Tag Archives: politics

The Return of Gerald Butts and the Question for Canadian Voters

The Niagara Independent, August 2, 2019 — As surmised in the February 22, 2019 Niagara Independent column, “There’s much more to this Gerald Butts story.” And it now appears, perhaps, the puppet master never truly left the Liberal Party’s backrooms.

Liberal Party “insiders” recently leaked that the former PMO Principal Secretary and Justin Trudeau’s best friend Gerald Butts is back and ensconced on the PM’s campaign team to guide the Liberals to victory in the October federal election. Butts has returned as a senior political strategist and it is learned has been advising the Liberal campaign for several weeks.

For Butts, the insiders’ whispers of his return were inauspicious given his flash and dash exit of mid-February; recall his dramatic resignation at the height of the SNC-Lavalin scandal to effectively take the spotlight off the PM. The insiders shared with the press corps that Butts is not leading the team and there is no certainty of whether his is a paid position (that is, beyond his generous severance pay that he is receiving after resigning from his PMO post). Apart from the vagueness of the news, the expressed takeaway for Canadians is that Gerald Butts is back in service within the Liberal fold.

This begs an important question. Is this acceptable and how Canadian politics is today, or is Gerald Butts’ return an affront to a common decency in our country? The answer to that question depends on whether Canadians believe backroom political operatives should be held to account for their actions.

Gerald Butts resigned as a result of the testimony from former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould that he was pressuring her and her staff to assist the Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin. When he was confronted by the Justice Minister’s Chief of Staff that his actions were a travesty of justice, Butts is said to have stated: “There is no solution here that does not involve some interference.” From his own statements before the parliamentary committee, we understand that Butts believes that he, the PM, and PMO did nothing wrong in advancing the interests of SNC-Lavalin.

Yet, at the time, Canadians were feeling queasy about the unfolding LavScam scandal and, so, Butts staged an exit. The links between the PMO and LavScam were removed from media headlines and there is still the hope this sordid scandal is forgotten. However, as Sun Media observes in a lead editorial entitled “The return of Butts speaks volumes”: “The legal repercussions never surfaced. But that doesn’t mean the players were formally cleared of wrongdoing. It just meant there was no investigation. The stench lingers to this day.”

LavScam aside, for Liberals, Butts’ return is reassuring. He is credited with defining the Trudeau Liberal message and its 2015 campaign narrative. Hope springs eternal that this “modern-day rainmaker” will be able to manage the PM’s triumphant reelection bid. Gerald Butts himself said of his resurfacing, “It’s no secret that I have a lot of friends who are still actively involved, whom I care about very deeply, and I care about my country very deeply… we’re at a really important moment, in particular on the issues that I care most about, like climate change. We’re at a turning point and it’s important for people who care about those issues to get involved and try and make positive change happen.”

(Some background context on this statement: Butts is an unapologetic globalist. He is formerly CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada. As chief to Premier Dalton McGuinty he was responsible for creating Ontario’s Green Energy Act and implementing its renewable energy contracts. Since 2015, he is the architect of the federal carbon tax, as well as the Trudeau Government’s approach to resource development and pipeline projects.)

The condemnation from the Liberals’ political opponents was as expected. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer tweeted: “And just like that, the Trudeau team that brought Canadians the SNC Lavalin scandal is right back together.” Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre stated, “This week’s news tells us a lot about Justin Trudeau. The LavScam bully is in and the principled women who spoke truth to power are out. That’s everything you need to know about Justin Trudeau’s ethics.” Poilievre went on to say about Butts’ resignation, “Now we know that that was just a big phony act to cover for the boss.”

Ottawa’s political pundits seem to agree that announcing Butts’ return mid-summer will make it a non-story in the minds of Canadian voters during the Fall race. Liberal strategist Jonathan Scott was on the news circuit spinning the opinion that Canadians will not be “particularly animated one way or the other about who is staffing the Liberal campaign.” Then there are pundits like Warren Kinsella who excuses Butts’ reemergence as politics as usual for “Canada’s Natural Governing Party”: “Liberal arrogance has felled many a Liberal government. It is the greatest Grit weakness. And the return of Gerald Butts signals its unfortunate return, in marquee lights.”

So, the question remains whether Gerald Butts will be viewed in the annals of Canadian political history as some shadowy Svengali figure or the reincarnation of rainmaker Allan J. MacEachen. And this Fall, Canadian voters will have a say on whether this man and his best friend are to be held to account.

 

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-return-of-gerald-butts-and-the-question-for-canadian-voters/

The Tale of Two Regions – Our Canadian Paradox

The Niagara Independent, March 29, 2019 — Last week, the Government of Quebec heralded a budget with a $2.5 billion surplus and featuring increased spending in health care and education. On the other end of our country, Albertans entered into an election campaign feeling agitated about the treatment they are experiencing from the federal government and central Canada. This is the latest in the tale of two regions – and one needs not look too hard to discover the disturbing set of facts that underpin our Canadian paradox.

