Our New Look
178 of 6,095 quotations related to Politics, showing Kristol to Zappa
Help with searching
Today there is a new class hostile to business in general, and especially to large corporations. As a group, you find them mainly in the very large and growing public sector and in the media. They share a disinterest in personal wealth, a dislike for the free-market economy, and a conviction that society may best be improved through greater governmental participation in the country's economic life. They are the media. They are the educational system. Their dislike for the free-market economy originates in their inability to exercise much influence over it so as to produce change. In its place they would prefer a system in which there is a very large political component. This is because the new class has a great deal of influence in politics. Thus, through politics, they can exercise a direct and immediate influence on the shape of our society and the direction of national affairs.
1975 - from "The Question of Liberty in America"
A ship does not sail with yesterday's wind.
1984 - from
The Walking Drum
The reform of the welfare state has become one of the great enigmas of ... politics. It is the policy of all yet the program of very few.
Jul. 31, 1996 - from a lecture delivered in Melbourne, Australia
The lack of any convincing evidence that racial minorities or women experienced the contemporary systemic discrimination so frequently claimed on their behalf raises ... questions. How did an industry based on a proverbial stack of cards become so well entrenched? How did Canada, a country which on any international scale appears to enjoy considerable racial harmony, come to be portrayed as profoundly racist, a country in which colour is said to be the defining issue in the life experience of every visible minority? The search for answers leads time and again to the action of politicians and bureaucrats in endorsing the agenda of politics based on group identity.
1998 - from
The Pursuit of Division: Race, Gender, and Preferential Hiring in Canada
[Re: the politics of gender and race identity] Canadians have financed an increasingly destructive agenda whose outcome is not unity, equality or fairness, but division.
Lowell, James Russell
Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is temporary expedient, often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship.
There is nothing more difficult to arrange, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through, than initiating change...
1513 - from
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.
He who desires or attempts to reform the government of a state... must at least retain the semblance of the old forms, so that it may seem to the people that there has been no change in the institutions, even though they are in fact entirely different from the old ones.
Mallock, William Hurrell
Politics are always a struggle for power, disguised and modified by prudence, reason and moral pretext.
Some people ... want their MP to represent their views on a particular issue in the Parliament ... the 'delegate view of representation.' People say ... that they expect politicians to keep their promises and implement the program on which they sought public support in the first place ... the 'mandate theory of representation' ... People say ... they expect you to use your judgement on the issues that come up in the Parliament, ... the 'trusteeship theory of representation.' ... The challenge for modern democratic parties and institutions is to integrate these three into one coherent theory of representation and develop guidelines for voting in caucus and voting in Parliament in accordance with that model.
from "Obstacles and Opportunities for Parliamentary Reform", published in the
Canadian Parliamentary Review
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.
Inside Canada ideologies contend with so much continuity that many Canadians often fail to see the outlines of the differences.
from "Ideology in Canada" in
, published by the Open Learning Agency
Fundamental ideological structures in a society are rarely changed - unless by violent revolutionary overthrow - once they have taken shape ... people who gain state power through the predominance of one political ideology are loath to see the free and healthy development of ideologies that question existing predominance ... The fact that radical ideological change may result in instability is not only a fact, it is a political weapon used to support injustice and to maintain the dominant ideology. In many cases instability is forced upon what otherwise would be fairly peaceable ideological transitions.
from "Ideology in Canada" in
, published by the Open Learning Agency
... even if one could overcome the problem of access to technology, there is no compelling evidence to show that people would be interested in or able to vote on public policy issues. Over time, there has been a consistent decline in voter turnout not only in Canada, but in the US as well. The problem becomes more acute at the local level. In some municipal elections, a turnout of 30 percent decides government. Why should we expect the public to become involved and interested in the multitude of policy issues that are put before provincial and federal government legislatures?
Dec. 2000 -
from "Can Technology Lead to Parlimentary Reform?" published in
Without alienation, there can be no politics.
The idea that politics can be understood by ranging all opinions along a single continuum is evidently a delusion of simple minds.
