- Politics is a game requiring great coolness and an utter abnegation of prejudice and personal feeling.
- There were, unfortunately, no great principles on which parties were divided – politics became a mere struggle for office.
- Anybody may support me when I am right. What I want is someone that will support me when I am wrong.
- There may be obstructions, local differences may intervene, but it matters not — the wheel is now revolving, and we are only the fly on the wheel, we cannot delay it. The union of the colonies of British America under one sovereign is a fixed fact.
- I don’t care for office for the sake of money, but for the sake of power, and for the sake of carrying out my own views of what is best for the country.
- When fortune empties her chamber pot on your head, smile and say, ‘We are going to have a summer shower.’
- If you would know the depth of meanness of human nature, you have got to be a Prime Minister running a general election.
- [Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his love of drink. He is known to have been drunk for many of his debates in Parliament. Here is a story from an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out.] The opposing candidate said: “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!” Collecting himself, Macdonald replied “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”
- My sins of omission and commission I do not deny; but I trust that it may be said of me in the ultimate issue, ‘Much is forgiven because he loved much,’ for I have loved my country with a passionate love.
- If I had influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: ‘Whatever you do, adhere to the Union. We are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken.’
On Saturday, let’s all celebrate our country’s first Prime Minister’s birthday! Cheers to John A. Macdonald!
(Photo Credit: National Archive)
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