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Andrew Coyne: which party can best manage PQ relations?

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Andrew Coyne: which party can best manage PQ relations?

  1. Here here Mr. Coyne. I'm glad at least one Maclean's columnist is taking the PQ seriously (unlike Wherry who simply dismissed attention paid to the PQ's rhetoric as a Harper scare tactic).

  2. Here here Mr. Coyne. I'm glad at least one Maclean's columnist is taking the PQ seriously (unlike Wherry who simply dismissed attention paid to the PQ's rhetoric as a Harper scare tactic).

  3. Harper is the separatist dream and the federalist nightmare. Even if the other guys aren't the best, he's the biggest liability.

  4. Harper is the separatist dream and the federalist nightmare. Even if the other guys aren't the best, he's the biggest liability.

  5. Coyne may think that the main question is which party leader could best counter this Quebec separatism resurgence.

    Open your eyes, Coyne; you really think Ignatieff could form government without the support from the BQ?

    And do you think that running a federal government with the support of the BQ would be good for trying to defend a strong united Canada?

    I don't think you understand a large part of this country. Coyne, you need to get out of your Toronto bubble.

    If you think that if the Conservatives win double the seats of the Liberals, but the Liberals will try and form government nonetheless, that the Conservative voter will not rise up in protest, a serious protest at that, you don't understand this country at all.

    The majority of Canadians will choose for a united federal Canada. And the fact that you and so many others in the media don't care much for Harper won't chance a thing come Liberal coalition day.

    If you want to see Canada in turmoil, wait untill Ignatieff takes over the reigns with the help of the BQ.

    There ain't much more to say untill then.

  6. Coyne may think that the main question is which party leader could best counter this Quebec separatism resurgence.

    Open your eyes, Coyne; you really think Ignatieff could form government without the support from the BQ?

    And do you think that running a federal government with the support of the BQ would be good for trying to defend a strong united Canada?

    I don't think you understand a large part of this country. Coyne, you need to get out of your Toronto bubble.

    If you think that if the Conservatives win double the seats of the Liberals, but the Liberals will try and form government nonetheless, that the Conservative voter will not rise up in protest, a serious protest at that, you don't understand this country at all.

    The majority of Canadians will choose for a united federal Canada. And the fact that you and so many others in the media don't care much for Harper won't chance a thing come Liberal coalition day.

    If you want to see Canada in turmoil, wait untill Ignatieff takes over the reigns with the help of the BQ.

    There ain't much more to say untill then.

    • What planet are you living on? If Harper (God forbid) manages Quebec and the whole national unity issue the way he did during the French language debate, (nothing to do with his command of the French language) we are in deep dodo.

      • A thank you note from the Catch-22 Campaign:

        feel free to instigate the Harper hate without debate

        Please, donate again!

  7. Andrew,

    You don't have an opinion about who would be best to counter the Seperatist threat?

  8. Stephen Harper has spent his whole time in office taking turns insulting Quebecers and trying to bribe them with taxpayer money. Harper has NEVER treated Quebecers with either respect or dignity, thus the rise in separatist sentiment during his tenure. He vilified Quebecers after the last election simply to hang onto power. A Harper majority is a sure recipe for Quebec separation and many Harper supporters give this as a reason for supporting Harper and cheer the prospect of Quebec separation. Harper's ONLY way of conducting politics is by dividing people and if given the chance he will divide Canada either by design or through failure to unite.

  9. Stephen Harper has spent his whole time in office taking turns insulting Quebecers and trying to bribe them with taxpayer money. Harper has NEVER treated Quebecers with either respect or dignity, thus the rise in separatist sentiment during his tenure. He vilified Quebecers after the last election simply to hang onto power. A Harper majority is a sure recipe for Quebec separation and many Harper supporters give this as a reason for supporting Harper and cheer the prospect of Quebec separation. Harper's ONLY way of conducting politics is by dividing people and if given the chance he will divide Canada either by design or through failure to unite.

  10. Since the quiet revolution, there have been two main strategies for dealing with separatism:
    1. A federalist hardliner approach of making a hard sell of Canada, and not offering concessions, while defending the place of Quebec at the national level (eg. Trudeau and Chretien).
    2. The beau risque approach of courting Quebec nationalists with cash and decentralization (eg. Mulroney).

