52

I demand an apology for your demand that I apologize


 

Days after stirring outrage by claiming the Bloc were courageous “résistants” against — well, actually, they’re on the payroll of the Canadian state, aren’t they? — Gilles Duceppe has attempted an intricate recovery move, never before tried in competition.

Responding to those who found the comparison’s implied corollary — if the Bloc = résistance, then Canada = Nazis — in poor taste (not to say insane), Duceppe refused to go with the old “I’m sorry if you were offended” routine on which lesser politicians often rely. Rather, he has elected to play the more daring “I’m offended that you were offended.”

More daring and, when you think about it, more authentically Blocquiste.

UPDATE: Bloc continuing to demand $2.2-billion more in federal transfers. Do you have any idea how much it costs to run a good resistance movement these days?


 

I demand an apology for your demand that I apologize

  1. Well Andrew, all personality-disordered people know that in an argument in which you have no actual leg to stand on, the best defence is an aggressive offence.

    Litigators have a saying: if the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If the law is on your side, argue the law. If neither is on your side, shout loudly and pound the table.

    Witness Duceppe.

  2. Rather, he has elected to play the more daring “I'm offended that you were offended.”

    Well, this is an interesting twist. I was expecting the more usual “I'm humiliated that you were offended.”

    • “résistants these stupid french politician make me sick its a language not a race or a religion to refer too separatists movement as a resistant is insulting great moments in history when we came together in the spirit of humanity against the wicked nazi movement !!!

  3. But "we" let him!

    Why, oh, why is Duceppe invited time and again to enter into a debate with potential Prime Ministers during federal elections?

    Does really no one understand that we give ligitimacy to his proposed actions by not daring to stand up to a man like Duceppe?

    Don't get me wrong, it's never a good idea in politics to attack personally, but when Harper openly stated that a formal coalition with the BQ was absurd in the extreme to consider, he did not attack Duceppe personally but Harper attacked the notion that standing up against the separatists should at least be allowed. Alas, apparently, according to many it was not. And we wonder why Duceppe (and Canadian politics) is where it's at?

    • "Why, oh, why is Duceppe invited time and again to enter into a debate with potential Prime Ministers during federal elections?"

      Ummm…because he's the leader of a party with about 50 MPs in the House of Commons.

      ———————–

      "Don't get me wrong, it's never a good idea in politics to attack personally, but when Harper openly stated that a formal coalition with the BQ was absurd in the extreme to consider…"

      Nice to throw in the word 'formal' to try and distinguish what the Liberals/NDP tried to do in 2009 from what the Cons/NDP tried to do in 2004.

      Also if I follow your argument you're making a passionate plea for personal attacks to be directed at Duceppe? Mmmmm-kay.

      • Do I have to spell it out? Is it really that difficult to understand:

        The leader of th BQ will never, ever, ever, be in a position to become PM of this country. It is an impossibility because any leader of the BQ will only be able to garner the vote coming out of Quebec. That's it. Period. Any leader of the BQ will never talk about Canada. Doing either (or both) gathering votes outside of Quebec or talking about Canada would in effect do away with their party. You don't see that???

        And so no, it is not in any way shape or form reasonable to have the leader of the BQ participate within federal election debates. Because if we enable such leader to be part of that debate, all potential Prime Ministers are put into a serious disadvantage. Yet, we allow for it to happen, time and again, and we wonder why Canada can never put any serious policies forward.

    • "Why, oh, why is Duceppe invited time and again to enter into a debate with potential Prime Ministers during federal elections?"

      Ummm…because he's the leader of a party with about 50 MPs in the House of Commons.

      ———————–

      "Don't get me wrong, it's never a good idea in politics to attack personally, but when Harper openly stated that a formal coalition with the BQ was absurd in the extreme to consider…"

      Nice to throw in the word 'formal' to try and distinguish what the Liberals/NDP tried to do in 2009 from what the Cons/NDP tried to do in 2004.

      Also if I follow your argument you're making a passionate plea for personal attacks to be directed at Duceppe? Mmmmm-kay.

  4. This morning I read in another newspaper that we should take an example from Obama's effort regarding healthcare reform (
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/comment/editorial/2010

    but you know our neighours to the south do not subsidize a separatist party to throw their federal politics out of whack with. Americans wouldn't be that self destructing. We do know that, don't we?

  5. I'm offended that Gilles Duceppe was offended that Canadians were offended by his claim that souverainistes are members of a “resistance movement".

  6. Offence, Offence, Offence. Does nobody know how to play defence around here anymore?

  7. Resisting the hand that feeds you

  8. "Do you have any idea how much it costs to run a good resistance movement these days?"

