Martin Brian Mulroney Essay

Martin Brian Mulroney Essay

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Martin Brian Mulroney became the 18th prime minister of Canada on September 17, 1984, after his party, the Progressive Conservatives won the greatest parliamentary victory ever in Canadian history. Mulroney was born in 1939, the son of an electrician, in the paper mill town of Baie Comeau, Quebec. Mulroney attended a very strict military type all boys’ school until the age of 16 when he entered Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. There he earned an honor degree in political science. While at St. FX he was active in on campus politics. During his first year he became a member of the youth wing of the P.C. Party of Nova Scotia. Before he graduated he was to become the Prime Minister of St. FX’s famous mock Parliament, a position that had been held for years by Liberal students. After graduation he studied law at Dalhousie in Halifax and later at Laval University in Quebec, from which he graduated in 1962. It was during these years in Quebec that Mulroney became known as the life of the party. He frequented most Montreal nightclubs and was quite a lady’s man. Mulroney also became a slightly more than social drinker. After becoming a lawyer in 1965 he joined a prestigious law firm known as Cate Ogilvy, later becoming a partner in that firm. In May 1973 at the age of 34 he married a beautiful 20 year old Mila Pivnicki, daughter of Yugoslav immigrants. The Mulroneys would go on to have three children. Mulroney worked energetically for the Progressive Conservative Party as a young lawyer, serving on the party's finance and policy committees and on its 1968 and 1972 campaign committees. He first came into the public eye in 1974 as a member of the Cliche Royal Commission, which investigated corruption and violence in the Quebec construction industry. Also involved in this commission was Mulroney’s friend and future Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard. Although Mulroney had not yet held public office, he ran for election as Conservative leader at the party's 1976 national convention. He waged a vigorous and expensive campaign but lost to Joe Clark after being critisized as the Cadillac Cantidate for spending so much money. Following this failure, Mulroney became very depressed and bitter. This was a very bleak time in his life. His drinking and his tongue often got him in trouble. During this period he would often attend social events, get very drunk, and make an ass of himself. He took the Leadership loss very personally and it almost ruined him. A few years after taking the job of President of the Iron Ore Company of Canada in 1977 he decided that he would clean himself up. He went to special Alcoholics Anonomous meetings for famous people who didn’t want the world to know they had a problem. After this time in his life he almost never had a drink and never repeated his drunken outbursts at any social functions. During his years as a corporate executive, Mulroney remained active in politics, taking every occasion to increase his visibility among the public and to gain support from within the party for his upcoming leadership bid. In 1982, because of an economic depression, the Iron Ore Company of Canada was forced to close one of its mining and milling towns in Quebec. At first this appeared to be a disastrous political setback for Mulroney. However, he turned it into a public relations triumph by making the people of the town in question believe that there were other alternatives when there were none and by negotiating generous settlements for the workers who had lost their jobs. This earned him respect and won him general support and his reputation as an expert labor lawyer and industrial relations specialist was enhanced. After the election most of his promises were shown to be false hopes but by that time the people had already decided. In mid-1983 Clark's leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party was being questioned, forcing him to call a national party convention and leadership review. Brian Mulroney was again a candidate, and he campaigned more shrewdly than he had done seven years before. He actually had been paying people to ruin Clarks chances of getting the nomination again. He had suffered through one dark period in his life he resolved there would be no more. He was elected party leader on June 11, 1983, after attracting broad support from among the many factions of the party, especially from representatives of his native Quebec. After a by-election in the riding of Central Nova Mulroney entered the House of Commons on August 28, 1983. Despite inexperience, he was an effective leader of
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