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Suddenly it’s all about the Bloc

The Tories are betting their future on being able to stir up the notion that the Bloc should be loathed and isolated


 

Suddenly it's all about the BlocPerhaps the oddest aspect of the evolution of federal political scene since 1990—that watershed year in Canadian politics—is the way the Bloc Québécois settled in for the long haul.

When the Bloc first emerged out of the wreckage of the Meech Lake Accord, Lucien Bouchard’s parliamentary insurgency was looked upon as a dark cloud blowing through, not a permanent feature of the partisan landscape.

But they just wouldn’t go away. So we’ve grown used to seeing Gilles Duceppe, so much less ominous a presence than the glowering Bouchard, in leaders’ debates during elections, going about his business in the House the rest of the time.

And for the federalist parties, working with Bloc MPs, especially on committees, has long since become a routine matter, even if the notion of cooperating in any way with those who want to break up the country might still shock many Canadians.

In his first minority government, for instance, Prime Minister Stephen Harper relied on Bloc votes to pass two budgets and his landmark softwood lumber deal. These were not trifling events: the Conservative minority’s survival depended on those separatist MPs voting with the government side.

This week, however, the Tories are betting their future on being able to stir up residual public feeling that the Bloc should be dreaded, loathed, and isolated. The Conservatives left no doubt today that they see one major vulnerability in the coalition of Liberals and New Democrats that proposes to replace them: its unsightly reliance on Bloc votes in the House.

There are signs the Liberals and NDP underestimated the potential potency of the argument that the Bloc should not be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. Some Liberals, though not all, stood to applaud Duceppe in the House when he got up to ask his first question on Monday. Bad move: no separatist should win an ovation from the federalists elected to sit in that chamber, no matter what.

Later, just before the coalition leaders staged the signing ceremony for their deal in Parliament’s historic Railway Committee Room, I asked a Liberal MP if having Duceppe in the picture didn’t ruin this elaborate photo-op. She didn’t seem to grasp what I was driving at. Around the Hill, after all, Duceppe is just part of the furniture.

But not in the rest of the country. Harper shrewdly fastened on that image—Stéphane Dion and Jack Layton sitting with Duceppe as if he were their equal—as the picture he needed to drive home. (Typically of Harper lately, he went too far, claiming falsely that there was no Canadian flag behind the trioka for the public sealing of the coalition deal.)

It was remarkable today how much all other elements of the parliamentary clash had faded to the background for the Tories. Hammering the putative coalition for relying on the Bloc took primacy over any other argument for letting Harper retain power.

But Harper has a problem in sustaining this line. Back on Sept. 9, 2004, he signed a letter to then Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, along with Duceppe and Layton, telling her they had all been “in close consultation.” Their letter asked Clarkson not to let Paul Martin, who led the minority Liberal government at the time, dissolve parliament and force an election. She should first, Harper, Layton and Duceppe together advised, consult them and consider “all your options.”

It was a clear reference to the possibility of a coalition involving the Bloc. But any inconvenient parallel between that moment and the present situation is vehemently denied by the Conservatives. Asked about the 2004 situation, along with the various times the Tories have relied on Bloc votes in the House on an ad hoc basis, Industry Minister Tony Clement had this to say outside the Commons this afternoon:

“In 2004, first of all, you had a federal election result where the governing party, the Liberal party went from a majority to a minority. On certain tactical issues, of course the opposition parties do have regard to one another’s position…

“[But] at no time has Prime Minister Harper ever suggested, ever in his political life, that in order to form a Government of Canada, we should have the Bloc Québécois holding the keys to the entry hall to the House of Commons. At no time has he suggested that. I think that’s wrong for Canada. It’s wrong for the future of our democracy and I think Pierre Trudeau and Sir Wilfrid Laurier are spinning in their graves right now.”

Other Tories were also liberally invoking Laurier and Trudeau, and even Jean Chretien. Just when you thought you’d heard everything.

There are various ways this extraordinary situation might play out over the next few days. Harper might well succeed in getting Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to grant a request to prorogue Parliament, likely until his government is prepared to table a budget on Jan. 27. That would at least allow him the chance to be defeated on a coherent economic plan, and not the thin, partisan gruel of last week’s economic update. Or perhaps she will turn him down and his minority will fall next week.

Whatever happens, what began as a fight over economic policy and House tactics has turned, like so many past federal battles, into a war of words over national unity. The Bloc is cast again, at least in Conservative rhetoric, as something like the menace it appeared to be back in Bouchard’s day. To think it had come so be viewed as nearly ordinary.