    That made me laugh

  9. Duceppe's comment was so self-evidently ridiculous to anyone not drinking the BQ/PQ kool-aid that federalists shouldn't waste a lot of oxygen on this.

  10. One begins to think that the best argument against Quebec's separation is that they'd then be governed by the Bloc… in which case M. Duceppe is providing an invaluable service to the country.

  11. Mr. Coyne, could you explain to me how it is that the constitution of "federal parties" can be permitted to run candidates in only a single province? That's the part I've never understood. Why is not a "federal party" required to run candidates in every province, in order to qualify as a "federal party"?

    • "Mr. Coyne, could you explain to me how it is that the constitution of "federal parties" can be permitted to run candidates in only a single province?"

      ——————————————

      What "constitution" are you referring to? The Canadian Constitution doesn't even mention political parties.

      The rules governing political parties are dictated in the Canada Elections Act, a statutory law. Nothing is stopping a majority of Parliementarians from changing the law. Perhaps though they've decided that telling Quebecers they can't vote for a sovereigntist party – even if you were to disguise this as a requirement that all federal parties had to run candidates in all provinces – wouldn't be prudent.

      Oh you know another party that didn't run candidates in every province? Yep, the Reform party which didn't run any Quebec candidates prior to the 1997 federal election.

      • "Oh you know another party that didn't run candidates in every province? Yep, the Reform party which didn't run any Quebec candidates prior to the 1997 federal election. "

        And the Reform party no longer exists.

      • Anon Liberal, I am quite familiar with the Canadian Constitution. I was referring to the Party Constitutions. They all have one. And I'm wondering why a party which is actually only a Provincial party is allowed to be involved in Federal politics. The Reform Party is no comparison, sorry. They ran candidates in most of the provinces, thus, imo, earning the right to be a Federal party, The Bloq is a Provincial party, representing ONLY the interests of Quebecers. Why is it allowed to be involved in Federal politics at all?

  12. Quebec pays taxes to Canada right? Don't try to fill me with the ''who is paying you'' argument…

    By the way, it's not the Bloc who's giving contracts to companies who are charging a thousand dollars to change a Neon light in a federal building and it's not the Bloc who stole 250 millions to save Canada between 1995 and 2003…

    • It really is tiresome that conservatives really can't make any political point, ever, without screaming TEH SPONSORSHIP SKANDALZ!!!!1!11!

      • I don't know that Mark's comment is necessarily a comment made by a conservative. It could just as easily come from a partisan Bloquiste or Dipper. Bear in mind, the Bloc was considered by many to be the prime political beneficiary in Quebec of the anti-Liberal blowback from the sponsorship scandal.

    • "Quebec pays taxes to Canada right?"

      Yes, about a buck fifty a head per year!

      "Don't try to fill me with the ''who is paying you'' argument… "

      Your choice if you want to remain ignorant of the fact that the ROC pays Quebec's way!

  13. Cloyne, you rock. This post is bang on. Thanks for my evening smile.

  14. "Bloc continuing to demand $2.2-billion more in federal transfers. Do you have any idea how much it costs to run a good resistance movement these days?"

    Hahahahahaha. Spot on, Coyne.

  15. “résistants” = bon ohms

      • That was indeed nice, Dot. Perhaps not appreciated by anybody who didn't have a 100-in-1 set, though.

        • Didn't have one of those sets, but yes, Dot's comment may only appeal to a somewhat small pool of readers.

    • Watt?

      • Current events.

    • Stop amping up the rhetoric!

  16. Duceppe's political goal at the federal level is not to become PM and, hence, exercise power. His objective is, rather, to resist on behalf of Quebeckers to any attempt on the part of the federal government to invade Quebec's jurisdiction.

    • What then, is he doing participating within a federal leadership debate? Why does he not participate within provincial elections? We do have provincial elections too, you know. It is at the provincial level where this sort of resistance takes place, where this give and take process between the feds and the provinces takes shape.

      Precisely by letting a provincial party (and a seaparist party to boot!) will our federal politics be severely undermined. That is my main point. But to top it off, we actually subsidize that undermining process. Go figure.

      • They are participating at the provincial level (see there's this party called the Parti Québecois…you can google 'em).

        You should stop sputtering about how the Bloc shouldn't be allowed to exist and spend more time thinking about why so many Quebcers choose not to vote for any of the federalist parties.

        • So many Quebeckers choose not to vote for any of the federalist parties BECAUSE they can vote BQ!

          Would there be no provincial/separatist party to vote for they would vote for any of the federal parties, they then would vote for a party which would put forward a federal perspective, they then would vote for a party which deals with all aspects of this country.