    Strategy #1 is the only one that has worked at fighting separatism. Strategy #2, in contrast, has a poor track record. First, there is a tendency for demands to escalate, creating newer and more high profile opportunities for conciliatory governments to slight Quebec either by saying no (or by calling a referendum to change the constitution, and have it blow up in your face). Secondly, one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against secession is the fear Quebeckers have that it will go badly. Decentralization helps separatists make the case that Quebec can handle the responsibilities of sovereignty.

    All of Canada's federalist party leaders are advocates of strategy #2. Layton's courting of nationalists goes way back, Ignatieff concocted the Quebec nation resolution, and Harper is ever ready with his pocketbook. Fundamentally, I don't think any of the three leaders believe they can pull off strategy #1 because they are not Quebecois. In that sense, this election will not make a big difference. A Harper majority might tick off Quebec ideologically (although the success of figures like Lucien Bouchard should make it clear that Quebec separatism is not an inherently left or right wing movement), but would also be more open to the decentralization of power, whereas the reverse would be true of the Liberals.

    In some respects, the old system of anglo leaders having a Quebec Lieutenant might work better (and Harper has tried to replicate it unsuccessfully). It would give Prime Ministers a high-profile advocate in Quebec, able to make pitches that the PM would be unable to directly. The problem is that nobody in the Tory Quebec caucus has the stature and trustworthiness to fill such a job.

  11. Since the quiet revolution, there have been two main strategies for dealing with separatism:
    1. A federalist hardliner approach of making a hard sell of Canada, and not offering concessions, while defending the place of Quebec at the national level (eg. Trudeau and Chretien).
    2. The beau risque approach of courting Quebec nationalists with cash and decentralization (eg. Mulroney).

    Strategy #1 is the only one that has worked at fighting separatism. Strategy #2, in contrast, has a poor track record. First, there is a tendency for demands to escalate, creating newer and more high profile opportunities for conciliatory governments to slight Quebec either by saying no (or by calling a referendum to change the constitution, and have it blow up in your face). Secondly, one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against secession is the fear Quebeckers have that it will go badly. Decentralization helps separatists make the case that Quebec can handle the responsibilities of sovereignty.

    All of Canada's federalist party leaders are advocates of strategy #2. Layton's courting of nationalists goes way back, Ignatieff concocted the Quebec nation resolution, and Harper is ever ready with his pocketbook. Fundamentally, I don't think any of the three leaders believe they can pull off strategy #1 because they are not Quebecois. In that sense, this election will not make a big difference. A Harper majority might tick off Quebec ideologically (although the success of figures like Lucien Bouchard should make it clear that Quebec separatism is not an inherently left or right wing movement), but would also be more open to the decentralization of power, whereas the reverse would be true of the Liberals.

    In some respects, the old system of anglo leaders having a Quebec Lieutenant might work better (and Harper has tried to replicate it unsuccessfully). It would give Prime Ministers a high-profile advocate in Quebec, able to make pitches that the PM would be unable to directly. The problem is that nobody in the Tory Quebec caucus has the stature and trustworthiness to fill such a job.

  12. First Quebecers don't want to do the separation two step again so Andrews argument is a straw man. Second Harper has given away enough to Quebec to try and buy a majority that they don't need sovereignty to get every thing they want. As long as Harper is willing to do any thing for power he is even better than sovereignty. With sovereignty Quebec would have to pay the tab them selves.

  13. First Quebecers don't want to do the separation two step again so Andrews argument is a straw man. Second Harper has given away enough to Quebec to try and buy a majority that they don't need sovereignty to get every thing they want. As long as Harper is willing to do any thing for power he is even better than sovereignty. With sovereignty Quebec would have to pay the tab them selves.

    • With sovereignty Quebec would have to pay the tab them selves. And very happy to do so we don't need canada.

  14. I think his sympathies naturally run CPC but he can't say Harper is the best with anything resembling truth, so he merely poses the question.

  15. I think his sympathies naturally run CPC but he can't say Harper is the best with anything resembling truth, so he merely poses the question.

    • Dude, have you ever read anything he has written? Clearly not.

      Besides, I'm not sure he or anyone else could have an opinion on "who would be better". I think the point is – we need to be thinking about this and none of the leaders are … at least not much …

  16. I did love the ad before Andrew's segment the little "luchador" farting from Koodo hahaha!!!

    Well let's be honest this is going to fall into Harper's lap, hell will freeze over before Ignatieff get's a chance.

