Canada in the late 1970s was beset by severe constitutional and economic problems. Public debate on these issues, dominated by the ideas of Pierre Trudeau, was extremely limited in scope and failed to provide any compelling sense of hope for the future.
James Laxer and Robert Laxer seek out the roots of this dilemma with an analysis of the basic strategies of the Liberal Party's system of governing Canada, instituted by Wilfrid Laurier and refined by the governments of Mackenzie King, Louis St. Laurent and Lester Pearson. The political legacy that Pierre Trudeau inherited in 1968, they argue, was flawed in both its methods of dealing with an enduring French Canadian nationalism and its shaky underpinnings in Canada's branch-plant economy.
First published in 1977, The Liberal Idea of Canada remains a wide-ranging and insightful analysis of the ideological foundations of Canada's dominant political party.