The nation was at a crossroads. Foreign states were attempting to influence its politics and elections, while within the country, citizens were deeply divided about which course to take and who should be in charge. The current leader and party had lost a great deal of goodwill and political capital, due to fatigue, resignations, and scandals. In the end a new personality and his political faction took over, thanks largely to collusion with a foreign power, as was proved later.
Some might assume the words above are an excerpt from a book on the 2016 Trump election and Brexit vote, the populism that is plaguing Europe, or the many coups aided by first world nations in third world countries. These are all fair guesses, given the malaise we live in.
But that paragraph accurately describes the defeat of John Diefenbaker by Lester B. Pearson in the 1963 election: during both that and the earlier, minority inflicting 1962 contest, the pollster Lou Harris was dispatched by President John F. Kennedy to help ensure a Liberal Party victory. The Grits, as George Grant explains in Lament for a Nation, had made "continentalism" the foundation of their economic policies, thus signalling vassalship to "the American Empire."
Of course the context and the results of the story are common knowledge - questions of whether or not to accept American nuclear arms on Canadian soil, the personal tension between our PM and their President, as well as Dief the Chief's defeat despite his heroic electioneering.
But the story of Mr. Lou Harris is not well known. The Globe and Mail's Lawrence Martin wrote that, "to avoid detection, Mr. Harris was even provided with a fake passport," and bragged about helping Pearson and Kennedy defeat Diefenbaker to the Canadian Press decades later.
Questioned about my strong anti-Grit rhetoric, I always tell this tale, asking why decades of calumny and cravenness by Liberal leaders and policies has not earned them total contempt?
That litany of sins ought to be well known by all but the best educated and indoctrinated in our land. As the federal election draws nearer, I will reiterate it with a sense of both anger and despair, as its legacy has left our country anemic, sanctimonious, and a global laughingstock.
Indeed, Liberal and American collusion has reared its head again in recent years as the researcher Vivian Krause, whom I interviewed on Prince George Up Close, uncovered: Lead Now targeted a dozen key Conservative ridings in the 2015 election with funds from the USA; hundreds of millions have poured into Canada for the "Tar Sands Campaign" to landlock our oil; even Gerald Butts once got his paycheques from a "non-profit" awash in this shady cash.
And the Democratic Party still dispatches operatives to ensure the Grits get elected: the most famous example being David Axelrod, an adviser to President Barack Obama going back as far as his bid for the Illinois senate seat, giving advice to Justin Trudeau in our last election.
In short, nothing has changed since that fateful day in 1963, when the last pan-Canadian Prime Minister was pushed into political oblivion. With our fatal tilt to regionalism, one wonders if we'll ever be able to shake off our fetters and become the Canada Sir Wilfred Laurier spoke of.
Until then, the Canadian people should know they are being taken for rubes, and have been for over fifty-five years, by the Liberal Party of Canada and its allies. Thankfully elections still have some effect in our malaffected dominion. Thus, I humbly suggest tossing these bums out once and for all, if not defenestrating that political party entirely, showing some "true grit" as self-respecting citizens, a concept the Liberals' once advocated by adopting that old epithet.
To be clear, this is not a cure all - our problems go much deeper than turning out this sad government. But like the 12 steps, one has to name and face the problem to begin the recovery.