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The small matter of the separatists in our House


 

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The Bloc Quebecois has existed in some form or another since 1990—formed from a breakaway group of MPs from the Liberal and Conservative sides. In six federal elections, they have received an average of 1.5-million votes and claimed an average of 48 seats. Their popular vote has never represented less than 10% of the popular vote in Canada and 38% of the popular vote in Quebec.

Between 1993 and 1997, they sat in the House of Commons as Her Majesty’s loyal opposition. They participate in Parliamentary committees, the legislative process and Question Period. They have offices on the Hill. Their leaders have had a place in election debates. Their votes have toppled and propped-up Canadian governments.

The Bloc’s founding leader, Lucien Bouchard, is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal. Their current leader, Gilles Duceppe, has won election seven times in his riding, dating back to Aug. 1990.

So, all things considered, what is the quibble with their support for a Liberal-NDP coalition?

By no means—if you believe in a Canada that includes Quebec—is there a defence for the Bloc’s stated goal of separation. But if they are free to participate in the democratic process, free to work within Parliament—and indeed have been doing so for 15 years—why should they not be permitted to participate, indirectly, in a coalition government? How would their support for a Liberal-NDP government be any different than their support for a Conservative government?

If the argument is that they shouldn’t exist at all within the framework of Parliament, then there should be a push for the Conservative government, if it survives, to both never again co-operate with the Bloc and, indeed, move to pass legislation that explicitly denies a separatist from participating fully in Parliament.

Would that be undemocratic and a profound infringement on the rights of all Canadians? Perhaps. But I’m not sure how we can have it both ways. Either they are allowed to participate fully in the business of Parliament, or they’re not.


 

The small matter of the separatists in our House

  1. Excellent point, Aaron.

  2. Methinks you have used permits, when you meant denies, a separatist from participating fully in Parliament.

  3. Breaking news from a press conference in Ottawa … Elizabeth May is running for Coalition Senator!

  4. AMM: Thanks. This unprecedented democratic crisis is proving detrimental to my ability to self-edit.

  5. I’m Maritime born, and as such cannot take issue with the practical nature of the Bloc. Quebec and Atlantic Canada are in tune on issues of poverty, infrastructure, and labor. Many of the Bloc’s ideas end up being implemented nation-wide, thus benefitting those communities on the East Coast.

    I say let the democratically elected representatives have their voice.

  6. But I’m not sure how we can have it both ways.

    These “Conservatives” are rarely burdened by cognitive dissonance. I wish the rest of us would stop asking why that is. It just IS.

  7. Sure, but I think it reflects badly on the judgement of the other parties for including them in the coalition. Many Liberals are pointing to the fact that Stephen Harper also relied on the support of the Bloc, but they cried bloody murder when he did. Now they do the same. Is that not hypocrisy?

  8. To pick up on what Chantal Hébert was saying on the At Issue panel last night: in the recent election, the Bloc did not receive – check that, did not seek – a mandate to advocate for separation. Instead, they purported to represent the “consensus” position of Quebecers – an assertion laced with hubris, but whatever.

    Sovereignty was recently ranked 14th out of 15 in a poll of Quebecers’ priorities. Support for sovereignty is well below 40%. If, as expected, Charest wins in the provincial election next week, the prospect of another sovereignty referendum will be off the table.

    In other words, the “consensus” position of Quebecers does not include pursuit of sovereignty – and certainly not in the short or medium terms.

    Regardless of the outcome of the current situation in Ottawa, Canadians should take note of this fact – and should be welcome to find some comfort in it.

  9. “How would their support for a Liberal-NDP government be any different than their support for a Conservative government?”

    Well that’s easy. It would be different in the totality of their power. A NDP-Liberal government would be completely reliant on the Bloc for ever piece of legislation, whereas a Conservative government could garner the support from any of the three. Not saying they wouldn’t take the Bloc support if the occasion presented itself, but at least they wouldn’t be hostage to the whims and fancies of a separatist party on every single bill.

