Krauss in American Thinker: Parallels

"What if 2008 is the year we became Canada?" asks Professor Michael Krauss in an op-ed carried by American Thinker in which Krauss, an American raised in Canada, draws parallels between the actions and policies of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and those of Barack Obama.

Krauss points to a consolidation of power by Trudeau during his 16 years at the helm of the Canadian government and suggests he steered the country on a clear trajectory to the left. He asks whether the implications of Obama's rise to power are suggestive of fundamental changes to come for the American nation akin to those experienced by Canada under Trudeau.

Obama and Trudeau, American Thinker, March 11, 2009. By Michael I. Krauss.

"But something happened in the late '60's that changed everything. The country elected as Prime Minister a charismatic and intellectual 48-year-old: a man who had emerged from the country's minority group, but who in fact had a mother who was not a minority; a man who had only been a member of the lower house for three years, with no executive experience; a man who promised change and confidently asked the country if it was ready for it. Pierre Trudeau was well-spoken and sexy, and Trudeaumania swept Canada's youth. Trudeau garnered overwhelming majorities in Francophone Canada, and enough votes in Anglophone Canada to form a government. Once in power he consolidated it, staying in office for 16 years and turning the country markedly to the left.

"Trudeau nationalized 25% of the petroleum industry and ruined the nascent boom economy of conservative Alberta. He ensured minority group representation at every level of government and instituted French language requirements in remote English-speaking corners of the country. He turned away from the United States and toward a 'third way', vowing to make Canada more European, from imposition of the metric system to implementation of universal 'free' health care. Though elected by civil libertarians and the pacifist left, he snarled 'watch me' when asked how far he would go to deny civil liberties after FLQ terrorists kidnapped two men and killed one of them. He introduced landmark legislation decriminalizing homosexual acts, contraception and abortion, while enacting significant gun ownership restrictions. And he enormously expanded the scope of Canada's federal government, all the while resisting free trade with the United States and encouraging links with Cuba."

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