The 2019-20 Quebec budget highlighted an increased surplus of $2.5 billion from $1.65 billion over last year. On the strength of their books, the Quebec Government is planning for total increased spending of $16.1 billion through 2023-24. In this next year, there is a five per cent increase in spending in health care. There is also a five per cent increase in education budgets, delivered with a 17 per cent reduction overall in school property taxes.

What was not communicated in this good-news budget is that the Province of Quebec is expecting a $1.4 Billion increase in equalization payments this fiscal year – from last year’s payout of $11.7 Billion to $13.1 Billion in 2019-20.

Meanwhile, in Alberta, the inequality of Canada’s equalization payments has become a focal point, and given the slumping oil prices and the country’s on-going pipeline debate, it is now an election issue. United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney has tapped into Albertans’ sense of grievance on this issue saying that “Albertans are being forced to write cheques to Quebec.”

Kenny has stated publicly: “If the federal government continues its attacks through the National Energy Board (NEB) and the federal carbon tax, then Alberta should take a common-sense approach and hold a referendum demanding the removal of non-renewable resource revenues from the equalization formula.”

Alberta’s payments have become the subject of a grassroots appeal. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation recently sent out a message encouraging all Albertans to write/email all the leaders of the political parties to call for a referendum question. The CTF wrote: “…most Albertans are concerned regarding the present mechanism on how federal equalization payments are calculated and adversely affects Alberta… “Should the Government of Alberta challenge the federal equalization payment program under the Canadian Constitution?” Yes or No.

At the core of this dissention are the federal government’s equalization payments, a complex redistribution of federal tax dollars to “have-not” provinces to maintain their public services. In June 2018, it was revealed that Finance Minister Morneau committed to keeping the current formula for another five years – until 2024. Under the federal government’s renewed plan, it will be increasing payments to the “have not” provinces from $18.3 billion in 2017-2018 to $22.1 billion by 2022-2023. Remarkably, Quebec is scheduled to receive the lion’s share of these payments. For example, in this 2019-20 fiscal year, Quebec is receiving 67 per cent of the equalization payments. (Alberta, as a “have province,” will receive no payments this year, or for the next five years.)

Again, the inequity of the federal equalization formula is underscored when considering the total amounts of federal payments to provinces since 1957, the year these annual payments were introduced. The figures reveal that in the last 61 years Quebec has received $221 billion or more than half of all equalization dollars.

The billions of dollars of payments will assist Quebec with its education, health care – and with its surplus budgets. At the same time the Quebec Government opposes Canadian pipelines in favour of Saudi oil. The Quebec Government has also been silent on the implementation of the federal carbon tax or the new federal environmental review process that critics warn will shut down resource development in Alberta and the western provinces.

Last week, the Alberta Independence Party was given official party status and is fielding candidates in 46 election contests. Party Leader Dave Bjorkman states:  “It’s always been the right time for Alberta to separate. It absolutely has to be done now. We’ve taken too much abuse from Ottawa.”

Recent national polling reveals that three of four Canadians who live west of Ontario do not feel the federal government treats their province fairly. There is the Western Party in Manitoba, billboards in Saskatoon asking “Should Saskatchewan leave Canada?”, and now in Alberta a provincial separation party movement and as much as 50 percent of the population supporting secession from Canada.

Here is the paradoxical question: As the Province of Quebec continues to receive increased government services and programs, all Canadians should join with Westerners to ask “What will be the ultimate cost of the equalization payments to the future of our country?”

 

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-tale-of-two-regions-our-canadian-paradox/

It’s “the epic” collection of political jokes and quotes

Here is “the epic” collection of political jokes from the campaign trail.

With just two weeks left in the Ontario election, By George is re-publishing its political jokes and quotes book with many more jokes and feature sections.

This 150-page e-book is bursting with funny guffaws, “shaggy-dog” stories and sideways jokes about politicians and politics. The collection has some of the absolute best classics. It also has a selection of the most humourist and provocative memes culled from Facebook and Twitter.

Epic Political Jokes & Quotes will put a smile on your face, one page after another. For many, it is a sure tonic for surviving the final days of this bitter Ontario campaign. For politicos, this is a great resource that you can pull material from for your next Party event.

Order your e-copy of  Epic Political Jokes & Quotes from the By George E-Bookshelf

Enjoy the read and laugh all the way to the polls!

 

The Inequity of Canada’s Equalization Payments

The Niagara Independent – June 29, 2018 – As Parliament recessed for the summer, news leaked out that the Trudeau Government quietly renewed the current federal equalization formula for provinces through the year 2024.

