canadian politics

#canadian politics

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Stockwell Day Referendum
"Noting that the Canadian Alliance platform favored referenda, Rick Mercer used his TV [] show to suggest a referendum mandating that Stockwell Day change his first name to Doris. Through E-mail, he got hundreds of thousands of signatures overnight. "The Canadian Alliance was swamped in the election, and Day proved to be so inept as the leader of the Opposition that a number of Canadian Alliance M.P.s left the caucus. Eventually, he became widely known as Stockboy Day, although some people continued to call him Doris."
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"[The Alberta journalist and politician Frank Oliver] who had carried his little newspaper press across the prairie in an ox-cart and had patiently published the Edmonton Bulletin under formidable frontier difficulties, was still an Independent with a seat far back among the Liberals... He had the gift of tongues, one of which was suitable for polite conversation and the other was not. His parliamentary speeches were delivered with extraordinary intensity and suggested an outboard motor addicted to backfiring. One of the pastimes of the more light-hearted legislators in those days was to send a note to this speaker or to that in the hope of interrupting his train of thought. An innocent little page boy took one of these missives ...
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Mike Harris - Voting For Dalton McGuinty
One day during the 2003 Ontario provincial elections, former Progressive Conservative premier Mike Harris was asked if he had any advice for his party's candidate. "No," Harris replied, "no, I've run in several campaigns and now it's Mr. McGuinty's turn, and I wish him well—and obviously I'm voting for him." Obviously Harris (a former golf pro) wasn't paying attention; Premier Ernie Eaves was the Progressive Conservative candidate. Dalton McGuinty was a Liberal. [McGuinty won.]
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John A. Macdonald
While serving as Attorney-General for Upper Canada in the early 1860s, John A. Macdonald lived in Quebec. As former Toronto Globe editor Sir John Willison recalled in his memoirs, "he had been absent from duty for a week; public business was delayed, and the Governor-General became impatient. He sent his aide-de-camp, young Lord Bury, to find the absent Minister. Pushing his way past the old house-keeper, Lord Bury penetrated to the bedroom where Macdonald was sitting in bed, reading a novel with a decanter of sherry on the table beside him. 'Mr. Macdonald, the Governor-General told me to say to you that if you don't sober up and get back to business, he will not be answerable for the consequences.' ...
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In January 2000, Canada's Reform Party (led by Preston Manning) launched a new opposition coalition with some Conservative politicians, dubbing it the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance. An early draft of the party's constitution, however, erroneously tacked on the word "Party" to the end of the name... The upshot? As Reuters explained: "It only took a couple of days of jokes from the prime minister on down to convince Canada's newest political party that the acronym CCRAP just wasn't going to make it." ["The difference between a politician and a catfish?" Manning once remarked. "One is a wide-mouthed, bottom-feeding, slime sucker-and the other is a fish."]
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Conrad Black & the National Post
Canadian press baron Conrad Black was no great fan of the welfare state. At a party he gave for the staff on the first anniversary of the National Post (a newspaper launched to promote his conservative economic views), Black declared that the paper's goal was to change Canada from the sort of place in which the government took money away from people who earned it and gave it to people who had not. ["My experience with journalists," Black once remarked, "authorizes me to record that a very large number of them are ignorant, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest and inadequately supervised."]
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John Diefenbaker: Diefenbutcher
The political career of C. D. Howe, Liberal Canadian prime minister Mackenzie King's so-called "Minister of Everything," promptly ended in 1957 with the election of John Diefenbaker. The triumphant Progressive Conservative leader promptly prohibited his government from doing business with a number of supposed political rivals, including the engineering firm with which Howe had been associated—twenty-two years earlier.
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When Ernie Eaves Call Dalton McGuinty A Kitten-Eater
During the 2003 Ontario provincial elections, Progressive Conservative premier Ernie Eaves ran a series of negative ads calling Liberal candidate Dalton McGuinty "an evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet." McGuinty wisely distanced himself from dirty campaigning, posing for the press with several kittens. "Can we put this to bed now," he asked, holding a kitten, "once and for all?" [McGuinty won.]
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Tory Leadership
In July 2002, Canadian Tory leader Joe Clark was taking part in the annual Calgary Stampede Parade in a 1967 Buick Wildcat convertible when the car's carburetor flooded. The driver tried to restart the car, and was dismayed to learn that the battery was dead. With cars full of rival Canadian Alliance politicians cruising just in front, Clark and company abandoned their seats and pushed the car ten blocks, to the delight of the cheering crowd. [Clark tried to spin his embarrassment, saying he would not shirk work when it was there to be done. It was later revealed, however, that Clark had agreed to push only when prodded by his companions.]
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Toronto, Canada
Thomas Mulcair takes the stage at a New Democratic Party convention
From The Economist: Most of his audience may not have recognised the pounding music that accompanied Thomas Mulcair when he took the stage at the New Democratic Party (NDP) convention in Toronto on March 24th [2012], after being elected as the leader of Canada's official opposition. "Meet Me in the Basement" [by Broken Social Scene] struck an oddly apposite note. Having misjudged his timing, Mr Mulcair had to rush through his pre-vote speech. The voting itself, most of it online and some of it in advance, dragged on through 12 hours, four rounds and a computer crash. And Mr Mulcair has taken on one of the tougher jobs in Canada.