Claude Patry goes to the Bloc -

Claude Patry goes to the Bloc

An NDP MP defects


NDP MP Claude Patry has decided to join the Bloc Quebecois. Here is the Bloc Quebecois news release (only available in French).

Claude Patry joint le caucus du Bloc Québécois

« Le Bloc Québécois est le seul parti qui respecte la nation québécoise » – Claude Patry

Ottawa, le jeudi 28 février 2013 – « Depuis le début du débat sur l’abrogation de la loi sur la clarté, j’ai été secoué par la réaction des députés fédéralistes en cette Chambre. Cela m’a amené à amorcer une réflexion. J’ai consulté mes proches, et j’en suis venu à la conclusion que la reconnaissance de la nation québécoise est incompatible avec le maintien d’une loi qui impose des conditions au Québec. Or, la proposition du NPD, tout comme l’actuelle loi sur la clarté, va à l’encontre de ce principe fondamental. C’est pourquoi j’annonce aujourd’hui que j’ai décidé de me joindre au Bloc Québécois » a déclaré le député de Jonquière-Alma, Claude Patry.

« J’ai voté pour la souveraineté du Québec lors des deux derniers référendums, j’ai espéré que le Québec devienne un pays et je l’espère encore. Cependant, comme beaucoup de Québécoises et de Québécois en 2011, j’ai cru que le NPD agirait différemment des libéraux et des conservateurs et qu’il reconnaitrait véritablement les aspirations de la nation québécoise. Les récentes prises de positions du NPD sur la loi sur la clarté et le projet de Churchill Falls démontrent de façon non équivoque que ce parti privilégie les intérêts du Canada au détriment de ceux de la nation québécoise », a ajouté le député de Jonquière-Alma.

Pour sa part, le chef du Bloc Québécois, Daniel Paillé, estime que la venue de Claude Patry au sein de son caucus, marque une étape importante vers son objectif de 2015. « Aujourd’hui, je suis heureux d’accueillir au sein de notre caucus Claude Patry, un homme qui a à cœur les intérêts des gens de sa région et du Québec. Depuis sa création, le Bloc Québécois s’est donné comme mandat principal de veiller au respect des intérêts supérieurs de la nation québécoise. Toutes celles et ceux qui ont à cœur ce principe, sont les bienvenus en sein de notre parti », a conclu Daniel Paillé, chef du Bloc Québécois.

Mr. Patry represented Jonquière-Alma, where the Bloc candidate finished a distant third in 2011. Before Mr. Patry, the riding had been represented by Conservative MP Jean-Pierre Blackburn—the riding was last won by the Bloc in 2004.

Mr. Patry is the third NDP MP to change allegiance since the 2011 election after Lise St. Denis switched to the Liberal side a year ago and Bruce Hyer decided to become an independent.

Here is Parliament’s list of MPs who have crossed the floor (willingly or otherwise).

Update 12:36pm. In speaking with reporters just now, Thomas Mulcair noted that, just three weeks ago a year and three weeks ago, Mr. Patry voted in favour of an NDP MP’s private member’s bill that would have required that any MP who wished to switch parties would first have to step down and run in a by-election. (The bill was defeated.) Mr. Mulcair thinks Mr. Patry should thus do so and he guarantees that the NDP would win that by-election.


Claude Patry goes to the Bloc

  1. Looks Mulcair’s not quite the leader that the media’s making him out to be. Nor does his strategy of pandering to Quebec appear to be working as well as he thought. If this kind of pressure keeps up, he’s going to have to make a hard decision between protecting his Quebec base and abandoning the ROC, or abandoning his Quebec appeasement strategy to do what’s right for all of Canada…. though I can’t see the latter happening any time soon.

    • Looks like the Cons would rather have the Bloc representing Quebecers than the NDP… Perhaps they forget how annoying the Bloc was for the 20 years prior to the NDP’s victory over the party.

      • I imagine the “Cons” view the BQ versus the NDP as a case of same sh*t, different pile.

        • Yes they are renowned for their poor judgement…

      • There’s more evidence each day that half of the NDP caucus are separatists anyway, so I don’t see any difference between what colour tie they wear.

        • That makes the current NDP caucus remarkably similar to the PC caucus of Brian Mulroney that accommodated many sovereigntists, including Lucien Bouchard, in its day.

          So what?

        • The NDP is a staunchly federalist party. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your foolishness…

        • Yes, that does seem to be Harper’s new “attack the NDP” theme. Glad to see you got the memo.

      • The Liberals under Chretien were successful in Quebec – they won almost as many seats as the BQ in 2000 and beat them in the popular vote! Hopefully voters will begin coming home to their more traditional federalist roots by voting Liberal in the next election rather than NDP. Or even Conservative. Just not NDP. NDP is too close to the BQ.

        • That’s absurd.