In the 584-pages of 2018 budget documentation, Finance Minister Bill Morneau had buried a provision that extended the existing equalization formula, providing no formal notices to provinces or the public. With the passage of the omnibus budget legislation, stealthily, Morneau unilaterally assured the renewal of the federal-provincial equalization arrangement — to the huge benefit of Quebec, and over the vocal protests of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the western provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The federal government’s equalization payments are a complex redistribution of federal tax dollars to “have-not” provinces – those provinces requiring assistance to maintain their public services. Equalization is written into subsection 36(2) of the Canadian constitution to ensure provincial governments have “sufficient revenues to provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation.”

Federal equalization dollars are not funds for specific use, but dollars that get placed into the general revenue of “have-not” provinces. The payments have no strings attached. (These payments are not to be confused with the explicit federal transfers to provinces for health, social programs, and infrastructure expenditure programs.)

The federal payments this fiscal year are nearly $19 Billion. Provinces are receiving these amounts: PEI $419 Million, NS $1.9 Billion, NB $1.9 Billon, ON $963 Million, MB $2.0 Billion and QB receives $11.7 Billion. With the current equalization formula, Quebec receives more than 60 per cent of the total paid out. The “have” provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan receive no equalization payments.

The current redistribution of federal tax dollars has prompted calls for a re-calculation of the equalization formula.

  • Tom Osborne, finance minister from Newfoundland and Labrador, says, “When you see other provinces with a smaller geography and a much larger population and are receiving a large portion of equalization payments, I challenge anybody to explain to me how Newfoundland and Labrador is still considered a ‘have’ province.”
  • Alberta Premier Rachel Notley states, “It’s disadvantaging Alberta,” and Opposition Leader Jason Kenney says, “This is a slap in the face to Alberta. It means we will continue to be forced, even when times are bad in Alberta, forced to subsidize public services in other parts of the country where politicians have been trying to block out pipelines and impair our energy industry.”
  • Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe states, “There are provinces across the nation looking to have this discussion. This is obviously a flawed program.”

In the end, the Trudeau Government ignored these calls for a review by the provincial leaders.

The arguments over the equalization payouts are fanning regional tensions between western provinces and Quebec, particularly this year when Quebecers helped to cancel the Energy East pipeline project. As Alberta Conservative Leader Jason Kenny points out, “We’ve been sending Albertans’ tax dollars to politicians who have opposed our energy industry, which helps to create the wealth transferred through equalization.”

Reflecting westerners’ frustrations, Don Braid, Calgary Herald’s political editorialist, observes “rarely has there been a sneakier ploy… The closest for sheer nose-thumbing gall may be the 1980 meeting of Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet in Lake Louise, to discuss details of the National Energy Program.”

The inequity of the federal equalization formula is underscored when considering the total amounts of federal payments to provinces since 1957 — the year these annual payments were introduced.

NL – $ 25 B

PEI – $ 10 B

NS – $ 47 B

NB – $ 46 B

QB – $ 221 B

ON – $ 19 B

MB – $ 50 B

SK – $ 8 B

AB – $ 92 M

BC – $ 3 B

The figures reveal that in the last 61 years Quebec has received more than half of all equalization dollars. Now the Trudeau Government has assured Quebec receives its cash bonanza for another five years. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is blunt about the unfairness of it all: “Five years of zeroes for Saskatchewan, Alberta, Newfoundland, while Quebec keeps receiving $50-$60 Billion.”

 

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

LINK:  https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-inequity-of-canadas-equalization-payments/

 

 

Identifying “Governmentium”

A research institution announced the discovery of the heaviest element known to science.  The new element has been tentatively named “Governmentium “. Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

 

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

 

Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.

 

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

 

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration.  The hypothetical quantity is referred to as “Critical Morass.”

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Quotes on Politics, Democracy, etc.

