Monday, 16 February 2009

First, there was Pierre Trudeau

With the impending visit of Barack Obama, my thoughts naturally turned tp Pierre Trudeau, one of the few outstanding leaders Canada has ever had. By coincidence, I recently watched a video about his life and I was struck by how similar were some of the things he said years ago to some of the things Obama has been saying recently. So I thought I'd post a few of Trudeau's sayings here (not necessarily those that resemble Obama's, but those that I've written down over the years). Oh Pierre, where are you, now that we need a man with vision and intelligence so desperately?


"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 necessary. 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."

"A country, after all, is not something you build as the pharaohs built the pyramids, and leave standing there to defy eternity. A country is something that is built every day out of certain basic shared values. And so it is in the hands of every Canadian to determine how well and wisely we shall build the country of the future."

"Who speaks for Canada? Our strength lies in our national will to live and work together as a people. Weaken that will, that spirit of community, and you weaken Canada. Weaken Canada, and you damage all the parts, no matter how rich some of those parts may be. My friends, you and I must stand up for Canada, and we must see that there is a national government that has the courage to do so as well."

"What a magician this Mr. [Brian] Mulroney is, and what a sly fox! ... In a single master stroke, this clever negotiator has thus managed to approve the call for Special Status (Jean Lesage and Claude Ryan), the call for Two Nations (Robert Stanfield), the call for a Canadian Board of Directors made up of 11 first ministers (Allan Blakeney and Marcel Faribeault), and the call for a Community of Communities (Joe Clark). He has not quite succeeded in achieving sovereignty-association, but he has put Canada on the fast track for getting there."

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