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As Pearson struggled along, in 1964 and 65, with his minority government he had decided that a reinvigorated Liberal party would require two changes to strengthen it and potentially gain enough votes to attain a majority in the new Federal election. The first change was a secret which he would keep for a few years and was a change in leadership. A new Liberal leader could stimulate new and significant interest in the party and generate additional support. The second of these changes was to bring stronger representation from Quebec into the party which could impress the province with it's quality and voice in policy formulation in the Canadian government.

Pearson had tried to recruit Jean Marchand to run in the 1963 election but Marchand had decided to wait. He had been a strong supporter of the workers in Quebec and along with his two trusted friends, Gerard Pelletier and Pierre
. The three felt that together they could make a difference in developing a new presence in Ottawa which might counter the nationalistic trends that were developing in Quebec.

Gerard Pelletier met Pierre
while studying in Paris in the late 40's. He began a career as a reporter and worked for Le Devoir newspaper as a journalist. His reputation grew quickly and by the early 60's he took a position with Le Presse in Montreal as Editor in Chief. Le Presse was North America's largest daily French language newspaper and in that role he welded great influence over Quebec public opinion and invited Marchand and Trudeau to contribute articles to the paper. He and Trudeau were two of the founding members of Cite Libre, which was a French Canadian intellectual journal.

Pearson recognized the growing power of the nationalist Quebecois movement, the dangers of the FLQ and the threat to Canadian Federalism of governing without a credible French Canadian component in his party. All three won election in Quebec in 1965 and were given high profile positions in the new Pearson government. The were named the 3 wisemen by the English media and the Les trois colombes (The three doves) by the French media. The concept of rotating the Liberal leadership between a French and then an English leader had arisen with the election of Laurier in the 1990's and one of the 3 wise men was expected to challenge for that leadership if Pearson stepped down.

The popular wisdom was that Marchand would be the one who would run for the leadership of the party but he claimed he was not as acceptable to English Canada as Trudeau would be an refused to run while encouraging Trudeau to do so. Trudeau eventually decided to run and won the leadership and along with Marchand and Pelletier changed the political landscape of Quebec and Canada forever.