That he was completely non-specific, avoiding policy questions in favour of depending entirely on his style and panache (and goodness knows, he had a surfeit of both) would surely undo him -- or so those of us who believed him to be a hard line leftist (because we'd read his essays in Cite Libre and studied his record) reassured ourselves.I will confess to having too little knowledge of Canadian politics from that era to judge the accuracy of the comparison. But if the facts correspond to reality then he makes a good piece.
Of course, we were wrong; his very lack of specificity was his strength. A brilliant orator, he spun webs around huge crowds, proposing big ideas in obscure terms, making it possible for the listener to impose any dream they wished upon his smiling, Savile Row-suited tabula rasa. He was all things to all people. In service to "party loyalty" and civility, we held our tongues.
The following year, Pierre Elliott Trudeau become prime minister, overwhelming more experienced candidates for the party leadership with his amazing style -- and I grant, it was amazing. Once in power, he led Canada down a radical new path ...Go read the rest.