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Tommy Douglas

Dátum narodenia: 20. október 1904
Dátum úmrtia: 24. február 1986

Thomas Clement Douglas was a Canadian politician who served as Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961 and Leader of the New Democratic Party from 1961 to 1971. A Baptist minister, he was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in 1935 as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation . He left federal politics to become Leader of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and then the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan. His cabinet was the first democratic socialist government in North America and it introduced the continent's first single-payer, universal health care program, commonly known as Medicare.

After setting up Saskatchewan's Medicare program, Douglas stepped down and ran to lead the newly formed federal New Democratic Party , the successor party of the national CCF. He was elected as its first federal leader in 1961. Although Douglas never led the party to government, through much of his tenure the party held the balance of power in the House of Commons. He was noted as being the main opposition to the imposition of the War Measures Act during the 1970 October Crisis. He resigned as leader the next year, but remained as a Member of Parliament until 1979.

Douglas was awarded many honorary degrees, and a foundation was named for him and his political mentor M. J. Coldwell in 1971. In 1981, he was invested into the Order of Canada, and he became a member of Canada's Privy Council in 1984, two years before his death. In 2004, a CBC Television program named Tommy Douglas "The Greatest Canadian", based on a Canada-wide, viewer-supported survey. Wikipedia

„It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do. They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats. Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider than we are. Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws--that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds--so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much physical effort. All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats. Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that Mouseland needs is more vision." They said:"The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouseholes." And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever. And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat. You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice. Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?" "Oh," they said, "he's a Bolshevik. Lock him up!"“

—  Tommy Douglas

So they put him in jail. But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea!
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Digital+Archives/Politics/Parties+and+Leaders/Tommy+Douglas/ID/1409090169/?sort=MostPopular

„The greatest way to defend democracy is to make it work.“

—  Tommy Douglas

Address, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, Saskatoon, March 13, 1951.

„My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea.“

—  Tommy Douglas

Tommy Douglas 1961. http://web.archive.org/web/20041020022338/http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/top_ten/nominee/douglas-tommy.html
Mes amis, surveillez bien les petites gens qui ont des idées http://web.archive.org/web/20041029193928/http://www.cbc.ca/grandscanadiens/top_ten/nominee/douglas-tommy.html.

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