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date: 15 November 2019


see also Democracy
  1. Politics is the art by which politicians obtain campaign contributions from the rich and votes from the poor on the pretext of protecting each from the other.
    Oscar Ameringer 1870–1943 American humorist and socialist: If You Don’t Weaken (1940)
  2. As Maine goes, so goes the nation.
    Anonymous: American political saying, c.1840; see Farley
  3. It's The Sun wot won it.
    following the 1992 general election
    Anonymous: headline in Sun 11 April 1992
  4. Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing.
    Bernard Baruch 1870–1965 American financier and presidential adviser: Meyer Berger New York (1960)
  5. The accursed power which stands on Privilege
    (And goes with Women, and Champagne, and Bridge)
    Broke—and Democracy resumed her reign:
    (Which goes with Bridge, and Women and Champagne).
    Hilaire Belloc 1870–1953 British poet, essayist, historian, novelist, and Liberal politician: ‘On a Great Election’ (1923)
  6. You’re joking? Not another one. Oh for God’s sake, I can’t stand this.
    on hearing that Theresa May had called a General Election
    Brenda from Bristol British pensioner: interviewed by BBC News, 18 April 2017
  7. The American people have spoken—but it's going to take a little while to determine exactly what they said.
    on the US presidential election of 2000
    William Jefferson (‘Bill’) Clinton 1946–  American Democratic statesman, 42nd President 1993–2001: in Mail on Sunday 12 November 2000; see Salisbury
  8. You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.
    Mario Cuomo 1932–2015 American Democratic politician: in New Republic, Washington, DC, 8 April 1985
  9. An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
    George Eliot 1819–80 English novelist: Felix Holt (1866) ch. 5
  10. Hell, I never vote for anybody. I always vote against.
    W. C. Fields 1880–1946 American humorist: Robert Lewis Taylor W. C. Fields (1950); see Adams
  11. Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.
    John F. Kennedy 1917–63 American Democratic statesman, 35th President 1961–3: telegraphed message from his father, read at a Gridiron dinner in Washington, 15 March 1958, and almost certainly JFK's invention; J. H. Cutler Honey Fitz (1962)
  12. To give victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.
    often quoted as, ‘The ballot is stronger than the bullet’
    Abraham Lincoln 1809–65 American statesman, 16th President 1861–5: speech, 18 May 1858
  13. If voting changed anything, they'd abolish it.
    Ken Livingstone 1945–  British Labour politician: title of book, 1987
  14. If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries fattened at the taxpayer's expense.
    of Harry Truman's success in the 1948 presidential campaign
    H. L. Mencken 1880–1956 American journalist and literary critic: in Baltimore Sun 7 November 1948
  15. ‘Vote early and vote often,’ the advice openly displayed on the election banners in one of our northern cities.
    William Porcher Miles 1822–96 American Confederate politician: in the House of Representatives, 31 March 1858
  16. The English people believes itself to be free; it is gravely mistaken; it is free only during the election of Members of Parliament; as soon as the Members are elected, the people is enslaved; it is nothing.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712–78 French philosopher and novelist: Du Contrat social (1762)
  17. One of the nuisances of the ballot is that when the oracle has spoken you never know what it means.
    Lord Salisbury (3rd Marquess of Salisbury) 1830–1903 British Conservative statesman; Prime Minister 1855–6, 1886–92, 1895–1902: after the Renfrew by-election of October 1877; Andrew Roberts Salisbury: Victorian Titan (1999); see Clinton
  18. You won the elections, but I won the count.
    replying to an accusation of ballot-rigging
    Anastasio Somoza 1925–80 Nicaraguan dictator: in Guardian 17 June 1977; see Stoppard
  19. I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.
    Joseph Stalin 1879–1953 Soviet dictator: said in 1923; Boris Bazhanov The Memoirs of Stalin's Former Secretary (1992); see Stoppard
  20. The people have spoke—the bastards.
    after being defeated in the California Senate primary c.1962; usually quoted as ‘The people have spoken—the bastards’
    Dick Tuck 1924–  American Democratic politician: in Time 13 August 1973