Magazine names Trudeau as 'Worst Canadian'
Published Monday, July 30, 2007 12:35PM EDT
Late prime minister Pierre Trudeau has beat out serial killer Clifford Olson and pop diva Celine Dion to win the dubious distinction of being named the Worst Canadian by a Winnipeg-based magazine.
The Beaver, a magazine published by Canada's National History Society, has released the results of its online survey of readers, with Trudeau topping the list.
"When we asked our readers to weigh in with their choice for the Worst Canadian in history, we didn't expect Trudeau to top the list," the magazine said on its website.
"But top it he did, beating out an obscure punk rocker by a couple hundred votes -- a result that perhaps speaks as much about the perils of online polling as it does about the love-hate relationship Canadians have had with this paradoxical prime minister, who could wear a flower in his lapel while giving critics the finger."
The magazine's editor, Mark Reid, told The Canadian Press that Trudeau was someone who transformed Canada, but also polarized people across the country with his controversial measures such as the national energy program and the War Measures Act.
Here are the top-10 Canadians on the list:
Propagandhi punk rocker Chris Hannah
Abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney
Schoolgirl killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Pop-singer Celine Dion
Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Serial killer Clifford Olson
Former media baron Conrad Black
Trudeau, who won the title as the third-greatest Canadian in a 2004 television contest, held the position of prime minister from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, then from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984.
His eldest son Justin Trudeau is an aspiring federal Liberal party candidate.
The Beaver admits the online poll used to determine the winner of the Worst Canadian contest is far from scientific. As a result, the magazine came up with an alternative list formed by polling "10 of Canada's most renowned historians and writers of popular history."
That list, which can only be found in the printed edition of the magazine, is described by The Beaver as "arguably more measured, and takes into consideration the full breadth and scope of Canadian history."
Trudeau didn't make the cut on that list.
The goal of the online poll, the magazine said, was to trigger a debate about the contentious characters who have shaped Canada's history.
What are your thoughts? Have Trudeau's controversial measures earned him the distinction of being named the Worst Canadian, or would he fit better on a list of the greatest Canadians?