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Lawrence Martin quotes (showing 1-10 of 10)

“As opposition leader, [Stephen Harper] wrote in the Montreal Gazette in the year before he came to power: 'Information is the lifeblood of a democracy. Without adequate access to key information about government policies and programs, citizens and parliamentarians cannot make informed decisions and incompetent or corrupt governments can be hidden under a cloak of secrecy.'

When he became prime minister, his attitude appeared to undergo a shift of considerable proportions. It often took the Conservatives twice as long as previous governments to handle access requests. Sometimes it took six months to a year.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“For [Stephen] Harper, a national daycare plan bordered on being a socialist scheme, a phrase he had once used to describe the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. For [Paul] Martin, whose plan would have transferred to the provinces $5 billion over five years, the national program was what Canadianism was all about. "Think about it this way," [Martin] said. "What if, decades ago, Tommy Douglas and my father and Lester Pearson had considered the idea of medicare and then said, 'Forget it! Let's just give people twenty-five dollars a week.' You want a fundamental difference between Mr. Harper and myself? Well, this is it.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“Bill C-9 was supposed to be a budget bill, but it came with innumerable measures that had little or nothing to do with the nation's finances. It was, as critics put it, the advance of the Harper agenda by stealth, yet another abuse of the democratic process. The bill was a behemoth. It was 904 pages, with 23 separate sections and 2,208 individual clauses....

As a Reform MP, [Stephen Harper] .... said of one piece of legislation that 'the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles.' The bill he referred to was 21 page long -- or 883 pages shorter than the one he was now putting before Parliament.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“Earlier in [2007] the [Prime Minister's Office] had also drawn criticism for trying to muzzle the judiciary. The reproach came from Antonio Lamer, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court....'I must say I was taken aback,' said Lamer, who sat on the Supreme Court for twenty years. 'The prime minister is going the wrong route as regards the independence of the judiciary. He's trying to interfere with the sentencing process.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“In the run-up to the election, Stephen Harper had rolled out the rhetoric on the need for clean and transparent government, expressing frustration with Paul Martin's Liberals over their alleged secrecy and obstructionism. "When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent," Harper declared in a statement to be later viewed as notable for ironic content, "Is frankly when it is rapidly losing its moral authority to govern.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“[Harper] once told a friend, "I think about strategy twenty-four hours a day," and it was only a small exaggeration.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“The conservatives had started bringing demagoguery to the table on the [Afghan] war issue the previous fall [fall 2006]. Whenever opposition members criticized the war policy, assorted Tories accused them of being disloyal and of failing to support the troops....[Harper] was gaining the reputation of a leader who couldn't see a belt without wanting to hit below it.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“The real power in Ottawa, as in Washington, is in the executive branch. At the White House, there are daily briefings for reporters. In Ottawa, there is no such daily access. The media doesn't demand it, and as a result, major powerbrokers remain virtually anonymous.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“Attempts to thwart or muzzle the media continued as well. At a conservative caucus meeting in Charlottetown in August 2007, journalists assembled in the lobby of the hotel, as they usually do at such gatherings, to talk to caucus members as they passed by. The [Prime Minister's Office] communications team, however, was not prepared to allow it. Taking their cue, or so it appeared, from a police state, they had the RCMP remove the reporters from the hotel.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control
“[Stephen] Harper had said he would use all legal means, and what [John] Baird suggested was an option the prome minister was considering. If the governor general had refused his request, he could have replaced her with a more compliant one, making the case to the Queen that the people of Canada were opposed in great numbers to a coalition replacing his government.”
Lawrence Martin, Harperland: The Politics Of Control


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