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858 Canadian quotations of 6,095, showing Trudeau to Ziegel

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Trudeau, Pierre Elliot  
We are going to be governed whether we like it or not; it is up to us to see to it that we are governed no worse than is absolutely unavoidable. We must therefore concern ourselves with politics, as Pascal said, to mitigate as far as possible the damage done by the madness of our rulers.

Tupper, Sir Charles  
The human mind naturally adapts itself to the position it occupies. The most gigantic intellect may be dwarfed by being cabin'd, cribbed and confined. It requires a great country and great circumstances to develop great men.

Turner, John  
Greed is what makes the world tick, baby.

Underhill, F.H.  
Canadians are the world's oldest and most continuing anti-Americans.

[Defence] We are guarded by Generals Atlantic and Pacific.

With the Liberals in power, what we have is a case of the bland leading the bland.

Valpy, Michael  
Canada is the only country in the world where you can buy a book on federal-provincial relations at an airport.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
When Gallup asked Canadians a few years ago what they were proudest of in their country, the number one response was the Charter. The Charter has been decried as `Americanizing' us. In fact, it has kept us going.

Dec. 10, 1994 - as quoted in the Globe and Mail
We are becoming a society where multiculture means no public culture.

May 3, 1995 - from his column in the Globe and Mail
Van Horne, Sir William  
The biggest things are often the easiest to do because there is so little competition.

Vander Zalm, William  
Style is substance.

The individual least reliant on the state is the freest of all.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Walsh, Mary  
We have a history of defining ourselves by the negatives, and we seem happy enough doing it.

Aug. 2, 2001 - from "We tend toward a riotous gloom", published in the National Post
Wappel, Tom  
 How is it that you are writing me for my help if you did not think enough of my abilities to justify voting for me? ... I can decide who to help or not.

May 10, 2001 - from a letter to his constituent, an elderly veteran asking for help getting benefits, and from the resulting story in the National Post
Watson, Paul  
... the secret to Greenpeace's success: It doesn't matter what is true... it only matters what people believe is true... You are what the media define you to be.

Watson, William  
That true justice may not consist of treating absolutely everyone alike used to be widely understood. Now, discrimination is evil, pure and simple, and anyone carrying human DNA must have the same "rights" as anyone else with such DNA.

Feb. 15, 2000 - from "To Spank or Not to Spank", published in The Gazette, republished in Reader's Digest (April 2000)
... studies reveal that most child abusers start with spanking. Of course, most heroin users begin wth marijuana and most rapists have read Playboy, though the overwhelming majority of those who smoke marijuana or read Playboy do not suffer the above fates. The Criminal Code currently reads as follows: "Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction towards a pupil or child ... if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances." That seems perfectly sensible. Let's leave the law as it is.

Feb. 15, 2000 - from "To Spank or Not to Spank", published in The Gazette, republished in Reader's Digest (April 2000)
[Commenting on the 1999 federal budget by Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, in which a projected $11.7 billion surplus evaporated in an orgy of spending] ... more than anything else [the budget] has cinched our finance minister's reputation for being as slick with the truth about money as Bill Clinton is with the truth about sex.

Feb. 26, 1999 - from a column in the National Post
When late-20th-century interventionists argue that big government and comprehensive social policies are part of Canadian tradition, they mainly betray their belief that Canadian tradition starts sometime in the 1960s. True, they may dip back to the 1880s to cite public financing of the Canadian Pacific Rail as justification for today's interventionist nostrums. But if, inconveniently, the first 75 years of Confederation were typified by general public approval for the idea that people should not become dependent on the state and instead be self-reliant, that part of the Canadian experience is quietly erased from our historical memory. In fact, though pre-Depression notions about social policy may or may not be worthy of emulation, they are inescapably part of our tradition.

Jul. 1999 - from "Canada's hidden history", published in The Next City Magazine
[Adam] Smith wrote: "Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer. The maxim is so self-evident that it would be absurd to attempt to prove it. But in the mercantile system, the interest of the consumer is almost constantly sacrificed to that of the producer; and it seems to consider production, and not consumption, as the ultimate end and object of all industry and commerce." Has anyone ever written a better description of the philosophy that drives Canada's politico-cultural complex?

Jun. 23, 2001 - from "The culture of mercantilism", published in the National Post

Our 'social policy railway,' if that really is what holds us together, is a very recent construction.

Jul. 1999 - from "Canada's hidden history", published in The Next City Magazine
Webster, Norman  
The area is so divided that the only safe stand seems to be the classic one of the politician who told his audience, 'Some of my friends are for the Squirrel Law, some of my friends are against the Squirrel Law. I stand with my friends.'

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Wells, Andy  
If you're just going to keep your head down, you won't make enemies, but you won't get much done either.

Aug. 23, 2000 - quoted in "The boomer of St. John's", published in the National Post
Wells, Paul  
Joe Clark still thinks he won the federal election. The Progressive Conservatives have momentum, he says, and it's true: They've lost a third of their vote. Now if they can only lose the other two-thirds, victory is theirs.

