Aphorisms by Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Doug Yonson alerts me to the aphoristic abilities of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was once allegedly described by President Richard Nixon as an “asshole”; to which Trudeau is said to have replied: “I’ve been called worse things by better people.” This same wit is on display in Trudeau’s aphorisms, which Doug Yonson reports are memorably and widely known in Canada, and perhaps now elsewhere, too…

There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.

Living next to [the U.S.] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast … one is affected by every twitch and grunt.

The essential ingredient of politics is timing.

Life is one long curve, full of turning points.

Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.

Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.