10 Trudeauisms on government

Pierre Trudeau had a clear view of government’s role in society. Some of these musings have been well quoted, some have been found in his memoirs.

  • We’re going to build socialism here. For a country with such a small population there is no alternative.
  • As against the “invisible hand” of Adam Smith, there has to be a visible hand of politicians whose objective is to have the kind of society that is caring and humane.
  • I saw the Charter as an expression of my long-held view that the subject of law must be the individual human being; the law must permit the individual to fulfill himself or herself to the utmost.
  • The state has an active role to play in ensuring that there is equilibrium between the constituent parts of the economy, the consumers and the producers.
  • A country, after all, is not something you build as the pharaohs built the pyramids, and then leave standing there to defy eternity. A country is something that is built every day out of certain basic shared values.
  • The federal government is the balance wheel of the federal system, and the federal system means using counterweights.
  • Democracy demands that elected members be able to realize fully the role for which they have been chosen.
  • When I had been appointed to the Cabinet in 1967, I had been struck by the amateurism that reigned in the upper echelons of the federal government.
  • When they (MPs) are 50 yards from Parliament Hill they are no longer honourable members, they’re just nobodies.
  • We must concern ourselves with politics, as Pascal said, to mitigate as far as possible the damage done by the madness of our rulers.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

 

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