I first got to know Flora around the mid-1960s, when I was a student at Queen’s University and she was a senior support staff person in the Political Science Department. I followed her career thereafter, well before she became famous for her unsuccessful run for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party in 1976 and then for her role as one of the key figures behind the scenes for Canada during the Iranian hostage incident at the end of the 1970s. I remember when she parted company with John Diefenbaker, in whose Ottawa office she had worked, and went on to help Robert Stanfield win the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1967. Diefenbaker wasn’t happy about her disloyalty and was always ready with a riposte. He is said to have offered Flora a very back-handed compliment about being “one of the finest women ever to walk the streets of Ottawa.”
The relentless and tedious Conservative ads attacking Justin Trudeau offer a back-handed compliment about his hair, managing to imply that his luxurious mane is simply a reflection of his callow youth.
I think the Liberals are missing a great marketing opportunity in response.
How about “Justin Trudeau: a cut above the rest?”
The Conservatives are determined to achieve a balanced budget to demonstrate that their party is the one that best manages the economy. Their record in office in no way supports this assertion and, ironically, their insistence on balancing the budget at this particular time illustrates how little they seem to understand the basics of economics. With the Canadian economy heading into another recession, the appropriate response should be a deficit budget, one designed to inject some spending stimulus into the lagging economy.
This is one of many colourful comments from John Diefenbaker, whose unexpected victory in 1957 ended a Liberal hegemony that had begun in 1921 under Mackenzie King (with a brief interruption in 1926 and a longer gap between 1930 and 1935). King held office for 22 years over that period and was by far Canada’s longest serving Prime Minster.
C. Richard Tindal, Ph.D is a retired Professor of Government. He taught for 30 years at St. Lawrence College, Kingston and was an occasional Visiting Professor at Queen's University. He has also written and consulted extensively about government.