– Notes on the Provincial Election (1960)

Notes on the provincial election,
Pierre-Elliott Trudeau

Cité Libre, Volume 11, Number 28, June-July 1960, p. 12

Notes sur l’élection provinciale,
Pierre-Elliott Trudeau

Cité Libre, Volume 11, Numéro 28, Juin-Juillet 1960, p. 12

Original

Translation

Notes sur l’élection provinciale

Notes on the provincial election

NOUS n’avons jamais, à Cité Libre, donné dans les directives” à la veille des élections.  Nous discutions de politique à longueur d’année et, tant que l’Union Nationale était au pouvoir, il eut été superflu d’avertir nos lecteurs que nous allions voter pour l’opposition.  Cette fois encore, nous n’aurons pas à rompre la tradition!

WE have never, at Cité Libre, given “directives” on the eve of elections.  We discussed policy all year long and, as long as the Union Nationale was in power, it had been superfluous to inform our readers that we were going to vote for the opposition.  This time again, we will not have to break with tradition!

J’éprouve toutefois, quant à moi, un léger besoin d’“expliquer mon vote”, comme disent ces messieurs du Parlement.  Ces dernières années, j’ai — à plusieurs reprises et publiquement — analysé les données du problème politique, et je ne crois pas devoir me défiler au moment où ce problème exige une solution électorale.

I for one, however, am experiencing a bit of a need “to explain my vote”, as these gentlemen of Parliament say. — In recent years — on several occasions and publicly — I analyzed the facts of the political case, and I do not feel obliged to parade myself at a time when this problem requires an electoral solution.

Je n’avais pas cru, après l’élection de 1956, que la conjoncture électorale de 1960 serait aussi sim­ple qu’elle l’est.  D’abord il y avait le Rassemble­ment qui, par l’éducation et l’action, se proposait d’élargir et d’alimenter la gauche démocratique.  Puis il y eut l’Action civique qui, après la défaite de M. Drapeau à la mairie en 1957, s’organisait implacablement eu vue des élection[s] provinciales.  Ensuite, en juillet 1958, le P.S.D. national réso­lut de s’inféoder à un nouveau “mouvement po­litique populaire ayant une base très large”.  Peu après (automne 1958), les partisans du Crédit so­cial étaient conviés à se regrouper dans un vaste Ralliement créditiste.  À travers tout cela et d’an­née en année, la Fédération libérale provinciale imposait avec de plus en plus de fermeté et de succès ses cadres démocratiques au vétusté trou­peau libéral.  Et enfin, il y a un an, le manifeste des vingt-et-un invitait les hommes de bonne vo­lonté à réaliser un désir assez répandu chez nous:  unir toutes les forces véritablement démocrati­ques contre l’Union Nationale.

I had not believed, after the election of 1956, that the electoral conjuncture of 1960 would be as simple as it is.  First there was the Rassemblement which, by education and action, proposed to enlarge and fuel the democratic left.  Then there was the Action civique which, after the defeat of Mr. Drapeau for the mayoralty in 1957, grimly organized itself for the provincial elections.  Then, in July 1958, the national P.S.D. resolved to launch a new “very broadly based popular political movement”.  Shortly after (autumn 1958), the partisans of Social Credit were invited to join in a vast Créditiste Assembly.  Through all of that and year after year, the provincial Liberal Federation with increasing firmness and success imposed its democratic frameworks upon the antiquated Liberal herd.  And finally, one year ago, the Manifesto of the Twenty-one invited men of good will to carry out a rather widespread desire among us:  to unite all the truly democratic forces against the Union Nationale.

QUATRE ANNÉES DE DESARROI

FOUR YEARS OF DISARRAY

J’espère pouvoir un jour faire l’analyse de ces quatre années. Il suffit de rappeler ici que la Fédération libérale accepta la formule d’union des forces démocratiques, alors qu’à toutes fins pratiques cette formule fut rejetée par l’Action civique et par le P.S.D.  Ces deux derniers groupe­ments étaient d’opinion qu’idéologiquement ils ne pouvaient pas discuter d’union avec un parti aussi “pourri” que le parti libéral, et que prati­quement ils n’avaient pas besoin de cela pour s imposer à l’électorat.

