The Downside of Imperial Collapse
When Empires or Great Powers Fall, Chaos and War Rise
When Mr. Jean Lesage, after serving only three and a half years of a five- year mandate as Prime Minister of Quebec, decided to call a general election for June 5 of this year, few observers thought that the incumbent Liberals would be out of office ten days after the election.
Mr. Lesage had been remarkably successful as head of a generally honest and efficient administration. He was considered by most observers far superior to his rival, Mr. Daniel Johnson. He could count on a team comprising at least a half-dozen front-rank stars. Nobody had got the impression during the last session of the provincial legislature that the National Union party was a serious contender for power. Mr. Lesage and his colleagues went into the election as if it had been business routine. They were so confident of winning that Mr. Lesage boasted on a couple of occasions that Mr. Johnson himself would hardly be returned to the legislature.
Things turned out quite differently. To his great discomfiture Mr. Lesage got 47 percent of the total vote but only 51 seats in the House while Mr. Johnson's National Union, with only 41 percent of the vote, took 56 seats. According to Canadian parliamentary tradition, Mr. Lesage had no choice. Ten days after the stunning result, he handed over the reins of government to his rival. Ever since that fateful day, observers in Canada and other parts of the world have been asking two questions. What caused the defeat of Mr. Lesage? What should one expect from Mr. Johnson and his party?
Whatever the result, the last election in Quebec was an honest one. It was fought for the first time under a new law which provides for much stricter control of candidates' expenses and for substantial financial contributions from the state to leading candidates in each constituency. Secret election funds of the past were not entirely absent, but occult financing was not a major factor in deciding the outcome of the election.
Since the National Union party was in opposition and could not therefore use the power of the police to its own advantage, nobody can claim that Mr. Johnson stole the election. One has to look for sounder explanations than the classic "I was robbed" argument in order to understand what happened.
The first reason for Mr. Lesage's failure to win a majority of seats has deep roots in the political history of Quebec. The electoral map of Quebec used to be terribly lopsided in favor of the rural areas and small population centers. Up to about five years ago, the Montreal area, with over one-third of the total population, had about 15 percent of the seats in the legislature. Some ridings (electoral districts) in Montreal had as many as 75,000 voters, while others in rural areas had barely 10,000 to 15,000.
Mr. Lesage tried to correct the situation by appointing a non-partisan commission of experts to recommend possible improvements. The commission produced a report suggesting that constituency boundaries be redefined so as to bring each riding within a maximum 25 percent deviation from a general average, using strict "rep by pop" logic. But Mr. Lesage ran into strenuous resistance on the part of members for thirteen constitutionally protected ridings, whose boundaries could not be changed, according to the Constitution, without the consent of a majority of their residents. The only recourse that Mr. Lesage had was to amend the Constitution, but for this he would have had to count on the support of the upper chamber, of which the majority were National Union members. He had learned from authoritative sources that the upper house would oppose any such move on his part. Rather than risk a stalemate between the two Houses of the legislature, Mr. Lesage opted for a partial solution. He kept all the existing ridings and created thirteen new constituencies, eleven of them in Montreal. The basic imbalance between the large metropolitan constituencies and the small rural ones was thus reduced but not really eliminated. On June 5, the Liberals got 53 percent of the vote in the district of Montreal and nearly 70 percent of the seats (18 out of 26). In the rest of the province they received nearly 45 percent of the votes but only about 40 percent of the seats (32 out of 82). The results in the case of the National Union were still more disconcerting. With only 45 percent of the votes in the areas outside of Montreal, Mr. Johnson's party collected over 60 percent of the seats, whilst in Montreal it had only six seats but about 30 percent of the vote.
As the shrewd and experienced politician that he is, Mr. Daniel Johnson quickly saw where his chance lay. Rather than engage in a propaganda war against Mr. Lesage and the Liberal team at the provincial level, he chose to fight the election with a riding-by-riding strategy. He merrily abandoned to the Liberals all constituencies with strong English-speaking majorities. In Montreal he picked about ten ridings in which he felt he had a chance to win and more or less forgot about the others. In the remaining eighty ridings he concentrated on presenting stronger local figures than the Liberals and insisted to his friends that they had a fair chance to win provided they forgot about the broader provincial scene and aimed their guns at local issues in their respective ridings. In line with this thinking, Mr. Johnson prudently avoided a televised confrontation with Mr. Lesage, and his senior colleagues studiously refrained from any direct contact with the enemy. The Liberals were addressing themselves to the province as a whole. The National Union was aiming for the "little people"- the unemployed, the peasants, the small shopkeepers, the sports lovers, the anxious housewives who were at a loss to understand why their children had to attend school 50 miles from home.
