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Secret Mulroney Tapes


August1991

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What on Earth did Chretien do to be remembered well? If getting elected is the only accomplishment that counts, then I guess he was fabulous. If doing something, anything, to give the country a direction to grow in is what counts, then Chretien was an abject failure of herculean proportions.

I don't know. He got 3 back to back majority governments, had 7 back to back balanced budgets, kept 78% of their red book promises, introduced the Clarity Act, signed on to the Kyoto protocol, initiated the Romanow Commission on health care....

Seems to me he didn't just sit on his hands. The biggest thing the critics complain about is that he didn't get rid of the GST. Well, in actuality and in reality, the GST has been responsible in part for Canada's prosperity. Chretien a failure? Don't think so.

- 3 majority governments, squandered swanning around playing "da liddle guy from Shawinigan" schtick to the national audience and Emperor of Canada to the international audience (ski vacations permitting)

- 7 balanced budgets, not too hard if you take in the bulk of government revenue and your only spending obligations are items on which you've already slashed spending and refuse to make increases (eg. national defence)

- Which Red Book? And how do you come up with a ridiculous figure like 78%? Sounds like fudging

- The Clarity Act, AKA the question following the answer, AKA giving in to the idea that the citizens of one province have the right to break up the country on nothing more than a referendum. Here's what should have been the entire text of the Clarity Act: "No F***ing Way". Instead, we've codefied the idea that a simple majority of Quebecers can decide how and when the country should be disolved. For shame.

-The Kyoto Protocol isn't worth the biodegradable paper it's written on. If you'd care to read the text, you'll discover that it is in no way intended to change the amount of fossil fuel being consumed by humans, only where on the face of the planet it's being consumed. With a few extra clauses to ensure that first world nations are obligated to pay enviro-danegeld former Soviet bloc countries every year.

-And like all commissions before it, the Romanow commission was shelved. That's what commissions and inquiries are for, to take pressure off of the government to actually do something about a problem.

That's all you've got? What a great list of accomplishments. I see now why we were the only industrial country not to send a head of state to the King of Jordan's funeral - he really, really needed that ski vacation.

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Dear sloopy

Unfortunatley as it shows below hardly anyone agrees with you, which is par for the course with your usual brilliant comments.

A book quotes Brian Mulroney as saying he was the best PM since Sir John A. Macdonald. Where would you rank him?

The best   1217 votes     (10 %)

The worst   5649 votes     (46 %)

Somewhere in between   5362 votes     (44 %)

 

Total Votes: 12228

Cheers

Your typical stupidity and misconstruing of comments is very typical. This poll of yours doesn't deal with what I said. Never said he would be ranked as the best PM since John A.

Alas you are too stupid and stuck in your sad little world of unemployment and too small track pants to actually respond to something on point.

You are a dumb f**king moron. Who will be whining about PM Harper for the four years following the next election. Sad sad little man (excepting the size of your arse) that you are.

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BHS

From Wikipedia

"The specificity of the Red Book came back to haunt the Liberals, however, and much of the next few years were spent defending broken promises. The most notable of these was the Goods and Services Tax, which the Liberals had promised to replace but did not. Critics also said that the Liberals had broken their promises to increase the power of individual Members of Parliament and introducing a national childcare program.

The majority of the promises were kept, however. Chrétien famously argued that 78% were honoured, a mark he could live with. Others contest whether some of these promises were kept or not. Some of the most notable promises from the Red Book that were kept was the pledge to cancel the purchase of new naval helicopters, canceling the sale of Toronto Pearson International Airport, reforming Unemployment Insurance, more gun control, and reducing the size of the armed forces with the end of the Cold War. Perhaps the most important pledge kept was that of returning Canada to fiscal solvency."

THe 78% was Chretien's number.

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He brought in the regressive GST under which poorer people pay a larger percentage of their income in Mulroney's new sales tax.
The GST is not a regressive tax. If the purpose is to raise alot of revenue for a government with the least amount of damage to an economy, then a VAT such as GST is one of the best taxes available. Even drug dealers pay GST on their purchases.

Excepting the US, all rich countries in the world have VAT. (Years ago, I sat through a speech by Jacques Parizeau explaining that English-Canada would hate the GST because the US doesn't have a federal sales tax - and, as he explained, English Canada can only understand what the US does.)

No tax is popular but Mulroney had the testicular fortitude to replace the old, terrible MST with something much better.

