Throughout Canadian history there have been many influential political leaders in the past, but none as powerful or significant as Brian Mulroney. Despite the many political criticisms, Brian Mulroney served as the longest conservative prime minister in Canada, he attained a struggle through his pre-political life, which lead him to cleaning up his act and leading the conservative party to the greatest majority in Canadian history, he goes on to serve the legacy of one of the greatest political leaders of all time.
Martin Brian Mulroney was born in 1939, the son of an electrician, in the town of Baie Comeau, Quebec. He attended a very strict military all boys’ school until the age of 16 when he entered Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. There he earned an honor degree in political science and he was active in campus politics. Before he graduated he was to become the Prime Minister of St. FX’s famous mock Parliament, a position that had been held for years by Liberal students. It was during these years in Quebec that Brian became known as the life of the party.
He frequented most Montreal nightclubs and was quite a lady’s man. He also became a slightly more than social drinker. After becoming a lawyer in 1965 he joined a law firm known as Cate Ogilvy, later becoming a partner in that firm. In May 1973 at the age of 34 he married a beautiful 20 year old Mila Pivnicki, daughter of Yugoslav immigrants, and they had three children. Mulroney worked energetically for the Progressive Conservative Party as a young lawyer. Although Mulroney had not yet held public office, he ran for election as Conservative leader at the party’s 1976 national convention.
He waged a vigorous and expensive campaign but lost to Joe Clark after being criticized as the Cadillac Candidate for spending so much money. This was a very bleak time in his life, he took the Leadership loss very personally and it almost ruined him. A few years after taking the job of President of the Iron Ore Company of Canada he decided that he would clean himself up. In 1977 Brian went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for people who didn’t want the world to know they had a problem.
In 1982, because of an economic depression, the Iron Ore Company of Canada was forced to close one of its mining and milling towns in Quebec. At first this appeared to be a disastrous political setback however, he turned it into a public relations triumph by making the people of the town in question believe that there were other alternatives when there were none and by negotiating settlements for the workers who had lost their jobs. This earned him respect and won him general support and his reputation was enhanced.
In mid-1983 Clark’s leadership was being questioned, Brian Mulroney was again a candidate who campaigned, he actually had been paying people to ruin Clarks chances of getting the nomination again. He was elected party leader on June 11, 1983 and he entered the House of Commons on August 28, 1983. Despite inexperience, he was an effective leader of the opposition against Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Trudeau retired and John Turner took his place. The new Prime Minister had a lack of political skills, having been out of politics for some nine years.
Consequently, Turner’s electoral campaign against Mulroney was difficult. This contained three debates between the two party leaders, during which both English and French were spoken. In these debates, Mulroney, who is bilingual, won wide support for the Conservatives. The election result was the greatest triumph for a party in Canadian history. The depressed state of the Canadian economy and Canada’s somewhat tense relations with the United States were problems that Mulroney promised to deal with if his party were returned to power.
With unemployment at more than 11 percent, Mulroney also said to make job creation his first aim. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect January 1, 1994. NAFTA was launched 15 years ago to reduce trading costs, increase business investment, and help North America be more competitive in the global marketplace and Brian Mulroney is to thank for this. Mulroney’s legacy is complicated and even emotional. March 31, 2009 it was reported by that a Conservative official claimed Mulroney was no longer a member of the party. They claimed his membership expired in 2006 and was not renewed.
Additionally, Mulroney allegedly “called a senior party official two months ago to ask that his name be pulled off all party lists and materials and that communications with him cease. ” However, A Mulroney confidante, speaking on condition of anonymity, called the party’s claims preposterous. ‘He’s part of the history of this party, you can’t rewrite history. If they’re worried about branding, then shut the inquiry down. They’re the ones who called the inquiry. ‘ Mulroney possessed many important significant attributes to being one of the greatest Canadian politicians. As well as some great failures in his career as P.
M. Mulroney would be remembered for some good things he had done such as the Nunavut Agreement with the Inuit of the eastern arctic, which set in motion the creation of a third Canadian Territory. He was also an architect of the Francophone summit, which is a yearly meeting of the leaders of the worlds French speaking nations. Though Mulroney had retained a parliamentary majority in the 1988 elections, widespread public opposition to the free-trade agreement and his inability to resolve the Quebec problem caused Mulroney’s popularity to decline sharply, and he resigned in 1993.
He was replaced as P. M. and head of the Progressive Conservative Party by Defense Minister Kim Campbell, a girl. In conclusion, Brian Mulroney was one of the greatest prime ministers of all time, he served as the longest conservative prime minister in Canada, he attained a struggle through his pre-political life, which lead him to cleaning up his act and leading the conservative party to the greatest majority in Canadian history, he goes on to serve the legacy of one of the greatest political leaders of all time.
Blake, Raymond Benjamin. Transforming the nation: Canada and Brian Mulroney. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.
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