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Bob Rae

1948 -

Federal MP in the socialist New Democratic Party of Canada from 1978-1982, and then leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. He was Premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995, presiding over the province's precipitous decline and massive escalation of debt during those years. Shortly after losing the government in 1995 he resigned his leadership to practice law in Toronto. Author of The Three Questions: Prosperity and the Public good (1998, Viking, Toronto)


When one’s left wing is not working, one tends to fly around in circles a great deal.

Left unchallenged, Ottawa will continue to chart a course for Ontario that sees us paying more, getting less and benefiting least in Confederation.

Apr. 28, 1995 - from his speech announcing the 1995 Ontario provincial election
I have had to learn, the hard way, that governing is not a popularity contest.

Apr. 28, 1995 - from his speech announcing the 1995 Ontario provincial election
Self-interest has a purpose and place at the heart of civil society. Appeals to self-sacrifice, compassion and even generosity are rarely a successful substitute for appeals to self-interest.

1998 - from The Three Questions
When I think of the way we run our economy and our governments, I'm reminded of those startling photographs that sometimes emerge from a Canadian spring - interlocking skeletons of two stags who have locked horns, gotten stuck, and died when unable to eat and survive the winter. I sometimes wonder how different we really are from those Canadian deer.

Oct. 10, 1982 - from a speech, quoted in the Toronto Star and in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
The issue of the twentieth century isn't between capitalism and socialism. The question is what kind of capitalism do we want to have.

1998 - from The Three Questions
 Public investment is crucial for the living standards, the salaries and incomes, the quality of life of each and every citizen in the province. We cannot afford to lose these things in a panic. My opponents think we can slash the Ontario economy to prosperity. They are wrong.

Apr. 28, 1995 - from a speech announcing the 1995 Ontario provincial election, which elected government-slashing conservatives who restored prosperity to the province