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Peter C. Newman

Columnist, author of The Canadian Establishment and other works


Exploring and taming Canada's resources has been a heroic epic and it is only the poor quality of our history [teaching] that has failed to bring the truth home.

Jul. 6, 1992 - from Maclean's Magazine, quoted in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
The function of democratic leadership ... is to respect the past, grasp the present, and enlarge the future.

quoted in Canadian by Conviction, by Brune and Bulgutch, Gage Publishing
Politics in Canada has always been the art of making the necessary possible.

quoted in Canadian by Conviction, by Brune and Bulgutch, Gage Publishers
There is in Alberta today a ferocious craving to be heard. The province's discontents keep multiplying without ever being debated, much less resolved. Central Canada's political elite has yet to accept the notion that westerners are anything more than bubbas in the boondocks, whose lives are consumed in envy of the lucky few plugged into action central in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. ... What [Albertans] will demand with increasing ferocity is greater control over their own destiny.

Feb. 12, 2001 - from "Demanding to be heard", published in Maclean's magazine
Power tends to connect; absolute power connects absolutely.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
History's jury is always out.

Dec. 30, 2000 - from "2000: The year the music died", National Post
Because of the unusually low voter turn out [in the 2000 federal election] a mere 26% of Canadians elected a cast-iron Liberal majority. ... The election's unintended result is that we have invented a new and potentially lethal political phenomenon: an elected dictatorship.

Dec. 30, 2000 - from "2000: The year the music died", National Post
... an iron law of Canadian politics: Any sea change in the federal political landscape is always telegraphed by switches in provincial governments. This holds true because the essential organizational help that provincial parties in power can grant their federal allies is suddenly cut off.

Mar. 15, 2000 - from a column in the National Post
If America's conquest of Canada is based on America's strength, Canada's surrender is based on Canada's weakness.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
The conquest of any nation takes place not on battlefields, not in business boardrooms, but within the soul of its people and the minds of their leaders.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
When [Canadian Liberal cabinet minister] Jane Stewart finally admits she's lying, nobody will believe her.

Mar. 15, 2000 - from a column in the National Post, commenting on her handling of a massive government grant boondoggle in her ministry
Conservatives usually prefer twin beds, which may contribute to the fact that Canada has more Liberals.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
[Former Canadian prime minister Brian] Mulroney's operational code was simple: to advance his personal cause as forcefully as possible; to exercise power at the summit of Canadian politics for as long and effectively as he could. Ideas had nothing to do with it. ... Mulroney's were the politics of utility, which covered the barren land between pragmatism and opportunity.

1995 - from The Canadian Revolution
Most of Canada's mainstream politicians suffer from a contagious disease: Their motivating philosophy is lightly held. They are ideological acrobats, able to square almost any political circle, allowing pragmatism (a fancy word for "where the votes are") to decide where they stand.

Nov. 29, 2000 - from a column in the National Post