  • What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people.  It’s not good at much else. – Tom Clancy
  • It’s important to realize that whenever you give power to politicians or bureaucrats, it will be used for what they want, not for what you want. – Harry Browne
  • Give government the weapons to fight your enemy and it will use them against you. – Harry Browne
  • The State is the coldest of all cold monsters, and coldly it tells lies, and this lie drones on from its mouth: ‘I, the State, am the people’. – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • An oppressive government is much worse than a man-eating tiger. – Confucious
  • It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power. – John Adams
  • If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be. – Thomas Jefferson
  • A moderate is  either someone who has no moral code  of  his own, or if he  does, then he’s  someone who  doesn’t have the  guts to take sides between good and evil. – Rick Gaber
  • Give a good man great powers and crooks grab his job. – Rick Gaber
  • Overload the police with victimless crimes and other minutiae and eventually only creeps and bullies remain cops. – Rick Gaber
  • Power draws the corrupted; absolute power would draw the absolutely corrupted. – Colin Barth
  • The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people will be. The more laws are promulgated, the more thieves and bandits there will be. – Lao-tzu
  • Intellect annuls Fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free….The revelation of Thought takes man out of servitude into freedom. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. – Frederic Bastiat
  • There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust. – Demosthenes: Philippic 2, sect. 24
  • People constantly speak of  ‘the government’ doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men. – H.L. Mencken
  • Crime does not pay … as well as politics. – Alfred E. Newman
  • Politics is a means of preventing people from taking part in what properly concerns them. – Paul Valery
  • When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we, in essence, accept that the state owns our bodies. – Ron Paul
  • …somebody has to take governments’ place, and business seems to me to be a logical entity to do it. – David Rockefeller
  • Government is big business, with the face of democracy. – Jim West
  • Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God. – Norman Vincent Peale
  • Democracy is when two wolves and a sheep vote on what they will have for lunch. – Anonymous
  • Democracy is defended in 3 stages.  Ballot Box, Jury Box, Cartridge Box. – Ambrose Bierce
  • We’re [United States] not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy. – Ramsey Clark

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Quips on politics

 

“I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.” – Charles de Gaulle

“The word “politics” is derived from the Greek word “poly,” meaning “many,” and the word “ticks,” meaning “blood sucking parasites.” – anonymous

“Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.” – Oscar Ameringer (the Mark Twain of American Socialism)

“I offered my opponents a deal: “if they stop telling lies about me, I will stop telling the truth about them”.” – Adlai Stevenson (in a campaign speech in 1952)

“A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.” – Texas Guinan

“Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.” – Doug Larson

“We hang petty thieves and appoint the bigger thieves to public office.” – Aesop

“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” – Plato

“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” – Nikita Khrushchev

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become PM; I’m beginning to believe it.” – Quoted in ‘Clarence Darrow for the Defense’ by Irving Stone.

“Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.” – John Quinton

“What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution. What happens if all of them drown? That is a solution!” – anonymous

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Political memes

With MPs back to Ottawa and Parliament opening today, By George offers up a few political memes for sharing on your social media platforms. (Right click to save and then share on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.) 

Enjoy…

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

More quips on politics & government

In response to our friend Dick Inwood, here is a much longer list of humourous quips dredged up from a past By George Journal post dating back to February 2010.

  • Public office is the last refuge of the incompetent. – Boies Penrose
  • We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. – Winston Churchill
  • A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. – Thomas Jefferson
  • A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw
  • I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment’s would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress. – Ronald Reagan
  • Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book. – Ronald Reagan
  • Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. – Frederic Bastiat
  • All our opinions should be marked, ‘Subject to change without notice.’ – Nellie McClung
  • No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. – Mark Twain
  • Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. – Mark Twain
  • Talk is cheap-except when Congress does it. – Will Rogers
  • There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences. – P. J. O’Rourke
  • When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. -P. J. O’Rourke
  • I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. – Will Rogers
  • Government is the only institution that can take a valuable commodity like paper, and make it worthless by applying ink. – Ludwig van Moses
  • A government committee charged with considering three possible courses of action soon had the choice narrowed down to eight. – Richard Needham
  • Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. – P.J. O’Rourke
  • The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant: It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.  – Ronald Reagan
  • In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. – Voltaire
  • What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. – Edward Langley
  • Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you! – Pericles
  • Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. – James Bovard
  • A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man….which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. – G Gordon Liddy
  • Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
  • Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. – Ronald Reagan
  • Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. … if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? – Ronald Reagan
  • The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.  – Ronald Reagan
  • The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program. – Ronald Reagan
  • The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected. – Will Rogers
  • Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for. – Will Rogers

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

FAV quotes on politics

  • Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business. – Winston Churchill
  • Politics is a profession; a serious, complicated and, in its true sense, a noble one. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Politics is the art of controlling your environment. – Hunter Thompson
  • Good government is good politics. – Richard J. Daley
  • Power is dangerous unless you have humility. – Richard J. Daley
  • A consensus politician is someone who does something that he doesn’t believe is right because it keeps people quiet when he does it. – John Major
  • Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote. – William Simon
  • Beware the politically obsessed. They are often bright and interesting, but they have something missing in their natures; there is a hole, an empty place, and they use politics to fill it up. It leaves them somehow misshapen. – Peggy Noonan
  • Every time the government grows we lose more of who we are. – Glenn Beck
  • What is inherently wrong with the word ‘politician’ if the fellow has devoted his life to holding public office and trying to do something for his people? – Richard J. Daley
  • We all like to hear a man speak out on his convictions and principles. But at the same time, you must understand that when you’re running on a ticket, you’re running with a team. – Richard J. Daley
  • If you interviewed 1,000 politicians and asked about whether the media’s too soft or too hard, about 999 would say too hard. – Bob Woodward
  • Political Correctness doesn’t change us, it shuts us up. – Glenn Beck
  • Being Politically Correct means always having to say you’re sorry. – Charles Osgood
  • Don’t fall in love with politicians, they’re all a disappointment. They can’t help it, they just are. – Peggy Noonan
  • I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking. – F.D. Roosevelt
  • Whenever a liberal begins a statement with ‘I don’t know which is more frightening,’ you know the answer is going to be pretty clear. – Ann Coulter
  • If more politicians in this country were thinking about the next generation instead of the next election, it might be better for the United States and the world. – Claude Pepper
  • I think people are tired of politicians trying to poke each other in the eye. – Mark Warner
  • Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians. – Muhammad Iqbal

