Mr. Chretien's Book Report

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Mr. Chretien's Book Report
Well, we're on the subject of great Canadians. I'd like to bring on to the stage now a man who I'm sure you will remember from the past. A man that you might even miss. Ladies and gentlemen, Monsieur Jean Chrétien. And you're here sir probably promoting your book, right?
- You know that book is a million seller.
You call it a million seller?
- Yes, I have a million in my cellar
Now I suppose you could consider that a book about Canadian history, couldn't you?
- Well, you know, I wrote that book and I'm history. So that's a history book. But it does not go back to Canada, BC. Not "before Chrétien."
Well, they do say that we should know more about our history, don't they
- The Canadian people don't know enough about their history. And people who ignore the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat it. That's why I was re-elect so many times
So .. what do you know about Canadians?
- Well, I discovered, in the past that there were many people that came to Canada that did not stay. There were Viking guys. There were Irish guys. There were Portu .. guys
And you know, they did not stay because they were not able to deal with the harsh climate.
It was tough. For example, they would have a kayak and they would light a fire in it, and it would sink. But we know today that you cannot have your kayak and heat it too
You know, and there was other group of them, they were attacked by bears and they ran away. They did not know at the time ... they did not hang up their meat in the trees at night
Hang up their meat in the trees?
- And the bears would attack. But we know today that bears will not attack when the steaks are too high
All right, well. Let's leave history behind right now sir and talk about this book because it's really about your tenure as prime minister
- And it was tenure. Yes, I was ... for ten year I was the prime suspect. Minister.
Yes, now of course one of the most difficult things you probably talk about it in your book was tha you were unable to appoint your own successor, which I think you wanted to do.
- Well, that was not my job. You know, I told the Canadian people. "I am the prime minister. That's my job. And I'm happy to have that job and that's the job that I will do." Everyone who has a job will do their job.I did my job. That was my job as long as I had that job. I will do that job because I have my job. But you know when you don't have your job then you have to give up your job, and you hope that someone else will do your job. But you don't know who's gonna do your job. It's not your job
Only a room full of Canadians would have understood that, sir. Now, of course, we know now that the guy who did get your job was Paul Martin and I want to ask you right here right now - do you have a grudge?
- I have a two-car grudge
Now sir, in your book you say some very unflattering things about Conrad Black
- That's right. Conrad Black, you know, he wanted to have a tittle
Title, yes,
- And you know that I don't think that Canadian people need to be titillated. And neither do the English people. They don't want to be titillated.
Well, it's about heredity, sir
- You can't talk to me about heredity. I know about heredity. It runs in my family. I looked up my family tree and some of my family are still in it
Now, um, what do you think about the amazing, um, resilience of the Bloc Québécois, the way they have survived?
- Now, they are a phenomenon. They are a phenomene and a phenomenon. And they remind me of Pierre Trudeau. They say with Trudeau that he's dead but his ideas live on
- But with the Bloc Québécois, it's the other way around. Their ideas are dead but they live on
It's interesting, isn't it, sir? Yes, that's a nice picture, sir. Now, of course, uh, the new, uh, Liberal party leader, one of your protégés.
- That's a French word!
Yes ... Stéphane Dion.
- Two French words.
Yes. Now, um, he's very concerned with the environment.
- Well, good for him. I knew it was there. It was always there. There's always been an environment. You have yours. I have mine and we take care of it in our own way
But, you know, he was more excited than some people.
- That's good for him
Well, sir, he even named his dog Kyoto.
- That was not about the environment. That was because the dog reminds him of the climate.
- Every time the dog sees his leg, he wants to climb it. And that dog has an environment, too. And a footprint
Now, sir, um, in your book you're critical of Canada's current foreign policy
- But not of the troop, you know, they have a hard job to do. They have their job and they do their job. Their job is to ... have I been here before?
- Ah .. They do their job. Their job is not easy. They have to obey questions without orders
And I think in your book, you talk about your minister of defense, Art Eggleton, with whom you worked so many years, but of course he had to resign because we found out he gave his girlfriend a job.
- Ah, he give her a job. She gave him a job. So what?
Sir, that's that's not my point. My point is you guys worked so well together. It must have been very difficult for you to, you know, to split up - because you depended on each other, didn't you?
- Well, yes, you know, we had a system.
You had a system.
- Yes, and it was based on the fact that he was discreet. He did not say what he was knowing. And I did not know what I was saying. It's a perfect system, isn't it?
Now, what do you think of the rise of Stephen Harper?
- Stephen Harper? Yes, I know.
Well, um, actually, I just want to mention that, of course, there's a conservative prime minister and we never thought that would happen. Under your watch the conservative leader was Stockwell Day and and he just didn't have it. Why do you think that was? - - Stockwell's day was too far to the right. And when he wore a wetsuit, you could see that. That's why he was not able to control his caucus. In politics, you have to control your caucus. I controlled my caucus and I had a big one
I know that sir. Now, we've just we've just had an election.
- You speak for yourself
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