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Introduction of US President Bill Clinton to the International Conference on Federalism

International Conference on Federalism Mont-Tremblant, October 1999 Introduction of US President Bill Clinton to the International Conference on Federalism The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien Prime Minister of Canada Ladies and gentlemen, A few days ago, this Conference was treated to an extraordinary address by the President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo. A moving statement that drew a parallel between the steady growth of democracy in his country and its embrace of federalism. Today, we turn to the roots of federalism. Not only here in North America but around the world. Indeed, no conference on federalism would be complete without an American perspective. The thoughts and experiences of those who, today, are applying the principles and structures laid out in the American Federalist Papers over 200 years ago. In that regard, we are very, very lucky to have with us the President of the United States, Bill Clinton. President Clinton is ideally qualified to relate the modern dynamics of American federalism. Its successes. Its frustrations. Its potential for creative evolution. He understands the American division of powers from the perspective of both the White House and the State House. Before being elected President, he served with distinction as Governor of his home state of Arkansas. And as President of his country’s National Governors’ Association. And I know he has devoted much of his energy as President to building a new partnership with the states. I am told that when President Clinton met with Governors this past summer he evoked Theodore Roosevelt. When he attended the first ever meeting of Governors in 1908, Roosevelt said:”Both the national and the state governments must each do their part. And each can do a certain amount that the other cannot do. But the only really satisfactory results will be obtained by the representatives of the national and state governments working heartily together.” I think this captures the President’s approach to federalism. And my own. Ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured to introduce a partner, an ally and a friend. The President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton. Forum of Federations / Forum des fédérations