  10. Mike, give us a break, will ya? Harper himself called on the Bloc to join him in a coalition to take power from the Martin minority govt a few years ago.

    Why would it be ok for him to do then but not ok for the same scenario this time?

  11. “So, all things considered, what is the quibble with their support for a Liberal-NDP coalition?”

    If there is nothing objectionable about the BQ participating in the House, why is the Coalition pretending the BQ is not part of the Coalition. Why do the Libs/NDP keep them out of Cabinet when the BQ is propping them up?

    I wonder if Dion will think it was worth selling his soul, who would have thought Dion/Libs would be in cahoots with BQ six months ago, so he can be PM for five months.

    I have no idea what to do about it, or how to stop it, but having a separatist party as part of Parliament is absurd.

  12. And by that logic, Mike, the Coalition could also seek support from the conservative party.

    So there you go, they’re not hostage to the whims of a separatist party. Surely you’re not saying that the conservatives would vote against a measure that was for the good of the whole of the country just because it might return them to power?

  13. In my mind, there is a difference between working with separatists on an issue-by-issue basis and entering into a formal arrangement to support a coalition government. There is a difference between tolerating people who want to break up the country and deliberately giving them a position of unprecedented power in the governance of this country.

    The Bloc has every right to enter this arrangement. But Layton and Dion deserve to be judged by putting politics ahead of country (as if we there we haven’t seen enough of that from Harper.)

  14. jwl: ” why is the Coalition pretending the BQ is not part of the Coalition”

    Because they’re not part of the coalition. No cabinet seats and they won’t caucus together.

    “I have no idea what to do about it, or how to stop it, but having a separatist party as part of Parliament is absurd.”

    First of all, according to Mr. Teneycke, it’s spelled “Separtists”. Second, the BQ has been part of Parliament for many, many years. They even formed Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

    They have a policy of Quebec Separation that I agree is noxious, but they’re the democratically-elected representatives of a very large number of Canadians. In our democracy, they’re entitled to full participation in the House.

    And this is the saddest spin ever.

  15. Actually jwl, as I recall from a press conference Duceppe held a couple of days ago, the BQ and Duceppe specifically said they did not WANT cabinet seats in any new coalition government.

    That is a founding principle of their party that Duceppe wasn’t willing to compromise.

  16. “How would their support for a Liberal-NDP government be any different than their support for a Conservative government?”

    If you don’t understand the difference between seperatist party that holds the balance of power in a country and one that doesn’t, you’re a partisan hack. Why don’t you look up some old speeches by Paul Martin on this subject back from when Harper was in opposition.

  17. In most any other country, a party whose stated goal is the break up of the union, would result in charges of treason, and the penalties that go along with that. It is ridiculous that such a party is allowed to participate in federal politics.

  18. The Bloq is a legal Canadian political party attracting the votes of Canadian citizens in order to be their representatives in a Canadian parliament.

    Part ( or parts ) of their program most of us can’t support.

    The same applies to all programs of all parties.

    I trust Duceppe more than I trust Harper. At least I know what he is.

  19. “If you don’t understand the difference between seperatist party…”

    Millhouse, you can’t even spell ‘separatist,” for heaven’s sake. So spare us your great wisdom in this matter.

  20. “Either they are allowed to participate fully in the business of Parliament”

    What the hell does that have to do with being elevated into government by the Liberals? You seem to be confusing the business of parliament with the formation of a coalition, can be done over chicked dinner in Yorkville.

  21. The Bloc will continue to give lip service to separation without doing anything about. Political parties will continue to revile those who side with them, until they do so themselves and the roles will switch. People who have no idea what treason is will continue to misuse it in connection with MPs from la Belle Provence. it was ever thus.

  22. sf: the BQ will not be part of the coalition gov’t.

    Sheesh, I almost feel badly for pointing this out – desperate for spin, the right wing seems to adopted this canard as gospel.

  23. You don’t get it, Aaron. You”ve been hanging around Ottawa so long that’s all gotten a bit too normal for you. It’s one thing to support bills on a one-off basis. It’s quite another to be the key to power for a government.

