On civility

From a speech delivered by Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie in 1877.

I know it is the tactics of those by whom we are opposed  —  I know it was their tactics twenty years ago, and thirty-five years ago-to drive their opponents out of public life by the grossest slanders, in order that they may have the field left clear for themselves. I say to them, “Gentlemen, you can’t do it. (hear, hear, and cheers) Your slanders shall fall harmlessly against us, your tactics shall prove a failure, because you have not the people with you.” Sir John Macdonald never did have the people of Ontario with him; he never commanded a majority of the people of this Province, and he never will (cheers) He represented a retrograde policy from first to last.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.