Trudeau's TangoIn this insightful and lively history, Liberal insider Darryl Raymaker recalls the attempt to broker “a marriage from hell” between the federal Liberal Party and Alberta’s Social Credit government in the late 1960s. Raymaker uses his deep connections and backroom knowledge to trace the tangled political relationships that developed when charismatic statesman Pierre Trudeau confronted the forces of oil and agriculture in Canada’s west. Part memoir, part chronicle, Trudeau’s Tango provides a window into Canadian history, politics, economics and the zeitgeist of the late 1960s.

With an outstanding foreword by Lloyd Axworthy excerpted below, 33 outstanding black and white archival photos of Alberta and Canada’s political establishment from 1967 – 1972, an impressive bibliography, and 44 pages of meticulously detailed chapter-by-chapter notes that make interesting reading all by themselves, Trudeau’s Tango will be of interest to anyone curious about the interplay between Alberta and Canadian politics during the five years the book covers.

It’s not the kind of book you read from cover to cover. The book is organized into seven sections, each with themed short chapters that can easily stand alone. The notes for each chapter at the back of the book are almost as long. In all there are 31 chapters with an extraordinary cast of characters:

  • Jack Horner
  • Mel Hurtig
  • John Diefenbaker
  • Rod Sykes
  • Roland Michner
  • Ernest Manning
  • Peter Lougheed
  • William Hawrelak
  • Robert Stanfield
  • Una Maclean Evans
  • Hu Harries
  • Otto Lang
  • Ralph Klein
  • Harry Storm
  • Harold Cardinal

About the Author:


Photo: Mike Drew / Postmedia

Darryl Raymaker was born, raised and educated at the University of Alberta and practiced law in Calgary for more than 50 years. His involvement in the Liberal party began in 1963. He ran as a Liberal candidate four times and has served on the National Executive of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Calgary Police Commission. He lives in Calgary. Here in the photo he proudly displays mementos of Gordie Howe’s visit to the Calgary Italian Sportsmen’s Awards in Calgary on Friday, June 10, 2016.

Calgarians will be amongst the first to hear the author speak and purchase a copy of his book when he appears at the Spur Festival at 10:30am on Saturday, June 3 at the Memorial Park Library. See more about this event at:

An Excerpt of the Book’ Foreword by Lloyd Axworthy | dated March 2017

Darryl Raymaker is a charter member of one of the most exclusive associations in Canada -– he’s am Alberta Liberal.

He has used his long experience as an activist for the Liberal cause to write an intriguing tale that centres on Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s first term as prime minister and the unrealized opportunity to bridge one of the classic fault lines of Canadian politics: the rift between the Liberal Party in Ottawa and Alberta’s political class.

In this volume, Raymaker provides an informed participant’s view of the dynamics at work in Camada at a time which both the nation and Alberta were in a phase of accelerated growth and new political power alignments were being forged; a time when key decisions were being made on resource development on Canada-US relations, on federal-provincial entanglements, and on defining the contours of the nation’s emerging presence in the world.

Written by an insider, this book has a personal touch in describing the personalities and players, the intrigues and rivalries, the opportunities gained and lost, and the configuration of economic and political interests.

For the political junkies, it’s a rousing analysis of the flow of action and events that launched careers, made and broke reputations, and the sacrifices made by those who entered the arena of “Blood Sport”.

I was beginning my own political career as a Manitoba Liberal during the last 1960s and, contrary to Peter Lougheed’s claim of exclusiveness for Albertans, we made common cause with our fellow Liberals from Alberta.

This book brought back fond memories of many of the larger-than-life characters, committed partisans, and superb political operatives who toiled in the Liberal ranks of the province. Nick Taylor Pat Mahoney, Una Maclean Evans, Mel Hurtig, Cam Millkin and so many others, gone now but not forgotten. People who made real contributions to the public wealth of their province.

But Trudeau’s Tango is more than just a memory stick of particular people, time and places. It provides useful insights in the forces at play in that defining moment in out country’s history and the consequences with which we live today. And it all begins with one of the most intriguing politicians of our time, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

excerpt used with permission of the publisher, University of Alberta Press.

About Lloyd Axworthy


Lloyd Axworthy taught at the University of Winnipeg and directed its Institute of Urban Affairs before serving as a member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly from 1973 to 1979. A Princeton-educated academic (PhD), he had been a student activist, which he attributed to his formative years and United Church roots. His political career would span 27 years, 6 in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and 21 in the federal Parliament.

See more about and purchase Trudeau’s Tango at. or check it out at your favourite bookstore.