Mr. Johnson coupled this strategy with a provincial manifesto which, while not too original, had plenty to match some overly generous pledges in the Liberal platform. The Johnson group had been short of generous proposals in the last two elections; this was no longer true. The National Union had also become identified as a party of old hats; this time they came up with a slate of candidates 80 percent of whom had never run before and whose average age was just above 40, as against an average age of 45 for the Liberal candidates.
The voters heeded the Johnson appeal. On election night Mr. Lesage retained a strong hold over cosmopolitan Montreal, but he had lost the heartland of Quebec, including his own region of Three-Rivers, the Eastern Townships, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the Richelieu valley and Joliette. To Mr. Lesage's claim that the Liberals had obtained more votes than the National Union, Mr. Johnson could reply that the Liberals' numerical advantage had accrued to them as a result of the overwhelming support of English-speaking voters and that a majority of French-Canadians had voted for the National Union.
In trying to assess Lesage's defeat, one must consider the role of the separatist and independent candidates in the election. Quebec's provincial elections are generally fought on a firm two-party pattern. In 1956, the two leading parties shared between them about 96 percent of the total vote; in 1960, their share rose to 98 percent; in 1962, it reached 98.5 percent. In 1966, the figure dropped to 88 percent, about 12 percent of the vote going to splinter parties and independent candidates. For the first time in Quebec history two parties with strong separatist platforms made their appearance: the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale (R.I.N.) and the Ralliement national (R.N.). The former is resolutely separatist; its well-conceived program has strong socialist undertones but it remains perfectly acceptable according to Western standards; it has a good following among college and university students, intellectuals and white- collar workers. The Ralliement national was the outcome of a late alliance between a group of Créditistes (who went into provincial politics without the blessing of their federal leader, Réal Caouette) and some former R.I.N. members who could not go along with what they considered the secularist thinking of men like Pierre Bourgault and André D'Allemagne. None of these parties made really impressive gains in the June election. The R.N. got only 3.2 percent of the vote; the R.I.N. got 5.6 percent, but here two facts stand out: the R.I.N. received about 9.3 percent of the vote in the metropolitan area of Montreal and about 7 percent of the vote in the ridings in which it ran candidates, spelling defeat for the Liberal candidates in about a dozen constituencies. Mr. Bourgault, the leader of the R.I.N., claimed shortly after the election that his party had been largely responsible for the defeat of the Liberals. Nothing could have been closer to the truth. In their first major test at the polls, the separatists had demonstrated that they can exercise great power in shaping the overall result of an election. Mr. Lesage had once said that the separatists would be crushed in any election which they might care to join. He must still wish he had never uttered those foolish words.
One last reason-or perhaps a pair-involving the Liberals themselves must be invoked to explain the Liberal defeat. One has to do with the nature of the policies they initiated. These were in most cases long-range policies not destined to produce immediate benefits for the average voter. They were meant to improve the general situation of the province, not necessarily to cure the individual ills and dissatisfactions of each citizen. Mr. Gérin- Lajoie's educational reform promised to yield great dividends in five or ten years; in terms of the average man's sons and daughters, it often meant numberless complications and difficulties. Similarly, Mr. Lesage had introduced a new Labor Code which probably was the most progressive piece of labor legislation in North America; but this did not prevent his government from being confronted with a disquieting succession of labor conflicts in the five or six months before the election.
Mr. Laporte, the Minister for Municipal Affairs, showed courage and vision in promoting a radical revision of municipal boundaries and jurisdiction; in the process he alienated the sympathies of hundreds of local leaders who felt they were being deprived of old privileges which they liked to cloak under the respectable mantle of local autonomy. In most departments of government, patronage in the appointment of civil servants had been eliminated, or at least substantially reduced; this had been lauded in the press but was coolly received by dozens of local and regional party organizers in search of appropriate rewards for deserving Liberals.
The farmers felt that they were more or less forgotten by Mr. Lesage and his team. They were not so prosperous under Duplessis, but at least once every second or third year they could count on a few yards of free pavement in front of their properties and a modest grant for a son to be sent to college or settled on an adjacent piece of land. Under Mr. Lesage they had lost the individual favors and were still longing for the radical reforms promised by the government. As for civil servants, under Mr. Lesage they had obtained the right to organize and to bargain collectively with the government, but the immediate effect of the new legislation was to place the government under the threat of a general strike of civil servants only a couple of months before the election.