 

Suddenly it’s all about the Bloc

  1. I disagree. I saw today merely as Harper sounding desparate and as per usual unwilling to answer questions or provide any plan or outline.

    I cant see how that is worse than the Separatists. The last time we had a do nothing PM was RB Bennett and I dont know how many people out there want to hitch their car or truck up to horses in 2009.

    Harper buggies anyone?

  2. EXCLUSIVE: IGGY RETHINKS COALITION
    CRACK IN THE COALITION
    Better late than never. A first serious sign of leadership from the presumptive leader-in-waiting. Senior Ignatieff insiders are tantalizingly whispering to Bourque that the Toronto MP is having grave doubts about supporting the shocking Dion coalition bid, now labelled by many as the “Separatist Coalition”, given the defining support it has from both the BQ’s Gilles Duceppe and former PQ Premier Jacques Parizeau. One longtime Ignatieff backer, under condition of anonymity, confided that “Michael is in a tenuous situation and he is feeling a lot of heat from caucus colleagues and constituents alike. Frankly, we think we got snookered by Bob Rae on this one”. It nets out to this, according to this longtime Liberal and echoed by many other key players across the country: ordinary Liberals across the country, the card-carrying bbq-ing door-knocking envelope-stuffing phone-banking kind who make up the backbone of the party and who would need to be counted on to support his leadership aspirations, are vehemently rejecting the Dion argument that a deal with the separatist Bloc Quebecois is in the best interests of Canada. “Bullshit”, said one Liberal power-broker, who was quick to point out Dion is tilting at Liberal history for the sake of a short stint at 24 Sussex. “Dion is nuts”, he told Bourque, “I am ashamed he is leading the party of Laurier, Pearson, Trudeau, and Chretien – my God, Chretien, the guy who poured out his federalist heart against Rene Levesque’s country-killing forces so long ago – I am ashamed Dion is selling us out.” He and the others are right, of course. Ignatieff, in turn, would be right to heed their advice and to distance himself from this embarrassing marriage of expedience fueled by nothing more than the personal egos and ambitions of a relatively few desperate ‘inside-the-beltway’ political personalities, both elected and otherwise, the ‘chip-on-their-shoulders’ type who can’t see beyond their disdain for Harper. In short, no act of clarity whatsoever. Developing

  3. It seems the Conservatives didn’t mind bragging about all the support they’ve received from the separatists just 3 months ago.

  4. Might want to remind that the depression started while WLM King was PM and the guy who ended up wearing it was Bennett who beat King in August 1930.

  5. Karol,

    You are a disgrace.

    Leave.

  6. It seems that Three Stooges Rebellion is coming to a swift end.

  7. I wonder how much the Tories are paying Bourque these days?

  8. Harper’s problem with the Bloc isn’t what they stand for its who they stand for.

  9. Karol: such vicious lies are indistinguishable from saying that Harper, as a conservative Christian fundamentalist, if given a majority would suspend the rights of homosexuals, women and non-Christians punishable by death.

    These are ugly lies deliberately intended to mislead people. You are a terrible person, and in all likelihood are nothing other than a Conservative propagandist. To echo the words of AMM:

    Leave.

  10. I heard they commissioned a “Still Life with Sweatervest” for some absurd sum of money.

  11. Geez Acer, I wonder if the “Liberal source” is named Ray Heard?

  12. Yes Karol. Leave.

  13. Lets be clear, the Bloc has succeeded in making Canada ungovernable. Why help them out?

  14. It sounds like Bourque isn’t even trying anymore when he writes this stuff. Chretien would be ashamed? He’s the one that started the negotiations! The Tories aren’t getting their money’s worth.

  15. Andrew
    What seems to bother you?? All these these things about Harper that you have mentioned, true or not, were said over and over again.
    That what feedom of speech is all about.
    Dion should have known better and he should have named Ignatieff as interim leader if he was so serious about his intentions to form this coalition.

    BTW there was no better way for the Liberals to stop NDP from stealing support and votes from them than to use spent political force like Dion to paint Jack Layton as a traitor.

  16. In other countries, this so called coalition is really called a coup, so much for democracy

  17. I wonder at all these journalists in every Canadian news organization who think that the obsolete reserve power of the Governor General could be used and not cause a constitional crisis. Robert Borden, the Prime Minister of the Union Coalition Government that all these insufficiently educated journalists are pointing to right now, wrote an important work in Constitutional Law in 1922, two years after he resigned. He pointed out (see pages 64 and 65) that the powers of reservation of the Queen in Council were long obsolete (and that is as at 1922).

