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Jean Chrétien

Liberal prime minister of Canada (1993 - ), author of Straight from the Heart (1985)


 They know that I am a Liberal and they know that the Liberal mentality is very different from the Tory mentality, because the Tory mentaility is orientated to serve the big business interests.

Jan. 11, 1993 - quoted in the Ottawa Citizen while his party pandered to businesses and raised more money from big business than all other parties in Canada combined
Terrorism should not stop us. Terrorism should motivate us.

Sep. 27, 2001 - from a speech delivered in Halifax during a nationwide storm of criticism that his government was not responding effectively to terrorist threats
 The problem with cutting taxes is the people don't realize, because they think they have more cash is because they have a pay increase and so on. ... It's not very visible because it's not a huge sum of money on every pay...

Sep. 8, 2001 - quoted in "No more tax cuts, PM says" by Shawn McCarthy, published in the Globe and Mail
 I promise that [transfer payments] will not go down, and I hope the we will be able to increase them... I really do not intend to lower the level of transfer payments, not at all...

1993 - from a leaders' debate during the federal election campaign, reported in Quotations From Chairman Jean by van Wegen and Wood. Chrétien subsequently won the government, and immediately cut more than seven billion dollars from annual transfer payments to Canada's provinces for health care and education.
 Why buy automatic rifles, nuclear arms, to have fun with. It's dangerous, and when they're in the house, there could be a child who will use that, and sometimes the family circumstances are not very happy, and they could use them.

Nov. 1997 - quoted in Saturday Night Magazine, reported in Quotations From Chairman Jean by van Wegen and Wood
 I'm not interested in patronage because I'm a Liberal.

Feb. 2, 1990 - quoted in the Ottawa Citizen, reported in Quotations From Chairman Jean by van Wegen and Wood
The art of politics is learning to walk with your back to the wall, your elbows high, and a smile on your face. It's a survival game played under the glare of lights.

1985 - from Straight from the Heart
The public is moved by mood more than logic, by instinct more than reason, and that is something that every politician must make use of or guard against.

1985 - from Straight from the Heart
 I have never been doctrinaire on issues. That is one of the great things about being a Liberal; you can base your decisions on the circumstances without having to worry about your established public image.

1985 - from Straight from the Heart
[At Juno Beach, France] On the beach behind us, Canadians gave their lives so the world would be a better place. In death they were not anglophones or francophones, not from the West or the East, not Christians or Jews, not aboriginal people or immigrants. They were Canadians.

Jun. 06, 1994 - from his speech, as quoted by the Toronto Star
 If you look at only one aspect of life [taxes], maybe you would prefer living elsewhere.

Jul. 25, 1999 - quoted in Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper while he was Prime Minister, encouraging critics of high taxation to leave Canada
 [Government social engineering in northern Canada] gives us a chance to build the kind of society we want, without repeating the mistakes of the past.

1970 - quoted in Trade Secrets by Pat Carney, when Chrétien was Minister of Indian Affairs
Some people think that the American culture is a problem. It's not a problem... don't be afraid to be citizens of the world.

Nov. 31, 2000 - from a post-election speech in Ottawa, repudiating the stance he used through most of his political life to curry favour with nationalists, quoted in "The End of Canada?", by Peter Newman, published in Maclean's magazine, Jan. 8, 2001
 I am not a lawyer.

Dec. 30, 2000 - evading a legal question by reporters; Chrétien is a lawyer. Quoted in "2000: The year the music died", by Peter C. Newman, National Post