Election Musings (Jan.)

On an on-going basis over the next ten months, the By George Journal will be compiling quotes about the federal election and the Canadian political scene. Month to month, we will keep a running list of the most insightful and noteworthy musings from politicians, pundits and news personalities.

Here are the By George clippings of January’s quotes on federal politics and the election.

  • “We have to remember that an incumbent government never, ever, ever telegraphs when an early election might take place – it should be no surprise that the Conservatives assert they expect the election to happen in the fall. But there’s no benefit in keeping a promise if you’re going to lose.” – Nik Nanos
  • “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doing the obvious for any sensible political leader nine months from an election: compress liabilities, press advantages.” – Jeffrey Simpson
  • “Unlike Pierre Trudeau, Stephen Harper has never bought into the idea of casting grand visions. He has his plans for Canada, which get announced in throne speeches and budgets, often with little fanfare. He then chips away at them, year after year.” – Monte Solberg
  • “Given the current market instability, I will not bring forward our budget earlier than April. We need all the information we can obtain before finalizing our decisions. Lower oil prices will adversely impact our federal government’s fiscal situation. But the decline in oil prices will not prevent our government from achieving a budgetary balance in 2015.” – Joe Oliver, Finance Minister
  • “I think it’s become fairly clear that because Mr. Harper put all his eggs in the same basket, counting on oil prices remaining high, he is now reacting and flailing and indeed making it up as he goes along.” – Justin Trudeau, Liberal Leader
  • “There is no plan for jobs and growth from the Harper government and they continue to whistle pass the graveyard as if there’s no problem.” – Scott Brison, Liberal MP
  • “The opposition and some premiers appear oblivious to the consequences of the current global instability and the dramatic decline in the price of oil.” – Joe Oliver
  • “It is not an economic phenomenon, It is definitely not a fiscal phenomenon. It is purely a political phenomenon. Whether there is a $1.6-billion surplus or a $2-to3-billion deficit to me makes no difference.” – Don Drummond
  • “If they don’t balance the budget, it’s going to hurt their credibility on management, which is very important going into the election.” – Jack Mintz
  • “There may be some other political benefit in it as well. More of the Canadian public is going to be interested in their pocketbooks than they are Mike Duffy allegedly fluffing his.” – Tim Powers
  • [on the terror and killings in France] “When a trio of hooded men struck at some of our most cherished democratic principles—freedom of expression, freedom of the press—they assaulted democracy everywhere. The fact of the matter is that the international jihadist movement has declared war. We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it is not going to go away. The reality is we are going to have to confront it.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • [on ISIL and the Iraq mission] “Canadian troops, under their commanders, are executing exactly the mission that Canadians have given them, that this Parliament has given them, that Canadians expect. They are advising, they are assisting. Guess what? If fired upon, they are going to shoot back; and if they kill some of the ISIL terrorists, Canadians are going to support that, no matter what the New Democrats think.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • “It’s all about building up and getting people frightened and fearful. ISIL, ISIL, ISIL, ISIL is coming here. If they’re coming here it’s because he put us in that position.” – Judy Sgro, Liberal MP
  • “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is banking on the fact that the focus on war, white men, and sport reinforces a constituency he needs to secure a majority government.” – Sheila Copps
  • “It’s 2015. It’s an election year. Now election years are the time when, traditionally, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives suddenly locate Ontario on a map of Canada.” – Justin Trudeau
  • “You can be certain [Ontario Premier] Wynne will be campaigning, and complaining, hard during the coming federal writ period. She will be leading the charge for more money, and using the feds as a scapegoat for her own government’s incompetence.” – Adrienne Batra
  • “It seems the best way for Kathleen Wynne to take her mind off Ontario’s troubles is to come to Ottawa and tell Stephen Harper where he’s going wrong.” – John Ivison
  • “We’re hoping we’ll have a large cadre of activists that will take some very strong interests into the outcome of the election.” – Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress
  • “It will be day and night for my colleagues and myself. This time, we will be acting like a normal campaign.” – Rosane Doré Lefebvre, NDP MP
  • “The game changed with the election of Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Mulcair has been in danger of looking like the Betamax of the political format war – a superior technology made obsolete by its cheaper, racier competition VHS.” – John Ivison
  • “If there is an appetite for change and you’re getting the sense that there is an appetite for change, then Justin is the change. And I think, it’s sort of like real estate, it’s being in the right position at the right time.” – John McKay, Liberal MP
  • [on negative campaigning] “That’s one of the dirty little secrets about politics, negative attack ads, politics of division, that works. It works to get you elected. Even with a majority, Stephen Harper is proof of that. But what he is also proof of is, once you’ve gone and divided a country against itself, and drawn on all those wedge issues and fault lines within our country, it’s very hard to govern for the whole… What we have seen over the last eight years is a total failure to get anything done.” – Justin Trudeau
  • [on introducing a new carbon tax] “Either one way or the other, by hook or by crook, by back door, front door or side door, carbon is getting priced. Politics is a very strange business at times: things that apparently you can’t talk about suddenly get talked about.” – John McKay
  • “You can’t help the middle class with a so-called carbon tax, which, as we all know, is a tax on everything.’’- Stephen Harper
  • “If the Canadian middle class is sinking, it’s under the weight of affection being lavished upon it by politicians.” – John Ivison
  • [on mainstream media bias] “… [Rick] Mercer and the people behind This Hour has 22 Minutes present a one-sided, partisan view of politics, a view that instead of challenging the bias of their viewers, serves only to reinforce and confirm it. That’s too bad because we need good satirists more than we need court jesters for the Liberal Party.” – Gerry Nicholls
  • [on the upcoming Parliamentary Session]  “[PM] Harper is steering his re-election bid over a landscape now littered with economic uncertainty, war, stalled pipeline projects, a huge trade deal that is more boast than reality, a chill in relations with our neighbour, and a Liberal leader who stubbornly refuses to go away.” – Tim Harper
  • [on the Opposition’s ineffectiveness]  “You can’t have everything, of course, when you are shopping for a new Prime Minister. But it would be good to have something more than dark curses and frothy hopes.” – Susan Riley
  • “Now when we speak of a Trudeau we think of his elfin son (Justin), bright of eye and gazing at something in the distance. Perhaps it’s a vision for a better Canada, or maybe he’s just searching for his car in the mall parking lot.” – Monte Solberg
  • “Whether it results in regime change or not, this year’s federal election will lead to one of the more significant recasts of Parliament of the last two decades. Even before a single riding changes hands the addition of 30 new seats combined with the retirement of more than 40 incumbents will ensure that plenty of new faces dot the benches of the next House of Commons.” – Chantel Hebert

(ed. – By George will add to this list of quotes throughout the month (last updated on Sat. 31st). To see more quotes and By George articles on the election and/or politics, check our archives for tagged posts on “2015 Election”, “politics”, “election”, and “quotes”.)

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