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W.L. MacKenzie King

1874 - 1950

Longest-serving Prime Minister of Canada, who served for all but five years between 1921 and 1948. Though namesake of his grandfather, the fiery rebel William Lyon MacKenzie, King's success in politics is often attributed to antipodal (and Canadian) characteristics of a mild nature and an inclination to compromise and conciliate rather than confront. He studied law and economics at Toronto and Harvard, gained experience in the Department of Labour and eventually becoming its Minister under Wilfred Laurier, before assuming leadership of the Liberal party in 1919 and winning the government two years later. King instituted an old-age pension scheme, unemployment insurance, and family benefits as hallmarks of his usually-quiet administration.

The promises of yesterday are the taxes of today.

It is what we prevent, rather than what we do, that counts most in Government.

Aug. 26, 1936
Government in the last analysis is organized opinion. Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government.