American conservatives grapple with Cdn election

…and ask: Why don’t Canadian conservatives support Quebec secession?

Law professor Ilya Somin writes:

“Quebec is the most statist province in the country and its political influence drives Canada’s economic policies well to the left of where they would be in a separate anglophone Canada. Canadian Conservatives hate paying for federal government subsidies to Quebec (Quebec is a major net recipient of transfer payments from the federal government). Obviously, there would be no such subsidies if Quebec were an independent nation…”

Hmm? Why did Americans bother fighting a Civil War? Why not just let the South secede — afterall, they disagreed about slavery.




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American conservatives grapple with Cdn election

  1. Is this the best you can come up with?

    Pajamasmedia?

  2. Your only post last night was this…

    “Watching Cdn election returns in DC
    By Luiza Ch. Savage | Email | October 14th, 2008 at 8:29 pm
    Posted to: Blog Central | 0 | Comment on post”

    And then all you come up with is some obscure blog comment?

  3. They might also ask, then, why no party (and the Conservatives would be the most obvious one) cannot unite English Canada into a majority? It is possible; the seat numbers are there.

  4. I posted last night to let people in DC know where other Canadians were gathering to watch the election returns at an event organized by the Canadian Embassy.
    Then I went and watched like everyone else. I don’t cover Canadian politics and haven’t been in Canada since the campaign began so I’d rather leave the discussion to my colleagues.

  5. “Canadian Conservatives hate paying for federal government subsidies to Quebec”

    You’d never know it from the Harper government!

  6. “Quebec is the most statist province in the country and its political influence drives Canada’s economic policies well to the left…”

    Please. Alberta’s royalty cash cow makes it the biggest batch of commies we’ve got. (ala Hayek, mind you, precision isn’t worth the aggrevation) Enjoy the narrative. Don’t mind me if I sneer.

    any province that collects more in royalties (05-06) than it does in income tax is hard pressed to preach to me how their golden pavement is all about capitalism.

  7. Oooo, I like that one Geiseric. And they even decided they needed more starting in 2009! And I do believe Alberta is the highest per capita spender in the country as well (don’t quote me on that though). Just don’t tell anyone here in Wild Rose Country….they’re a bit sensitive about their conservativeness; imaginary though it may be.

  8. Geseric and Hazzard,

    Thank you. Bloc Quebecois meet Saudi Alberta.

  9. If Alberta were smart they would be doing a bit more to build up their sovereign wealth fund. When the oil party is over, and it will end, Alberta is going to have a huge hangover.

  10. Is this the best you can come up with?

    I have to agree. If I need those links, I don’t need an online publication that receives 3 million a year from Canadian taxpayers to tell me where they are.

    Granted, given the familiarity of Americans with our politics and Parliamentary democracy in general, it probably is the best Ms. Savage can come up with.

  11. Canadian conservatives are torn about this. Obviously they don’t want to tear apart the country but are also bothered Quebec’s culture of entitlement and whinging about ROC, like Ilya Somin argues.

    I think Harper is going to have to change his strategy towards Quebec. Let Quebecers come to the party, not the other way around. Quebec will continue to vote BQ if the federalist parties continue to pander there so it would be wise to ignore Quebec – they made their bed, let them lie in it. Vote BQ, get nothing. Vote federalist party, get goodies like every other prov does.

    Are you live blogging the third, and final, debate tonight Luiza? Should be interesting. I wonder if McCain is going to come out swinging ever or does he just want to lose with his sense of ‘honour’ intact.

  12. My goodness! Why so sour this morning? The Canadian election is hardly page one news down here. Many people think the Prime Minister’s name is Trudeau. I’m surprised that the Volokh Conspiracy, the conservative legal blog, was even talking about it. Most of the Canadian news that makes the newspapers involves either seals or polar bears.
    And the question the blogger posed is a variation of one that I get all the time here: why don’t you just let them (Quebec) go? My (American) husband sparked fireworks at an Ottawa dinner party once by earnestly asking the same thing.

  13. No contacts to call to get impressions?

    seriously!

  14. JWL — Yes, I plan to blog it. Obama has complained that McCain hasn’t had the guts to raise the Ayers stuff to his “face.” So I’m curious if he’ll do it tonight. Also, conservatives complained after the the last debate that social issues such as abortion and faith were not raised in the last debate, so I wonder whether the moderator Bob Schieffer will raise them. And both candidates have rolled out new proposals on the economy since the last debate, so it will be interesting to hear them go into some detail on that. This will be a chance for McCain to change the momentum of this election which seems to be Obama’s way more and more.

