Saturday, November 12, 2005

Canadiana

I've been reading through Canadian quotations while brainstorming on a name for a new (non-blog) project. I've come across several quotes that were new to me and I thought I'd share them here:

Who knew Churchill was such a fan?

Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world.
- Sir Winston Churchill

There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people.
- Sir Winston Churchill

The full text of the famous Trudeau quote of which one more commonly sees only an excerpt:

Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.
- Pierre Trudeau

If I were President of the United States, I'd wake up in the morning and probably look at the events around the world - Americans under attack here, acts of terrorism and violence - I'd look at all that and I'd look up at Canada and say, 'Thank God I have Canada for a neighbour. Now what can I do for Canada today?'
- Brian Mulroney, 1984

A prime minister has a unique duty to preserve the integrity of the office. It is not about power. It is about responsibility.
- Jean Chrétien, 2002

The art of politics is learning to walk with your back to the wall, your elbows high, and a smile on your face.
- Jean Chrétien

Davies is one of my favourite authors, and "Ornamental Knowledge" would be a great name for...a blog. Wish I'd thought of that sooner.

Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position.
- Robertson Davies

Be sure to choose what you believe and know why you believe it, because if you don't choose your beliefs, you may be certain that some belief, and probably not a very creditable one, will choose you.
- Robertson Davies, 1972

In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations; it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir.
- Stuart Keate

Canada is not so much a country as a clothesline nearly 4000 miles long. St. John's in Newfoundland is closer to Milan, Italy, than it is to Vancouver!
- Simon Hoggart

It's going to be a great country when they finish unpacking it.
- Andrew H. Malcom

Canada is not a starting point, it's a goal.
- Jean-Claude Falardeau, political scientist, (1977)

We have the Mounties. They have the FBI. Can you imagine the FBI doing the Musical Ride?
- Dave Broadfoot, comedian, 1989

We take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor.
- Bobby Clarke

When I'm in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like.
- Jane Fonda

I don't even know what street Canada is on.
- Al Capone

There are few, if any, Canadian men that have never spelled their name in a snow bank.
- Douglas Coupland

"Canada is like an intelligent 35 year old woman". America, on the other hand, is a "belligerent adolescent boy" and Australia is "Jack Nicholson".
- Douglas Adams

And finally, a personal favourite:

A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe.
- Pierre Berton

Quotations courtesy of Canada4Life, ThinkExist, Canadian Quotes of the Week, Canadian Athlete Quotes, and Canadian Connection.

The exercise turned out to be a dud as far as brainstorming goes, but it has at least served to pleasantly pass some insomniac hours.
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