Trudeaumania: Participatory democracy in the mass-mediated nation
Canadian Historical Review , Volume 89 - Issue 1 p. 27- 53
This article examines the 1968 Canadian Liberal leadership race and subsequent federal election with an emphasis on their cultural character rather than political events, situating them within currents of change that affected both Western culture and Canadian nationalism in the late 1960s. It explains how communications between candidate Pierre Trudeau, the media, and a portion of the electorate generated the unusual enthusiasm that was labelled 'Trudeaumania,' then considers the implications of this phenomenon for Canadian liberal democracy, focusing on the discrepancy between pseudo-radical Liberal rhetoric such as 'participatory democracy' and the mechanics and significance of Trudeau's ascent to power. Trudeaumania coalesced a segment of society that was disproportionately young, urban, middle class, and media literate by playing off of its familiarity with popular culture and promising to renew the nation in accordance with its contemporary values and sense of style.