Introduction of Senator Jerahmiel S. Grafstein


17 April 1997

Welcome ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests, your Excellency, to the inaugural Allan J. MacEachen Annual Lecture in Politics. Somewhere between the desirable and the achievable lies politics. A good political leader is a hardened idealist, an adventurist, a pragmatist; all this and often much more. But few who begin with the desirable survive without a keen sense of the achievable. And if political life is widely understood in the public as the pursuit and the exercise of power, those who have witnessed public life up close, know that it is perhaps more about service, about change, about the difficult, often trying movement of society forward. In the Honourable Allan J. MacEachen, this lecture series recognizes a St. F. X. graduate, who has known and mastered the pursuit and exercise of political power. Political friends and foes alike await with eagerness his future reflections on that consummate art. Yet he is honoured tonight, I believe, primarily for his statesmanship and service. (And I would be remiss in introducing this lecture series, not to recognize the Honourable Allan J. MacEachen, who is with us tonight.)

Senator Grafstein, who joins us, will describe in a moment the origin of this new feature on the St. F. X. landscape. I will say only that the choice of speaker tonight signals our commitment to make this series a broad and deep reflection about Canadian political life. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to a new dimension in St. F. X.’s outstanding contribution to the formation of Canadian political leaders. Now I call on Senator Grafstein to describe the origin and orientation of the Allan J. MacEachen Lecture in Politics.


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