    The revisionism of Canadian journalists makes my head spin. In both the Union Coalition Government and The Great Coalition of 1860 there was an exodus of MP’s to the ruling side!

    It’s clear Harper is all about trying to use GG to his political advantage and that’s why he’s picking on the Bloc just now when his best card is that democracy will be threatened if the GG takes an active role of authority in our democracy.

  18. You mean, like the mere notion that even voting with the Bloc was “in bed” with them when Martin was trying to save his skin.

    Now handing them the power of veto of our government in the first time in their history is fine……if it means putting the most unpopular Liberal leader in over a century in power, that is.

    Literally putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

    Yikes.

  19. Yikes.

    Come into the progressive coalition light, Kody.

    Don’t worry. It’ll be OK.

  20. Karol: Please get yourself some help. Such hatred and bigotry is very dangerous, and you are scaring me.

  21. Karol, leave.

    I mean it. I’ve had enough of the Harper lies, and apparently so are my neighbours and fellow constituents in Edmonton-Strathcona, when we collectively tossed out the Conservative Harper lackey and voted for energy and change from the NDP. This coalition, involving 63% of Canadians (If you can’t do the math, the Conservatives won 37% of the vote last time so 100 – 37 = 63) represents Canada far better than the Conservative who will stop at nothing to cling to power.

    The man makes me sick. Goodbye Mr. Harper. With all your lies and power grab attempts, you deserve a long, long vacation from power in Canadian Politics.

    And Karol, for spewing the lies of Harper and his lackeys, and not doing the research, calling this progressive coalition led by three stooges (If they’re stooges, Harper’s a teddy bear in a sweater), you also deserve a long vacation from this discussion board. So long, and read up. If you don’t understand it, you can’t comment.

  22. Angela,
    Take leave and consider:
    The ‘majority’ of Canadians didn’t vote.
    We don’t have a system of proportional representation.
    We vote for parties and our representation is through party policy.

    Those lefties who are sooooo gleeful right now that Jack Layton could take power this illegal way really make me toss my salad. Let the NDP win by being more inclusive and representative within their party and attract a representative following of Canadians. The NDP are a bunch of socialist and really riding this bandwagon of illegality to the limit.

  23. For all those jaded sophisticates Gilles Duceppe is a decent guy. He has always been upfront about what the Bloc’s goals are, but you know he is smart, well spoken and pretty reasonable. but he hasn’t changed his goals.

    Problem is that ends when you leave Quebec or the environs of Ottawa. This is not a good move for the Liberals anywhere non jaded non sophisticates gather, i.e a lot of the country.

    Canadians are tolerant people, we got over the Bloc being the official opposition, biting our tongues while it happened, justy one of those things. This crosses a line, whether you like it, whether you think Duceppe is a decent guy or not (I do I’d have him over for dinner anytime) it is a mistake of huge proportions poltically, what I continue to be amazed at is that the Dion and Layton are totally oblivious to the reaction. Duceppe knows it, he just locked himself into winning everyone of his seats again next election.

    I guess putting Lucien Bouchard, another reasonable and smart guy, on the board of “wise men” would be just as clever.

    If this is such a good thing then an election shoudlnt be a problem. Really, it sells itself, rolls off the tongue, real high concept stuff…..yup it will sell well across the nation. I am sure all of Jack’s Western MP’s are really looking forward to the election, whether now or later. Absolute Boneheads.

  24. Interesting for all the blather about Harper’s hypocrisy, Wheery, Geedes, O’Malley don’t have a single solitary word to say about this kind of blast from the past:

    Canadian Press
    April 29 2005

    “The unofficial federal election campaign has turned downright racy with charges of political promiscuity and sleeping with the enemy. Prime Minister Paul Martin and NDP Leader Jack Layton used separate stops half-a-country apart yesterday to deliver a common message: the Conservatives are in bed with the separatists in a fickle attempt to bring down the minority Liberal government….. Layton kicked off the war of words in Halifax. He said Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will be “getting into bed” with Quebec separatists if he joins the Bloc Quebecois to force an election. Martin, who recently secured New Democrat support for his government through a deal that promises $4.6 billion in new social spending, jumped on the same theme in Thunder Bay. “The Bloc Quebecois in Quebec – the separatists – benefit from a premature election and it is beyond belief to me why Stephen Harper wants to play that game,” he told CBC-TV.”