          That is what federal politics is for, in case you didn't know, you can ask around and most Canadians will tell you that federal elections is about federal representation, not provincial representation.

          • You're confusing cause and effect.

          • In what way?

            I think you confuse cause and effect.

            The cause: ROC allows for BQ to participate within federal elections and the effect is that the Quebeckers therefore have the opportunity to vote for that party.

            The cause is the allowability

          • Yeah there's a word for that "allowability". It's called democracy.

          • I guess it would be more accurate to say you're confusing proximate and underlying causes.

            I suppose one could argue, as you have, that the only reason there are Bloc MPs is because the rest of Canada "allows" this (you should try making that argument in Quebec during an election campaign by the way) but the underlying reason is because a large number of Quebcers are either outright sovereigntists or soft natinlsist and do not feel comfortable being represented by any of the federalist parties.

            Outlawing the Bloc would not get rid of this underlying situation. It would just find some new way to manifest itself (for example, as happened with Mulroney, by the election of a large number of "Conservative" MPs in Quebec whose higher loyalty was to the Quebec sovereigntist movement and not to the Conservative party). Come to think of it I think it would be fun to see Harper deal with a situation like that. You've convinced me. Let's go with your idea!

  17. The leader of th NDP will never, ever, ever, be in a position to become PM of this country either but we invite him too :P

    Seriously though what do you think attempting to suppress the Bloc would actually accomplish? Do you think it would make sovereigntist Quebcers any less sovereigntist? Do you think it would inspire a great love of Canada in nationalist Quebecers? Would it lower your blood pressure?

    • Completely incorrect. The NDP's leader has every possibility of becoming PM of Canada. And if he would he could indeed take his capry with him. The BQ cannot, because the party itself would seize to exist.

      The possibility of any NDP leader becoming PM might be remote, but that is another matter altogether.

      If you, and others, do not understand the difference between the two parites and their leaders, there is point in discussing your next questions.

      • "Completely incorrect. The NDP's leader has every possibility of becoming PM of Canada. "
        ————————————————————–

        Only if all the other leaders spontaneously combust

        • Nice one. I had visions of the drummer(s) from Spinal Tap.

        • Anon, if you want to learn how to reason, I will gladly help you out.

          • Yes, please teach me sensei.

          • you confuse the difference between possibility and impossibility. That is not because I think one is a possibility and the other one is not, but because it is. The difference is not because of my opinion but is by fact.

  18. Duceppe was only echoing the comments of General de Gaulle during his famous speech in Montréal on 24 May 1967 when he stated that "Ce soir ici, et toute longue de ma route, je me trouvais dans un atmosphère du même genre que celle de la Libération." To us today, this simply sounds like a flight of political rhetoric. To those who fought their way through France during the Second World War after the French totally collapsed faced with the Nazi onslaught then collaborated in the most cowardly and craven way with the Germans, even rounding up foreign refugee Jews in the Vélodrome d'Hiver and sending them to their deaths, not to mention French born Jews, this was very deeply offensive. It still is, at least to me. Guess why de Gaulle was asked to leave Canada forthwith ?

    The same sentiments were echoed once again when Parizeau blamed his 1995 referendum loss on "l'argent et des votes ethniques". Québec nationalism = racism + xenophobia. Add a dash of cowardice.

  19. The Bloc, like the Parti Quebecois, is basically good for the country. Separatist parties are healthy protest and shrewd leverage. They get better stuffs for Quebec and they allow rabid secessionists to let off steam relatively harmlessly. There is nothing Laputian or Wonderlandian about them at all – they make perfect sense in the game of politics.

  20. What a boneheaded comment by Duceppe. Still like the guy, though.

    If Duceppe could convince anglos that Bloc Quebecois translates (loosely) to the Provincial Rights Party of Canada, he might actually be able to hook up with some firewall people from Alberta, a few similar types from BC and Newfoundland; by fielding candidates from across the country he could head a truly federal party, perhaps claim the balance of power, who knows…..

    • I agree completely. They could become the party of decentralization, and that could garner a heck of a lot of support. Of course they couldn't do that with Duceppe as leader, but perhaps after he's left. Then again, that would alienate the some of the separatist crowd in Quebec, but they would become a national force, and probably steal a few seats from the Conservatives.

      • I'm not 100% sure but I'm assuming that you are being at least semi-serious wrt my semi-serious suggestion…

        On that basis, why would you say that Duceppe could not lead such a party?

        • Only because Duceppe is a die-hard separatist who's only really been successful because he's been able to get so much cash for Quebec from the ROC, other than that he's pretty much been a complete failure. Also said party would need a leader that wasn't afraid to put the separatists in their place.

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