    The Bloc doesn’t care about the rest of the country and they are about to form the balance of power for a coalition that wants to “inject” lots of taxpayers money into the economy. They don’t care if the West will be pissed off. So much the better as far as they are concerned if this whole country stops working and we all hate each other. There was a naive belief that the Liberals and the NDP MPs cared about other provinces and not just those of their home ridings. The BLOC is the only one acting rationally here; Ottawa journalists and the Lib/NDP leaderships are not.

    This money will be in one direction only. That is the price that is paid for power.

  24. “The Bloc has every right to enter this arrangement. But Layton and Dion deserve to be judged by putting politics ahead of country (as if we there we haven’t seen enough of that from Harper.)”

    Ben, explain to me how this setup puts politics ahead of the country, exactly? Consider the alternative, ok? If Harper is allowed to remain in power, can he be trusted to put forth reasonable policies to address the current economic challenges? Since he’s gotten back in office, what, pray tell, has he done that would lead you to believe that keeping him in power will ensure a sound hand on our domestic affairs?

    What I see is a coalition who will put competent people in charge of critical portfolios and who will do a much better job at guiding the country through those stormy days.

    Duceppe was the reason why the Harper government survived so many confidence motions in the early months of their first mandate. Were you concerned about a separatist blackmail then? Did you have the same concerns when Harper turned over $16 billion of our tax dollars to Quebec to buy their vote?

    With all due respect, Ben, I think you should examine whether your concerns are not in direct response to the Tory spin because that’s what it looks like to me.

  25. A NDP-Liberal government would be completely reliant on the Bloc for ever piece of legislation

    No, that would only be true if the Conservatives will not vote for anything. If there is some hypothetical pro-Canada legislation that is bad for separatists, then presumably the Cons would vote for it, no?

  26. Props to B Enns. His position is intellectually consistent with opposing the Bloc’s ability to support the Coalition in that he opposes the Bloc’s participation in federal politics.

    Would that other opponents were so consistent.

  27. In most any other country, a party whose stated goal is the break up of the union, would result in charges of treason, and the penalties that go along with that.

    Most any other country? Can you name one instance where, in a democratic country, a separatist political party was charged with treason?

  28. Note the date and time—Dec. 2, 2008, 12:31pm EST. At this point it was determined that I had been in Ottawa for too long.

    Total time spent in Ottawa: 14 months, two days. Slightly less if you subtract perhaps a month of total vacation and work travel.

    Thanks Peter Jay.

  29. “why should they not be permitted to participate, indirectly, in a coalition government?”

    because Harper loses

    ’nuff said

  30. Aaron — I think maybe 6 months is the tipping point. Maybe 12 months for the very strong… Drinking may actually help.

  31. Thank you, JohnD. Let me point to Scotland, where Sean Connery’s long support for independence didn’t stop him from receiving a knighthood.

    So much for hanging ’em all, at least in a modern democratic commonwealth state.

  32. TJ Cook: you can repeat that the Bloc are not part of the coalition as often as you like, it will not make it true.

    Since the conservatives have more seats than the LIbs and NDP combined, it is inconceivable that the Bloc is not part of the coalition. They are.

  33. Props to B Enns. His position is intellectually consistent with opposing the Bloc’s ability to support the Coalition in that he opposes the Bloc’s participation in federal politics.

    I second that. I’ve only ever wanted “Conservatives” to argue issues coherently; when they do that, I don’t have a problem at all. I still rarely agree with them, but at least it shows respect for the rest of us and a degree of intellectual honesty.

  34. All of the Liberal operatives here – first and foremost Aaron Wheery – complaining about “inconsistency” need to look up what Paul Martin said about this subject back when he was trying to hold onto power. But now he’s the “wise man” in a coalition that depends on the Bloc, huh?

  35. I agree with Peter Jay. I know a few people who moved to Ottawa at different times and they all changed within a year. Something in the water, I guess. It’s obvious Ottawa changes people, look at the current group of Cons most of whom have Reform roots. They are unrecognizable.

