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The Legacy of Pierre Trudeau on National Unity - Essay Example

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The legacy of Pierre Trudeau on national unity 1. Introduction The social and political rights of citizens are usually the key criteria for governments when having to establish policies for regulating various aspects of social and economic life. In many countries, the efforts to promote such policies face barriers due to the co-existence of conflicting interests…
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The Legacy of Pierre Trudeau on National Unity
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Download file to see previous pages Trudeau, who was appointed as the prime minister of Canada in 1968, was asked to resolve the above problem. The abilities of Trudeau as a prime minister have been strongly doubted; for certain people, Trudeau has been a unique leader establishing the national unity of Canada. For others, Trudeau had a key role in the elimination of the rights of Francophone communities to keep and promote their culture. The involvement of Trudeau in the promotion of national unity in Canada is explored in this paper. Reference is also made to the level at which the political choices of Trudeau were aligned or not with the rules of Canada’s constitution, a fact that is used in order to evaluate the success of Trudeau in promoting national unity in Canada. 2. Trudeau and National Unity The views of Trudeau in regard to national unity have been strongly affected by the social and political beliefs of his era. However, these beliefs are not necessarily identical, meaning that they can set different priorities in regard to the policies introduced in a particular country. In other words, political decisions can be often opposed to local social frameworks and concepts, such as ethnicity. The specific issue, which is highlighted in the study of Di Sciullo (2011) helps to understand the political choices of Trudeau, especially at the point that these choices affected Canada’s national unity. Trudeau used his position, as Canada’s prime minister in order to promote national unity. However, communities did not welcome his views due to the fact that they were opposed to local culture, as differentiated in English-speaking and French – speaking regions. The critical point where the conflict between Trudeau and the communities made clear was the following: in 1969, after a relevant initiative of Trudeau, Canada established the Official Languages Act 1969 (Di Sciullo 2011, p.30). In the context of the above Act equal rights were given to Francophones and Anglophones in Canada. Still, the position of people belonging to these communities was not similar. English had a series of privileges, mostly because of their financial potentials, as for example: they could easier enter ‘high-paid managerial positions’ (Di Sciullo 2011, p.30) compared to Francophones. Trudeau believed that by promoting the 1969 Act he could enhance unity in Canada but his initiative had opposite results. Francophones, especially those living in the area of Quebec considered this Act as an effort of the government to secure the rights of English across Canada (Di Sciullo 2011, p.30). It should be noted that the reaction of Francophones to the 1969 varied according to the following term: the unilingual population of Quebec was quite opposing towards the new law (Di Sciullo 2011, p.30) but the minorities groups within the Francophone communities welcomed the law. Indeed, the 1969 Act offered to people across Canada the potential to access easier public services (Di Sciullo 2011, p.30). In other words, the efforts of Trudeau to promote unity through initiating the establishment of the 1969 Act rather did not resulted to the expected outcome. Instead of promoting unity this Act increased conflicts between Francophone and Anglophone communities. Emphasis should be also given to the following fact: the 1969 Act was not aligned with the Constitution of Canada (Di Sciullo 2011). Many of this Act’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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