Politics – The Lighter Side

Canadians and Americans are gearing up for Federal Elections. Canadians will go to the polls on October 19th, 2015 to select the ruling party, and by extension the Prime Minister. Americans will not select their President until a year later – November 8, 2016.

…this (American) presidential campaign is about twice the average gestation period of an orangutan. The 2016 Canadian federal election will have a gestation period between that of a wolf (64 days) and a leopard (94 days). A mere nothing.
– David Shribman, Globe and Mail, August 4, 2015 –

The QuipperyMy take on politics and elections? Get out and vote, but don’t be a gullible voter. For every promise a politician makes, ask:
– How realistic is it that this person/party will actually be able to deliver this outcome?
– How is this person/party going to pay for this?
– What is the opposing person/party really saying about this issue? (Go to their website in addition to reading what the media thinks.)

I said there was a Lighter Side to Politics and Government. I’ve rounded up some famous, and not so famous quotations – some I’m sure will make you laugh!

Democracy is an interesting, even laudable, notion and there is no question but that when compared to communism, which is too dull, or Facism, which is too exciting, it emerges as the most palatable form of government. This is not to say that it is without its drawbacks – chief among them being its regrettable tendency to encourage people in the belief that all men are created equal. And although the vast majority need only take a quick look around the room to see that this is hardly the case, a great many remain utterly convinced.
– Fran Lebowitz –

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
– Winston Churchill –

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
– Ronald Reagan –

More Quotations about Politics and Government: The Quippery – Politics

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19 thoughts on “Politics – The Lighter Side

  1. Or my all time favorite from George Bernard Shaw…..”A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” i.e. The definition of liberalism.

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    • Good one, Al. My province, Alberta (the Texas of Canada) recently elected the New Democratic Party (a social democrat party). Big surprise for many of us… Support for them has begun to erode now that people have begun to realize what social democrats do…

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      • Social Democracy is the only viable long-term political philosophy. Look at countries like Germany, Switzerland, Norway, etc. to see how well it works. The Liberals of old were more social democrats than they are today. Even Brain Mulrooney’s Conservatives were social democrats.

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        • From what I’ve read in a number of publications:
          I believe successful social democracies recognize that markets and capitalism are not only here to stay, but are also an invaluable tool for producing growth and wealth. Norway’s oil wealth is a good example.

          Traditional social democracies, such as Norway and Sweden, have become increasingly concerned over the social and economic consequences that follow long‑term welfare dependency. Sweden has had to enact policies to successfully address the problem of over utilization of welfare benefits.

          In Canada, a decrease in the poverty and unemployment rate between 1995 and 2005 is thought to have been in large part due to the changes to provincial welfare protocols that rendered access to welfare more difficult among those deemed employable.

          Is Social Democracy the most viable? Maybe not for everyone, and not forever.

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          • The problem is the use of the words “market” and “capitalism” which are imprecise. All political systems recognize the need for markets. The question then becomes who controls those markets. Where governments allow business to control the markets, we get so called “free markets”. The US is probably the best example. And, as we saw in 2008, when that system failed, they looked to government to bail them out. The system did not fail in those countries where governments kept control of the banking system, for example, Canada. Social democracy works and will work forever.

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            • And yet, the United States outranks Canada and Germany in the United Nations Human Development Index (A composite index measuring average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development—a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.) Norway, Australia, Switzerland and the Netherlands were ahead of the USA.

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                • Also, apparently, the epitome of good fortune in having a large Oil and Gas Industry.

                  Cradle to grave security – undoubtedly that is appealing to many people. Others – not so much.

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                • Norway’s oil resources and estimated reserves are significantly less than Canada. What Norway did correctly from the beginning was to realize that oil and gas were a resource that belonged to the people and not to corporations or governments. They created a state owned company to be an active player in the global oil and gas industry. As result, they have amassed a huge pile of money that guarantees the security of the Norwegian people for generations to come. Canada pretty much did the opposite in each and every case and the resources sector has been exploited by everybody but the citizens of Canada – except, of course, those rich enough in the first place to be players in the industry. What a mess!

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    • Yet, there is still a significant segment of the American population that likes his rough edges and politically incorrect style. The Donald reminds me a bit of Alberta’s Ralph Klein…

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      • I can’t be impressed if he’s like Ralph Klein.

        Or a more contemporary comparison : one of the Ford brothers with Rob Ford as mayor. Yes, sure he got a populist following vs. many Torontonians who were appalled and deeply embarrassed for Canada’s largest and most cosmopolitan city (more than even Vancouver), his oafish and stupid actions hit international news circuit.

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  2. Until even his own party came to recognise Abbott wasn’t fit to run the country, it was like Canada (or Canadia as our illustrious leader put it) was our chillier twin. And based on our mayor, my city is sister to Toronto. I’ll never understand how these people come to power.

    I’ll add a quote, if I may: “What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.” – Terry Pratchett from Going Postal

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    • ‘Going Postal’ – I haven’t read that, but from the look of the quotes on ‘Good Reads’, I should.
      “Steal five dollars and you’re a common thief. Steal thousands and you’re either the government or a hero.”
      ― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal –

      I can’t remember where I got this idea, but I think just about everything in life is on a Wavy Curve. There is a straight, logical line in the middle, where everything works pretty good. But mankind isn’t too sure exactly where that line is, so in their search, they keep overshooting it. When they have shot past where they should be, they correct and go the other way. They overshoot the line again, but now they are on the other side. So they turn around and… well, you get the idea.

      That pretty much describes federal politics in Canada – a Conservative type party is in power for a while, then a more Liberal one.

      I think Canada and Australia have a lot in common – too bad we are so extremely far apart, geographically speaking!

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      • I think I have enough of an idea of your sense of humour to confidently recommend you read Going Postal. And then Making Money and Raising Steam. If you’ve ever worked in the public service or for a monopoly, you’ll laugh a lot. (If you haven’t, you’ll laugh anyway, but you won’t get as many of the in-jokes.) I could start gushing about Terry Pratchett (he’s my favourite author) but it might be unseemly.

        I agree with your Wavy Curve theory and would add that the wave seems to be increasing in frequency. I don’t know if that’s because the electorate is becoming more impatient or the governments are getting worse and warrant a quick dismissal.

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