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Charles de Gaulle
1890 - 1970

Prime minister of France (1958-1965) and then its president (1965-1969). Best remembered in Canada for his infamous exhortation "Vive le Québec libre!" (Long live free Quebec!) in July, 1967, which ignited the separatist movement there and remains one of its rallying cries to this day.

Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back upon himself.

I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.

A man of character finds a special attractiveness in difficulty, since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty that he can realize his potentialities.

 There can be no question of my addressing a message to Canada to celebrate its centennial. We can have good relations. We must have excellent relations with French Canada. But we are not obliged to offer congratulations for the creation of a state based on our past defeat and on the integration of part of the French people into a British system.

Dec. 09, 1966 - from his response to a Canadian request for a message for Canada's centennial celebrations
In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.

Beneath the warmth of its welcome and the impressive façade of its economic achievement, Canada could not conceal from me the weaknesses of its structure and situation.

1970 - from Memoirs of Hope, quoted in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo