Election Musings (March)

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 March.


  • “The highest priority of any government must be protecting its citizens from harm. I believe that Canadians realize that we cannot stand on the sidelines while ISIL commits atrocities in the Middle East and promotes terrorism in Canada and against our allies.” – PM Stephen Harper
  • “One of the most important aspects of our new anti-terrorism legislation is cracking down on people trying to use as a recruitment ground for ISIS. Those who would attempt to abuse the rights enjoyed by Canadians to spread their ideology of hate must be stopped. We also want to prevent the heartache of families who have learned that their sons and daughters have, aided by these criminals, flown to Iraq and Syria.” – Conservative Party e-mail
  • [in debate to extend the military mission into Syria] “The mission will remain focused on targeting ISIL from the air and advising and assisting Iraqi Forces to fight ISIL more effectively on the ground. This mission by our Canadian Armed Forces is complemented by significant humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering this terrorist group is inflicting on innocent civilians—including women, children and vulnerable religious and ethnic minorities.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • [in debate on the mission] “I asked the prime minister repeatedly what his legal basis was for this dangerous new escalation. Depending on the day, and in fact, depending on the time of day, this government gives differing and contradictory legal grounds for expanding the prime minister’s war.” – NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
  • [in debate on the mission] “Rather than continuing to deepen our combat mission in Iraq and Syria, Canada’s interests are better served by an approach that combines military training for Iraqi forces fighting ISIL with humanitarian aid and expanded resettlement efforts here in Canada.” – Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau
  • “They haven’t at all really shown any evidence that there is radical Jihad in Canada. There are some people that have been radicalized on the internet to that kind of a philosophy, but the Conservatives are certainly exaggerating the jihadist elements.” – Wayne Easter, Liberal MP
  • “Military planners will tell us that for a mission to succeed it must have two things. It must have a well-defined objective and a well-defined exit strategy. This mission has neither. The fact is that Canada has no place in this war.” – NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
  • “The Vatican has come out saying there’s genocide against Christians. The UN came out last week and said that ISIS is trying to commit genocide… Harper is kind of right in that there is a humanitarian imperative here, and not just ‘Harper’s war’.” – Kyle Matthews, senior deputy director at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies with Concordia University
  • “Saying that Canada should only have a humanitarian aid role in the international effort to contain ISIL is akin to saying that it is not in our nation’s interest to prevent assault before it happens, rather to stand by and watch it occur and be satisfied in providing food, shelter and victim support services only after the crime has been committed.” Michelle Rempel, Conservative MP
  • “Politically, the divisions over Canada’s newly expanded Middle East war have become crystal-clear. Six months ago, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals tried to stake out a middle-ground position between Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s pro-war Conservatives and Tom Mulcair’s no-war New Democrats. Now, to all intents and purposes, the Liberals and NDP stances are virtually identical.” – Thomas Walkom
  • “Politically, Mr. Harper has the opposition parties where he wants them, splitting the anti-war vote, which represents less than half the electorate.” – Jeffrey Simpson
  • “Our Government believes in standing up for victims of crime and their families, putting their rights and interests ahead of those of criminals, and that a prison sentence should mean what it says…. [A] life sentence in Canada will mean exactly that: a sentence for life.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • “Life means life. Vote Conservative. | …perhaps the government’s most consistent fusion of philosophical and practical conservatism: The small-c conservative value of law and order, and the big-C Conservative wedge issue for Election 2015.” – Tasha Kheiriddin
  • “Offenders need to be subjected to penalties that fit the severity of the crimes they have committed. Canadians lose faith in our justice system when it is clearly not fair for victims.” – Justice Minister Peter MacKay
  • “The Conservative government’s bill to remove the possibility of parole for the most brutal murderers shows the government is either incompetent for ignoring a public safety issue for nearly ten years or simply playing politics. I’d put my money on the latter.” – Thomas Mulcair
  • “Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in year 10, is throwing haymakers, betting on a knockout blow. It’s a far cry from the resignation many had expected, not so long ago.” – Michael Den Tandt
  • “Harper has captured the fear zeitgeist, while Trudeau and Mulcair are attempting to swim against the tide.” – Warren Kinsella
  • [on use of niqab at swearing in citizenship ceremony] “Why would Canadians, contrary to our own values, embrace a practice at that time (of gaining citizenship) that is not transparent, that is not open and, frankly, is rooted in a culture that is anti-women?” – PM Stephen Harper
  • [on use of niqab] “When he talks about a culture of 1.8 billion human beings as being anti-women … that’s very divisive and it’s irresponsible and it’s undignified from a Canadian prime minister.” – Thomas Mulcair
  • “The Prime Minister’s comments are offensive, they fuel Islamophobia… and he should apologize.” – Thomas Mulcair
  • “Mr. Harper and I disagree fundamentally about many things. None perhaps more so than this: leading this country should mean you bring Canadians together. You do not divide them against one another.” – Justin Trudeau
  • “Fear is a dangerous thing. Once it is sanctioned by the state there is no telling where it might lead. It is always a short path to walk from being suspicious of our fellow citizens to taking actions to restrict their liberty.” – Justin Trudeau
  • “Frankly, if you are not willing to show your face in a ceremony that you are joining the best country in the world, then frankly if you don’t like that or don’t want to do that, stay the hell where you came from”¦ I am so sick and tired of people wanting to come here because they know it is a good country and then they want to change things before they even officially become a Canadian.” – Larry Miller, Conservative MP
  • “All the polling that we do and others too, indicate the economy, the economy, the economy as the big worry. People express it differently. For some people it’s jobs, some people it’s deficits and taxes, but it’s all the economy. And the other thing that is a bit different from our previous surveys is security at home and abroad is coming up.” – Preston Manning
  • “Every day that Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party are talking about security or the economy is a good day for them leading up to this election.” – Chad Rogers
  • “I deeply resent being asked to vote for, and defend, nominally conservative options because the other guys are worse in theory, though indistinguishable in practice. They all spend tax dollars like they were an endlessly renewable resource. They all bribe voters with their own money. They all engage in corporate welfare. In opposition everyone promises efficiency and honesty, and in office everyone delivers extravagance and arrogance.” – Brigitte Pellerin (ed. – More on Ms. Pellerin’s opinion in this By George post. )
  • “While nobody starts out wanting to “win ugly,” almost everybody prefers winning ugly to losing. Compromises get made. Maybe just a quick detour on the low road… But the biggest reason politicians deploy these strategies has to do with the declining attentiveness to politics and slumping voter turnout.” – Bruce Anderson
  • “…the most probable coalition scenario this time out: a resurgent Liberal party with something like 100 seats (triple their current total), the NDP with 70 or so, the Bloc nowhere to be found…. Given the doubts about Mr. Trudeau’s abilities, and the aura of competence around Mr. Mulcair, a coalition might not sound like such a scary proposition to cautious centrists any more.” – Andrew Coyne
  • “It’s hard for traditional NDP insiders and workers. They want to fight the Liberals and the Liberals want to fight them. I believe the public, though, would like to see them get together, before the election. That would ensure the defeat of the Harper government,” Ian Waddell, former NDP MP
  • “Regardless of what happens in 2015, politics is moving more and more into reality-TV-land, so glamour will certainly matter going forward.” – Anthony Furey

(ed. – By George will be adding to this list of quotes throughout the month (last updated on Tues. 31st). 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/or “quotes”.)

Also, see the previous month’s Election Musings from:


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