I hope to be able one day to analyse these four years. It suffices to recall here that the Liberal Federation accepted the formula of a union of the democratic forces, whereas for all practical purposes this formula was rejected by the Action civique and by the P.S.D.  These last two groupings were of the opinion that ideologically they could not discuss union with a party as “rotted” as the Liberal party, and that practically speaking they did not need that to influence the electorate.

Or, à l’heure où j’écris, il appert que d’une part l’Action civique ne présentera pas un seul candidat aux élections du 22 juin, cependant que plusieurs de ses membres seront actifs sous la bannière libérale; et que d’autre part le P.S.D. ne présentera qu’une couple de candidats, encore qu’une large faction du parti voudrait n’en présenter aucun.  De la sorte, et par un juste retour des choses, ceux-là mêmes qui prétendaient “préserver” leurs électeurs contre d’“avilissants” contacts avec les Libéraux, aujourd’hui mettent ces électeurs dans l’obligation de voter libéral, sans condition et sans garantie.  (Car devant le danger de mort où l’Union nationale met la démocratie, je ne dois plus qu’il soit question d’annuler son vote.)  Les socialistes et les drapistes se sont gardé les mains pures … en se coupant les mains.

Now, at the time of writing this, it appears that the Action civique will not run even a single candidate in the elections of June 22nd, however a number of its members are active under the Liberal banner:  and in addition the P.S.D. will only run a couple of candidates, although a broad faction of the party would like to not run any.  So that it now inevitably comes home to roost, those very same who claimed to “preserve” their voters from “degrading” contact with the Liberals, today oblige these voters to vote Liberal, without condition or guarantee.  (Because faced with the risk of death to which the Union Nationale subjects democracy, I no longer believe that it is a question of cancelling one’s vote.)  The Socialists and the Drapists have kept their hands clean … by cutting their hands off.

Je veux bien croire que les Libéraux bluffaient peut-être au moment où ils acceptaient de négocier, même en dehors du parti libéral, une formule d’union des forces démocratiques.  Je pense aussi que depuis la mort de MM. Duplessis et Sauvé et le retrait de l’Action civique, les Libéraux sont vraisemblablement ravis que cette union ne se soit pas réalisée.  Je sais même qu’ils refuseraient aujourd’hui de se compromettre avec trop d’hommes de la “gauche” démocratique, voire même avec d’authentiques indépendants.

I would truly like to believe that the Liberals were perhaps bluffing when they agreed to negotiate, even outside of the Liberal party, a formula of union with the democratic forces.  [i] I also think that since the deaths of Messrs. Duplessis and Sauvé and the withdrawal of the Action civique, the Liberals are truly thrilled that this union did not take place.  I even know that they would refuse today to compromise themselves with too many men of the democratic “left” or even with authentic independents.

LE PARI DÉMOCRATIQUE

THE DEMOCRATIC BET

Mais enfin ces convictions, que je partage avec bien du monde, n’ont pas été mises en preuve, et cela à cause de la piètre stratégie de l’opposition non libérale.  Au contraire, aux yeux de l’électorat d’opposition, seul le parti libéral a accepté le pari démocratique, alors que les autres partis redoutaient “que le grand nombre ne se serve de la règle démocratique pour les transformer véritablement.”  (Cité libre, no. 22, p. 29)  En conséquence, cet électorat sera justifié, autant en théorie qu’en pratique, d’appuyer carrément le parti libéral aux élections prochaines.

