Trudeau you say well lets have a look at his resume, Former Nazi sympathizer former communist former Socialists and if that wasn't bad enough a former separatist sympathizer oh dear me and there's more.His government was in continual deficit and he during his tender as our PM added billions to the National Dept, on such notable pieces of legislation of forcing Bilingualism and the conversion of the Imperial System to Metric in order that we may join the world.Yes folks that Pierre at his best or should we properly say his worst ,at a cost of Billions of dollars onto the backs of Canadians, or down their throats, and to what benefit one may ask, other than to what? Join the world of fuddle duddle.Oh does PM Harper look good in comparison or does he not ?In my opinion he looks very good indeed.
  379. Pamphleteer . from Canada writes: "We have now too much judge-made law, and rights were not much advanced beyond ordinary progress."

    I doubt this. The huge leaps made in criminal law modernization would not have occured on the scale as they did had the Charter not been in existence.
  380. ALASTAIR JAMES BERRY from nanaimo bc canada, Canada writes: Will somebody tell me where Frank Moores, ex P.M. of Newfie comes into all this.

    He also had Swiss bank accounts.......and there is still the $2,000,000 in Airbus facilitator's distributions to be explained.

    Are there more accounts hidden in Switzerland?

    Did Mulroney actually receive $300,000 but ONLY DECLARE $225000 to REVENUE CANADA?

    I have dozens of questions like these.

    CHERCHEZ LA FEMME it used to be......It this case it needs to be CHERCHEZ LA MONNAIE.

    $1000 bills are not easily accepted or exchanged(at least not here in Nanaimo where banks look at C$50's and C$100's with suspicion.
  381. Libertarian Raider from Ottawa, Canada writes: To the several commentators on this post who have based the NAFTA?

    1) If NAFTA is so bad, why has Canada consistently had a huge trade surplus with the US since its inception in 1994? (90 billion in 2006)
    2) If Canada is just a hewer and drawer of water for the US, why do such a large proportion of our exports to the US consist of manufactured goods and high-end technology items?
    3) If NAFTA is so bad, why do we continue to have a trade surplus with the US even though the dollar is now at parity?
    4) Finally, you might ask yourselves, if NAFTA was so bad,why did Messrs Chretien and Martin agree to ratify NAFTA on January 1,1994 after they had come to power? Mulroney was gone by then. Chretien and Martin could have said "no". They did not and Canada went on to enjoy the fruits of an upswing in the US after 1994.

    It might not hurt to investigate the facts. Check the trade statistics at www.statcan.ca, your friendly neighbourhood Canadian statistical agency: hardly a neo-con outfit!
  382. Sean L. from Toronto, Canada writes: Libertarian Raider: you ask too much of the "liberals" to look at facts - if they did then we would not have Dalton in charge of Ontario right now. Form over substance dictates liberal strategy - and the rabid liberal supporters love to buy the party's spin...
  383. Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: Pamphleteer . from Canada writes:

    I doubt this. The huge leaps made in criminal law modernization would not have occured on the scale as they did had the Charter not been in existence.

    There have not been huge leaps made in criminal law modernization because of the Charter. More rhetoric from the Libs is all that is.

    The post you commented on was accurate. Rights in Canada were progressing naturally and the Charter has done little to advance them. SSM is really the only example where it has.

    Liberals like to profess that Canadians had no rights before the Charter; however that simply isn't true.

    Imagine that...Liberals lying and fear-mongering to advance their agenda.
  384. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Mulroeny was the best. Chretien was the worst.
  385. NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: Go Oilers Go! from Canada writes: NR Connor from TO, Canada writes: The constitution places the administration of natural resources with a province's borders under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. It doesn't give away the whole national interest in the resources. Accordingly, the NEP, for example, was constitutionally okay.

    The Supreme Court of Canada thinks otherwise.

    ====================

    What case(s) are you thinking of?
  386. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: The Liberal party is the national party that has historically represented most Canadians views.
  387. Joe Davis from Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: The Liberal party is the national party that has historically represented most Canadians views.

    Yes!

    In fact, we should just ban every other party in Canada and change our flag to the Liberal Party Of Canada logo and simply let the Liberal Party of Canada choose our Dear Leader everytime one dies. Oh, and lets change our name to the United Liberal Republic of Liberal Land.

Comments are closed

Thanks for your interest in commenting on this article, however we are no longer accepting submissions. If you would like, you may send a letter to the editor.

Report an abusive comment to our editorial staff

close

Alert us about this comment

Please let us know if this reader’s comment breaks the editor's rules and is obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, profane or racially offensive by selecting the appropriate option to describe the problem.

Do not use this to complain about comments that don’t break the rules, for example those comments that you disagree with or contain spelling errors or multiple postings.

Back to top