    Got that – the ringleader of the new coalition plus its “wise man” were saying that Harper shouldn’t be able to look at himself in the mirror (that was Martin’s phrase) just for VOTING with the BQ, let alone governing with them. And no one in the media thinks this worth mentioning now that Layton and Martin are proposing to rely on the BQ to govern themselves? Geedes? O’Malley? Wheery? Bueller? Ferris Bueller?

  25. Pathetic

    There are signs the Liberals and NDP underestimated the potential potency of the argument that the Bloc should not be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. Some Liberals, though not all, stood to applaud Duceppe in the House when he got up to ask his first question on Monday. Bad move: no separatist should win an ovation from the federalists elected to sit in that chamber, no matter what.

  26. >We don’t have a system of proportional representation

    The deliciously ironic thing is that this would have been the inevitable result in such a system anyway. Well, without needing the official participation of the Bloc. Pure PropRep = 51.2% combined NDP and Liberal, Dion’s the PM and Harper’s still stuck.

    >In other countries, this so called coalition is really called a coup, so much for democracy

    Yes, countries such as the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Israel, etc. This is entirely normal in the rest of the world.

  27. truemuse

    You take leave and reconsider.

    The Canadians that did vote voted for who would stand up for their communities. With Harper, he’s screwing the country.

    The coalition is not illegal, it is within the opposition to keep the government in check. Harper has no one to blame but himself when a) In 2004, he tried the exact same thing. b) failed to keep his assertion that the Canadian economy is strong (Flaherty’s economic update did him in) and c) tried to cut funding by vote to weaken the other parties and weaken the democracy of this great nation.

    Harper has become the prime minister who has done the most to seperate this country. By undermining our democracy, cutting funding toward our safety net, giving mixed statements about the economic strength, Canadians, in the form of three wise men, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton, and Gilles Duceppe, are standing up for Canada and standing up against Harper.

  28. Iggy’s cracking.

    Even hard core liberals are outraged.

    Hmmmm, maybe Mr.Clarity, handing the keys to Ottawa over to seperatists, wasn’t such a great idea after all.

    Who’d a thunk it?

  29. And I hate to add even more delicious perspective,

    but remember Adscam? The final “big picture” argument?

    That stealing taxpayers money was really well intended, to stave off……..

    the seperatists?

    Kind of makes the last decade of Liberal declarations of being the true defenders of federalism against the seperatists…….well……..bunk.

    Decades of “principle” of fighting, of constitutional crisis,

    sold out in a single naked grab for power by one of the most pathetic Liberal leaders in the party’s history.

    So sad.

    And so sad to watch so many Liberal lemmings follow Dion off the cliff.

  30. Marilyn, Angela, Andrew, and Clarence Seunarine,

    I invite you to visit Blogging Tories and look up a tread The Wizard of Oz.

    Stéphane Dion plays Cowardly Lion and it seems that he just found his courage,

    Jack Layton, plays Scarecrow, and it seems that when he sees steep drop in donations to NDP he will soon find his brain

    Gilles Duceppe plays Tin Man and it seems that as soon as Harper cuts government subsidies to political parties he wil find his heart

    Elisabeth May plays Dorothy Gale and it seems that as soon as Harper cuts government subsidies to political parties she will find her way back to Kansas (Hartford, Connecticut)

  31. “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

    John Stuart Mill

  32. Angela,
    I’m no fan of Harper’s, yet the ‘three wise men’ look more like the Three Stooges to me.
    Alan Hutchinson, constitutional law expert and Professor Emeritus at Osgoode Hall said last night on CP24 legal briefs that: “It’s not legal…it’s not illegal…and alot would like to give their opinions now”.

  33. What is all this?? We had this heated discussion going on and I was just warming up and suddenly everybody went quiet. Something terrible must have happened. Is it true?? No that cannot be, Ignatieff would never have pulled a plug on Three Stooges Rebellion as he would get killed for that. If it is true RCMP better provides him with personal security detachment for next couple of weeks.

    There are so many crazy lefties running around in Canada that it might actually be a good idea to put Ignatieff into witness protection program of some sort and have him telecommunicate with House of Commons and rest of the Liberals. They could install large screen and some speakers at HoC and Ignatieff would liten in and talk to them from an undisclosed location.
    It sounds like a plan to me.