  36. “I’ve only ever wanted “Conservatives” to argue issues coherently; when they do that, I don’t have a problem at all. I still rarely agree with them, but at least it shows respect for the rest of us and a degree of intellectual honesty.”

    Right, like Paul Martin’s intellectual honesty lending credibility to a Bloc-dependant coalition when he denounced this exact idea when he was trying to hold onto power? You’re plea for consistency is inconsistent.

  37. sf: Read it again. You said the BQ was being “elevated into government”

    I said the BQ is not part of the coalition *government*, which is true.

    Of course they’re part of the coalition. But they won’t be in government. No cabinet seats, not in the caucus, at their own insistence. I know it’s a subtle point, but think about it.

    Sheesh.

  38. TJ Cook: you can repeat that the Bloc are not part of the coalition as often as you like, it will not make it true.

    You’re being dishonest. The Coalition refers to the government…the parliamentarians who will occupy cabinet positions. And the BQ will not be part of that. The BQ’s role is parliamentary…it is providing support so that the Coalition has the confidence of the House.

    At this point, the only thing worth arguing is whether the GG will ask it to form a government or dissolve Parliament, should a motion of non-confidence pass.

  39. “Ben, explain to me how this setup puts politics ahead of the country, exactly? Consider the alternative, ok? If Harper is allowed to remain in power, can he be trusted to put forth reasonable policies to address the current economic challenges? Since he’s gotten back in office, what, pray tell, has he done that would lead you to believe that keeping him in power will ensure a sound hand on our domestic affairs?”

    Harper’s contribution since his election has been to behave like a spoilt brat. I’m frankly disgusted with him. But I’m even more disgusted with giving political power to traitors.

    “Duceppe was the reason why the Harper government survived so many confidence motions in the early months of their first mandate. Were you concerned about a separatist blackmail then? Did you have the same concerns when Harper turned over $16 billion of our tax dollars to Quebec to buy their vote?”

    Yes. But now I’ve gone from ‘concerned’ to ‘fortified’.

    “With all due respect, Ben, I think you should examine whether your concerns are not in direct response to the Tory spin because that’s what it looks like to me.”

    You can think what you like. My stance is simply that I will never support any government that aidea the cause of separatists. I’d sooner vote Marxist Leninist.

  40. Right, like Paul Martin’s intellectual honesty lending credibility to a Bloc-dependant coalition when he denounced this exact idea when he was trying to hold onto power? You’re plea for consistency is inconsistent.

    Is my name Paul Martin?

  41. But I’m even more disgusted with giving political power to traitors.

    I know. We should have banned the Reform Party when we had the chance.

  42. For the record, for my part, I thought (and think) that Paul Martin’s insistence that Bloc support of a Conservative coalition made such a coalition illegitimate was also b.s.

    So, I give millhouse that. Martin was wrong then, and Harper was right, Harper is wrong now and Martin is right (apparently, I haven’t heard him speak on the latest coalition) .

  43. If you complain about the intellectual honest of Conservatives in general, while defending the Liberal coalition plans which claim Paul Martin’s support as a source of legitimacy, then Martin’s inconsistency redounds to your discredit.

  44. Peter Jay,

    The MPs who align themselves with the Bloc Québecois were fairly elected in their ridings in our last federal election to represent those in their ridings. Those CANADIANS in their ridings, be they separatists or not. These Canadians deserve to have as much a voice in Canada as everyone else.

    The West is not currently talking about seccession, but they’ve been just short of often enough it because of the feeling that their needs and wants have been secondary to those of Ontarians. That’s changed with the current Conservative government (and possibly only by virtue of whence comes the leader of the party).

    If parliament allowed MPs to represent their constituencies instead of wasting time with inane bickering, Canada as a whole would be better off and perhaps Québecers (and hopefully the West) would decide that Canada isn’t such a bad idea after all.

  45. baldygirl: True enough. Perhaps one good thing to come out of this is that the general public will realize that they have to pay attention to who the individual MP is that they’re voting for.

  46. I haven’t heard Martin speak on the coalition myself, but the fact that he agreed to be one of the “wise men” for the deal implies his endorsement of it.