1986 - from an essay in the London
Moore, Charles W.
Striking a balance is often a necessary thing in politics, and Tories are justly proud of their capacity to do it. According to traditional caricature, Tories strike a balance, Liberals strike an attitude, and Labour just strikes.
1994 - from a column in the London
There is ... genuine virtue in the relative poverty of our political parties and the relative independence of their constituency associations. I cannot help believing that both the poverty and the independence would wither under most systems of Proportional Representation (PR). At the same time, the management of government under a PR system also has an introverted quality, which amounts to a further kind of centralisation. It is not simply that the electors cannot foresee and have no control over the policy trading between the parties which negotiate the virtually inevitable coalition after the election. If the coalition is to prosper, the eyes of its leaders must be constantly on the mood of their junior coalition partners, rather than on the mood of the nation; by contrast, a British Prime Minister or an American President in their simpler systems will be paying close attention to what the voters as a whole are saying. The conversation between governors and governed is more straightforward, more transparent.
May 11, 1992 -
from "The Recovery of the Constitution", a lecture sponsored by Britain's Charter88 organization
Mulroney, Martin Brian
Okay, we’ve won. What do we do now?
quoted by Michael Gratton in
So, What Are The Boys Saying?
, page 55
Politics can't be changed by a dog howling in the distance. Politics means getting within a sword's reach.
Newman, Peter C.
... 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
The whole art of politics consists in directing rationally the irrationalities of men.
Disraeli, Newman, Tocqueville, Bourget, Godkin, Babbitt, all of them, down to such conservatives of our own day as Oakeshott, Voegelin, Jouvenel and Kirk, have stressed nothing if not the bounden necessity of the political state holding as far back as possible from meddling in economic, social and moral affairs; and, conversely, in doing all that is possible in strengthening and broadening the functions of family, neighborhood, and voluntary, cooperative association ... the hallmark of conservative politics has been its greater affection for the private sector, for family and local community, for economy and private property, and for a substantial measure of decentralization in government, one that would respect the corporate rights of the smaller unities of state and society.
1986 - from
In an egalitarian world everything will be controlled by politics, and politics requires no merit.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
Money is preferable to politics. It is the difference between being free to be anybody you want and being free to vote for anybody you want. And money is more effective than politics both in solving problems and in providing individual independence. To rid ourselves of all the trouble in the world we need to make money. And to make money we need to be free. But, oh, the trouble caused by freedom and money.
1994 - from
All The Trouble in the World
In the past thirty years, American judges have desegregated the entire school system; ordered the release of hundreds of violent criminals from allegedly overcrowded prisons; levied taxes in order to increase educational spending; removed a legislative prohibition on ethnic and gender quotas and then made such quotas mandatory; redrawn electoral boundaries and then laid down the rules for drawing them up in future; set aside the laws of fifty states on abortion by making it a federal civil right; declared nude dancing to be protected speech under the First Amendment ('What,' I always wonder, 'is the girl saying?'); compelled local authorities to put low-income housing in middle-class areas; and much, much else that was formerly thought to be in the domain of electoral politics.
Feb. 16, 1999 - from his lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies in London, England
Pal, Leslie A.
Small, lean, decentralized, partnered, and prudent seem here to stay. But in the absence of a consistent public philosophy to make sense of the appropriate balance of market and society, of compassion and competition, it is likely that policy will be driven less by ideology than by principled pragmatism. This is neither dramatic nor inspiring, but may be a typically bland Canadian compromise.
1999 - from
How Ottawa Spends
To do evil that good may come of it is for bunglers in politics as well as mortals.
Liberalism ... originated in England with John Locke, who produced a blueprint for English society based on individual rights and natural law, rational Christianity, the sanctity of property, a liberal economic policy, faith in education and an empirical attitude towards progress through experience. He would have been horrified to know how his thinking paved the way in the latter half of this century both for the social egalitarian politics of the British left and the economic individualism of the right.