  2. I have always felt that the big win in Quebec for the NDP was a double-edged sword for them, and rather think several of the Quebec NDP MPs are, or at least were, separatists before running for the NDP. Curious to see if any of Patry’s colleagues will follow suit.

    • If you scratch the beneath surface of Quebec politicians of all persuasions, I suspect you’ll often find nationalist sentiments. It’s always been an element in the political culture of that province. While we in the RoC regard it as evil, even treasonous, I think most Quebecois regard it as normal and unremarkable.

  3. Re the update: looks like Patry is a bit of a hypocrite – switches parties on a moral issue but sidesteps his own position on a different moral issue. Maybe he should have joined the CPC – hypocrisy is their modus operandi ;-)

    • Yes, no matter what the headline or the topic of a post, the REAL issue is always the fact that Harper is evil and must be stopped.

      • We should “demand better” of our fellow posters, eh?


      • Drink!

      • Has a truly witty (let alone genuinely thoughtful) comment ever fleeted through your cranium?

        • he actually used to be fairly thoughtful, even if those thoughts were extremely right wing. I think he got worn down by everyone and their constant grinding middle-of-the-roadedness and just threw up his hands.

      • Ah, the poor Conservative is all upset now because someone criticized his party. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the kinds of things they say about Trudeau and the Liberals…

      • Yup!

        (I was actually baiting you with that last bit, Orson :-) Serious about his hypocrisy though…)

  4. Is Mulcair having problems in Quebec? Yes, yes he is. Another reason PMSH is slow walking Senate reform: He knows #NDP Senate policy (abolish it) is never going to fly in Quebec.

    • He knows #NDP Senate policy (abolish it) is never going to fly in Quebec.

      I’m not certain that last point is true, but I know one thing, Quebec is much more likely to support abolishing the Senate than they are to support reforming it.

      The Quebec government is fighting the Tory Senate reform bill in court AS WE SPEAK.

      • So the Quebec government wants to keep the senate?

        • The Quebec government wants to know if Ottawa’s plan to unilaterally reform the Senate (without provincial approval) is constitutional.

        • Actually, it was kingcambie who said that abolishing the Senate would never fly in Quebec, and I was disagreeing with that sentiment. I think Quebec would probably be fine (or could be convinced to be fine) with abolishing the Senate. What I don’t think Quebec will get behind is REFORMING the Senate. More-so than even the other provinces (and I think that all of the provinces feel this way to greater or lesser degrees) the Quebec government (PQ, or Liberal, or, I suspect, “other”) feels that representing the interests of Quebec is THEIR role. They have no interest in giving added legitimacy to another legislative body that is arguably encroaching on their turf. And they’re CERTAINLY not going to pay money out of their provincial coffers to hold elections on behalf of a federal legislative body.

          If one wants to do something about the Senate one needs the provinces on board, and while I believe that it’s possible to get the provinces on board with ABOLISHING the Senate, I think that trying to get them on board with REFORMING the Senate is a non-starter. As long as the federal government is pursuing a unilateral attempt to “reform” the Senate I’m convinced that they’re just spinning their wheels. What’s more, I’m convinced that the federal government knows this.

      • Yes, Harper’s hillbilly senate reform is a joke mixing voluntary elections and appointments. It reminds me of some Red Green contraption held together with duct tape. Either senators are equal, elected and effective or else they are nobodies. Best to just get rid of the whole rotten mess.

    • Abolition is the most popular in QC. It’s a fallacy to suggest any province has any sort of representation in the senate. In the end, all that’s required to get rid of it is approval by 7 provinces. If a national referendum was held, QC would probably be one of the 7.

      • Just to point out a technicality, you can’t do it by referendum

        Constitutionally, one doesn’t need the assent of the POPULATION of 7 of the provinces, one needs the assent of the LEGISLATURES of 7 of the provinces (and those 7 provincial legislatures must represent 50% of the population of the nation).

        • Yes, that’s true. But one shouldn’t underestimate the power of democracy. If a national referendum gets majorities in 7 provinces, then there will be a conference between premiers and the PM on the issue to try and work out a deal. If a premier tries to negate the democratic result in his or her province that could lead to a major backlash from voters back home.

          Odds are if Canadians vote to get rid of the senate, they will get their way in the end.

          • Likely true, but legislatures are funny things. One doesn’t have to look very far to find examples of legislatures in Canada doing things that the majority of the population would disagree with.

        • Might senate reform be one of those issues that require unanimity amongst the provinces, like secession? Ten is even harder than seven!

          • I don’t think so. I’m not even sure that the constitution is that clear on unanimity being required for secession. The only think that I know for certain requires the assent of all 10 provincial legislatures is a change to the monarchy.

  5. “Mr. Mulcair thinks Mr. Patry should thus do so and he guarantees that the NDP would win that by-election.”

    Pretty easy to guarantee the win when there’s no way there will be a contest.