Not only had people at the local level grown wary of the increasing cost of the Lesage program of reform, they also had reason to complain about the men who had become identified with the new program. The Liberal Party in Quebec has never been solidly rooted in the working classes. It still derives its main support from the professionals, the businessmen, the white- collar workers and the intellectuals. Liberal leaders are more at ease in the refined circles of Quebec and Montreal than in the plants of Drummondville or the taverns and poolrooms of east-end Montreal. After six years in power they had become more or less isolated; they spent a lot of time working out new programs in close consultation with upper-echelon civil servants, but they had lost touch with the average voter. In Montreal this was bound to affect them only slightly, since ideas and "public image" factors are more important in shaping the urban vote than direct contact with the candidates. In other areas members of the legislature up for reëlection were bound to suffer considerably unless they belonged to the inner circle of policy-makers, for they had been deprived of their old role of providing jobs and favors, and spending seven or eight months a year attending sessions of the House in Quebec had made them remote from their constituents. That's where the National Union struck. It spent considerable time recruiting as candidates men with impressive records of local service, men recognized for their ability to do things, as opposed to the Liberals' gusto for "empty words."
The new Prime Minister of Quebec is not an intellectual. He is not doctrinaire. Ever since he took up law at the University of Montreal in the late thirties, he has been recognized as a sociable man. He likes to meet people. He has friends everywhere. He is not a domineering type. His practical knowledge of intermediate bodies in the Quebec society is considerable. He was elected president of the Students' General Association at the University of Montreal and later had similar jobs in the Catholic Action organization, the Junior Chambers of Commerce and the French- Canadian Association of Weekly Newspapers. He even served for a time as legal adviser to labor unions. But his prime interest has always been politics and it was no surprise that after managing patronage activities for many years in the traditionally Liberal riding of Bagot, south of Montreal, he won the seat for the National Union in 1946, at the age of 31. He has been re-elected ever since.
The late Maurice Duplessis was then at the height of his power in Quebec. The "boss," as Duplessis was called by his followers, had no opposition either inside or outside of his party and, save for a few respected advisers whom he cautiously selected from outside the ranks of the cabinet, he treated his colleagues as a schoolmaster of the old school would his students. He loved them and could be extremely generous to them. But he had no respect for them because he realized that he was superior to all of them.
Johnson was liked by Duplessis because he shared the old master's political flair and passion. In typical Duplessis style, Johnson still likes to refer to "les bleus" and "les rouges" when he talks about his party and the Liberals. (In Quebec politics, it used to be said, in the good old days of Cartier and Laurier, that the sky is blue and hell is red.)
But nobody ever knew to what extent Johnson condoned some abuses which darkened the last phase of Duplessis' rule. Some people say he subserviently acquiesced to every word that came out of his master's mouth. Others insist that, as a junior minister, he suffered bitterly under the extreme authoritarianism of Duplessis and vowed that he would later devote himself to restoring the principle of collective responsibility in the party.
Johnson's election as head of his party in 1961 was greeted by many observers as a victory for the "old guard," i.e. for the diehard schemers who had caused the defeat of the party at the hands of Lesage in 1960. The "new guard" was then represented by another leadership candidate, Jean- Jacques Bertrand, who had also served under Duplessis but had refrained even then from any overly partisan attitude and had thus kept the respect of independent observers. Very wisely, Johnson pledged to reform the party and, to prove his sincerity, he publicly invited Bertrand to become his chief deputy. The conservative elements were pleased with Johnson as leader; the more liberal elements were kept in the fold by the prospect of a close association between him and their own leader.