But finally, these convictions, which I share with many people, have not been put to the test of public opinion.  And that, because of the very poor strategy of the non-Liberal opposition.  On the contrary, in the eyes of the electoral opposition, only the Liberal party has accepted the democratic gamble, whereas the other parties feared “that the great number would not employ the democratic rule to really transform themselves.”  (Cité Libre, no. 22, p. 29)   In consequence, this electorate will be justified, in theory as much as in practice, in squarely supporting the Liberal party at the next elections.

Il va sans dire, mais cela ira peut-être mieux en le disant, que je ne suis pas autrement fier d’avoir à faire ces constatations.  Mais si je ne les faisais pas, je renierais le long manifeste publié dans le numéro sus-dit de Cité libre, et je reculerais devant la logique à laquelle je risquais d’être pris en jouant à “démocratie d’abord”.  Car il est certain que si, par exemple, le P.S.D. avait appuyé l’union des forces démocratiques et que les Libéraux l’avaient repoussée, je serais aujourd’hui justifié de conclure que tous les démocrates sincères auraient à voter contre les Libéraux et à appuyer le P.S.D.

It goes without saying, but it will perhaps be better to say it, that I am not otherwise proud to have to make these observations. But if I do not make them, I would repudiate the long manifesto published in the above-mentioned issue of Cité Libre, and I would back away from the logic to which I risked being held by playing at “democracy first.”   Because it is certain that if, for example, the P.S.D. had supported the union of democratic forces, and the Liberals had rejected it, I would today be justified in concluding that all sincere democrats would have to vote against the Liberals and support the P.S.D.

Mais comme question de fait, le P.S.D. et l’Action civique ont choisi d’être, ces années dernières, doctrinaires dans la pensé politique, intolérants dans l’action démocratique et lunaires dans la stratégie générale. Le résultat net, c’est que le parti libéral a obtenu à peu de frais le monopole des votes oppositionnistes.  Et le corollaire, c’est qu’un René Lévesque — soudain désireux d’exercer une action électorale — se trouve dans l’impossibilité pratique d’agir ailleurs que dans le parti libéral.

But as a question of fact, the P.S.D. and the Action civique have chosen to be, in recent years, doctrinaire in their political thought, intolerant in their democratic action, and lunar in their general strategy.  The net result is that the Liberal party has obtained at little cost the monopoly of the opposition vote.  And the corollary is that a certain René Lévesque — suddenly
wishing to get into politics — finds it practically impossible to act other than within the Liberal party. [ii]

Tant mieux pour ce parti:  je ne lui reprocherai pas sa bonne fortune.  Mais lui, il ne m’empêchera pas de conclure que beaucoup de ses électeurs du 22 juin prochain exerceront une option de moindre mal, motivée surtout par la réalité tactique.   Certes, j’admets que dans le programme libéral il y ait matière pour une action réformiste qui pourrait bien durer quelques années.  Mais je n’y ai pas vu ébauchées de véritables réformes de structures (sauf celles — généralement assez effarantes — qu’on songerait à baser sur le rapport de la Commission Tremblay).  Et je ne m’illusionne toujours pas sur le désintéressement de ceux qui financent la campagne électorale.

So much the better for this party:  I will not reproach it for its good fortune.  But he will not prevent my concluding that many of his electors on June 22nd next will be exercising the option of the lesser evil, motivated above all by the tactical reality.  Certainly, I admit that in the Liberal program there is material for reformist action which might well last for several years.  But I did not see there the outlines of true structural reforms (except those — generally quite mind numbing — that one would think of basing on the report of the Tremblay Commission). — And I still have no illusions about the disinterestedness of those who finance the electoral campaign.

ET APRÈS? –…

AND AFTER? …

Qu’arrivera-t-il après les élections?

What will happen after the elections?

Le prophétisme serait ici parfaitement oiseux. Toutefois il serait bon que dès maintenant tous les hommes d’opposition soient résolus de ne pas répéter après juin 1960 l’indécision de 1952-1956, ni le désarroi de 1956-1960.