I am always surprised when the NDP criticizes the GST. How the hell is government supposed to pay for all the stuff you guys want? For gawdsakes, at least be consistent.

Trudeau was charismatic, and at the same time had the testicular fortitude to tell those with an adversarial position just where to get off. When meeting with the USA, he returned with no stains on the front of his suit, as did Mulroney....
So, your measure of a PM is whether he can tell the Americans to "get off". Is this really a critical skill in making a Canadian PM "great"?
Yes.. he sold us to the United States, made sure that the poor and downtrodden didn't get off too easy...
Because it is easier today for most Canadians to be able to trade with Americans, less red tape and tariffs, how does this mean Mulroney sold us to the United States? Nobody gets sold to anybody when a bridge is built.
If Trudeau was responsible for scuttling Meech Lake, he deserves a pat on the back, because if passed this pact would have made Quebec feel more special than they already do. They have shown themselves to be a Province that cares little about Canada, and in fact has continually sent separtist's to Ottawa with an aim to destroy this country from the inside out.
Mulroney was from Quebec but he bent over backward to try and make the country work - not in some ideal world of his imagination but in the real world that he understood so well.

As Mulroney said in these tapes, Meech Lake was all about dignity.

BTW, Mulroney cancelled the NEP and then basically made such a policy in the future impossible. And did you read his quote about the CF-18 contract? Dead on.

I was quite amused that he would dare to try to take the credit for something that even his buddy, Ronald Reagan, would never dare to take any credit for.

About Ottawa reporters he was quoted as saying:

"A phoney bunch of bastards" who refused to give him credit for brokering a deal between Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President George H.W. Bush that led to the Berlin Wall's fall.

Mulroney's reference was very specifically to the difficult time between the lead up to the destruction of the Berlin Wall and then the failed coup in August 1991. In this, Mulroney did play an important role in bringing Gorbachev and Bush together. I suggest you read the Bush/Scowcroft book, A World Transformed, and note the references to Mulroney.

Oh right, err, US presidents don't count. Well, look in the autobiography of any major world politician for references to Pierre Trudeau and see what you get. Pierre Trudeau was a dilettante.

Mulroney is right when he says that Trudeau was only a world figure in the Toronto Star. Put Canada on the map? Trudeau's wife hung out with the Rolling Stones - that's what many foreigners know about Trudeau. I was travelling in Eastern Europe in 1983 when Trudeau embarked on his World Peace initiative - I was stunned to learn of it when I returned to Canada and saw Canadian front page coverage. (Just like reports of Zhivkov's latest international initiatives in Sofia papers, I thought.)

What on Earth did Chretien do to be remembered well? If getting elected is the only accomplishment that counts, then I guess he was fabulous.
I agree completely, BHS. Chretien got elected. In fact, Chretien said it often himself. "I'm at 60% in the polls - I must be doing something right." I'll bet he's looking at Martin now and saying, "I'd have got a majority." (This question deserves another thread.)

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By accepting to record these conversations, and basically giving the green light to their publication, Mulroney and Newman have done a great service to Canada and Canadians.

This is a small glimpse into the way our country truly is. Brian Mulroney understood Canada in ways few Canadians can. His understanding was not an intellectual construct. But furthermore, Mulroney actually wanted to do something for this country. He didn't just want power for the sake of power. And furthermore, he actually did it. He delivered the goods.

This is what puts him in the league with John A. Macdonald.

Pearson widened social programmes but spending money is the easiest thing to do. Laurier approved immigration and expansion to the West but it was Clifford Sifton who actually did it; and the policy was arguably the worst ever for Canada. While French-Canadians were emigrating to the US, Canada was importing East Europeans - because Sifton wanted no French in western Canada. This was Laurier's doing. Trudeau, to his credit, fought tooth and nail to bring the French language into the federal government in a meaningful way. But he really threw away all the good will of ordinary people.

----

Many years ago, young and naive, I decided to travel in Canada. For family reasons, I had been to Newfoundland but little elsewhere. Travelling alone, I was astonished to discover how much Canadians dislike one another, or blame other regions for their problems. Or maybe the problem is the abject mixture of political correctness, Baptist prudishness and Irish Catholic underdogism. I dunno.

But seeing the reaction in English-Canada to these honest remarks of an ex-prime-minister, I think that English-Canadians don't deserve this country. Sure, Mulroney swore like Nixon, but Mulroney was not a crook, and he was generous to a fault.

