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Great Moments in Leadership

Regular blogging will resume next week, but until then…

“We will not defeat the government on this budget, but we will not support this budget. We will find a way to not defeat the government and express our disagreement with the budget.” – Stephane Dion, Super Genius

Imagine how Canadian oratorical history would have been improved if only some of our previous leaders would have had the courage of Dion’s convictions:

Laurier: “The nineteenth century was the century of the United States. I think that we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the twentieth century.”

Dion: “The nineteenth century was the century of the United States. I think that we can claim that it is Canada, or possibly Norway, that shall fill the twentieth century. Norway’s looking solid. And I’ve got a good feeling about Germany. I guess what I’m saying is that Canada’s definitely in the top three of countries most likely to fill the twenti— hang on, forgot Japan.”

•••

King: “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription.”

Dion: “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription if necessary.”

•••

Trudeau: “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.

Dion: “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. It does, however, have a place in the bedrooms of the nation. [Awkward silence.] What?”

•••

Mulroney: “You had an option, sir. You could have said no.”

Dion: “You had several options, sir. You could have said no. Or ‘Yes.’ You also could have said ‘Maybe.’ You could have said all these things simultaneously. You could have said, ‘Let me get back to you on that. How’s never? Is never good for you?’, which would have been very clever, or ‘Hey, look over there, isn’t that Catherine Bach from Dukes of Hazzard?’ – and then you could have rushed to your car and driven quickly away. You could have said words that aren’t even words, like ‘Bleergh’ or ‘Woonf!’ and used the ensuing confusion to adopt a smug expression. You could also have hummed.”