Everything you ever wanted to know about what’s going on around here

Allan Fotheringham September 4 1978

Everything you ever wanted to know about what’s going on around here

Allan Fotheringham September 4 1978

Everything you ever wanted to know about what’s going on around here

Allan Fotheringham

Summer sayings of Chairman Foth: The country is split on Bobby Orr—50 per cent hoping he makes it, the other 50 per cent wishing he hadn’t tried.

Stay away from people you have never seen laugh. They’re not only tedious, they’re dangerous.

It is hard to imagine what frightens the Canadian voter the most, the prospect of Sinclair Stevens as finance minister or another young Liberal lawyer doing on-the-job training in the same post.

The most obvious signal of the decline and fall of Western civilization is junk food. Ronald McDonald is our Nero.

It is one of the remarkable features of the style of leadership of Pierre Trudeau, who has the most distinct personality of any Canadian politician in decades, that after 10 years in power he now has no one with a personality left in his cabinet. It is also indicative.

Never talk before 11 a.m. No good has ever come of it.

On the Prairies, near the end of the 1930s, grown children ran screaming indoors when rain at last fell. They had never seen it before. The same thing will happen to Canadian teenagers if Joe Clark wins the election.

Jimmy Carter has probably set the smile back 30 years.

It is wise to remember that the most westerly Liberal provincial government in the country is situated in Nova Scotia.

I can never understand why women want to be equal. Why would they willingly accept a demotion?

Intellectual ferment in the Liberal party, now in power more frequently than any party in any other democracy in the world over the last half century, is shown by the fact that the only new justice minister who can be dredged out of the Liberal caucus is someone who has been previously a Liberal justice minister.

It is no longer true that what binds this country together is hatred of Toronto. What binds this country together in 1978 is amusement at viewing the “Grey Cupbound” Toronto Argonauts.

They may not be the right ideas (Proposition 13) but the new ideas in American politics come from California. In Canada they also come from the West (birthplace of the CCF, Social Credit and Jack Horner). Prophetic is the development of

straight left-right political situations—as in Britain—in British Columbia and Manitoba, (with Saskatchewan soon to follow). It will also develop nationally. The only question is: which national party will die— the Tories or the Liberals?

It is the man who plays golf who calls women “gals.”

There has been only one current precedent for the swift descent of the firebreathing Parti Québécois from an evangelical movement into a cautious political

party seeking the middle ground so as to achieve re-election: the evolving of Pierre Trudeau, between 1968 and 1974, from philosopher-king into Mackenzie King.

Inside Joe Clark's voice is a John Diefenbaker struggling to get out.

It is wise to follow the experience of the man who advised never to order a martini in a town that still has a high-school band.

Most overrated politician in the land has proven to be Union Nationale leader Rodrique Biron.

René Simard is going to perish from a severe case of the cutes unless his handlers calm down. He has a serious voice,too.

Greatest sigh of relief in the land came from the Liberal brass with the news that Los Angeles had solved its Olympic Games problems. Ottawa knew that if Jean Drapeau seriously proceeded with his offer to capture the Games again, there would be rioting in the streets (and ballot boxes) of Moose Jaw.

Dalton Camp peaked too soon. Today he would be a very credible Opposition leader.

Avoid people who say: “Do you have a minute?” They take up the most time of all.

The rest of the country will never really take rich Alberta seriously until it establishes a two-party system. The authoritarian streak in that province’s voters is puzzling and a little scary.

Harold Ballard: our very own George Steinbrenner.

The abiding sin of Pierre Elliott

Trudeau (perhaps the abiding bad luck) is that he is too bright for his political opponents. This results in a reversion to a juvenile trait in his formidable cranium equipment: he regards any question as fair game for an amusing exercise in professorial debating techniques. In a way he is an intellectual eunuch, prepared to take any side in an argument (“Where is Biafra?”; “Why should I sell your wheat?”) just to test the mettle of the opposing argument; and he wonders why the voters are perplexed by him.

Patrick Watson was right. The CBC is the only organization in the world where the milk rises to the top.

One of the major indictments against English-language politicians is that the two men who most attractively use the language in Canada are two men from Quebec called Lévesque and Trudeau.

First rule for a young reporter: when a politician offers to tell you something offthe-record, excuse yourself to go out for a chocolate bar. And keep going.

Anyone—public or private figure—who gives a speech lasting more than 27 minutes should be fined. People who overstay parking meters are. Which is the greater sin?

Proof incarnate that there must be some good ideas in Trudeau’s plan for a House of Federation are the yelps of pain and wails of complaint coming from the present members of the Senate it would replace.

One of the intriguing aspects of Claude Ryan is that—though younger than both— he regards Pierre Trudeau and René Lévesque as fairly promising, though erratic, youngsters.

There’s a solution to the Post Office problem. It could be ordered that Post Office workers receive their cheques by mail.

If your mother can’t cook, run away from home.