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Quotes of PM Paul Martin

    

  • For years governments have been promising more than they can deliver, and delivering more than they can afford.
  • As a people, we know what we can do, we know how to do it, and we just want to get on with it. How? By ensuring that Canada’s place in the world is one of influence and pride.
    I rise in support of a Canada in which liberties are safeguarded, rights are protected and the people of this land are treated as equals under the law.
  • If we do not step forward, then we step back. If we do not protect a right, then we deny it.
  • The achievements we forge in this place and in our nation will not be those of one person or one party.
  • The people of Canada have worked hard to build a country that opens its doors to include all, regardless of their differences; a country that respects all, regardless of their differences; a country that demands equality for all, regardless of their differences.
  • We were caught in a trap of our own making – a vicious circle in which our chronic deficits contributed to economic lethargy, which in turn contributed to even higher deficits, and then to greater malaise.
  • We will strengthen the integrity of government.  To achieve that goal, we must create an environment in which the reporting of wrongdoing can be made without repercussion for someone who comes forward. We are doing just that. The political process in Ottawa will never be the same again.
  • We are going to condemn to history the practice and politics of cronyism I am going to change the way Ottawa works and we are going to do it come hell or high water.

 

Quotes of PM Jean Chretien

     

  • A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.
  • We are not going to change. We are going to continue defending our cause and our socialism.
  • When you’re a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don’t blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans.
  • Even some of the bureaucrats want to get you. They all may have an interest in making you look bad and they all have ambitions of their own. 
  • You have to look at history as an evolution of society.
  • Deficit reduction is not an end in itself. It is the means to an end, … Canadians must now decide what kind of country they want to build with the hard-won dividend.
  • The challenge we all face as leaders is how best to steer our governments’ agenda back toward addressing the most critical problems facing our citizens. Globalization is certainly one factor affecting how democracies work.
  • The free and civilized nations of the world have joined hands to press the first great struggle for justice of the 21st century – the struggle to defy and defeat the forces of terrorism.
  • We are part of an unprecedented coalition of nations that has come together to fight the threat of terrorism … Canada will be part of this coalition every step of the way.
  • Pierre Trudeau dreamed of a society that afforded all of its citizens an equal opportunity to succeed in life — whatever their background or beliefs, whether rich or poor.
  • The art of politics is learning to walk with your back to the wall, your elbows high, and a smile on your face. It’s a survival game played under the glare of lights. If you don’t learn that you’re quickly finished. It’s damn tough and you can’t complain; you just have to take it and give it back. The press wants to get you. The opposition wants to get you.
  • Perhaps there were a few million dollars that might have been stolen in the process. But how many millions of dollars have we saved because we have re-established the stability of Canada by keeping it a united country?

 

Quotes of PM Brian Mulroney

     