Prophecy would be perfectly idle here.  However it would be good if as of now all the men of the opposition were resolved not to repeat after June 1960 the indecision of 1952-1956, nor the disarray of 1956-1960.

Cela sera d’autant plus difficile que la conjoncture peut s’avérer extrêmement confuse.

It will be all the more difficult as the economic situation may prove to be extremely confused.

Si, par aventure, les Libéraux gagnaient la prochaine élection, il est à prévoir que les cadres démocratiques encore trop frêles de la Fédération libérale seront broyés sous la ruée des affamés vers la mangeoire.  Si, par contre, les Libéraux étaient battus aux élections prochaines, un vacuum sera créé, plus ou moins grand selon l’ampleur de leur défaite.

If, by chance, the Liberals won the next election, it is to be anticipated that the still too-frail democratic framework of the liberal Federation will be crushed under the onslaught of the famished heading for the trough.  If, on the other hand, the Liberals were beaten in the upcoming elections, a vacuum will be created, more or less large according to the size of their defeat.

Mais dans un cas comme dans l’autre, ce serait une erreur de croire que le nouveau C.T.C.-P.S.D. aura automatiquement les voies libres.  Car Drapeau et l’Action civique peuvent ressusciter autant des cendres libérales que de celles de l’Union nationale.  Et le parti libéral lui-même, s’il est battu mais seulement de justesse et s’il choisit de “tomber à gauche”, peut continuer d’apparaître comme une option valable à  bien des démocrates.

But in one case as in the other, it would be an error to believe that the new C.T.C.-P.S.D. will have the tracks cleared automatically.  Because Drapeau and the Action civique can reanimate as many Liberal ashes as it can those of the Union Nationale.  And the Liberal party itself, if it is beaten but only by a hairsbreadth and if it chooses “to fall to the left”, may continue to seem a valid option to many democrats.

Alors il faudra de nouveau chercher une formule pour faire l’unité des forces réformistes.  Et j’espère que cette fois, on mettra moins d’obstination à ne pas comprendre l’urgence pour notre Province du mot d’ordre “Démocratie d’abord”.

Then it will again be necessary to seek a formula to unite the forces of reform.  And I hope that this time, less stubbornness will be employed so as not to understand the urgency for our Province of the watchword “Democracy first”.

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[i] In other words, a “formula of union” with the leftist and Red forces.  And keep in mind that Quebec historian Robert Rumilly, in his 1956 book, L’infiltration Gauchiste au Canada Français points out:

“‘The Liberal party is on the left’, wrote Edmond Turcotte in Le Canada, the party newspaper, on June 10th, 1935.”

 

Rumilly continues:

“There remains a multitude of good people whom family tradition or discomfiture with the conservative party retain in the Liberal party, without their taking the trouble to scan the deep tendencies.   A close examination makes it impossible to share their illusion.  Edmond Turcotte has formally warned us:  “The Liberal party is on the left.”

French original:  “‘Le parti libéral est à gauche’, écrivait Edmond Turcotte dans Le Canada, journal du parti, le 10 juin 1935.  Il reste une multitude de braves gens qu’une tradition de famille ou les maladresses du parti conservateur retiennent dans le parti libéral, sans qu’ils aient pris la peine d’en scruter les tendances profondes.  Un examen attentif ne permet point de partager leur illusion.  Edmond Turcotte nous en a formellement avertis :  “Le parti libéral est à gauche.

[ii]  Trudeau is making it seem that because of the “democratic” situation as he analyses it, Communist René Lévesque had no choice but to run with the Liberals.  However, the Liberals apparently had a choice in accepting or rejecting Communist Lévesque as one of their own; and for this, Trudeau offers no real explanation.   He however says (above):  “I even know that they would refuse today to compromise themselves with too many men of the democratic ‘left’”.  In other words, Trudeau is hiding the fact that the Liberals are “on the left”, by supplying a vague excuse for their admittance of Lévesque.  On the other hand, I recently read –forget where — that a number of Trudeau’s “colleagues” had joined the Lesage Liberals for these elections, but no list was given.  Therefore, the Lesage Liberals were very well stocked with far-left sympathizers in advance of the 1960 Quebec elections.

