20 Quotes: election reflection

liberals5Here are a few quotable quotes collected on election night and Tuesday media. They reflect the immediate reactions to the historic vote.

  • “Sunny ways, my friends. Sunny ways. This is what positive politics can do. … It’s time for a change in this country my friends, a real change.” – Justin Trudeau, prime minister designate at victory speech
  • “This is what positive politics can do.” Canadians had sent a clear message that it’s “time for change in this country my friends. Real change. We beat fear with hope, We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.” – Justin Trudeau
  • “When the time for change strikes, it’s lethal. I ran and was successful because I wasn’t Pierre Trudeau. Justin is successful because he isn’t Stephen Harper.” – Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney, former PM on election night
  • “It turns out that Justin Trudeau caught the spirit of citizens and mood of the country just right. But a far greater task lies before him: to lift a noble people even higher in their pursuit of prosperity, equality of opportunity and compassion. Judging from his election performance, we shouldn’t put it past him.” – Glen Pearson, former Liberal MP
  • “For all of those who have, over the past decade and a half, built our party or contributed to our campaign, you have our deepest gratitude and you should feel nothing but pride. But the disappointment you also feel is my responsibility and mine alone. When the next time comes, this party will offer a strong and clear alternative based on our conservative values.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at his concession speech
  • “It wasn’t the economy of their policies that brought the Tories down, it was their cynicism. The nastiness of Tory politics under Stephen Harper, the mindless partisanship, the throttling of backbench MPs, are not outgrowths of conservatism.” – Andrew Coyne
  • A fourth Harper mandate was always going to be a longshot. Ten years in government produces a lot of rubble, and the Harper government wielded its partisan sledgehammer hundreds of times during its three mandates, so it’s no surprise they were eventually bludgeoned in return. Stephen Harper is a goner, and humiliated, too, to the near-erotic ecstasy of Canada’s chattering classes, who loathed him with such intensity it’s hard to think of a comparison in modern politics. Well, maybe Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s Darth Vader. – John Ibbitson
  • “Mr. Harper appeared disengaged from much of it and in the end, the forces for change and those wanting to see a new style of politics practiced in Ottawa were not to be denied.” – Keith Beardsley, in an interview with the Hill Times
  • “But governing for 10 years is a rare privilege, and Conservatives have no reason to be bitter. Conservatives need to be thankful, respectful of the voters’ choice and reflect on how to regain the broad moderate centre clearly deserted in this campaign.” – Hugh Segal
  • “The knives don’t come out. The New Democrat caucus … shows its solidarity, we stick together, we work through these things. It will take a while to sift through the aftermath and figure out what went wrong. We all have to lick our wounds and really assess what happened because it felt so good right up to the night of.” Charlie Angus, re-elected NDP MP
  • Trudeau’s political role model is not so much his beloved “papa,” whose public persona over 15 years as prime minister mixed charisma and aloofness, but his maternal grandfather, Jimmy Sinclair, a consummate glad-handing, baby-kissing Scottish immigrant to Canada and Rhodes scholar. It was no accident that Trudeau held his final campaign event Sunday night in the Vancouver constituency his grandfather represented from 1940 to 1958. – Bobby Umar, National Post
  • Justin Trudeau, the eldest son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, has resurrected his party, confounded his critics, defied the naysayers and trolls, overcome his own mistakes and resoundingly defeated two tough, smart, determined opponents who cannot have imagined anything like this outcome. In doing so, Trudeau, 43, has made history. Canada has its first political dynasty.. – Michael Den Tandt, Ottawa Citizen  
  • Style wins over substance: Trudeau proved he’s a lightweight compared to Harper or Mulcair – but we elect him anyway – Anthony Furey, Ottawa Sun
  • “Many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years. Well, I have a simple message for you. On behalf of 35 million Canadians, we’re back.” – Justin Trudeau, at an Ottawa rally on Tuesday
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s near 10-year term in office had confounded many observers’ view of Canada as an open and pluralistic society with an idealistic global face. The country has been seen to be practically non-Canadian. – Jeremy Keehn
  • Canada is a blessed nation, and that is not hyperbole. For three decades now, the country has been well led. Brian Mulroney negotiated free trade with the United States; Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin eliminated the deficit and kept the banks sound. Stephen Harper guided Canada through a dangerous recession and made us a more Pacific nation, through increased immigration, trade deals and by involving the West in the life of the general government. Few countries can claim such a record. And like it or not, a third of that record belongs to Stephen Harper. – John Ibbitson
  • “Stephen Harper can be proud of. He united a fractured conservative movement and led it to victory after victory after victory. He brought the West into the heart of the federal government. He signed trade agreements with four dozen countries and more. He guided the nation through a financial crisis. He delivered a decade of peace – uneasy at times, but peace nonetheless – between Ottawa and the provinces. More than anything else he tried to get the message across that there are certain things that people should be doing for themselves. And so he took money out of the government’s hands and put it in our hands. He really did do that. All in all, he was a good prime minister.” – David Bercuson, University of Calgary historian
  • “The real void left by Harper’s exit, however, will be on the world stage. In the not too distant past, only four or perhaps five countries could be counted upon consistently to stand up for moral clarity and the expansion of freedom on the world stage… Harper could always be counted on to condemn rather than seek to appease terror in the Middle East, stand up for dissidents, and speak forthrightly on liberty.” – Michael Rubin
  • “When you talk with people who have given up the last four years, every weekend, every break, really trying to engage the public and really trying to find ways to make democracy matter to people to just get wiped out in a wave, it certainly makes you ponder your place in the universe.” – MP Charlie Angus (commenting on losing colleagues – quality MPs – like Megan Leslie, Peter Stoffer, Jack Harris, Paul Dewar, Nycole Turmel, Peggy Nash and Andrew Cash)
  • The 2011 Conservative majority vote share 39.62% = an illegitimate government / The 2015 Liberal majority vote share 39.50% = voters have spoken ~ awesome! – anon. (election meme)


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