Trudeaumania For A Just Society Essay

1498 words - 6 pages

Humans are natural philosophers; it is in human nature to pose questions about the unknown. If humans were indifferent to issues, questions, the sort, then religion would not exist; for, what does religion do other than attempt to give people explanations for phenomena that science cannot explain. There are few people, however, that fall into the category of ‘good philosophers’ because to be a good philosopher, one must be able to accept the truth, no matter what emotions it crosses. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, once known as the Canadian ‘Philosopher King’, was a philosopher that was able to do just that. He is used as an example of a person who revolutionized Canada, and is studied for his philosophical ways of thought. The many changes he made to this country have given it the identity Canada has today; it was his theory of a just society that keeps his name alive. In order to understand Pierre Trudeau’s theory of a just society, however, one must first examine who Trudeau was, what his philosophy was, and what the positive and negative impacts of his ideas were on Canada.
Even though he is remembered as Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau’s legacy did not start there. While his sixteen years as Prime Minister is said to be his greatest achievement, his reputation as a hard worker started after he graduated from the University of Montreal, when he landed a position as a desk officer for the Privy Council; he practiced law, specializing in labour and civil liberty cases –issues he later brought into focus of Canadians– from 1951 to 1961. During these years, Trudeau spent his time opposing the ‘Union Nationale’ government of Maurice Duplessis; he demanded both social and political change. “Trudeau sought to rouse opposition to what he believed were reactionary and inward-looking elites [and i]n the process, he developed a reputation as a radical and a socialist, although the values he championed were closer to those of liberalism and democracy.” (The Canadian Encyclopedia) The Quiet Revolution after the Liberal victory in the 1960’s fulfilled some of Trudeau’s hopes for change. He then became a professor of constitutional law in the University of Montreal –during which he became a harsh opponent of contemporary Quebec nationalism, arguing for a Canadian federalism where both English and French Canada would find a new equality–, until he was invited by the Liberal Party to run for party seats.
Pierre’s invitation proved to be a victory; he won in the election that same year, and was given the title of the Minister of Justice. “His flamboyant and charismatic personality meshed well with the changing attitudes and opinions of the late 1960s [and w]ithin a year, he had reformed the divorce laws and liberalized the laws on abortion and homosexuality.” ( He then campaigned for leadership of the Liberal Part when Lester B. Pearson retired, and he won on April 6, 1968. His ideas were so popular that it brought on the excitement and...

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