Dec. 30, 2000 - from "Manley as Grit leader? Why not", published in the National Post
White, Jeff  
When governments decided to designate legions of well-off women and non-whites as "disadvantaged," their sense of social justice coincided with simple self interest. Preferential programs could have been tied to income. But by making race and sex the criteria, the middle-class bureaucrats and activists who lobbied for employment equity gave themselves preference over thousands of poor white men.

1996 - from his essay "The New Racists" published in The Next City magazine
Whitton, Charlotte  
There is a grave danger of the development, as a matter of course, of a general tendency to reliance on social aid that the inquiry regards with grave disquiet as destructive of personal effort, and self-dependence, and so disruptive of the very basis of initiative, enterprise, and strength of character that must be the greatest resource of any people.

1932 - quoted in Globalization and the Meaning of Canadian Life by William Watson (1998, U. of Toronto Press)
Whyte, Kenneth  
...people understand that the real threats to the integrity and dignity of Parliament are its elected members.

Dec. 04, 1998 - The National Post
Wilson, Michael  
No matter how we define the term, Canada has an acute shortage of rich people.

Wilson-Smith, Anthony  
The silly notion underlying [the Liberals'] institutionalized fibbing and historical revisionism is that politics is a blood sport, in which any admission of error, or credit to the opposition, demonstrates mortal weakness. In fact no one expects others - especially not polititicans - to be perfect. And a whole-hearted apology goes a long way towards quelling controversy.

Feb. 26, 2001 - from "The politics of fibbing", Maclean's magazine
Unlike doctors or lawyers, both of whom have to pass rigorous tests, and can be barred from practising if they violate rules regarding their conduct journalism has no such barriers or universal codes of conduct.

Winch, Harold  
I don't want your vote. I want something more important. I want your commitment to think. Because once you start thinking, I'll get your vote.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Windsor Star  
[After a bi-election stump speech by Mr. Clark] By the end of the hour, the nice Joe Clark of days gone by seemed egotistical and closed-minded, and defensive of his unremarkable record. Clark still talked as though he was still prime minister. He blustered about his party's national importance, although everyone in the room knew his party is in fifth place. He accused Chretien of 'ducking every important issue', yet ducked every tough question we put to him.

Apr. 03, 1999 - from its Editorial page
Winters, Robert H.  
You have perhaps heard the story of the four students, British, French, American, Canadian, who were asked to write an essay on elephants. The British student entitled his essay 'Elephants and the Empire.' The French student called his 'Love and the Elephant.' The title of the American student's essay was 'Bigger and Better Elephants,' and the Canadian student called his 'Elephants: A Federal or Provincial Responsibility?'

Wodehouse, Paul  
Last year, the [United Nations Council on the Rights of Children] informed the British that their children could not be exempted from certain public school programs - sex education for instance - at the request of the parents alone. They would be required to seek the child's consent. The implications of this judgment may be felt in Canada.

Aug. 9, 1999 - from "One Child, One Vote", Alberta Report
Woodard, Joe  
Pollsters and theologians agree that Canadians prefer their faith unmediated by doctrine or denomination. Religion is now a matter of private judgement and observance for a majority, and thus we have become a country of not a few hundred different creeds but a few million.

Jun. 10, 1996 - from "Every man his own church", Alberta Report
The manipulation of the UN process, family advocates warn, is a key component of the Chretien government's strategy to impose social radicalism back at home.

Jul. 1, 1996 - from "Canadians Go Home", Alberta Report
Since the 1982 adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms ... Canada's judges have moved boldly into the public policy arena, shaping laws to fit their own peculiar biases and ideologies. In effect, Canada's top judges have become the supreme rulers of the land, and that has turned the [Supreme Court justice] selection process into a back-room brawl between competing interests.

Jan. 19, 1998 - from "Rumblings of a counter-revolution", Alberta Report
Woodcock, George  
Accustomed to seeing ourselves as one of the most liberated nations on earth, in recent years we have discovered that in reality we belong to one of the most over-governed countries in the western world. The growing reaction to this situation is likely to have a considerable influence on the coming changes in the structure of political life. The wind is now set toward increasing devolution and decentralization, the direction of true confederacy.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
The pattern is clear. Canadians distrust heroes, partly because heroism is always a kind of imposition; the hero is dominating us by his strength, by his brute courage, and we have become suspicious of such qualities. ... We suspect the sheer gigantic irrationalism of the heroic, for we like to consider ourselves a reasonable people.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Yost, Elwy  
Perhaps no truly objective history of anything is ever popular.

1979 - from Magic Moments from the Movies

Ziegel, Jacob  
The [Canadian] founding fathers clearly envisioned the federal government to have the senior powers [over the Supreme Court] ... What we're seeing now is that the Supreme Court is continually being driven by the dynamism of the [Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms]. The decision-making process often becomes a form of scholastics that is not of this world but of Utopia.

Jul. 24, 1999 - quoted in "Who runs Canada?", by Neil Seeman, published in the National Post