The day after Justin Trudeau delivered his father's eulogy, Stephen Harper -- then head of the National Citizens Coalition -- wrote a scathing assessment of Pierre Elliott Trudeau:
Mr. Trudeau embraced the fashionable causes of his time, with variable enthusiasm and differing results. But he was also a member of the “greatest generation,” the one that defeated the Nazis in war and resolutely stood down the Soviets in the decades that followed. In those battles however, the ones that truly defined his century, Mr. Trudeau took a pass. And so it is to the ideals of the greatest generation, and not those of Pierre Trudeau, that Canada should properly dedicate itself.
Harper made no mention of the October Crisis, the repatriation of the constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Instead he wrote that near the end of Trudeau's life:
I came face to face with a living legend, someone who had provoked both the loves and hatreds of my political passion, all in the form of a tired out, little old man.
The boy who used to be the president of his high school's Liberal Club came to hate Trudeau and everything he stood for. We can leave his reasons to the psychoanalysts. But it will surely rank as one of history's great ironies that the man who despised Pierre Trudeau was soundly sent packing last night by Trudeau's son.
Andrew Coyne writes this morning that what Justin Trudeau accomplished last night is unprecedented in Canadian history:
To have come back from 19 per cent of the popular vote in 2011 to almost 40 per cent, and from 34 seats — 11 per cent of the total — to 184, a majority: there’s just no precedent for it. To have done so, what is more, having started the campaign well back in third, against more experienced and better-financed opponents, tells you just how well the Liberal campaign went — and how well Trudeau performed.
Mr. Trudeau will have a full plate. We await the future.