The National Union is an odd political entity. Until 1936, Quebec had known only the traditional opposition between Liberals and Conservatives, les rouges and les bleus. But under the influence of men like Henri Bourassa and Abbé Lionel Groulx a new nationalist group had come into existence. The group comprised a large number of disgruntled younger members of Liberal and Conservative families and also many of the professional people educated in the classical colleges by the clergy. Maurice Duplessis clearly saw in 1935 that his old Conservative Party had no chance to unseat the powerful Taschereau Liberals unless he worked out an alliance with the new nationalists who had then come together under the banner of L'Action libérale nationale. He successfully negotiated the new party out of existence and came out of his conversations with Paul Gouin and other leaders of the A.L.N. with a new name for his own party (National Union), and with the assurance that the A.L.N. would soon be dissolved. He also emerged with a platform which took him farther left on social and economic matters than he would himself have gone. After his first victory, in 1936, Duplessis rapidly got rid of his key nationalist associates, though he seemed determined for a time to implement some of the social pledges which he had inserted in his platform. After a few years, he had completely swallowed his nationalist allies of 1935 and his party had become once again for all practical purposes a conservative party in the classic sense of the term. It still clung, however, to a formal, juridical brand of nationalism which, coupled with the magnetism of its leader and the provincial Liberals' subservience to the centralizing policies of their Ottawa friends, sufficed to keep him in power for nearly a generation.
The key to the Lesage victory of 1960 may have been the unseen shift of the independent nationalist vote from the National Union to the Liberals. Under Lesage, the provincial Liberals had become resolutely nationalist and autonomist. They could also point to increasing signs of corruption in the National Union government, which most independent-minded Quebec nationalists, particularly those who favored a positive, dynamic interpretation of the concept of "provincial autonomy," now wanted to turn out of office.
Lesage did so well in meeting the aspirations of Quebec's independent nationalists that up to about a year ago he seemed to have alienated them forever from the National Union. In all matters of federal-provincial relations he literally wrested the leadership away from his opponents. He scored so many brilliant successes at federal-provincial conferences that observers outside Quebec began to grumble about the unavowed Lesage hold on the federal government. This lasted until Lesage gave his ill-considered assent to a new formula for amending the Canadian Constitution. The formula- known as the Fulton-Favreau formula-would have tended to make constitutional progress in Quebec too dependent upon the will of the other provincial governments and the federal government. It was unanimously rejected by Quebec nationalists. They found a powerful ally in Mr. Johnson, who in turn began to lure them again toward his party as the traditional guardian of Quebec's constitutional rights.
Between 1963 and 1966, Mr. Johnson did in fact reëstablish the authority of his party as the surest defender of Quebec's constitutional prerogatives. He also reëstablished its old relationship with progressive social thinking in the province. The immensely successful conference which the party organized in Montreal in March 1965 and the impressive manifesto unveiled at the outset of the electoral campaign of 1966 were not improvised affairs. They were conceived in close consultation with independent experts and leaders of opinion. They meant that the old dream of an association between nationalist conservatives and social-minded nationalists was again becoming a reality. A conservative party with no support in nationalist circles has little chance of success in Quebec. Mr. Johnson must be credited with having bridged the gap between his party and the people, which had widened since the death of Duplessis in 1959. He mobilized enough fresh ideas and new men to claim with some justification that the National Union of 1966, like that of 1936, was more than a mere conservative party; it was an alliance of people with different political opinions who see it as the best instrument to carry Quebec forward in the world of 1966. Thousands of voters believed him.
If the National Union is not to be dismissed as a reactionary party, what then distinguishes it from the Liberal Party of Mr. Lesage? It is too early to predict that with the experience of power the progressive nationalist and social element will again be swallowed, as happened under Duplessis, by the more conservative element in the National Union. For the time being one must try to read honestly the genuine intentions of the new government before passing judgment upon it. In the short period since Mr. Johnson came into power, a certain pattern has begun to emerge which I shall try to describe as objectively as possible.
In the constitutional field, Mr. Johnson's predecessor always stood for a pragmatic evolution of the Canadian Constitution toward greater freedom of action for Quebec. But Mr. Lesage shied away from formal redrafting of the Constitution on the grounds that English Canada was not ready for that difficult task. He based his claim on the impressive record of gains which he had been able to achieve within the present constitutional framework. In fiscal matters, his position was that Quebec must get an ever larger share of the tax dollar, but he always declined to commit himself to any definite figures that might curtail his freedom of man?uvre in negotiations with Ottawa and the other provinces.
Mr. Johnson, on the other hand, had seemed in recent years to move closer to a position akin to "associate statism" if not downright separatism. He publicly endorsed the "two nations" theory which normally leads as a logical conclusion to the formula of associate states. To his book on the subject he gave the fiery-yet ambiguous-title, "Equality or Independence." Mr. Johnson has stated repeatedly that he favors a complete overhaul of the Constitution and in his election manifesto claimed that Quebec must control 100 percent of the personal and corporate income tax.
