Highlights and failures eight years in
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Say what you will about the leader of our country, but no recent prime ministers have had an impact like Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and the excitement of having Trudeau in office may never surface again. During his eight years in office and two re-elections, Trudeau has been both heavily praised and criticized for his dynamic personality, womanizing, and powerful policy changes.
Trudeau will be remembered for decades to come. One of his earliest and perhaps most lasting accomplishments was the defence of our recent socialized health care system—a more modern approach that is an essential part of taking care of our citizens. Quite recently, Trudeau abolished the death penalty in Canada, adopting the modern, civilized view that governments should not kill their own citizens. It’s only a matter of time until the US follows suit.
Of course, Trudeau’s administration has not been without its challenges, but his resilience throughout has only proven his competence. Early on in his career, he faced radical Quebec liberationists, and made it clear such domestic extremism would not be tolerated. He clashed with Quebec on everything from Constitutional reform to multiculturalism, but he’s always worked through it. Trudeau has defended bilingualism against a growing demand for independence in Quebec. Quebec has a provincial election coming up this November—the results will be significant for its future and for the unity and future of this country. Whatever may happen, Trudeau will navigate through to continue carrying this province as part of our country’s culture.
Internationally, Trudeau has set the stage for Canada to be a peaceful role model. His various economic policies have become particularly highlighted after working with US President Gerald Ford to join the G6, changing the group to the G7. Canada now has a much louder voice in discussing world economic issues. We can look forward to unified and strengthened economies after the mess of this decade in the future.
He is a divisive, polarizing politician. He works hard at his job of keeping Canada great, and he may suffer personally from it. The media loves to jump on the pressure felt by Trudeau, especially in his personal life. We all know his marriage is suffering, and the Trudeau home may become broken. Nevertheless, I remain confident that Trudeau’s popularity and leadership will endure. He will be re-elected yet again when the time is right and lead our country for years to come. His children will grow up to be responsible, productive Canadians—perhaps even great leaders in their own right.