Quotations about   elections

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The world today is ruled by harassed politicians absorbed in getting into office or turning out the other man so that not much room is left for determining great issues on their merits.

Churchill - harassed politicians - wist_info quote

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
Speech, New York (25 Jan 1932)
Added on 7-Apr-16 | Last updated 7-Apr-16
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Monarchy is like a sleek craft, it sails along well until some bumbling captain runs it into the rocks. Democracy, on the other hand, is like a raft. It never goes down but, dammit, your feet are always wet.

Ames - feet are always wet - wist_info quote

Fisher Ames (1758-1808) American politician, orator
(Attributed)

Variant: "A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water." This variant is often attributed to a speech in the House of Representatives in 1795, but is not found in records of Ames' speeches.

This is the earliest reference I can find to this metaphor, which has also been used by / attributed to Joseph Cook, Russell Long, and Colin Powell.
Added on 1-Apr-16 | Last updated 6-Apr-16
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No one can govern who cannot afford to be unpopular, and no democratic official can afford to be unpopular. Sometimes he has to wink at flagrant injustice and oppression; at other times a fanatical agitation compels him to pass laws which forbid the citizen to indulge perfectly harmless tastes, or tax him to contribute to the pleasures of the majority.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 23-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Every honest and God-fearing man is a mighty factor in the future of the Republic. Educated men, business men, professional men, should be the last to shirk the responsibilities attaching to citizenship in a free government. They should be practical and helpful — mingling with the people — not selfish and exclusive. It is not necessary that every man should enter into politics, or adopt it as a profession, or seek political preferment, but it is the duty of every man to give personal attention to his political duties. They are as sacred and binding as any we have to perform.

William McKinley (1843-1901) US President (1897-1901)
Speech, Woodstock, Connecticut (4 July 1891)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Aug-15 | Last updated 25-Aug-15
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Today the challenge of political courage looms larger than ever before. … Our political life is becoming so expensive, so mechanized and so dominated by professional politicians and public relations men that the idealist who dreams of independent statesmanship is rudely awakened by the necessities of election and accomplishment.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Profiles in Courage, Introduction (1956)
Added on 10-Feb-14 | Last updated 2-Jun-16
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Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
(Attributed)

Sometimes cited with the Americanized "insures." Also given as "Democracy is a system ensuring that the people are governed no better than they deserve." Frequently quoted, but never sourced.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Apr-16
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