However, by the second-to-last paragraph, when he says “if [the Liberal party] chooses ‘to fall to the left’”, he seems to be lifting the hem of the veil to indicate foreknowledge on his part that the Lesage Liberals are far more to the left than meets the eye; i.e., they will attempt, for the first time, to construct a Communist plan to run Quebec.  We know this because the Lesage Liberals are “in office” in 1961; the year identified in the 1972 manifesto of the Parti Québécois at pages 101, 102 and 103 as the year of the first attempt to construct a Communist Plan to run Quebec:

The notion of a Plan has been tossed around in Quebec. Since 1961, in one form or another, the elaboration of a development plan remained an objective for successive governments, except for the last which finally abandoned the idea. …. (101)

By proposing that the reorganization and revival of the Quebec economy be undertaken in the framework of a Plan, we are thus conscious of having a steep hill to climb in the opinion of many people for whom the case is closed. …. (102)

The fundamental characteristic of a Plan is that all the principal agents of a nation’s economy agree periodically to confront their objectives, their projects or their proposals, then to render them compatible and to arrange their operations in consequence ….. (102)

What is revealed by this experiment of the Sixties, is that without the necessary instruments, a Plan will never be anything but a more or less inadequate study, presented more or less well, but rigorously platonic. The missing instruments are precisely those which result from sovereignty.  As long as Quebec is not independent, as long as it does not possess all the fiscal, legislative and mobilizing powers of a Sovereign state, to wave the banner of planning is at best the expression of a great lack of guile, or at worst, a fairly cheap way to neutralize a growing desire for participation. ….  (103)

The economic rebuilding of Quebec requires a Plan.  And the Plan will materialize only in an independent Quebec. (103)

It should be noted that if “sovereignty” is the “missing instrument” for the success of a “Plan”, then Mr. Trudeau, as much as Mr. Lévesque, Mr. Parizeau, and Mr. Lesage (et als), are all equally desirous of dismantling Canada to put those “instruments” into the hands of the Planners.

In any event, Trudeau’s urging of the left to vote Liberal in 1960 coincides with precisely such an effort, the effort to construct a Communist Plan, and therefore, he has directly linked himself, first, as an intellectual; and second as (de facto, under a void oath) Prime Minister of Canada, to this Communist attempt upon Quebec.  Since he has chosen to include mention of this article of his in Cité Libre in his formal biography published by the Liberals with the “explanation” for listing it, to this effect:  

“As the term drew to a close, Mr. Trudeau issued an appeal to the readers of Cité Libre to support the Liberals in the provincial election of 1960. With the Liberal victory, the democratic and social revolution seemed underway.” (Top of page 7, English bio).

Obviously, the “Liberals” of the official Trudeau regime, were hoping to con the readers of this English version of his biography into believing that indeed, Trudeau was really a “Liberal”, and not a Marxist member of the NDP for world government, cruising under the flutter of a Liberal flag of convenience.

In any case, Trudeau has thus directly implicated himself in the Communist penetration of Quebec through the Quebec Liberals.  A penetration with consequences:  [1]  for Quebec as a constitutional unit of Canada; [2]  for the French Canadians and their survival, since they are targeted with as-yet undisclosed (though hinted at) planned mass immigration to replace them; [3]  for Canada, as the intent is to deceive the “rest of” the country into “negotiating” its own restructuring with a Communist Quebec after UDI, unaware the PQ is Communist, not separatist; and unaware as well that the real purpose of the UDI is to facilitate the Communist restructuring, but not at all to preserve the ethnicity, language and culture of the allegedly poor and downtrodden French Canadians, whose only real instrument for this is Confederation.  Trudeau’s official “Liberal” profile and this article to which it refers, are thus, together, court evidence.

 
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