  • You had an option, sir. You could have said, ‘I am not going to do it. This is wrong for Canada, and I am not going to ask Canadians to pay the price.’ You had an option, sir–to say ‘no’–and you chose to say ‘yes’ to the old attitudes and the old stories of the Liberal Party. That sir, if I may say respectfully, that is not good enough for Canadians.
  • You accumulate political capital to spend it on noble causes for Canada. If you’re afraid to spend your capital, you shouldn’t be there.
  • There are so many demands on your time, on your resources, and on the prestige of the government.
  • If everything is very important, then nothing is important.
  • I am not denying anything I did not say.
  • If your only objective is to be popular, you’re going to be popular but you will be known as the Prime Minister who achieved nothing.
  • In politics, madame, you need two things: friends, but above all an enemy.
  • Trudeau’s contribution was not to build Canada but to destroy it, and I had to come in and save it.
  • Popularity’s bad for you. I avoid it like the plague.
  • Trade is Canada’s life blood. Our objective is to strengthen Canada’s stature as a first-class world trader.
  • Throughout our history, trade has been critical to Canada’s livelihood. Now, almost one third of what we produce is exported. Few countries in the world are so dependent on trade. This trend ultimately threatens the jobs of many Canadians and the living standards of the nation as a whole. We must confront this threat. We must reverse this trend. To do so, we need a better, a fairer, and a more predictable trade relationship with the United States. At stake are more than two million jobs which depend directly on Canadian access to the U.S. market. 
  • Look, when I did the Free Trade Agreement, I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. I thought it was the right thing to do. I believed it was the way of the future. If you looked at it in the new millenium, you would say this was so obvious that it had to be done. Without it, Canada would be small and atrophied. The Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA will be regarded one hundred years from now as a major defining moment in the evolution of Canada.
  • I think the government has to reposition environment on top of their national and international priorities.
  • We decided that the environment was an integral part of our policies and the political thrust of our government. We gave it the priority and we sustained it with the money required to make it happen.
  • Canadians have an obligation to help make the world a better and safer place. Not least, we owe it to ourselves to honor excellence and pursue it relentlessly. Canada must stand for the best in all fields of human endeavour. And we must be uncompromising in the pursuit of values that are the moral foundation of all great nations. That is my dream for my country: a Canada fair and generous, tolerant and just.

 

Quotes of PMs Joe Clark, John Turner and Kim Campbell

   

  • We will not take this nation by storm, by stealth or by surprise. We will win it by work. – Joseph Clark
  • This is a very complicated country. You have to understand it, you have to respect it, and I think our most successful prime ministers have been people who have drawn together the diversity of the country. – Joseph Clark
  • I know there are scars and wounds from battles fought. It is a different day and a different process. – Joseph Clark
  • One of the luxuries of a politician’s life is that you see yourself as others see you. – Joseph Clark
  • You will know that in our most recent skirmishes, I won some debating points and he (Pierre Trudeau) won another general election. – Joespeh Clark 
  • A recession is when your neighbour loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job. Recovery is when Pierre Trudeau loses his job. – Joseph Clark
  • I had no option! – John Turner
  • In any democracy, there is always a tug-of-war between policies to achieve equality and policies to promote excellence. I am certain that Canada can achieve both equality and excellence. – John Turner
  • Any country that is willing to surrender economic levers inevitably yields levers politically and surrenders a large chunk of its ability to remain a sovereign nation. I don’t believe our future depends on our yielding those economic levers of sovereignty to become a junior partner in Fortress North America to the United States. – John Turner
  • In opposition, there’s not much one can do. One doesn’t have the carrot and one doesn’t have the stick. One can’t promote and one can’t fire. And persuasion has its limits. – John Turner
  • In the 126 years of our common history, anglophones and francophones, Aboriginal peoples and new Canadians have shown that our political system, founded on the profound respect of differences and the sharing of fundamental values, is our most powerful tool of development. – Kim Campbell
  • In all modesty, we must admit that governments are not always the best doctors when it comes to diagnosing economic ailments and prescribing the right treatment. – Kim Campbell
  • In a democracy, government isn’t something that a small group of people do to everybody else, it’s not even something they do for everybody else, it should be something they do with everybody else. – Kim Campbell
  • Government cannot and must not replace private initiative. – Kim Campbell
  • I have always believed governments must adapt to the needs of the people, not the other way around. – Kim Campbell

 

 

Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Trudeauisms

  • My life is one long curve, full of turning points.
  • Luck, that’s when preparation and opportunity meet.
  • The essential ingredient of politics is timing.
  • In academic life you seek to state absolute truths; in politics you seek to accommodate truth to the facts around you.
  • We wish nothing more, but we will accept nothing less. Masters in our own house we must be, but our house is the whole of Canada.
  • I am trying to put Quebec in its place — and the place of Quebec is in Canada.
  • Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.
  • Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.
  • I believe a constitution can permit the co-existence of several cultures and ethnic groups with a single state.
  • I believe that Canada cannot, indeed, that Canada must not survive by force. The country will only remain united – it should only remain united – if its citizens want to live together in one civil society.
  • The die is cast in Canada: there are two ethnic and linguistic groups; each is too strong and too deeply rooted in the past, too firmly bound to a mother culture, to be able to swamp the other. But if the two will collaborate inside of a truly pluralist state, Canada could become a privileged place where the federalist form of government, which is the government of tomorrow’s world, will be perfected.
  • Bilingualism is not an imposition on the citizens. The citizens can go on speaking one language or six languages, or no languages if they so choose. Bilingualism is an imposition on the state and not the citizens.
  • We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege.
  • Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them
  • If there is anything that puzzles me in this game, it is that the longer that you are in the job of prime minister, the harder you have to work to do your job. With anything else ….you get to know the ropes pretty well and it becomes easy.  I feel the more you know, the more you have to know and  the more problems come at you.  It is certainly not because I do not delegate.
  • Power only tires those who don’t exercise it.
  • The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.
  • Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent.
  • The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness.
  • Liberalism is the philosophy for our time, because it does not try to conserve every tradition of the past, because it does not apply to new problems the old doctrinaire solutions, because it is prepared to experiment and innovate and because it knows that the past is less important than the future.
  • Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die.
  • There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an “all Canadian” boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.
  • I walked until midnight in the storm, then I went home and took a sauna for an hour and a half. It was all clear. I listened to my heart and saw if there were any signs of my destiny in the sky, and there were none — there were just snowflakes.
  • Some things I never learned to like. I didn’t like to kiss babies, though I didn’t mind kissing their mothers. I didn’t like to slap backs or other parts of the anatomy. I liked hecklers, because they brought my speeches alive. I liked supporters, because they looked happy. And I really enjoyed mingling with people, if there wasn’t too much of it.
  • What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Lester B. Pearson unveiling the Canadian Flag

