Canadian federalism is more than a form of government. It's also a system of values that allows different people in diverse communities to live and work together in harmony for the good of all.
The problem was, I enjoyed Question Period too much and loved the challenge it provided. Far from being a dreaded burden, it had become an exciting part of my life; opposition members attacked me, I fought back, I won or lost or held them to draw, and the next day we did it all over again.
To be frank, politics is about wanting power, getting it, exercising it, and keeping it.
The art of politics is learning to walk with your back to the wall, your elbows high, and a smile on your face. It's a survival game played under the glare of lights.
A leader has to know how the system functions - not just the system of government but the whole social and economic system, including business, the unions, and the universities.
It is not the government's purpose to make a profit the way a company does, because a company doesn't have to give a damn about the unemployed poor or provide services that are non-commercial by definition.
Politicians of all stripes are always in danger at looking at every problem from an abstract point of view or being briefed by officials, academics, or economists who know every science but the science of human nature.
It's one thing for a courier service transport letters and documents from one city to another at a cost that only big business can afford; but it's another thing to take a letter from an Indian boy studying at the University of Ottawa to his mother in Old Crow.
Deficit reduction is not an end in itself. It is the means to an end. Canadians must now decide what kind of country they want to build with the hard-won dividend.
The two of us had come a long way together from our humble beginnings and the basement apartment that had been our first home as newlyweds in 1957, when I was still a law student at Laval University in Quebec City.
For all its prestige, its fabulous views, its indoor pool, and its lovely garden, 24 Sussex is more like an old hotel than a modern home.
Aline and I have travelled a very long, very hard road together, from our working class homes in rural Quebec to the palaces of London, Paris, Moscow, and Beijing. Politics was the route, public service the reward.
You have to look at history as an evolution of society.
A man can't ask for much more than the chance to make a difference in his chosen field of work. Politics is my vocation. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this great country of ours. I know I am a better person for it.
A successful politician must not only be able to read the mood of the public, he must have the skill to get the public on his side. The public is moved by mood more than logic, by instinct more than reason, and that is something that every politician must make use of or guard against