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            Unlike the United States, with its generalissimo politics-Washington, Jackson, Grant, Eisehower- the martial arts have been conspicuously absent from Canadian politics. But there in one exception: in 1968 Pierre Elliot Trudeau became the first Canadian leader to bring the gunslinger-Lone Ranger ethos to Canadian politics. Trudeau introduced to Canada the refined art of single combat; it was the politics of "Doing It My Way"-the politics of going my way or being left behind. Single-combat confrontation implied much mor than the loner or renegade in power, and far far less than the shaman black tricks of Mackenzie King. Trudeau was always far more the solo Philosopher King engaged in intellectual trial by combat than the Magus Merlin conjuring up solutions by puffs of smoke, sleight of hand or divine intervention. Ouijaboard politics was the occult domain of Mackenzie King, a man virtually devoid of policy, a political palm reader forever checking the whims and moods of his powerful baronial-Ralston Howe, St. Laurent-and sometimes Byronian colleagues to see how best he could placate them, or calm them, or Heap his beatitudes upon them. Trudeau, from day one , was always more samurai than shaman. Even in his pre- leadership days, Trudeau's love of trial by combat was predominant. Mackenzie King would have never touched the unholy trinity of divorce, abortion and homosexuality: each one of these issues is a sleeping dog best left to lie; each could only infuriate conservative Canada from coast to coast. Since King dared not touch them seriatim he certainly would not have touched them together-in an omnibus bill. This, Trudeau did joyously. The myths-makers have it at this was Trudeau's first deliberated joust, the kingship being the final prize. But Trudeau had no leadership aspirations at the time; all that he had, still has, was the love of combat for the sake of combat and religious scruples be damned.

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