Loquacious Liberal, Moneybags Politician. ('as We Were' Clippings from Canada Past)

Canadian Speeches, March-April 2003 | Go to article overview

Loquacious Liberal, Moneybags Politician. ('as We Were' Clippings from Canada Past)


Edward Blake (1833-1912), was a lawyer, politician, premier of Ontario, and the only federal Liberal leader who never became prime minister. Blake entered political life in Canada, shortly after Confederation, in 1867. He ran for the local Legislature of Ontario, as well as the Dominion House of Commons, and won both seats, despite the media's skepticism.

A profile of Blake in The Canadian Magazine, September, 1912, depicts him as a loquacious Liberal whose speeches sometimes lasted six hours and a moneybags politician who campaigned from his yacht. Following is an excerpt from The Canadian profile, which quotes The Leader newspaper, Toronto.

"Mr. Blake," said The Leader, "is a man of business and infinite ambition. He publishes an address to the electors of South Bruce in the morning, declaring himself a candidate for the representation of that riding in the local Legislature, and on the same day jumps into his yacht and sets out for West Durham with the intention of wooing the electors of that riding for the sake of their dowry in the shape of a seat in the House of Commons... We expect to hear that West Durham was startled from its propriety on the arrival of the political wooer in his yacht. …

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