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Mulroney: Growing No Wiser with Age

06-Sep-07 11:52 pm EST Leave a comment Go to comments

I just about fell off my chair when I read this today!  Mulroney is attacking former Prime Minister Trudeau on lacking "moral fibre"???  Talk about throwing stones in a glass house!  What about opening up a constitutional debate that nearly destabilized, divided and ruined a successful 1st world democracy – in the name of aggrandizing one’s own historical role and because he started believing too much in his own press about being "the great negotiator"?

As the CBC article reveals (and as my own grandparents reminded me during their lives in accounts of World War II), there was no knowledge, nor even the suspicion of concentration camps existing until nearly after the war was over.  At the time, there was a good deal of quite justifiable shock on the subject.  And certainly, Trudeau – whatever views he may have held as a youth – was no anti-Semite either during his period of demonstrations against Canada’s early involvement in the war (as was common, and even the view of the majority in Quebec at that time) or subsequently.  This is an old critique of Trudeau that was dredged up during his early political career and it never stuck.  And with good reason – it was a very petty, weak criticism!

Trudeau, the architect of Canada’s current constitution – which includes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – was, in fact, one of this country’s greatest prime ministers. This critique by Mulroney is nothing more than a bitter ex-politician, jealous of both the subsequent adoration Trudeau elicited and the pinnacle of prestige Trudeau’s legacy holds in Canadian history, is seeking to dislodge and, in effect, to tarnish that record of distinction with a sleazy, baseless accusation that was properly retired after the appropriate degree of public scrutiny nearly 40 years ago.

Mulroney’s own legacy would have been less tainted if he’d kept his own mouth shut and not put on such a shameful display of pettiness and raw envy today.  Indeed, his remaining time on this Earth would be better spent apologizing for his own litany of errors and gaffes than maliciously trying (in vain) to put himself up on a pedestal at the expense of a great man, dead for years – and who can, after all, no longer defend himself even were such a defense necessary.

Fortunately it isn’t.  And what apparently Mulroney finds so difficult to swallow is, that deep down – he probably knows it.  He knows there won’t be the throngs of Canadians lined into the foyer of the House of Commons and all the way down Parlliament Hill – nor the extraordinary outpouring of grief that occured upon Trudeau’s death – when Mulroney’s time with us is up.  There won’t be the same eulogizing of his accomplishments and of his place in the hearts of Canadians with his passing, as there was with Trudeau.  And there won’t be the memory of him fixing Canada’s constitutional woes single-handedly, as he’d sought to do, and presumed he could do.  For Mulroey it’s a little too much to bear apparently – and even I have to admit I feel a little sorry for him.

But certainly not because I really give a damn about his legacy at all – because he’s a Prime Minsiter of Canada, the "Right Honourable Brian Mulroney"; and unlike many of his peers he’s grown no wiser with age.

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Categories: News and politics
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Terry Glavin

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