Election Musings (Feb.)

By George Journal is compiling quotes about the federal election and the Canadian political scene. Month to month, we will keep a running list. Here are the clippings from February.

  • “Everybody knows that politicians spin, misconstrue, and fib the facts in order to suit their needs. Sorting through this is frustrating.” – Jacob Schroeder, FactsCan
  • AdamsEve_CPC“The chief ingredient for success in Canadian politics, it is every day more apparent, is a bottomless capacity for self-humiliation. Some jobs require an ability to do things that other people can’t do. Politics more often entails a willingness to do things other people won’t do — usually because it would be too hideously embarrassing.” – Andrew Coyne, on Justin Trudeau’s press conference re Eve Adam’s floor-crossing
  • “The Harper government has introduced this bill (the anti-terrorism act), in an election year, to create a political wedge issue of sorts, and unfortunately the opposition parties not only have recognized that but they are responding in kind rather than taking a principled stand on civil liberties.” – Paul Champ, civil rights lawyer
  • “There’s a direct correlation between Canadians’ concern about terror and security and positive impressions of the Prime Minister – the greater the focus on terrorism and security, it seems to benefit the personal brand of Stephen Harper at this particular point in time.” – Nik Nanos, Nanos Research
  • “If Conservatives are hoping to use it as a wedge, the other parties are trying not to let that happen. They’re trying to just neutralize this issue because they don’t want the election to be about security and safety.” – David Coletto, Abacus Data
  • “This language of war, that you’re not safe in your home – it’s so hyperbolic that it’s comical but it’s nonetheless been extremely effective to this point in time.” – Frank Graves, EKOS
  • “The past couple of days have reminded me why it’s unfortunate that the Liberals and Conservatives can’t both lose the next election. Of course they could, but that would mean an NDP government, so let’s be careful what we wish for.” – John Ivison
  • “If Mulcair bungles the terror file he’s essentially pouring the last drops of Jack Layton’s 2011 Orange Crush, base camp Quebec, down the drain.” – Anthony Furey
  • “In Canada, women are full and equal members of society. Including when they take the oath of citizenship. That is why we are strongly opposed to anyone wearing a niqab … while taking the oath.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • “Any time a government or a leader is in a position to choose to limit minority rights of any type, there has to be … a clear and compelling reason to do so… We are the one country in the world that has figured out how to be strong, not in spite of our differences but because of them. So, the prime minister of this country has a responsibility to bring people together in this country, not to divide us by pandering to some people’s fears.” – Justin Trudeau
  • “This is an election year, and I’m so leery of him using this (Ukraine mission debate) as more election fodder.” – Thomas Mulcair
  • “Anyone who really wants to get the country back from the grim reaper now in charge of Canada would look to the NDP as their best hope.” – Murray Dobbin
  • “He [Justin Trudeau] did political CPR on a nearly dying party, and has so greatly revived it since that it can plausibly be seen as forming a government in the coming election. And yet a number of backtracks, contradictions and a pattern of evasiveness or equivocation on big issues suggest the path forward will not be so clear.” – Rex Murphy
  • “At this point, no one discounts Trudeau’s chances of toppling a chilly, divisive Conservative prime minister. He represents both generational change and — as the son of Canada’s 15th prime minister — the values many Canadians cherish. But questions about his fitness to govern keep popping up.” – Carol Goar
  • “Initially Canadians were willing to give Trudeau a second — and a third and a seventh — chance. But now they’re starting to weigh their electoral choices. The Liberal leader needs a solid platform, a dependable moral compass and someone in his inner circle who can persuade him to pause and think.” – Carol Goar
  • “I believe the more Canadians see the prime minister on the same stage as Justin Trudeau, the better it is for us.” – anonymous Conservative operative
  • “The sight of Jean Chrétien and Justin Trudeau celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Maple Leaf, against the backdrop of the biggest red and white flag ever made, was a reminder of why Canadians gave the Liberals the boot in the first place. The subliminal message was that you can’t be Canadian without being Liberal; that “Canadian values” and the national identity are uniquely Liberal in their composition.” – John Ivison
  • “I’m the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, my last name is Trudeau and I’m standing here at the Petroleum Club in Calgary. I understand how energy issues can divide the country.” – Justin Trudeau, Liberal Leader in Calgary address
  • [on John Baird’s resignation] “I quickly learned though to make a difference, to really make a difference, you can’t be defined by partisanship, nor by ideology. You need instead to be defined by your values.” – Minister John Baird, announcing his retirement from federal politics
  • [on Baird’s resignation] “He’s had a successful career in both provincial and federal parliaments, this was simply the right time to move on. The minister is looking to turn the page on 20 years of public service, and like anyone in public office, is looking for new opportunities at the young age of 45.” – anonymous friend of John Baird
  • [on Baird’s resignation] “The first rule of Canadian politics is, never ask him [John Baird] a question, because you’re going to get your head handed to you.” – Pat Martin, NDP MP
  • [on Baird’s resignation] “As passionate as he [John Baird] can get, as partisan as he can get, and he can, he is also someone who reaches out. He is also someone who understands the importance of getting things done.” – Paul Dewar, NDP MP
  • “Pierre Poilievre [recently appointed Minister of Employment] is the political equivalent of the hockey pest, the guy who yaps at you in the faceoff circle and gives you a glove in the face in the corner.” – Tim Harper
  • [on writing political comedy in Ottawa] “The three amigos, they’re just such different characters. Either way, from a comedy perspective, they all feed different shades of colour and we’ll see this election is going to be an interesting election for sure.” – Shaun Majumder, This Hour Has 22 Minutes


(ed. – By George will add to this list of quotes throughout the month (last updated on Sat. 28th). To see more quotes and related By George articles on the election and/or politics, check our archives for tagged posts on “2015 Election”, “politics”, “election”, and “quotes”.)

(ed. – photo credit: MP photo from House of Commons file)

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