    

“And so the new Flag, joining and rising above the milestones of our history, today takes for the first time its proud place as the emblem of Canada, “The Maple Leaf Our Emblem Dear.”  May the land over which this new Flag flies remain united in freedom and justice; a land of decent God-fearing people; fair and generous in all its dealings; sensitive, tolerant and compassionate towards all men; industrious, energetic, resolute; wise, and just in the giving of security and opportunity equally to all its cultures; and strong in its adherence to those moral principles which are the only sure guide to greatness. Under this Flag may our youth find new inspiration for loyalty to Canada; for a patriotism based not on any mean or narrow nationalism, but on the deep and equal pride that all Canadians will feel for every part of this good land. God bless our Flag! And God bless Canada!” 

 

– Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson

Quotes of PM Lester B. Pearson

  

  • I have done it by hard work and long hours, by making it evident that I was available for whatever was to be done; by welcoming every opportunity for new and more responsible duties; and by accumulating all the experience possible in all the varied aspects of my profession.
  • Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.
  • The choice, however, is as clear now for nations as it was once for the individual: peace or extinction.
  • The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies.
  • It would be especially tragic if the people who most cherish ideals of peace, who are most anxious for political cooperation on a wider than national scale, made the mistake of underestimating the pace of economic change in our modern world.
  • Of all our dreams today there is none more important – or so hard to realise – than that of peace in the world. May we never lose our faith in it or our resolve to do everything that can be done to convert it one day into reality.
  • A great gulf, however, has been opened between man’s material advance and his social and moral progress, a gulf in which he may one day be lost if it is not closed or narrowed.
  • The life of states cannot, any more than the life of individuals, be conditioned by the force and the will of a unit, however powerful, but by the consensus of a group, which must one day include all states.
  • The stark and inescapable fact is that today we cannot defend our society by war since total war is total destruction, and if war is used as an instrument of policy, eventually we will have total war.
  • The scientific and technological discoveries that have made war so infinitely more terrible for us are part of the same process that has knit us all so much more closely together.
  • We must keep on trying to solve problems, one by one, stage by stage, if not on the basis of confidence and cooperation, at least on that of mutual toleration and self-interest.
  • Our own country’s existence has always depended upon achieving unity of human purpose within the diversity of our linguistic cultural and social backgrounds.
  • Whether we live together in confidence and cohesion; with more faith and pride in ourselves and less self-doubt and hesitation; strong in the conviction that the destiny of Canada is to unite, not divide; sharing in cooperation, not in separation or in conflict; respecting our past and welcoming our future.
  • I refuse to believe that in a world subject to all the perils and where there is no security, where universal fraternity is the solution to the threat of extinction, where it is absolutely necessary for men to draw closer together in spirit as they are now closer in fact, I refuse to believe that in this world all Canadians cannot live together, work together, grow together in friendship and understanding, rejecting the dangerous counsels of extremism whence they come, so that together we can achieve the great destiny of Canada.
  • At noon today, in this eighth month of our ninety-eighth year as a Confederation, our new Flag will fly for the first time in the skies above Canada and in places overseas where Canadians serve.  If our nation, by God’s grace, endures a thousand years, this day, the 15th day of February, 1965, will always be remembered as a milestone in Canada’s national progress.