  34. Maybe this is a good reason to distrust the bloc – Lord know globe&mail readers are struggling with a justification for sleeping with the devil…

    “Pauline Marois, the leader of the provincial Parti Quebecois — the sister party to the separatist Bloc Quebecois — announced that a part of Gilles Duceppe’s price for supporting the coalition is an immediate $1 billion transfer to Quebec”.

    I would think there is a lot more of this coming to the bloc and Quebec.

  35. “But any inconvenient parallel between that moment and the present situation is vehemently denied by the Conservatives.”

    I don’t see the logical jump from a request to be consulted, signed by three parties, to a coalition necessarily including Bloc. Nor do I see a parallel between a request anticipating a what-if and a formal agreement to force an exchange of benches. The G-G could easily have consulted the opposition parties and learned that the CPC was prepared to try to command the confidence of the House as another minority, or the CPC + NDP. However unlikely the possibilites, you’re going to have to replace that cloud-shaped diagram and hand-waving with an actual line of reasoning that proves the one and only thing on everyone’s minds was a CPC/Bloc/NDP coalition.

  36. Also, if the media has any straight proof that the CPC negotiated hardball with the Bloc to form a coalition in anticipation of the fall of Martin’s government, put it up in writing instead of squinting between the lines, speculating, and reading tea leaves.

  37. In between absorbing the truly astoundingly stupid postings from a few of the Conservatives around here, I had a thought regarding those Conservative MPs who are less than pleased by Mr. Harper’s and Mr. Flaherty’s decision to start this mess in the first place.

    If the problem with the Coalition government is they require support from the Bloc, therefore being bad for Canada, why don’t these principled (okay, more principled than their leader, I don’t even know who they are) MPs cross the floor? They don’t have to become Liberals or NDP, its absurd to think they’d want to become Bloc, but they could sit as independents. For the good of Canada, for the disillusionment caused by Mr. Harper. I bet if four or five did it, they’d quickly be followed by several more. They could evaluate the bills on a case-by-case basis, thereby effectively limiting the Bloc’s “strangle-hold on power.”

    Incidentally, one problem our GG has with agreeing to Harper’s request to prorogue Parliament is that he doesn’t HAVE to return the House in January. He is constitutionally able to govern for almost a full year without Parliament sitting. Which brings up the question, what happens if Harper assures GG he will call the House back in January, and then doesn’t? Does she have any ability to ask the Coalition to govern in that case? Does she have any other recourse?

  38. You guys are weird…you complain about the basis of this coalition as occupying a murky area between legality and illegality, and then we have the CPC, that purposely exploits these same waters for its benefit.

    I say play the murky game and get Harper out. Then you can start returning to ethical politics.

    Austin

    BTW…I’ve heard that in fact the CPC is offering $1 billion to the PQ for throwing a wrench into the BQ’s involvement.

  39. I’m not a natural troll. As such I hereby confess I posted a longer version of these comments elsewhere on this sight.

    Having (1) blown their shot at a majority by rallying Quebecers against them with cuts to culture programs, (2) squeaked back into power in part by encouraging Canadian voters to have a laugh at the sight of a francophone politician struggling in his second language, and (3) blown up any possibility of a constructive relationship with their Parliamentary colleagues by proposing to bankrupt the Opposition, the Conservatives are trying to salvage their hold on power by rallying the troops around the flag and against an alleged separatist threat. Except there is no separatist threat – except for the own they themselves are creating. All the Conservatives are doing ise giving the Bloc and the PQ a five-year supply of video footage of spastic anti-Quebec rants, not-very-cleverly disguised as appeals to save Canada from “the separatists.”

    I am Quebec born and bred, bilingual, as proud of my francophone heritage as I am of my country, and I am furious that the Conservatives would dare put the future of my country in play to save their own skins.

  40. The Bloc is a brilliant idea compromised of 10% separatism and 90% judo with which they flip the rest of Canada to get stuff for Quebec. Alberta is jealous of that. And why shouldn’t they be.

    The Bloc show up, they follow parliamentary protocol, they vote on substantive issues, they even mostly wear ties. Separatists? Hah.

  41. Stephen, I agree, in those countries the people voted to have a coalitian government, yes it could work here, only if we the people of Canada voted for such. I voted NOT to have a coalition government, can it be so simple as to have a mojority government for 4 years, then let the people decide who is the best party to lead the country? I only hope that this will now lead apethetic Canadians to wake up and become a voice in our future. It’s still a coup no matter what color you paint it !!!

  42. “BTW…I’ve heard that in fact the CPC is offering $1 billion to the PQ for throwing a wrench into the BQ’s involvement.”