This program would appear radical if it were to be applied literally within a year or two. In fact, the new Premier has never set any clear deadline for the attainment of his objectives. He has not even spelled out clearly what kind of equality he had in mind when he invited his readers to choose between "equality and independence." In the fiscal field, he indicated after the election that the basic claim of his party to 100 percent of the income tax revenue must be read in the light of important concessions which would be made in connection with revenues drawn from indirect taxes. Since a radically new sharing of the indirect tax dollar will be extremely difficult to work out, one may conclude that Mr. Johnson is willing to submit his original claim to the due process of negotiation. All this seems to indicate that the new Quebec line with Ottawa may be verbally harder but will amount to much the same in practice. Mr. Johnson will no doubt be pressed to take a tougher stand by some of his younger colleagues who would gladly opt for immediate separation if it were economically viable, but this will be counterbalanced by the influence of older men like Bertrand and Dozois, who do not want to give up on the Canadian idea before it is given at least one more honest try.
In the economic field the National Union spoke clearly in its election manifesto in favor of private enterprise. This was a refreshing rejoinder to the ambiguous attitude of one of Lesage's most influential colleagues, René Lévesque, whose statements had had a disquieting effect on business and industrial leaders. But this statement in support of private enterprise was immediately followed by an equally strong commitment to the objective of state-sponsored economic planning. During his years in opposition, Mr. Johnson personally went abroad to study the French and Scandinavian experience, and he returned with the conviction that thorough economic planning must be attempted in Quebec. He strongly qualified his support for the principle of nationalization but he also added that he would not hesitate to resort to nationalization if and when necessary. One example of what he meant is provided by the steel industry. Mr. Lesage had launched a mixed enterprise in which the state would have an important-though not a controlling-voice. Johnson's position was and still is that this sort of enterprise should be the direct responsibility of the government.
One factor which will probably help distinguish Mr. Johnson from Mr. Lesage is the changed economic circumstances. Mr. Lesage came to power at a moment when the credit of Quebec was exceptionally good and the money market was unusually dynamic. The situation is now different. Huge commitments by the Lesage administration have curiously shrunk the borrowing possibilities of Quebec and money has become extremely scarce on both the Canadian and the American markets. A new sense of thrift will inevitably inspire the major decisions of the Quebec government in the months ahead. This will come very naturally to men like Johnson, Bertrand and Dozois, who learned at the school of Duplessis that a government's real strength lies, in the last analysis, in a healthy balance sheet rather than in verbose affirmations of grandeur. These men are fundamentally conservative in matters of public finance. They will do by instinct what Mr. Lesage, had he remained in power, would have done by necessity.
In the social field, two important indications of the new government's probable orientation have been given during the summer. Soon after taking office, Mr. Johnson was faced with grave strikes of hospital workers and of construction workers at a key plant of Hydro-Quebec. Each of those two strikes implied severe threats to the public welfare. For three weeks all important hospitals were more or less closed and the strike at Hydro threatened a severe shortage of electrical power by 1968. Notwithstanding these great dangers, Mr. Johnson behaved with remarkable calm. Not once did he utter any anti-labor statement. Not once did he seriously indicate that he intended to abolish or curtail the right to strike in the vital areas affected by the work stoppages. The two strikes were finally settled on terms which brought great satisfaction to the workers. Was Mr. Johnson acting out of a genuine concern for the promotion of the working class? Was he trying to remove the old anti-labor stigma which had attached to the declining years of the Duplessis rule and which still hung over him and his party? Was he just trying to buy time in order to increase his strength for an eventual showdown with the labor movement? Only Mr. Johnson could answer these questions. One must record, for the time being, that he came out of these first trials with remarkable skill and self-control.
The other test now confronting the new administration revolves around the health-insurance program put forward by the federal government. Health care is primarily a responsibility of the provinces under the Canadian Constitution. But Ottawa has long been active in this field because of the federal government's concern for the promotion of equal standards for all Canadians in such fields as education, social security and health. The federal project-based on the recommendations of a Royal Commission which surveyed the problem for five years-would provide financial assistance to the provinces on the explicit condition that the latter initiate comprehensive, universal and government-controlled programs of health care. In other words, Ottawa is deeply committed to the principle of public medicare.