  47. Oh Mr. Harper – with you it’s do as I say, not as I do.

  48. If you complain about the intellectual honest of Conservatives in general, while defending the Liberal coalition plans which claim Paul Martin’s support as a source of legitimacy, then Martin’s inconsistency redounds to your discredit.

    This is intellectually dishonest. Who is claiming that Paul Martin’s support is a source of legitimacy?

  49. Baldygirl, I won’t try to speak for all sovereignists, but I don’t know that most of them think that Canada is such a “bad place,” it’s rather that their first allegiance is to what they regard as their own nation.

  50. I understand that Bill Casey, Independent MP (and maybe the only principled Conservative MP in the House right now, which explains why Harper turfed him) has endorsed the coalition pact.

    I’d love to see him offered a Cabinet position.

  51. Sure, they were fairly elected. And they stand for Quebec first and only and prefererably separate.

    This is great for them. Money will be hosed into Quebec infrastructure and failing industries.

    How do you gain separation? One way is to make this whole federation hate each other. The NDP/Liberals are doing a good job enabling that.

    They’re getting two birds stoned at once as Ricky would say.

  52. The term “wise men” implies legitimacy, as does trotting out the “wise men” as part of the PR strategy for the coalition.

  53. Well millhouse,

    Except that my view is that Martin is now (it would seem) on the right side of the argument, while Harper is now on the wrong side of the argument. On this, I back the person who’s right, even if they used to be wrong. I also never really accused anyone of being inconsistent, I just praised B Enns’ consistency.

    Now, I certainly implied that anyone who says the Bloc shouldn’t be allowed to participate fully in Parliament, without calling for the party to be banned from participating in Parliament is being inconsistent, and they are. My point is not that Harper is being inconsistent wrt his previous position, my point is that he is being inconsistent IN his current position. If the Bloc should be banned from full participation in Parliament, then they should be banned from full participation in Parliament. It is inconsistent to suggest that a coalition is illegitimate because it would rely on support from the Bloc, unless one also argues that the Bloc should not be permitted to participate in Parliament. Martin was inconsistent when he made such insinuations without calling on the Bloc to be banned, and Harper is inconsistent now to make such insinuations without calling on the Bloc to be banned.

    My point is less that Harper is being inconsistent with his previous position (which he is, and so apparently is Martin) but that his current position is internally inconsistent (just like Paul Martin’s previous position was internally inconsistent). Either Bloc MPSs are legitimate MPs with all the rights, responsibilities and privileges of such, or they aren’t. However if the argument is that they shouldn’t be allowed to participate, then one needs to make the argument that they SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE. We have one class of MP, and our system can’t handle two. Either argue that they’re entitled to participate fully in the affairs of the nation, or argue that they be kicked out of Parliament. Allowing them in Parliament while curtailing their participation is lunacy, and delegitimizes the votes of well over a million Canadian citizens.

    BOTH Harper and Martin seem to now hold positions that are inconsistent with their past positions. However Martin’s position is internally consistent in that he now seems to argue that since Bloc members are legitimate members of Parliament, they must be allowed to participate fully in Parliament. Harper’s position meanwhile seems to be that we must simultaneously allow Bloc members in to Parliament, while not allowing them to participate fully. Unless he has called for the Bloc to be kicked out of Parliament, and if he has I will acknowledge that, like B Enns, his argument is consistent.

  54. Traitorous ……. I’ll have to check my files but I think I have Harper’s petulant ” Firewall” statement filed under that. I’ll get back to you.

  55. IF this new coalition comes to power, (and don’t forget its NOT a done deal until the confidence vote next Monday and the G-G’s decision)
    then those of us with Conservative representatives for our Ridings – you know the people WE sent to Ottawa- we must make it very clear to them how we want them to vote on the issues that come before the House REGARDLESS of the TOP DOWN Party Whip position.
    IF there is a piece of legislation before the House, that you think has merit: THEN E-MAIL your M P, or PHONE your M P and let her or him KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.
    Why should your representative be dictated by the leadership about how to vote?
    How will your representative KNOW how to vote unless you tell her or him.
    If your MP consistently votes contrary to how you think, then she or he is obviously the wrong MP for you. and you can vote accordingly next election.
    It should be simple — that’s my understanding of how the system SHOULD work — but I fear we have all lost sight of this.