    I say let them try to separate and we should take the bull by the horns, they are all talk, they cannot separate they can afford it, and let's start the process to end with this nonsense of Quebec being its own nation, it's going to be ugly not easy but it can be achieved. No more political correctness it hasn't helped it won't change anything.

  17. I did love the ad before Andrew's segment the little "luchador" farting from Koodo hahaha!!!

    Well let's be honest this is going to fall into Harper's lap, hell will freeze over before Ignatieff get's a chance.

    I say let them try to separate and we should take the bull by the horns, they are all talk, they cannot separate they can afford it, and let's start the process to end with this nonsense of Quebec being its own nation, it's going to be ugly not easy but it can be achieved. No more political correctness it hasn't helped it won't change anything.

    • Do your worst we are ready for it. Darling

    • Vive le Quebec Libre!

  18. Dude, have you ever read anything he has written? Clearly not.

    Besides, I'm not sure he or anyone else could have an opinion on "who would be better". I think the point is – we need to be thinking about this and none of the leaders are … at least not much …

  19. Clearly it's the Bloc. we know this because the other two parties will gladly pay the Bloc 5 billion plus veto power in exchange for coalition support. Duceppe is a stronger personality than Layton or ignatieff, and he won't genuflect, but will agree in area's where the two separatist parties can find common ground.

  20. Clearly it's the Bloc. we know this because the other two parties will gladly pay the Bloc 5 billion plus veto power in exchange for coalition support. Duceppe is a stronger personality than Layton or ignatieff, and he won't genuflect, but will agree in area's where the two separatist parties can find common ground.

  21. Chretien didn't take the separatist threat seriously and they came very very close to breaking up the country – 49% This time, with a Bloc driven coalition, Layton being an independence sympathizer, and Ignatieff bouncing off the walls in his ivory tower,the separatists are very close to what Bouchard called, winning conditions.

  22. Chretien didn't take the separatist threat seriously and they came very very close to breaking up the country – 49% This time, with a Bloc driven coalition, Layton being an independence sympathizer, and Ignatieff bouncing off the walls in his ivory tower,the separatists are very close to what Bouchard called, winning conditions.

  23. Why Quebec shouldn't have sovereignty?
    Why does Canada believe it has the right to rule Quebec?

  24. Why Quebec shouldn't have sovereignty?
    Why does Canada believe it has the right to rule Quebec?

    • Canada is a federal country. If you don't believe Canada has the right to 'rule' Quebec, then the same can be said about every other province. If this is the case then you must be asking 'what is the point of Canada?' One must then see it as a case of Canada 'ruling' everyone, or no one. The separatism issue is a political pawn used to fuel rhetoric among politicians within and outside of Quebec. After living in Quebec for three years I did not feel a wave of separatism washing over. I did feel it was completely politically driven and then distributed throughout the media. Most of it I feel is a case of miscommunication among the population.

  25. What planet are you living on? If Harper (God forbid) manages Quebec and the whole national unity issue the way he did during the French language debate, (nothing to do with his command of the French language) we are in deep dodo.

  26. With sovereignty Quebec would have to pay the tab them selves. And very happy to do so we don't need canada.

  27. Do your worst we are ready for it. Darling

  28. Vive le Quebec Libre!

  29. Canada is a federal country. If you don't believe Canada has the right to 'rule' Quebec, then the same can be said about every other province. If this is the case then you must be asking 'what is the point of Canada?' One must then see it as a case of Canada 'ruling' everyone, or no one. The separatism issue is a political pawn used to fuel rhetoric among politicians within and outside of Quebec. After living in Quebec for three years I did not feel a wave of separatism washing over. I did feel it was completely politically driven and then distributed throughout the media. Most of it I feel is a case of miscommunication among the population.

  30. A thank you note from the Catch-22 Campaign:

    feel free to instigate the Harper hate without debate

    Please, donate again!

  31. Rationalizations are "dime a dozen", USSR was a "federal" country too, USA was a colony till the Liberation, etc. etc.

  32. Rationalizations are "dime a dozen", USSR was a "federal" country too, USA was a colony till the Liberation, etc. etc.