    Um, not quite. The Bloc’s price to join the coalition was to have the old equalization program put back in place = $1 billion for Quebec next year instead of $75 million. But hey, what’s more ethical than buying the keys to 24 Sussex with a billion dollar bribe?

  43. As I understand it, the GG can turn to the Official Opposition to form a government after a government defeat provided she feels assured the new government has reasonable prospects of stability. So this is the question to be explored. The Coalition can only survive with Bloc support. Whatever the Bloc Quebecois may say now, its constitution and numerous public statements make clear that it is an anti-Canada party. Since the Liberals and NDP presumably will be carrying our policies in the interests of Canada how can we expect the Bloc to support anything that is good for Canada. So, whatever the Bloc now says, it is in conflict with the Bloc’s stated policies, a recipe for instability and a reason for the GG to deny the coaltion. Perhaps the GG should demand harder evidence that the Official Opposition has dealt with this prospect, evidence that will not be forthcoming as the Bloc will not provide it. What do you think?

  44. How does any of this matter? Same song different partners.

    The real issue is that deficit spending is coming into vogue and seen as a solution to our economic problems. No matter who rules they’ll run a deficit with no proof that it will solve anything. We’ll be screwed for decades.

    BTW,
    Nice post Millhouse. Make them eat their words.

  45. Interesting to see if those in the west take this opportunity to form their own country, governed by westerners rather than a pack of left wing social engineers from the east aided and abetted by separatists from Quebec. True, the election didn’t provide a clear winner but a coalition of opportunists is a worse case scenario, not a best or even liveable one. Westerners who take this type of abuse from those eastern a-holes truly deserve the government they get. Silence now should be greeted with absolute contempt going forward.

  46. If you support the conspirators and beleive that this is a good deal for Canada, why not spread the word? We just learned that Duceppe got 1.3 billion for the demandeur province to spend anyway they like. This is just the beginning. And the deal is so good that super separatist Jacques parizau has responded in a Quebec nespaer, that this coalition government, the one that’s on it’s knees, is great for subservient Canada.

    You cannot sit on your thums. If you agree or disagre with the conspiracy, please let others know how you feel-in polite terms of course.

    Bloc Quebecois

    capitale@bloc.org

    Parti Quebecois
    web@pq.org

    L’Avant-Poste
    dave.lavoie@hebdosquebecor.com

    Le Vortex de Bagotville
    Ireland.K@forces.gc.ca

    La presse
    lapresse@lapresse.ca

    Toronto Star-they support the coalition to thwart democracy

    Thomas Wakom
    twalkom@thestar.ca

    Chantal Hubert
    chebert@thestar.ca

    Linda McQuaig
    lmcquaig@sympatico.ca

  47. It seems a few points here need clarification.

    * The Bloc is not “separatist”. It is “sovereignist” for Québec, though. Québec always has been kept separate from Canada, so calling it separatist is inaccurate. If someone is to be called “separatist”, it is those who have always kept Québec economically-separated from Canada for so long (don’t give me that claptrap about us staying apart – we were simply not accepted by the english establishment; the scatholic church enslaved us with the blessing of the canadian constitution, and after we ditched it in the garbage heap of History, we managed to take back the control of most of our economy).

    * The Bloc can no more “break up Canada” than a stork can eat an elephant. When Québec is going to leave Canada, it is going to be following a decision by the Assemblée Nationale du Québec, following a winning referendum held in Québec. There is nothing anyone in Ottawa can do to make this happen directly.

    * For the third straight time, Canadians have been unable to attain a majority government, thanks to the Bloc that deprives the canadian parties of about 50 seats in Québec. Why is that? For 20 years, Québec has not seen anything in canadian parties, and therefore has voted for, well, itself. As long as canadian parties have nothing of value to offer to Québec, this will be the case.

    * There is no chance of any canadian party appealing to Québec either, because of the widespread bigoted belief that any gain by Québec is at the expense of Canada. This, of course, proves our sovereignist viewpoint that there is no place of us in Canada. By personal experience, I have found that the english simply do not care about the french. So why bother staying together?

  48. So, Jean Naimard, the BQ is not separatist, but you are. And which party did you vote for in the last election and the ones before that? I’m betting that you voted for the party that most closely matches your separatist leanings – the BQ.