  56. The agreement the Bloc made is very clear. And furthermore, it is in the Bloc’s interest to help Canada toward economic recovery at this time, because what benefits Canada as a whole will also benefit La Belle Province. Econimic stimulus is needed now – not sometime way way down the road, or whenever the Cons would have got around to perhaps taking some sluggish action. So, Duceppe is doing what is best for both Canada and Quebec – and that is supporting the Coalition. He and his party were elected by Canadian voters and they have as much right to participate in the business of the house as any member of any other party.

  57. Nobody is saying they are not “permitted” to participate in government. They are elected representatives of the people who voted for them, and as such have that right. But that’s not nearly the same thing as the Liberals and NDP giving them significant influence over the very federal government they seek to dismantle. Accomodating the separatists (which democracy requires of us) is one thing, but facilitating their objectives is another. Shame on the Liberals – the one party we used to count on to fight the Bloc tooth and nail.

  58. Josh: This is why it’s important that Dion leads the coalition.. if there was ever a man that fought against the separatists, he’s it. You can take comfort in knowing that their separatism will not be coming forward during the coalition period for that reason.

  59. Potter just used the word ‘commie’. Aaron, it might be your moral duty to shake him.

    Words like that are incendiary. And the guy has the nerve not to open comments. ‘Blarg blarg blarg, I’m the only opinion that matters!’

  60. Last time I checked Quebec is part of our Canada. In a democracy we do not choose who is allowed to run or hold seats. Anyone who is elected is entitled to vote in parliament. This is what makes us a democracy.
    The more I hear complaints that the BQ should not support a government because they have seperatist leanings the more frightened I am Canada has some people who do not believe in democracy.

  61. “No, that would only be true if the Conservatives will not vote for anything. If there is some hypothetical pro-Canada legislation that is bad for separatists, then presumably the Cons would vote for it, no?”

    So let me get this straight. The coalition needs to take power because we can’t trust the Conservatives to do what is right for the country in government, but we expect them to do what is right for the country in opposition so the coalition doesn’t have to rely on the Bloc all the time. That’s hilarious.

  62. “This is why it’s important that Dion leads the coalition.. if there was ever a man that fought against the separatists, he’s it. You can take comfort in knowing that their separatism will not be coming forward during the coalition period for that reason.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    Oh wait, it’s Thwim. He’s being serious…..

  63. Baldygirl, his comments are open. Proceed with caution.

  64. I have one question no one has answered yet: if, after the election, the government has not yet won the confidence of the House, what right do we have to call them the government?

    I know the Conservatives won the most seats, but they did not win a majority. Convention allows them the opportunity to try to form the government, but they must win the confidence of the House.

    If Harper prorogues Parliament before he has won a confidence vote, we have actually had a coup d’etat, and it will have been the Conservatives who have engineered it. The majority of Parliamentarians have expressed a desire to join a new government, one that will receive the confidence of the House, and whether we agree or not, that is Canada’s parliamentary system working.

    At this moment, no party can claim to be the government until there has been at least one confidence vote in the House. When Harper called the election, he still had the confidence of the House — he does not have it any longer. If he prorogues Parliament, I think it’s the G-G’s duty to reconvene Parliament to have the vote immediately — how can he represent us at this moment, given he doesn’t have the confidence of Parliament?

  65. Quebecs New Three Men-one very smart, one very manipulative and one very desperate

    Once upon a time, Quebec broght into this world three wise men: Pierre Trudeau,Jean Marchand and Gérard Pelletier. They were strong advocates of federalism and stood their ground in any situation involving the separatists. In fact during one St.John Baptiste Day, a riot broke out and the separatists disrupted the event. Trudeau was filmed refusing to take cover or leave the grandstand when the rioters pelted it with rocks, as well as bottles containing paint and acid. But that was then. Now we have three other Quebecers. Dion is sitting on the lap of the separatist Ducepee and Layton is giving Duceppe a free shoulder rub. This is simply inconceivable and wrong. The thirst for power is amazingly intoxicating.

