Quote of the Day: Frye on Mulroney


Mulroney’s dramatic call for a Royal Commission to clear his good name starts to go awry . . .

In his notes for “Levels of Cultural Identity,” Frye says early on:

De Tocqueville says almost nothing about Canada, even though most of the people there in his day spoke his native language, but he does have one wonderful sentence I want to quote: it describes the Mulroney regime perfectly. (CW 25, 231)

That sentence is:

In Canada the most enlightened, patriotic and humane inhabitants make extraordinary efforts to render the people dissatisfied with those simple enjoyments which still content them . . . more exertions are made to excite the passions of the citizens there than to calm them elsewhere. (Democracy in America, ed. Phillips Bradley [New York: Knopf, 1960], 1:296–7 [chap. 8].)

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One thought on “Quote of the Day: Frye on Mulroney

  1. Michael Happy

    Frye, as always, is right. It is the perfect quote. And this Sun News project looks like it’s no more than elitist rabble-rousing along the lines Frye describes and since perfected in the American model — inventing bogus discontents, stoking phantom resentments (death panels, re-education camps, Obama is really a Kenyan-born Muslim), to keep people from thinking about and acting upon things that really matter. Political discourse in this country still has substance to it. But conservative forces unleashed here seem to want to replace content with angry gossip. Remember how Harper’s Conservatives spent millions on advertising in order to “brand” Stephane Dion after he was elected Liberal leader? Here’s a more recent example from south of the border that nicely demonstrates what the long term effects look like. The other day, Obama got BP voluntarily to put $20 billion in escrow to cover damages and compensation for the spill in the Gulf. What is the state of debate in the American media this week? That Obama’s speech, given on the very day he secured those funds, has been deemed a failure. Again, no substance, all resentment-driven “opinion.”

    Mulroney was ever the drama queen. He’s always behaved like he is starring in a bad docu-drama about his own life. At this point it’s like he wants revenge on us. He took 2 million of our dollars 15 years ago in “compensation” for a slander that was proved not to be a slander. (And don’t you think we ought to get that money back?) Now that he’s been exposed, he’s gonna show us a thing or two. If an independent news media is the problem, then hire your own media to create an alternative reality. It’s exactly what Fox and talk radio in the US have done. Happily, we have the CRTC here and this revolting project may not get any further than the promotional video — which never gets old, by the way. It is darkly funnier with every viewing.


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