    I think the vast majority of CDns in the ROC think that soveriengty and separation are one in the same. and I think that were there ever to be another referendum and the answer was “yes”, the ROC would take a very hard line – separation or capitulation – none of this mealy-mouthed association stuff – no supply management in dairy, no shared currency, no equalization etc. etc.

    So, if the people of Quebec are under the misapprehension that a vote for the BQ (or PQ) is a vote for association they need to disabuse themselves of it – that is not an option that will be available. They would be much better off pursuing getting what is rightfully theirs under the terms of the constitution and the BNA act – and their best – their only ally federally – is the Conservative party and Stephen Harper.

  49. >Stephen, I agree, in those countries the people voted to have a coalitian government,

    NO THEY DIDN’T! Or, at least, they don’t vote for the coalition that they wind up with. Look up the results of the German 2005 election – neither loose (“likely” – but unofficial since they were grouped based on traditional alliances) coalition managed to win a majority, causing two different party leaders (Merkel and Schroeder) to attempt to form a government through negotiations outside the “expected” coalition partners. What wound up happening would be the equivalent of if the Liberals and Conservatives formed a coalition here – surely something that the voters couldn’t have “approved” by their choice in the election, but the fair result of the democratic process nevertheless.

    The same thing appears likely to happen in 2009, where the traditional coalitions will have to be replaced by a post-election negotiated coalition (likely a different one than this past time). And you know what? I bet no one in Germany has used the word “coup” (or it’s respective translation) as a result of the process.

  50. Karol

    Want to know why Harper is hated in Canada. It is because of this kind of hateful, disgusting comments.
    Being from Quebec is now a crime? Having a mother who was a French citizen is a crime?

    DIon literally risked his life for national unity, he and his family were under constant RCMP protection due to seperatist death threats, he fought long and hard for Canadian unity and has done and risked far more then you ever have or will.
    Until you Tories understand that these kind of disgusting comments do not help you the majority of Canadians will reject the Tories.
    There are probably a hundred other reasons to attack this coalition and some of the reasons are good, but by resorting to this kind of crap just makes you look like an ass.
    Get out from under your tin foil lid

  51. Martin Bambullis
    Dec 2, 2008 20:06:

    There let me correct that for ya:

    In other countries this would be called a legitimate coalition … that is to say in other countries with a parliamentary democracy they would call it that.
    Does Canada have a parliamentary democracy?

  52. This isn’t a beach the Conservatives want to fight and die on. Harper’s flailing is going untold damage to national unity (in addition to everything else it’s doing untold damage to).

    When will the GUTLESS BUNCH OF NOBODIES in the Conservative caucus hand Harper his walking papers? I fear too late to save their future majority prospects in Quebec.

  53. Wow – Gilles Duceppe just signed a document recognizing the ultimate authority of the Governor General and the Crown. This is indeed a great day for Canada.

  54. Its always been about the Bloc. Everything that has occured politically since 1990 has been about the Bloc:

    -defeat of Charlottetown Accord
    -Reform party breakthrough
    -Chretien majorities
    -1995 Referendum
    -Sponsorship
    -Canadian Alliance/Death of PC Party
    -3 minority parliaments

    All because of the Bloc. Letting the Quebecois majority back into government for the first time in 20 years can’t be all bad. We Albertans finally got our turn but screwed it up. Royally ;)

  55. Harper is in the House today, harping about the separatistes rather than discussing the budget and the economy. Get out your flags!

  56. Actually its the SS: Socialists and Separatists!

  57. The Conservative attacks in the house are all focused on the separatists, when it’s the prospect of socialists in the government that I think will unite Canadians against this coalition.

  58. Wow, Now I understand why I’m upset! It’s because of the Separatists….

    Okay people, what this is really about is money, our money or at least, money from the pockets of those of us that pay tax, specifically $1.80 for every vote cast for each party in the last election.

    By the way, where’s Smilin Jack? He’s been extremely quiet since he conned Stupid Stephanne into attempting this Coup D’etat.

    The knives are out. Who will get stabbed first?

  59. I voted in the hope of electing a minority government as none of the parties or leaders inspired confidence to have them lead the country with a majority. Thank god events have confirmed this perspective and this IS THE GOOD NEWS. Life is a package deal always; you get the good with the bad so make the best of it and stop the immaturity. Each party and politician in their own way must contribute to the betterment of all Canadians respecting the rights of others to have differing opinions that can be intermittently either brilliant or confused, brave or cowardly. Making the best of it rarely happens when individuals or parties go the the dark side of lies or actions calculated to advance themselves with the deliberate goal of harming others. Canada is a better country than that!

