|Sieur Justin Trudeau|
Although he was the scion of a wealthy Quebec family, and a well-known public intellectual in that province, in terms of federal electoral politics, Pierre Trudeau came pretty much out of nowhere in 1967, when he was appointed to Pearson’s cabinet, then elected Liberal leader the next year.
So what exactly, he was asked, were his political beliefs?
Trudeau claimed his ideology came from Plato’s Republic.
This seemed to please everyone; it dodged Marxism, and sounded impressively intellectual.
But what does that actually mean?
Plato’s republic was not a democracy. He called for an aristocracy in which leaders were trained from infancy for the role. He also held that there should be no private property, women and children should be held in common, and the lower classes should be kept ignorant and indeed lied to if this is in the interests of the state
Trudeau, in short, was an aristocrat, in all but title, and he was claiming his class privilege to rule.
Canadians thought this was great.
A generation later, the Liberal party has turned to Trudeau’s son to take up his mantle of leadership. Appropriately enough, Trudeau fils has no qualifications for the role whatsoever, except the traditional one of being to the manor born. As Liberal leader, he follows Bob Rae, who follows Michael Ignatieff, who follows Stephane Dion, who follows Paul Martin Jr. – all from well-established families, New World gentry. In Ignatieff’s case, Old World gentry as well. (Thomas Mulcair and Jack Layton are from the same mold, as was John Turner).
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with being an aristocrat. And there is nothing wrong with electing an aristocrat. Winston Churchill and FDR were both blue of blood, and they did well enough for their respective countries.
But in the usual order of things, for an aristocrat to successfully contest an election for the Commons, he is expected to renounce his hereditary privileges and publicly declare himself a democrat at heart.
|Pierre Trudeau, Compte d'Outremont.|
In Canada, there seems to be no such need. Trudeau pere never bothered to conceal his respect and affection for Fidel Castro. Trudeau fils has recently openly expressed his admiration for dictatorship as a more efficient form of government. He still rides high in the polls, and the Liberals just did very well in four byelections.
Canadians would apparently be happy if relieved of the burden of thinking for themselves. They’d rather be ruled without consultation by a self-appointed, hereditary elite.
And democracy is just not the kind of thing you can force on a people.