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Joe Clark

1939 -

Career politician, leader of Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, briefly prime minister of Canada (1979). Clark was first elected to Parliament in 1972 after years of work in the youth ranks of his party. In 1976 he was elected leader, and in 1979 won a minority government. It was defeated after only six months on an ambitious program of budgetary restraint which was largely retained by the following Liberal government. Clark lost the leadership in 1983 to Brian Mulroney. Rapidly becoming more progressive than conservative, he worked two ministerial portfolios under Mulroney and stick-handled the massively-rejected Charlottetown Accord, before running from the certain defeat that was visited upon Mulroney's hugely unpopular government in 1984. In 1998, Clark was again elected to lead the drifting of what has become the smallest party in Parliament.

The goal of economic progress is the extension of human liberty, not, as the critics allege, the open-ended servicing of human greed.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
 ...there are enough natural divisions in the country without political parties creating new ones. And I think Britain, quite legitimately, has ideological politics. Europe legitimately has. Canada and the United States have not historically had ideological politics.

Jul. 29, 1998 - interview in The Edmonton Sun
 The number of true believers in the electorate is diminishing. People don't make commitments, they make judgments from time to time on which party, set of policies or person, best suits them. So I'm not finding a lot of ideological talk in the [Progressive Conservative] party.

Jul. 29, 1998 - interview in The Edmonton Sun
Does our economic system work? My answer is that the market system, based on free decisions and fair rules, does work better than any other system yet devised. And the job of government must be to provide the rules and the climate that will let the system work.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
I'm not the greatest. I'm the best available.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
[After his confidential dictation was included on a promotional tape sent to a radio station] I've been trying to find a way to demonstrate that this government isn't perfect and I've been finding some success at it.

quoted by Michael Gratton in his book So, What Are The Boys Saying? page 88
Anyone who can bring the Conservative Party together can bring the country together.