Canadians go to the polls on Monday (18 February) for the second time in less than a year after the December defeat of Prime Minister Joe Clark's Progressive Conservative government.
GV AND CU Liberal Party leader Pierre Elliot Trudeau riding in open car through street of Toronto (1968)
GV Toronto City Hall Square filled with people some carrying banners (3 shots)
BACK VIEW Mr Trudeau and Toronto Mayor Phil Givens looking at crowd (2 shots)
CU Prime Minister and Progressive Conservative Party leader Mr Joe Clark speaking
GV Mr Trudeau in Vancouver during 1979 election campaign with Chinese Dragon and onlookers
GV Mr Trudeau walking among supporters at rally
EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR GV's Mr Trudeau appearing on the radio and talking to listener (5 shots)
GV Mr Clark and wife Maureen McTeer campaigning in 1979 election
GV Tanzanian Prime Minister Julius Nyerere greeting Mr Clark and wife in Dar Es Salaam (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Nyerere speaking as Clark and wife look on
GV New Democratic Party Leader Ed Broadbent greeting workers as they emerge from factory (3 shots)
GV Broadcasting speaking
GV 1980 Clark campaigning in rural area
GV Clark and wife up steps of house
GV & CU Broadbent in sleigh pulled by team of huskies (4 shots)
GV People gathered waiting for arrival of Trudeau
GV AND CU Trudeau on snowmobile driving into forest
CLARK: "Eleven years is a long time to lead a party or to lead a country. He did that in a singular and dramatic way and has singular and dramatic way and has brought to the country some profound and permanent changes."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Canadians go to the polls on Monday (18 February) for the second time in less than a year after the December defeat of Prime Minister Joe Clark's Progressive Conservative government. And Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister for eleven years until last May, appears set to win again. Mr Clark's government was defeated two months ago on its budget, in a motion introduced by the third major party -- the New Democratic Party, supported by Mr Trudeau's Liberals. In May, Canadians seemed tired of the man who had held office for more than a decade. They had developed something newsmen dubbed ironically as "Trudeauphobia". But an image problem has plagued Joe Clark throughout his time in office and it looks like the party leaders' sharply contrasting personalities and style of government will determine the outcome of the election.
SYNOPSIS: When Pierre Elliot Trudeau took to the campaign trail in 1968 people turned out in droves to see a new style of Canadian politician. The debonair, bicultural bachelor drew huge crowds infected by a something called "Trudeaumania". Eleven years later it took a young, inexperience unknown to defeat him. Trudeau was unenthusiastic about being in opposition and in late 1979 announced he would leave politics, Praises were sing for his accomplishments -- even by Joe Clark, the man who thought he'd never again campaign against him...
May, 1979. A decade in office had tarnished the charisma of Trudeau. And Canadians did not accept his campaign theme of national unity. Instead they wanted solutions to rising prices and growing unemployment -- but they did not want to hear their leader's sharp suggestions that they might be forced to economise. Trudeau did not take his defeat lightly. "The people finished me," he said, "by asking somebody else to be Prime Minister."
It was Joe Clark's first campaign as Conservative leader. He accused Trudeau of weakening Parliament and alienating the provinces. but much of his vote was anti-Trudeau rather than a sign of confidence for Clark's untested leadership abilities.
The new Prime Minister visited Africa in mid-1979. His minority government was plagued by an opposition quick to question his ability to carry through his policies on the domestic and international fronts. His image abroad was not as slick as Trudeau's and there were stirrings of discontent.
Ed Broadbent, leader of the centre-left New Democratic Party (NDP), engineered Clark's sudden downfall with a no-confidence vote on the budget introduced in December. Trudeau had resigned as Liberal leader and it looked like a new era in Canadian politics.
Instead, Canadians prepared for a replay of the campaign of less than a year before.
The leading candidates are the same, but with Clark playing the role of the incumbent and having to defend the policies of his government. Clark claims he hasn't had a fair chance to show what he could do and he has alleged he has been the target of a concerted campaign to portray him as weak ineffectual.
Ed Broadbent rates second to Trudeau in opinion poll rating of leadership competence. His party sustained a Trudeau minority government between 1972 and 1974, and Broadbent could once again hold the balance of power.
Mr. Trudeau conducted a lw-key campaign until this last week (10-15 February) when he once again showed his talents as an off-the-cuff orator in bitting attacks on Clark's short record. In the latest opinion polls are to be believed and Trudeau can swing the crucial Ontario vote back to the Liberals, he could be back as leader of the country on Monday (18 February).