  33. Quite a stretch to compare Canada and the situation with Quebec to the Soviet Union or the United States – also a federation – as it existed in the 18th century. You would be hard-pressed to provide evidence that Canada is oppressing Quebec in any way. The Quebec population at large is not suffering at the hands of Canada. The French language and culture continues to thrive. Yes, English is prominent in Montreal – a major business hub on a continent dominated by the English language. If there is a population within Canada that has been and continues to be oppressed and disenfranchised, it is the First Nations. Yet Quebec, with a population of seven million, cannot make a similar claim – not in 2011.
    That said, my original post was not intended to belittle Quebec or its peoples' place in the federation. Quebec has an essential place in the makeup of Canada. From confederation to today, it is unique and quite possibly the most special place to call home. I was drawn to Quebec, and especially Montreal, because it is home to a vibrant culture, history and people. In fact, there is no other place I would like to again call home in Canada. It is a province I would like to raise my children, bilingually, as it is a place that represents all, in my mind, that is great about Canada.
    But this would not be possible if it were no longer a part of the country. I must ask you, who seems to be a hardened separatist, what fuels your desire to leave? What has been done to you to compare Canada to the Soviet Union? What have Canadians outside of Quebec done to you to cement opinions or stereotypes of them, or me?

    A survey of opinion west of Quebec would very likely highlight that very few care if the country's French population stays or leaves at this point. The debate is tired. After moving to Montreal I never stopped talking up the province, letting everyone I knew on the west coast that it's a great place to live. But the passion that was behind the pleas for Quebec to stay 16 years ago have burned out. Unity is a two-way street, and the news out of Quebec seems to always contain the threat of separation. It offends people and encourages anger created by the same political propaganda that has kept the movement in Quebec alive for so long.
    My previous comment about miscommunication involved Canada's population, not just Quebec's. Why so many will settle for smear campaigns of the other instead of taking the time and effort to talk, to learn about others outside of their small worlds, continues to amaze.
    Does the French culture need to be promoted and encouraged more in English Canada? Absolutely. Bilingualism should be an expectation nation-wide, not just for those with deep pockets or political ambitions. It is an embarrassment when one visits much of the world to realize that speaking at least three languages is the norm. This should also be no exception for Canada, including Quebec. How it is accepted that people only speak French and avoid English is wrong. With English doors would be swung open, Quebec would truly be a global leader. Instead, limiting the language of Quebecers in the name of Nationalism robs so many of life opportunity outside of its borders. From employment to study and travel, options are limited in order to push forward a political agenda. The dangling carrot of something better. However, The only result will be a country and Quebec left weakened, while an empowered elite propagate ideas of the world that exists on the other side of the curtain, a barrier based on language and fear, holding back the majority of Quebec from something far greater, left unrealized.

  34. Quebec separatistism is more of a power grab by certain persons than its a movement by the people of Quebec – the Quebec people have proven they want to stay within Canada and there is more protection of cultural rights now within Canada and across the World than ever. Whether we like it or not, multiculturalism is becoming the global norm as we globalize and working together and accepting our diversity makes all of us stronger and more prosperous – diminishing "'all" our individual rights does not achieve this.
    Canada is a federation and EVERY Canadian has equal rights to its whole sovern area – no other entity/person has any right to diminish that RIGHT. And why would the people of Quebec give up their right to the Canada sovern?
    Thus, "all" Canadians have equal share in CANADA and its "all" who should decide who changes the sovern entity as it exists. What gives any province/ entity / person the right to take our rights away?

  35. Quebec separatistism is more of a power grab by certain persons than its a movement by the people of Quebec – the Quebec people have proven they want to stay within Canada and there is more protection of cultural rights now within Canada and across the World than ever. Whether we like it or not, multiculturalism is becoming the global norm as we globalize and working together and accepting our diversity makes all of us stronger and more prosperous – diminishing "'all" our individual rights does not achieve this.
    Canada is a federation and EVERY Canadian has equal rights to its whole sovern area – no other entity/person has any right to diminish that RIGHT. And why would the people of Quebec give up their right to the Canada sovern?
    Thus, "all" Canadians have equal share in CANADA and its "all" who should decide who changes the sovern entity as it exists. What gives any province/ entity / person the right to take our rights away?

    • Canada is first and foremost a COLONY of the foreign crown.
      Democracy under monarchy is OXYMORON!