May. 01, 1997 - from her lecture "The Corruption of Liberalism" delivered at the London-based Centre for Policy Studies
[Advice to an MP] Keep your eye on the leader and your back to the wall.
1975 - quoted in
by Pat Carney
Pirsig, Robert M.
You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They
it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.
1974 - from
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The price people pay for not concerning themselves with politics is to be governed by people worse than themselves.
Popper, Sir Karl
... the morality of states (if there is any such thing) tends to be considerably lower than that of the average citizen, so that it is much more desirable that the morality of the state should be controlled by the citizens than the opposite. What we need and what we want is to moralize politics, and not to politicize morals.
1943 - from
The Open Society and Its Enemies
Publicity, publicity, publicity is the greatest factor and force in our public life.
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
Famous Lasting Words
by John Robert Columbo
I am interested in politics so that one day I will not have to be interested in politics.
He that fights and runs away, May turn and fight another day; But he that is in battle slain, Will never rise to fight again.
1752 - from
History of the Rebellion
, see also
Reagan, Ronald Wilson
Those who want to do away with the electoral college really mean they want the President elected in a national referendum with no reference as to how each state votes. Thus a half-dozen rural states could show a majority for one candidate and be outvoted by one big industrial state opting for his opponent. Presidential candidates would be tempted to aim their campaigns and their promises at a cluster of metropolitan areas in a few states and the smaller states would be without a voice.
Apr. 13, 1977 - from his radio address, warning of a problem that is familiar to Canadians
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Mar. 2, 1977 - from a speech delivered in Los Angeles
... the real reason why the Liberals have started periodically raising the issue [of the monarchy in Canada] is partisan: to drive each of Canada's other political parties into either the monarchist or the republican camps, and in order to allow the Liberals to represent both monarchist and republican sentiments under a single roof. In politics, the party with the biggest tent usually wins, and nobody knows this better than the Liberals.
Feb. 26, 1999 - column in The National Post
The statistical gamesmanship used to denigrate the importance of private charities pales in comparison to the artful devices by which the charitable nature of politics is exaggerated. ... myths seem to be contagious. ... the whole idea that private charities will never have enough money to replicate the welfare state assumes (1) that the welfare state works; (2) that reducing federal spending would not leave taxpayers with more money to donate; (3) that private charities cannot do more for less; and (4) that just as many people would demand private assistance as the number who now believe themselves entitled to public assistance. The terms 'charities' and 'nonprofits' are not interchangeable. Lumping philanthropy together with tax-exempt medical, educational and other businesses and calling that a 'sector' has resulted in widespread confusion. To say that contributions are small relative to all the money taken in by nonprofit institutions, or relative to all public spending on pensions and education, is no more enlightening than to say that contributions are small relative to the Defense budget, or the global sales of the Fortune 500.
from "The Myth of the Non-Profit Sector", published in
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Robinson, James Harvey
A political campaign is an emotional orgy designed to distract attention from the real issues.
Everyone knows politics is a dirty, venal, hypocritical business fixated on the short run. Yet Canadians have an extraordinary habit of insisting that anything important be subject to its imperatives, rather than to the allegedly short-sighted, cynical and callous dictates of the market.
Dec. 03, 1998 - from his column in the
... most of those who bring faith into politics take the politics very seriously but not the faith. The media are generally comfortable with that.
May 19, 2000 - from "We need to get God back into our politics", published in the
The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best.
Service, Robert William
A promise made is a debt unpaid.
The Cremation of Sam McGee
Shultz, George P.
Nothing ever gets settled in this town [Washington]. It's a seething debating society in which the debate never stops, in which people never give up, including me.
We have placed too much hope in politics and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life.
A World Split Apart
If voters do not understand the programs of rival candidates or their likely consequences, they cannot rationally exercise control over government. An ignorant electorate cannot achieve true democratic control over public policy. The immense size and scope of modern government makes it virtually impossible for voters to acquire sufficient knowledge to exercise such control. The problem is exacerbated by voters' strong incentive to be 'rationally ignorant' of politics. This danger to democracy cannot readily be circumvented through 'shortcut' methods of economizing on voter knowledge costs. A truly democratic government must, therefore, be strictly limited in size.
