© McCord Museum
Official Caricature of Daniel Johnson, Leader of the Opposition
1997, 20th century
Graphite on paper
43.2 x 35.7 cm
Gift of M. Serge Chapleau
© McCord Museum
Keys to History:
"This drawing is hard-hitting... real hard-hitting. It's one of the last I did of Mr. Johnson, and I consider it the official caricature of him as leader of the opposition. The man is not really there, anymore than he had been as premier."
In 1993, Daniel Johnson took over from Robert Bourassa as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party. It was a period of intense reform within the party, and Johnson had to deal with all kinds of problems. A reserved man, according to several journalists and political commentators, Johnson was nonetheless constantly in the hot seat. His harshest critics claimed that he lacked substance.
Daniel Johnson was leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, the legislative seat of Quebec. Those who take on this difficult role find themselves eternally on the offensive as critics.
In early 1998, the media and, especially, Liberal party leaders all rallied around a single idea: the party needed Jean Charest, not Daniel Johnson, at its head. So when Johnson resigned, the Liberals didn't even call a leadership race: Charest, former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, was more or less crowned the new Liberal leader. Dissatisfaction with Daniel Johnson's leadership had been building since 1997.
Daniel Johnson was president of Quebec's Conseil du Trésor from 1988 to1993, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party from 1993 to 1998 and premier of Quebec for several months in 1994.