  15. Funny that this is the American attitude (as indeed it often is, on both sides), when they turn pale and spit flame when they hear the words “Alaskan Independence Party.” I mean, secession is a total no-no in American politics and yet they’re happy to opine about it elsewhere. C’est la vie, n’est-ce pas?

  16. “…Quebec’s culture of entitlement…”

    That’s where I think you’re wrong. What they’re always complaining about is Ottawa’s endless stream of fundless and strings attached mandates. That’s why they’re always on about tranfer payments.

    Gomery stuck in their craw because it was about power, not ethics.

  17. My goodness! Why so sour this morning? The Canadian election is hardly page one news down here. Many people think the Prime Minister’s name is Trudeau. I’m surprised that the Volokh Conspiracy, the conservative legal blog, was even talking about it. Most of the Canadian news that makes the newspapers involves either seals or polar bears

    And this is news?

    Seems to me there’s a pressing information need elsewhere, possibly with American legal experts who are still trying to fit parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy square pegs into republican round holes.

  18. Jim: what? actual reporting for a blog? Surely you jest? ;-) But this does give me a chance to explain that unlike some of the bloggers at macleans.ca, I don’t do this full-time. I’m usually on deadline for the print magazine, so that’s where I put my reporting energies and use the blog to share interesting things that cross my path. When I’m not on a print deadline, I focus more on substantive stuff on the blog. (How Paul Wells manages to do both so prolifically is beyond me. It doesn’t help to have an almost-three-year-old at home, either. Can’t do this stuff 24/7.)
    But you do raise an interesting question: what do American conservatives think about the election results — to the extent they think of it at all. I’ll ask around, and if I miss my print deadline, I’ll just blame you.

  19. “Obama has complained that McCain hasn’t had the guts to raise the Ayers stuff to his “face.”

    This is school yard taunt. Obama is lucky that McCain hasn’t raised the issue to his ‘face’ because his relationship with Ayers, and many others, is indefensible.

    I don’t understand why McCain hasn’t been raising Obama’s character issues since day one because you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.

    I don’t think McCain has a chance to change momentum of the election now but we’ll see. McCain was great when he could poke his own party in the eye but now that he’s running against a strong Dem, he’s lackluster.

    I look forward to your blogging tonight, Luiza.

  20. Geiseric the Lame

    Seems to me that Quebec does quite well with equalization payments. They want ROC’s money but they don’t appreciate the strings attached. Boo hoo.

    If they want Feds out of their business, stop taking the money and start producing their own wealth. Than they can do whatever they want with it.

  21. But you do raise an interesting question: what do American conservatives think about the election results

    Even better…what do American progressives, who are not as irrational and are better-informed than American conservatives and who are kindly disposed to Canada (the US’s largest trading partner) think of the election results?

    That’s even sadder.

    I’m sure it’s not page one news in Britain or Australia either, but there isn’t much they can learn from our elections anyway.

  22. The article you cite is an outlier: it is a private and uninformed musing, and does not represent the way in which ‘American conservatives’or any other group ‘grapple with the Can election’. Your heading represents a decent subject for a thread–but it needed a bit more digging.

  23. “If they want Feds out of their business, stop taking the money…”

    That’s very astute. Which federal equivalent programs should they drop first?

  24. First, I am not a conservative. Second, and more to the point, I think there’s a big difference between seceding to promote a great evil like slavery and the PQ’s reasons for wanting to secede. If the two were morally equivalent, then of course there would be every reason to oppose Quebec secession root and branch. I just don’t think they are. Do you?

  25. “…then of course there would be every reason to oppose Quebec secession root and branch. I just don’t think they are. Do you?”

    The biggest noise about leaving isn’t coming from Quebec any more.

  26. I guess I’d have to read the Pajamasmedia post to figure out if the issue really is about comparative morality rather than ignorance of different histories, cultures and legal systems.

  27. Professor Somin makes a valid point about the relative “evilness” of Quebec’s reasons for leaving Canada vs. the reasons of Southern secessionists in the 1800s, but it’s nonetheless humourous to read an American wondering why Canadian seem to feel that secessionism is such a big deal, and why Canadian Conservatives wouldn’t just embrass it on crass political grounds. I mean, it seems to me that Sarah Palin’s alleged and somewhat tenuous connection to the Alaska Independence Party is considered a reasonably noteworthy item, and yet a presumably well educated American still seems somewhat confused that the Tories don’t just adopt the break up of Canada as part of their electoral platform.

    I wonder if Professor Somin thinks Sarah Palin would be the VP nominee of the Republican Party right now if she’d won the Governorship on a platform of taking Alaska out of the Union?

    The Conservatives don’t advocate Quebec secession (to their credit) because they don’t believe in breaking up Canada. I don’t think that’s such a mysterious notion.

    Not even to an American.

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