  66. There are a lot of word games being played here, especially Ottawa Researcher. Dion lost the election. Everybody agreed. His own party climbed on the band wagon to get rid of him. Now he is to become the primeminister. If that doesn’t go against the spirit of democracy, I don’t know what does.

  67. “The more I hear complaints that the BQ should not support a government because they have seperatist leanings the more frightened I am Canada has some people who do not believe in democracy.”

    So Heather, is Paul Martin one of those people who does not believe in democracy? Or was he when made that argument? And all the other Liberals who made it with him a few short years ago?

    Here’s the short version: both sides are b.s.ing on this story. But they do it for a reason – if you’re in power you know that accusing the opposition of working with the BQ will help you politically in Ontario, but if you’re out of power, you’ll do anything to get into power, such as work with seperatists.

  68. Where’s Harper’s Firewall speech? Where are Harper’s statements that express his indifference to Canada has a united country? Where’s the speech to the Council for National Policy, (a right-wing U.S. think tank) vilifying Canada? Where’s the reminder that Harper denounced Canadians in the Washington Post when we refused to join the illegal/immoral invasion?

    How come we’ve all forgotten how much Harper loathes Canada?

  69. Now if only the rest of the country could read about it. Too bad Canadians only listen to CTV.

  70. Quebec’s New Three Wise Men-not The Good the Bad and the Ugly

    We have a new movie folks, a horror movie if you like which goes by an old name in cinema: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Let’s conceded that Dion is the Good ( he’s a nice guy, just wrong for the position of prime minister and leader of a back stabbing, dysfunctional party) The remaining titles are really inter-exchangeable. And Dion will get eaten alive by Layton and Duceppe.

  71. MM, it’s too bad there isn’t a leftist television station that is paid for with taxpayer dollars.

  72. Pierre, We Miss You

    In October 1970, Pierre Elliott Trudeau defiantly declared “just watch me.” The nation complied, transfixed by the man who was prime minister.

    GARTNER: I say this because once you said Canada is not immortal. And if it’s going to go, let it go with a bang not a whimper. Has this been dragging on too long?

    TRUDEAU: I think the impatience of a lot of the people who are prepared to try to understand quote unquote”Quebec” are getting impatient. And I can’t fault them for that. I’m impatient myself. I always have been. You know, I said that since the beginning. Make up your minds. It’s like this eternal referendum. If we have one and lose it, we will have another one. Have one and win it that’s the final one. You know it’s aggravating to any reasonable person.

    —————————-
    Will the coalition elicit so much negative commentary that Quebec becomes agitated and ripe for exploitation? Duceppe must think this.

  73. We’re not say that they should be BARRED. We’re say it’s WRONG! dumb.

  74. >But if they are free to participate in the democratic process, free to work within Parliament—and indeed have been doing so for 15 years—why should they not be permitted to participate, indirectly, in a coalition government?

    That is a nice straw man everyone keeps setting up. The fact is that they are permitted to participate directly; heck, they could _be_ the government if all other parties fragmented into tiny little splinter groups.

    It is also a fact that people are free to remember what the Bloc stands for, and to observe the quid pro quo. They aren’t required to like it, or to make fine distinctions such as “indirectly” or “support” as if Duceppe merely consented to a request from Layton rather than negotiated a deal, with the NDP serving as a convenient “chinese wall” for the Liberals. It’s a three-way partnership; Duceppe agreed to fewer privileges and fewer obligations. The technical nuance is likely to be lost on most people; the gross optics are not. C’est la vie.

  75. Pretty irrefutable logic. Either they should be treated as traitors or as ordinary citizens. Between these there is no middle ground. If ordinary citizens then they can participate in Parliament like anyone else. If traitors then…um…(cough)…criminal charges?

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