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Trudeaumania was the nickname given in early 1968 to the excitement generated by Pierre Trudeau's entry into the leadership race of the Liberal Party of Canada. Trudeaumania continued during the subsequent federal election campaign and during Trudeau's early years as Prime Minister of Canada. Decades later, Trudeau's son, Justin Trudeau, drew a similar international reaction when he became Prime Minister himself in 2015.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Many young people in Canada at this time, especially young women, were influenced by the 1960s counterculture and identified with Trudeau, an energetic nonconformist who was relatively young. They were dazzled by his "charm and good looks", and a large fan base was established throughout the country. He would often be stopped in the streets for his autograph or for photographs. Trudeau had once sympathized with Marxists and had spent time in the democratic socialist Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, and many of his fans were attracted to his culturally liberal stances (he legalized homosexuality and created more flexible divorce laws as Justice Minister under Lester B. Pearson). Trudeau was also admired for his laid-back attitude and his celebrity relationships; in that word's prevailing use at the time, describing a modern, "hip and happening person", he was often described as a swinger. A high point happened during Trudeau's election campaign in 1968 during the annual Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day parade in Montreal, when rioting Quebec separatists threw rocks and bottles at the grandstand where Trudeau was seated. Rejecting the pleas of his aides that he take cover, Trudeau stayed in his seat, facing the rioters, without any sign of fear. The image of the politician showing such courage impressed the Canadian people, and he handily won the election the next day.
Trudeaumania began to abate after Prime Minister Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair in 1971, but he is still remembered as one of Canada's most polarizing politicians and prime ministers; fondly recalled by many Central and Eastern Canadians, but unpopular in the western provinces and among conservative thinkers and Quebec nationalists. He was named the Canadian Newsmaker of the 20th Century by the Canadian Press at the dawn of the year 2000. When he died later that year, there was an outpouring of public grief, and he was again named Newsmaker of the Year for 2000 itself. In 2004, he was voted the third-Greatest Canadian by CBC viewers, after Terry Fox and Tommy Douglas.
In 2015, Pierre Trudeau's son, Justin Trudeau, was elected Prime Minister in the 2015 Canadian federal election. When Justin's face was in the international press, he drew comments of a similar nature online as a senior Canadian politician who was unexpectedly young looking and handsome in the general public's opinion.
- CBC Archives. PM Trudeau won't let 'em rain on his parade. cbc.ca Television clip. Recording date: June 24, 1968. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.
- Joe Chidley, Mary Janigan, Jane O'Hara, Robert Lewis, Geoffrey Stevens, Peter C. Newman, Anthony Wilson-Smith (April 6, 1998). "Trudeau, 30 Years Later". The Canadian Encyclopedia / Maclean's Magazine. Historica. Retrieved January 10, 2015. Last edited August 1, 2014.
- "The world meets Justin Trudeau and likes what it sees". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. October 20, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
- "'We're moving to Canada': Social media swoons over new Canadian PM". SBS. AAP. October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
- Avery, Dan (October 20, 2015). "Meet Justin Trudeau, The Dynamic, Liberal—And Gorgeous—New Prime Minister Of Canada". Newnownext. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
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