  60. I agree with John, spoken like a true optimist!

    Please forgive my immarturity or lack of knowledge as I do lack experience in such matters. I’m still in high school , but I’m often much interested in discussing these kind of things in classes with teachers. So, why not try it here? the worst that can happen is that I will be mercilessly devoured and defeated, if ever involved in an argument.

    So, from my understanding, from what’s being suggested, Bloc is being heavily depended on to keep this coalition going. Perhaps, it might be a vulnerable point for Harper to aim and conquer. However, Heavily depending on ANYTHING is, in most cases, a bad idea. If, this dependance on the Bloc proves to be true, the coalition might have to bear various attacks from the conservatives.

    If Harper were to take this into his own game of playing “hard-ball politics” he might be going down a rocky road. As the article and many of you had suggested, is because of his attitude towards “who represents the Bloc” not “what the Bloc represents” (quoting the above, sorry, I forgot your name)

    Looking on both sides, the coalition is looking brighter, in terms of survival. But, I guess, the final decision lies with Michelle-Jean. We were just studying about it in Socials class and I’m just curious, what road will Michelle Jean take?

    BTW, kudos to Macphear who chivarously admitted the screw up Albertans committed (bad wording, my bad) when they were given the chance to be back into government. I’m also curious about what the Albertans have to say about Harper’s current status. Where are they going with the Tar sands? Sorry, if this is too off topic.

    PS: Can any of you tell which prov I come from?

  61. Gord Tulk (must… avoid… obvious… spoonerism…):

    > So, Jean Naimard, the BQ is not separatist, but you are. And which party did you vote for in the last election and the ones before that?

    I voted Bloc, of course. Like most of Québec. And many federalists vote for the Bloc because they know very well that the Bloc cannot “separate” Québec.

    > I think the vast majority of CDns in the ROC think that soveriengty and separation are one in the same.

    It’s not important what the ROC thinks; what is important what is. We’ve been separate for a quarter of a millenium; ever since the english set foot here, we have been kept outside of government and outside of economic development.

    What we want is simply our sovereignty, the ability to choose by ourselves what policies our government should have, without having someone else who does not have our best interest at heart do it.

    > and I think that were there ever to be another referendum and the answer was “yes”, the ROC would take a very hard line

    The ROC can take all the hard line it wants, the banks and the movers and the shakers who decide will look at their best interests, and their best interest will include trade with Québec, because no capitalist worth his salt will ignore a market that a competitor would jump in.

    > So, if the people of Quebec are under the misapprehension that a vote for the BQ (or PQ) is a vote for association they need to disabuse themselves of it – that is not an option that will be available.

    Oh it will be available, simply because there always be someone willing to trade with us, just as there are people willing to trade with China right now, and China has a much more despicable political régime than the worst thing that could come from french rule.

    > They would be much better off pursuing getting what is rightfully theirs under the terms of the constitution and the BNA act – and their best – their only ally federally – is the Conservative party and Stephen Harper.

    You should get into comedy writing, because this is quite funny.

    Our best ally is someone who wants to trash the last 50 years of social progress (women’s rights, abortion rights – don’t forget that Québec was at the forefront of the abortion movement in Canada: our government even funded abortions when it was still a criminal act; Québec simply did not prosecute abortionists – aboriginal rights – don’t forget that we deal with the first-nations on a nation-to-nation basis; in Québec, 80% of natives still talk their language [which is protected by law 101] instead of 20% in the ROC; our pension fund [Parizeau’s much-dreaded Caisse de Dépôt et de Placement du Quéhec – BOO!!!] which will not be bankrupt in 20 years like the Canada pension fund)???

    Our best ally is someone who want a strictly minimal government, when we have given ourselves big governments precisely to protect us from the free entrepreneurs, traders and industrialists that were raping our natural and human ressouces???

    Our best ally is someone who denies global warming; this is pretty insulting for us in Québec, who are the greenest province and at the forefront of greenhouse gas reduction???

    Our best ally is someone who believes that the Earth is 6000 years old, when we ditched that bullshit claptrap religion nonsense that was used to enslave us more than 40 years ago????

    You gotta be kidding!!!!

  62. Remember the phrase, “Palling around with Terrorists.” in the U.S. Election?
    Now how about, “In bed with Separatists.”?
    Seem familiar?
    This is how the right wing tries to use fear and hatred to influence public opinion. They seldom use thoughtful discourse based on issues. It is sound bites and talking points all the way….

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