The Bloc block?


The Sun wonders tonight whether there might be any dispute over the possibility of Bloc MPs reviewing secret documents. Jay Hill’s response that no decisions have been made seems more a statement of fact than a suggestion of trouble, but then James Bezan—though in what capacity he is permitted to speak for the government side is unclear—goes ahead and invokes the Queen.

Bloc MPs would “have to swear allegiance to Canada and the Queen” if they want access to sensitive information, said Manitoba Tory MP James Bezan. “If they are not prepared to do that, then I don’t see any way that we can give them the documents,” he said.

This Queen bit, mind you, is perfectly moot, seeing as how all Bloc MPs would have had to pledge such allegiance to take their seats in the House anyway. This archival footage of Gilles Duceppe with the makings of a fine mullet should explain things.

Your other standard oaths of office are here. Feel free to swear yourself in at home.


The Bloc block?

  1. If the government is interested in adding some spice to the oath in a gender neutral fashion… I would suggest giving the job to Senator Ruth.

  2. James Bezan reads those inane Iggy-is-in-it-for-himself talking points pretty much every member statements period preceeding QP. Nobody in the Con caucus freelances. The muzzles are on 24/7, even when they're sleeping or peeing or having sex.

  3. I have dealt with Bezan on more than a few occasions. Lets just say hes not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  4. For laughs they should change the oath so its really, really, really annoying for Bloc MPs.

    Like "I support a united Canada and pledge to defend her unity"

    Oh goodness. It would be lemon and vinegar in their mouths to be sure !

  5. "Ich schwöre feierlich, meine unerschütterliche Loyalität — to my leader, Stephen Harper. Victory hail! Close enough?

  6. It's a moot point, as noted, because they've all already done so when sworn in as MPs. However, it is the type of nationalistic sabre rattling some would use to try and get a "win" out of this, while still allowing some MPs to see the documents, thus complying with the Speaker's ruling.

  7. And the cons would slip farther and farther in Quebec! Bring it!

  8. I like the German touch. It feels more authentic.

    One small edit though:
    Ich schwöre feierlich, meine unerschütterliche Treue zu Stephen Harper und die Konservativen, von dem alle Güte fließt (Abfahrt)


    I solemnly swear, my unwavering loyalty to Stephen Harper and the Conservatives from which all goodness flows (downhill)

  9. There are may soldiers from Quebec fighting in Afghanistan. I do not believe the BQ would do anything to jeopardize the mission, any more than the other parties would.

  10. I think they need to take an oath to the Prime Minister alone, from whom all good things come.

  11. The muzzles are on 24/7

    Nancy Ruth is the exception.

  12. I think it would be inappropriate to include any profanity in the oath.

  13. Just like the Bloc doesn't take separatism too seriously :D

  14. Thank God for Youtube suggestion boxes. After watching a young and trim Duccepes, I found an even younger and trimmer May from the CBC archives.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI0N_2urq_E&fe

    Also, I wonder if the misinformed opinions of the Block's role in federal politics is a result of the Block or just the english speaking canadians giving the Block a reason for being.

  15. That's a decent second thought.

    It's the strategizing regarding the first "thought" that should be troubling to Canadians, Qubecers especially.

  16. The muzzles are on 24/7, even when they're sleeping or peeing or having sex.

    That's not true. Members of the Conservative Caucus are expressly forbidden to have sex. (Peeing is allowed, but only with the expressed permission of the PMO.)

  17. Yeah, maybe this is the feeble 'win' they are looking for in this situation. On the topic of allowing separatist MPs to see these documents: why do people suggest that this is dangerous? Are they suggesting that these MPs would want to aid the Taliban or endanger Canadian (and Quebecois) soldiers by leaking this information maliciously? That's a pretty inflammatory position. These people want an independent Quebec, they don't wish death on Canadians.

  18. Perhaps James Bezan should have to swear an oath to the constitution since he doesn't seem to understand or support freedom of expression or assembly. He also seems to suffer from the comorbidity of a stunted appreciation of representative democracy, but I'm not sure that can be cured with an oath.

  19. why do people suggest that this is dangerous?


    To try to create further confusion to avoid having to do what is right and just. Let's not let them get away with it.

  20. On second thought, it's probably better to let at least one Bloc MP see the documents. The alternative is a lot of shrieking and wailing that nobody really wants. Needless to say, the oaths are irrelevant – people don't take take them too seriously these days.

    • Yeah, like others I think this is more important than a "second thought". I simply can't imagine the backlash in Quebec if it was determined that one party, and only one party, was going to be excluded (from ANYTHING, really), and that that party just happens to be the party that holds over 65% of Quebec's seats.

      Keep in mind that the Bloc Quebecois has won a higher percentage of the popular vote in Quebec than any Canadian government has won of the popular vote nationally since Chretien's win in 2000 (also the last time a federalist party won more of the popular vote in Quebec than the Bloc). Looking only at election results, the Bloc is more popular in Quebec than any federal party has been in Canada in 10 years.

      Duly elected representatives of the citizenry are ignored or marginalized at our own peril, and imho, isolating the Bloc on this (or any other) issue of government accountability would have a negative impact on Canadian unity and security ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more dangerous to the country than anything that could realistically happen as a result of a number of Bloc MPs seeing the documents in question.

      I'd also like to say that as much as I disdain Quebec separatism, I'd place Gilles Duceppe higher on any list of "MPs you think would act in a responsible manner with any sensitive information they were privy to" than many, MANY MPs from federalist parties (I include members from each party) and several Ministers of the Crown. I don't think that brings my commitment to Canada into question, it just shows that I'm capable of observing and evaluating the actions of others, even those that I disagree with, and that my observation is that Gilles Ducceppe is more worthy of my trust than many (MANY) of his federalist counterparts.

  21. The key is that they like laws that restrict the rights of others, but never themselves.

  22. Not to mention the inevitable mangled grammar.

  23. Why would this be "on second thought?" They're duly-elected representatives of Canadians and members of Parliament.

    How would you explain to Quebecers represented by Bloc MPs that we've disenfranchised them? I don't support Quebec separation, but abandoning basic rep-by-pop principles is hardly a solution; rather it's pretty obviously going to inflame the problem.

  24. Either Canadians need to outlaw parties with separtist platforms (which I don't advocate), or we need to accept that such parties can lawfully be represented in the House, with all the rights, responsibilities, and participation that entails.

    I get it that Harper and Co. hate the separatists. I'm fairly antagonistic toward them myself. But honestly, we can't use the BQ platform as some sort of residual sin to occasionally invoke for reasons of political gamemanship – particularly when the issue at hand has everything to do with the supremacy of Parliament and its members.

    For a group so bloody obsessed with law and order, the Conservatives seem awfully fuzzy about the distinction between things that are illegal and things they don't like.

  25. The key is that they like laws that restrict the rights of others, but never themselves.

  26. More importantly, there are doubtless many soldiers fighting in Afghanistan who have Bloc MPs, and even more importantly who VOTED for Bloc MPs. People outside of Quebec tend to forget that there are PLENTY of citizens in Quebec who vote for the Bloc and do not support separatism.

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