Mr. Lesage had already accepted the principal conditions set by Ottawa and had stated his intention to inaugurate a health-insurance program in Quebec by July 1967. Mr. Johnson has often said that he wants to make sure before accepting public medicare that Quebec can afford it. He has never hidden his personal preference for a program which would be confined to assisting needy people, leaving the rest to private initiative. The problem is now further complicated by Ottawa's apparent determination to proceed with its own project regardless of the objections of at least half of the provinces. Mr. Johnson may be tempted to exploit the tactical mistake of the federal government to his own political advantage. From a constitutional point of view his position would be unassailable in Quebec, but by the same token he would then appear to favor the social philosophy of the Chambers of Commerce over the views of the labor movement and the farmers' organization.
The health-insurance case will provide a clear illustration of how far Quebec can be expected to move in the welfare field under Mr. Johnson. Present indications suggest that rather limited measures will be adopted for the moment and that Mr. Johnson will leave the door open for an eventual enlargement of the original program, thus pulling the rug from under the feet of those who would attack him on grounds of principle.
In the field of education, the National Union government has immensely difficult choices to make in the near future. After years of controversy the question of religion in the schools must be settled. Increased enrollment in the secondary schools has created an urgent need for multiplied, diversified services at the post-secondary level. The relationship between local schoolboards and the Department of Education must be stabilized. The role of private institutions in education must be clarified and some of the tensions which built up during the ministry of Mr. Gérin-Lajoie must be lessened. All these problems were left in abeyance by the outgoing Liberals, not because they had carelessly let them pile up but rather because their rapid accumulation was hardly preventable. Any positive, forward-looking solution will require increased spending, and the corresponding courage to tax the people still more than the Liberals did. Nobody in the National Union would have dared face this grim prospect only a few weeks ago. Mr. Johnson was elected on the promise that he would get better results for the same money. It would be surprising if he had the same feeling after spending two months studying the files of the Department of Education.
In one field prospects seem definitely better with the advent of the National Union. The Justice portfolio was formerly held by a man whose methods and public utterances smacked of authoritarianism and showed a dangerous lack of moderation. The new incumbent, Jean-Jacques Bertrand, is a reasonable, well-balanced and extremely fair-minded man. If he keeps the portfolio of Justice, he may be the man to carry out most of the interesting reforms promised in his party's platform. The National Union pledged to provide better safeguards for the individual citizen in his dealings with courts and law officers, to eliminate partisan considerations from judicial appointments and to improve the competence of justice officials in Quebec. This part of the National Union platform reflects the keen sense of justice and respect for individual liberties which is characteristic of both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Bertrand. Justice is the one area where real hopes of improvement have been shining in recent weeks.
Mr. Johnson, when he was in opposition, referred repeatedly to the excessive importance which Lesage and his colleagues accorded to brain- trusters of the Civil Service. He had even promised to get rid of some of these top civil servants once he took office. Two months have now elapsed and all the experts appointed by Lesage are still there. From what one hears, the new ministers have been extremely courteous to them and they in turn have shown charitable appreciation for the willingness of the new men to learn about the problems of their respective departments. But one has the impression that the present truce is an uneasy peace which has yet to meet its real test.
Will the new ministers be strong enough eventually to impose-by the process of dialogue-their own conception of things upon their professional assistants? If they are not really able to master the problems, will they be willing merely to echo in parliament and in other public places the views of their professional assistants? To one who knows most of the men now forming the cabinet, it seems unlikely that they will ever prevail intellectually over the bright experts who joined the Civil Service under Mr. Lesage. Yet it will be very important that the ministers demonstrate their capacity to stand on their own feet intellectually. Much forbearance and understanding will be required on both sides if the new relationship which Mr. Lesage introduced between science and the art of government is to survive and prosper.
Instinctively, Mr. Johnson and most of his colleagues would probably like to return to the days when the government of men was mostly a matter of judgment and common sense. But they have, one can believe, sincerely espoused the fundamental objectives of Quebec's "quiet revolution." And they are genuinely looking for new ways of pushing the revolution forward without losing contact with the people. The question that remains unanswered is what precise role they can define for themselves in this new era when government is no longer a matter of good will but of hard competence. Looking at Mr. Johnson's cabinet, one cannot escape a feeling of uneasiness. Only a fresh injection of vigorous blood from outside the ranks of the party could help Mr. Johnson's team become a real match for the new type of men that Lesage brought forward not only in his own party but also in the upper echelons of the Civil Service. Men like Johnson and Bertrand are genuine friends of liberty and democracy; few men in Quebec are less authoritarian than these two leaders. They have yet to demonstrate, however, that they possess the qualities required to keep a modern government moving.