 

 

More political musings from “The Chief”

  • I don’t campaign. I just visit with the people.
  • Nothing I ever do is political.
  • I never say anything provocative.
  • I do not say that everything I did was right, but what I do say, Mr. Speaker, is that what I did was honest.
  • I was criticized for being too much concerned with the average Canadians. I can’t help that; I am one of them!
  • The Liberals are the flying saucers of politics. No one can make head nor tail of them and they never are seen twice in the same place.
  • Everyone is against me – except the people!
  • I’ve lived history. I’ve made history, and I know I’ll have my place in history. That’s not egoism.
  • For an average Canadian, being chosen as leader of a nation gives one a feeling impossible to describe. You feel a sense of loneliness.
  • I would never have been Prime Minister if the Gallup poll were right.
  • My friends, you say, ‘Give ’em hell, John!’ I never do that. I tell the truth and it sounds like hell. It simply sounds that way to the Grits.
  • Sir John A. Macdonald gave his life to this party. He opened the West. he saw Canada from east to west. I see a new Canada – a Canada of the North!
  • The Conservative party will be the national party; it is the party which founded Confederation and the party that will save Confederation…. It is my intention to unite all Canadians from the Atlantic to the Pacific, under the banner of patriotism.
  • Never in Canadian history has there been a government so prone to be prone.
  • Criticism is sometimes necessary to create public opinion, but use discretion.

 

John George Diefenbaker on politics and Parliament

  • I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
  • Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.”
  • As long as there is a drop of blood in my body they won’t stop me from talking about freedom.
  • Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent… The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words.
  • I am the first Prime Minister of this country of neither altogether English nor French origin. So I determined to bring about a Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated consideration.
  • I have one love – Canada; one purpose – Canada’s greatness; one aim – Canadian unity from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
  • The object of Confederation was not to produce Siamese twins in this nation.
  • We shall never build the nation which our potential resources make possible by dividing ourselves into Anglophones, Francophones, multiculturalphones, or whatever kind of phoneys you choose. I say: Canadians, first, last, and always!
  • I believe there must not be, as has been developing in this nation, first and second class citizens. That has been the trend as a result of all the discussion about associated states and a nation within a nation.
  • I am the first prime minister of this country of neither altogether English or French origin. So I determined to bring about a Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated consideration….I’m very happy to be able to say that in the House of Commons today in my party we have members of Italian, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Chinese and Ukrainian origin — and they are all Canadians.
  • I am not anti-American. But I am strongly pro-Canadian.
  • We shall be Canadians first, foremost, and always, and our policies will be decided in Canada and not dictated by any other country.
  • Some say to me: ‘History? What does it mean? What are you concerned about the past for?’ And my answer to that is a simple one – he who does not know the past can never understand the present, and he certainly can do nothing for the future.
  • There can be no dedication to Canada’s future without a knowledge of its past.
  • Macdonald is as vital a personality today, as if he were alive. He has been able to transmit his natural vision for this country to all Canadian leaders who followed him, regardless of their party.
  • I have always been a House of Commons man.
  • Governments propose, and oppositions dispose.
  • The duty of the Opposition is to turn out the government.
  • Our paramount consideration as members of the opposition must be to refrain from obstructive criticism and fearlessly to offer constructive criticism.
  • Without an Opposition, it is not too much to say, the parliamentary system of government would fail in its primary task of protecting the rights of individuals and minorities, and of ensuring freedom and democracy.
  • Oppositions cleanse and purify those in office and we in the opposition are in fact the “detergents of democracy.”
  • Parliament is more than procedure – it is the custodian of the nation’s freedom.
  • A question which can be answered without prejudice to the government is not a fit question to ask.
  • Parliament is a place where gentlemen meet and what passed between them is not made public.
  • The quality of debate in the House is deplorable. You watch today and count how many read from prepared texts.

PM Louis St Laurent on politics

  • Our nation was planned as a political partnership of two great races. It was planned by men of vision, of tolerance, as a partnership in which both of the partners would retain their essential characteristics, their religion, their culture.  
  • Today, we are a united people facing a world in search of unity, and what is most striking is that this world is wrestling with a problem of ethnic differences, linguistic differences and cultural differences, which is undoubtedly presented on a much more immense plane, but which, in essence, resembles the very same problem we were facing at the beginning of our life as a nation.
  • Sustainable peace and harmony between the nations can only be achieved if the nations of the world attain the same spirit of collaboration as that which unites the two groups of Canada.
  • Too few countries are as fortunate as ours; and I believe that we have all learned that our safety and our prosperity depend at least as much on what occurs on all sides of our borders as on what happens at home.
  • I didn’t know at first that there were two languages in Canada. I just thought that there was one way to speak to my father and another to speak to my mother.
  • Uncle Louis [a moniker picked up on account of his “common touch.”]
  • Patronage is the udder of democracy.
  • Public affairs are simply the affairs of the people  —  your affairs. And it is through general elections that the country’s people maintain control over its government and over the administration of its affairs.
  • But the military strength of Communist Russia and the policies of its masters in these post­war years have convinced all but the blindest among us that the only hope of immediate security for the rest of the world lies in building up armed strength sufficient to be an effective deterrent to the potential aggression of this latest military tyranny.
  • Socialists are Liberals in a hurry.