Australia, I suspect, has no problems with politicians like Mulroney and no doubt Australians would chuckle if an ex-politician said what Mulroney said.

IME, Quebecers have their own way of dealing with the truth and their own problems with admitting it - but English-Canada has seriously got its collective head in the sand. When someone tells the truth, it seems English-Canadians run away in fear.

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I suggest you read the Bush/Scowcroft book

I read it.

Ronald Reagan was a giant compare to Mr. Mulroney, so I figured that if ANYBODY deserves sentimental credit for persuading Gorbachev to tear down the wall, it's the man who said ... "Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall", Ronald Reagan.

The fact is that the Russians were going to tear it down no matter what!

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I suggest you read the Bush/Scowcroft book

I read it.

Ronald Reagan was a giant compare to Mr. Mulroney, so I figured that if ANYBODY deserves sentimental credit for persuading Gorbachev to tear down the wall, it's the man who said ... "Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall", Ronald Reagan.

The fact is that the Russians were going to tear it down no matter what!

The issue is not the causes of the demise of the Soviet Union. It is its actual death. I refer you to Bush Snr's account of dealing with the death of a superpower. Now, in hindsight, it seems easy and everything was so simple. Even at the time, excepting a few moments, it seemed easy. As Bush Snr makes plain, it wasn't.

Mulroney has every reason to take credit for his involvement. He truly played the Canadian role. Mulroney? He knew all the players and he had a phone. (BTW, Trudeau can also take credit for having invited Gorbachev to Canada in 1983 when he was the Soviet Commissar for Wheat.)

Look, Mulroney spent his whole life dealing with people from different backgrounds. He is an example of what what Canada has to offer the world. It should be no surprise that he was good at it.

"This is what puts him in the league with John A. Macdonald."

That's hillarioius  . I add that to the following article for laughs of the week. This is a quote from that article:

"This guy's (Mulroney's) ego should have its own time zone."

Newbie, your comment would have more credibility if you could spell English properly.

In any case, I'll generously put you down as a non-Tory voter. I hope you are not one of those English-Canadians who tend to eat their own.

Canada, what a place. Everyone destroys everyone - particularly anyone who tells the truth.

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Dear August1991,

I was under the impression Elijah Harper sank Meech. He was the one to withhold unanimity for it to be tabled and passed by the deadline.

It will be difficult to word this next sentence without being accused (or sued) for slander, but...Mulroney was too often involved in 'fiscal shenanigans' to be considered anything but a shyster. The 'helicopter kickback scandal' saw him evade criminal charges due to lack of failing to catch him red-handed, and though there was evidence, he had the balls to sue the gov't for damages, because "he was found to be as innocent as Orenthal". After leading the PCs to a record fall from grace (2 seats! Kim Campbell's impact on this was negligible. Had it been a seasoned tory vet they might have won 10, but why not appoint a 'fall gal' and reward that person with the Ambassadorship to California?), Mulroney then proceeded to sit on a board of directors for a large chemical and food additive company in the USA that was subsequently fined $100,000,000 for price-fixing. Crooked is as crooked does.

I am not saying he was without accomplishments that were for the better of Canadians, but then, as now, it is obvious he mostly serves his own self-aggrandized vision, that of his own perceived greatness.

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Dear TheloniousMonk,

I was under the impression Elijah Harper sank Meech. He was the one to withhold unanimity for it to be tabled and passed by the deadline.
Meech truly died when Wells did not put it to a vote in the Newfoundland legislature (despite having promised he would). The Manitoba side-show was a side-show, feather and all.

I didn't know about the Deborah Coyne angle. According to Mulroney, she and Trudeau have a daughter because of Meech.

As to Wells himself, I suggest reading Crosbie's book. He and Wells brought down Smallwood so Crosbie knows him well.

Canada is a fascinating country but I think we are about ready to turn the page for a new chapter. Maybe Mulroney's honesty will help make the story better.

August, Mulroney was a compulsive liar. His problem was that he believed what he said. I can't believe anyone would take this guy seriously, especially now since the release of the quotes from Newman's book. And oh, everyone makes a spelling misteak once in a while.
That's what David Peterson said! The same Liberal who negotiated the Belinda deal, whose brother is a federal Liberal so-so and who was once an Ontario PM. Sorry for my sarcasm.

