Quotations by Trudeau, Pierre


The great lesson to draw from revolutions is not that they devour humanity but rather that tyranny never fails to generate them.

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
“When the People Are in Power” (1958)
Added on 12-May-11 | Last updated 12-May-11
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The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness.

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
(Attributed, 1970)

Widely attributed, but unsourced.
Added on 15-Aug-11 | Last updated 15-Aug-11
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What is considered sinful in one of the great religions to which citizens belong isn’t necessarily sinful in the others. Criminal law therefore cannot be based on the notion of sin; it is crimes that it must define.

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
Memoirs, Part 1 “1919-1968, The Road to 24 Sussex Drive” (1993)
Added on 29-Aug-11 | Last updated 29-Aug-11
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As against the “invisible hand” of Adam Smith, there has to be a visible hand of politicians whose objective is to have the kind of society that is caring and humane.

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
Memoirs, Part 3 “1974-1979, Victory And Defeat” (1993)
Added on 5-Sep-11 | Last updated 5-Sep-11
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Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
Addressing the Press Club in Washington, D.C. (25 Mar 1969)
Added on 8-Aug-11 | Last updated 8-Aug-11
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We take the position that there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.

[L’État n’a pas d’affaires dans les chambres à coucher de la nation.]

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
Comment in Canadian House of Commons (22 Dec 1967)

On the  decriminalization of homosexuality. Also reported in a remark to newsmen in Ottawa as "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation" in The Globe and Mail (22 Dec 1967). Paraphrasing an earlier editorial in The Globe and Mail (12 Dec 1967):  "Obviously, the state's responsibility should be to legislate rules for a well-ordered society. It has no right or duty to creep into the bedrooms of the nation."

Added on 14-Jan-11 | Last updated 1-Jul-11
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There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an “all Canadian” boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
Speech to the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress, Winnipeg (9 Oct 1971)
Added on 22-Aug-11 | Last updated 22-Aug-11
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Liberalism is the philosophy for our time, because it does not try to conserve every tradition of the past, because it does not apply to new problems the old doctrinaire solutions, because it is prepared to experiment and innovate and because it knows that the past is less important than the future.

Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Canadian politician
Speech, Liberal leadership convention (1968)
Added on 1-Aug-11 | Last updated 1-Aug-11
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