M997.63.155 | Libéral. l'équipe du tonnerre
Libéral. l'équipe du tonnerre
1960-1970, 20th century
Ink, crayon and opaque white
32.7 x 27.7 cm
Gift of Mme Arlette Hudon
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , politics (10928)
Keys to History
This "family tree" illustrates the cartoonist's perception of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1962: a tree with historic roots, inscribed with the names of former party leaders, but whose current members, represented by rather scrawny-looking branches, appear to be suffering from the prevailing political climate.
When the Liberals returned to power in 1960, their revival was associated with the popularity of three of their key members, the "three Ls": Jean Lesage, Georges-Émile Lapalme and René Lévesque. A number of other influential figures, including Paul Gérin-Lajoie, would join them in playing a leading role in the Quiet Revolution. This group would become known as "l'équipe du tonnerre" [the fantastic team], a name that underscored its desire for change.
The Quebec Liberal Party has traditionally been more popular with urban than with rural voters. In 1960 and 1962, however, it managed to win seats outside of the cities, breaking the Union Nationale's stranglehold on rural Québec.
Published in July 1962, just a few months before the Liberals' easy re-election victory in November, this cartoon hardly seems flattering. But it is one of a series of four family trees that Hudon drew of Québec's main political parties, and the others, of the Union Nationale, the New Democratic Party and Social Credit, are even more scathing.
Besides the current Liberal members, including those in charge of the party's finances (the drooping branch to the right), the cartoonist also refers to the past, with the leaves on the ground labelled with the names of Union Nationale members defeated in 1960, and to the future, with the birds bearing the names of well-known personalities being urged to join the party.