Sep. 01, 1998 - from "Voter Ignorance and the Democratic Ideal", an essay published in
, Fall 1998
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.
Stockman, David A.
The actual electorate ... is not interested in this doctrine [of reductions in the size of government and its spending]; when it is interested at all, it is interested in getting help from the government to compensate for a perceived disadvantage. Consequently, the spending politics of Washington do reflect the heterogeneous and parochial demands that arise from the diverse, activated ... electorate across the land. What you see done in the halls of the politicians may not be wise, but it is the only real and viable definition of what the electorate wants.
1986 - from
The Triumph of Politics
Politics ... are nothing but corruptions...
from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Any party should be wary of making too many detailed promises of a non-political nature.
Feb. 1, 1969 - from "Consensus or Choice?", published in the London
, re-published at
... conservatives above all should never forget, there is more to politics than economics. Indeed, if government is small enough (or even weak enough), the infinite inventiveness of human talent will see to it that, in general, the economics take care of themselves.
Dec. 22, 1997 - from a speech at the International Conservative Congress, as quoted in
There are political points to be made by pitting us against each other. People have access to federal resources if they are part of a victim class. Their political clout is increased if they can join groups and petition politicians for a redress of their grievances, promising votes to the candidate or party that offers the most goodies.
Jul. 17, 1998 - from "One Nation? Indivisible?", published in
Jewish World Review
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.
Tse Tung, Mao
Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.
We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions: one private, which we are afraid to express; and another one - the one we use - which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics.
I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
Politics: n. [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"]
In politics, friends may come and go but enemies accumulate.
To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
Those who do not do politics will be done in by politics.
When losing, say little; when winning, say less.
Election campaign mantra of the perennially-winning Liberal Party of Canada, quoted in "Debunking the Cult of Warren" by Paul Wells, published in the
The elections are like the Pick 'n Pay of politics — there are 33 tins of beans and we have the freedom of choice.
from his character Evita Bezuidenhout
Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.
von Bismark, Otto
Politics ruins the character.
Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable ... the art of the next best.
Aug. 11, 1867
All political ideas cannot and should not be channeled into the programs of our two major parties. History has amply proved the virtue of political activity by minority, dissident groups, who innumerable times have been the vanguard of democratic thought and whose programs were ultimately accepted.
1957 - from
Sweezey vs New Hampshire
Modern equalitarian societies, whether democratic or authoritarian in their political forms, always base themselves on the claim that they are making life happier. Happiness thus becomes the chief political issue - in a sense, the only political issue - and for that reason it can never be treated as an issue at all.
[Political parties] ... the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise People to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the Public Councils and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill founded Jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.
Sep. 17, 1796 - from his farewell address
Will, George F.
Something has changed ... we now have people entering politics, particularly legislative life, hoping to, planning to, determined to have careers there, to stay there as long as possible, and using all the many facets of the modern government that permeates our lives in so many ways, all its myriad regulating and subsidizing activities, to further their career... We now have a modern government that makes it worthwhile wielding this power, and it makes it possible to bend public power for the essentially private purpose of maintaining a career.
Oct. 18, 1992 - in a televised interview on the C-SPAN program Booknotes
... any legislation abridging the rights of a single interest to participate in politics is constitutionally suspect.
Jun. 27, 1999 - from his column "Gambler nation"
White liberals feel guilty about blacks, and they do things to convince themselves they are helping blacks. It's feel-good politics, which is really just helping themselves. Poor people becomes the trophies of white social engineers. We have to be saved from our saviors. They have been feeding us pablum for so long, we are finally tired and demand some real meat. We want self-sufficiency, self-determination, and self-reliance, not a hand-out.
Oct. 01, 1990 - from an interview published in
Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
Politics is a bunch of show and blow for people who don't understand.
Nov. 1979 - quoted in