  36. But this would not be possible if it were no longer a part of the country. I must ask you, who seems to be a hardened separatist, what fuels your desire to leave? What has been done to you to compare Canada to the Soviet Union? What have Canadians outside of Quebec done to you to cement opinions or stereotypes of them, or me?
    ===============================
    USSR had central planning, Canada has "supply management" or as I refer to it racketeering Boards of one kind or another, USSR and North Korea have censorship Boards, Canada has CRTC, true Canada has a lot longer leash than USSR, till they threaten the establishment, G20 atrocities, murders of unarmed immigrant at Van. airport, invasions, occupations of other countries are OK for starters.

  37. But this would not be possible if it were no longer a part of the country. I must ask you, who seems to be a hardened separatist, what fuels your desire to leave? What has been done to you to compare Canada to the Soviet Union? What have Canadians outside of Quebec done to you to cement opinions or stereotypes of them, or me?
    ===============================
    USSR had central planning, Canada has "supply management" or as I refer to it racketeering Boards of one kind or another, USSR and North Korea have censorship Boards, Canada has CRTC, true Canada has a lot longer leash than USSR, till they threaten the establishment, G20 atrocities, murders of unarmed immigrant at Van. airport, invasions, occupations of other countries are OK for starters.

  38. The current version of the Prti Quebecois is headed by a woman who appears to be as whacked as Rene Levecque was!

  39. The problem with irrational arguments is that they tend to only move in one direction – downward and to become more extreme. I would like to have a rational debate with you, but it is proving difficult to say the least. To compare Canada to states such as the defunct Soviet Union and North Korea I would encourage you to visit North Korea to make a comparison in person – you may be surprised at what you find. I won't argue that over the past five years Canada has drifted down a path that has diminished its global standing. But that is another conversation for another day. That said, I would still like to hear you answer how Quebec is currently being oppressed by Canada.

    Most states in the world have regulatory institutions, or as you refer to them, censorship boards. Are you calling for no regulations? An open media market that would allow everything from racist propaganda to child pornography to easily flash across screens? The CRTC is not without fault, no institution is. However, it has stood for one thing, and that is Canadian content – which of course also applies to Quebec. The CRTC does act to protect Canadian ideas from being completely wiped out by American ones. Although this is becoming increasingly difficult to do, original Canadian content still has the chance to be produced even if it is less lucrative to broadcasters.
    Are you also insinuating that Quebec would not, or does not currently, have censorship? I would take a moment to ponder that. If Quebec were to separate, the French culture, ideas and ultimately its language, would be greatly threatened because Canada, even with its leash in hand, not to mention the bill of rights or the constitution that would not be around to protect it.
    And please tread carefully before wading into a debate about the treatment of immigrants. I don't know what part of Quebec you are from, but ask new immigrants in Montreal areas such as Little Burgandy, Parc Extension and Montreal North how they feel about how Quebec views them, from both the institutional and social levels. Welcomed to a province with the promise of jobs, only to be ghettoized and shunned due to language restrictions and reasonable accommodation debates. Quebec is certainly no paradise for immigrants. Throw in a predominantly white, male police force dressed in camouflage, and you have the recipe for what happened in the Paris suburbs a few years ago and still boils just below the surface.

    Instead of throwing Canada out with the bathwater I suggest that you take the time to develop ideas that would help strengthen both Canada and Quebec. Some of your concerns are valid, but your solutions derive from an extremist standpoint, helping diminish your credibility. Contribute to a positive solution instead of throwing gasoline on the fire.
    I strongly urge you to leave Quebec and see other parts of Canada. Speak to people in other provinces, share ideas and debate openly and honestly. And if you have the chance, travel overseas where you will find a world full of countries that quite easily retain language and culture while their populations posses the ability to converse in multiple languages. And if you're still not happy, I'm sure North Korea would welcome your ideas with open arms.

  40. I am sure Mr. Adolf's boys were as courteous to the resistance fighters of the French Republic during WW2. Your barbarism is well documented in history books.

  41. I am sure Mr. Adolf's boys were as courteous to the resistance fighters of the French Republic during WW2. Your barbarism is well documented in history books.

  42. Canada is first and foremost a COLONY of the foreign crown.
    Democracy under monarchy is OXYMORON!

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