True, the Mulroney quotes that I've read are filled with exaggeration and, for lack of a better word, blarney. But the basic facts are true. Mulroney was a passionate Canadian who understood this country better than most politicians. What did David Peterson do?

It will be difficult to word this next sentence without being accused (or sued) for slander, but...Mulroney was too often involved in 'fiscal shenanigans' to be considered anything but a shyster.
I can understand your viewpoint. Chretien had the RCMP investigate him.
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Mulroney author of own folly

Those who covered Mulroney's Ottawa will not be surprised by the gist of the contents of Newman's book. As secret as they may have been, his tapes contained few real secrets. It is in large part because they caught too many glimpses of the large chip on the shoulder of that prime minister that many Canadians came away with the sense that his character was flawed.

Mulroney's belief that Trudeau pulled all the stops — including on the romantic front — to sabotage the Meech Lake accord has largely been public knowledge.

Even the former prime minister's crude sense that Kim Campbell "screwed" her way to an historical election defeat was common enough knowledge. At the time, it was almost universally shared by Mulroney's close associates.

The once-mighty Progressive Conservative party must have been in pretty dreadful shape in the aftermath of Mulroney's tenure if all it took to bring it to its knees were a few uncelibate nights by its new leader. But that is another matter.

On the day he announced his retirement in 1993, Mulroney was asked whether he felt he had made any mistakes along the way. It was the only moment in the news conference when he was visibly at a loss for an answer.

He has been trying to bridge the gap between his generous view of himself and the less charitable perceptions of so many Canadians ever since.

This book will deal a death blow to his chances to stamp a more positive image of himself on the collective psyche of Canadians. Having confused a journalist for a confessor, Mulroney has only himself to blame for this self-inflicted fatal wound.

This book looks good on Mulroney because he confirms what most Canadians think of him. It is sad that our political system is so bankrupct of good quality politicians. Mulroney is a perfect example of how much damage one person can do to a nation. Scary really.

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August, I see that you were once young and naive: niw, I suppose, older and still naive.Sadder but not wiser.

I doubt that Mulroney's friends (bith of them) could mount a more passionate defense of the charlatan than you have done. Knowing something of him, they might be somewhat constrained by truth.

Perhaps you should suggest to Newbie that he spell correctly - not spell properly.

Thanks for the amusement. I don't really have tome for Mulroney now. The hatchet man for Bethlehem Steel deserves all that he gets.

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I am not saying he was without accomplishments that were for the better of Canadians,

What accomplishments?

Free trade? It was the Americans' idea, no?

The GST? I don't consider the idea of putting extra tax on people an "accomplishment".

IEvery once in a while, though, another person may come along and pee in your soup...

Speaking of peeing in someones soup ........

Two Canadians boarded an airplane. One sat in the window seat, the other sat in the middle seat. Just before take-off, an American got on and took the aisle seat next to the two Canadians.. The American kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Canadian in the window seat said," I think I'll get up and get a coke."

"No problem," said the American, "I'll get it for you."

While he was gone, one of the Canadians picked up the American's shoe and spat in it.

When the American returned with the drink, the other Canadian said, "That looks good, I think I'll have one too." Again, the American obligingly went to fetch it and while he was gone, the other Canadian picked up the other shoe and spat in it.

The American returned and they all sat back and enjoyed the flight. As the plane was landing, the American slipped his feet into his shoes and knew instantly what had happened. "How long must this go on?" he asked. "This fighting between countries? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and pissing in cokes..."

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This book looks good on Mulroney because he confirms what most Canadians think of him.

I never cared for Mulroney much but after reading a bunch of excerpts from Peter Newman's book I can see why he is liked by so many.

I wonder what kind of cut Newman is giving him.

One thing's for sure, this book will be the reason why Mr. Mulroney's upcoming book will sell like hot cakes.

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"This is what puts him in the league with John A. Macdonald."

That's hillarioius  :lol: . I add that to the following article for laughs of the week. This is a quote from that article:

"This guy's (Mulroney's) ego should have its own time zone."

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpos...af-c81c80fbc38c

What a buffoon!

Are you even old enough to remember Muldoon? He was funnier in real time.

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"This guy's (Mulroney's) ego should have its own time zone."

:lol: You crack me up newbie.

The quote is not from Newbie but from Warren Kinsella. That's truly ironic because Kinsella himself has a huge ego - but his only claim to fame is being Chretien's Karl Rove and being a 40-something wannabe punk rocker.
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