Thomas Mulcair's sadness -

Thomas Mulcair’s sadness


Last week’s motion in the House of Commons rebuking Maclean’s for its cover story arguing that Quebec is the “most corrupt province” did not angrily demand the correction of any particular mistake or call for the magazine to apologize for a specified insult.

Doing either of those things would have amounted to the House engaging in a debate with journalists. Instead, the motion, tabled by Bloc Québécois MP Pierre Paquette and approved by all parties, adopted a loftier tone by expressing  “profound sadness at the prejudice displayed and the stereotypes employed by Maclean’s magazine to denigrate the Quebec nation.”

Credit for that rather pontifical phrasing has been claimed by the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair, his party’s lone MP from Quebec. In a speech at the NDP’s federal council on Saturday, Mulcair explained that he worked with the Bloc in drafting the motion, and that its key wording came out of a private conversation in which his wife asked him how the offending Maclean’s cover made him feel.

“I said, ‘Oh, I’m sad, the whole thing makes me so sad’,” Mulcair said. “She said, ‘Well, use the word sad. It’s not up to politicians to condemn, it’s not your role. But you can say it makes you sad.’ So that’s the word we used. Some say the motion condemns. No. The motion expresses profound sadness that there were such prejudices and that sterotypes were used.”

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Thomas Mulcair’s sadness

  1. How many jokes have their been around the Maclean's newsroom this week about how "sad" you all are?

  2. Mulcair has put his finger on the Pulse Of The Nation and it's true we are profoundly, systolically, saddened. It must be our diet of depressant politics.

  3. The solution to Quebec’s corruption scandals is so simple: they should adopt the same rules as in Alberta where an individual and a corporation, each of its director, their spouse, etc… can contribute $15,000 every year – $30,000 when there is an election. If Quebecers were to accept that giving money within the confines of such laws is ethical, there would be no problem. Let’s not forget that most corruption scandals you read about these days in QC involve legal contributions : to give a legal contribution to the party in power is in itself reason for scandal and allegations of corruption.

    As for the motion, parliament is free to express its sadness when a journalist attempts to link the religion of the population to the corruption of a handful.

    Come to think of it, is the acceptance of money politics in Alberta linked to the fact that it’s the only province where the majority of citizens are protestants?

    • Yah let's copy Alberta — where political governments are rights of birth and have an average lifespan of 45 years. Democracy is a fake croc pot there that doesn't plug in but everyone hears someone say 'Mmmm, doesn't that smell delicious?' and feel that they must concur, or else feel the wrath of angry white people…

    • Before you blurt your 2 cents worth, you should take the time to get your facts straight. Quebec electoral laws are more stringent than in any other province in Canada. Political donations are capped at $1000 per individual. Anything above that is illegal. So there goes your argument.

      The source of corruption is not campaign contributions but rather the money that passes under the table for political influence, contracts and favours. The last thing thing we need, however, is Alberta's anti-democtatic traditions. The same political party in power for over 40 years. What a joke!

  4. Government corruption makes me sad. Can Parliament please pass THAT motion?

  5. I would love to see the entire House of Commons debate the editorial staff of Macleans. "This house is resolved that platitudes are the proper response to stereotypes". Do you want to be con or pro?

  6. This is just really, really stupid. All of it.

  7. Buried not too deep in the motion was a tacit acknowledgement by all parties of the "Quebec nation".

    So no more dancing on the head of a pin, splitting of hairs for Conservatives by saying they only ever recognized the "Quebecois".

    I still hold out hope that someday, maybe, Harper will actually explain to us poor plebes what he meant when he and his fellow political elites in Ottawa introduced the motion to have the entire nation recognize that the "Quebecois formed a nation". I'm hoping someday to catch St. Nick coming down the chimney too, but I somehow always seem to fall asleep just before he arrives.

    • You do remember, Ted, that Harper only got dragged into that discussion and raising that motion in the first place because of Ignatieff making the claim first?

      • You do realize, John G, that Harper introduced the motion and got his entire caucus, but one (if I recall correctly) to support it, and forced one cabinet minister to resign because he did not support it.

        It was Harper's motion so presumably he supported it, John G. Or are you saying you think Harper is a duplicious liar?

        Pass the buck much?

      • More to the point I was making though, before you tried a little bait and switch distraction by passing the buck of responsibility, Harper supporters have been bending themselves into pretzels for 4 years trying to explain that in Harper's motion, our Prime Minister only recognized that the people for a "nation" and not the government.

        I think this was mere invention and excuse making by his supporters, but we don't really know because Harper himself, Mr. Transparent and Accountable, has never bothered to explain to us what he meant by his motion.

        And now we have Harper and the Conservatives directly recognizing the "Quebec nation", not just the "Quebecois".

        • All MP's recognized the "Quebec nation" last Wednesday.

          I think the phrase is meaningless and ambiguous by design. It's just empty pandering to Quebec. God help us if Harper or anyone else in government ever tries to explain what it actually means.

          • Pretty much agreed.

            And on top of that meaningless and ambiguous by design wording, we had a bunch of Harper supporters (including Harper's Quebec lieutenant and cabinet minister Lawrence Canon in one of the most bizarre pressers I've witnessed) trying to make some sort of pretzel logic claim that there was great meaning and clarity in recognizing "Quebecois" as a nation and not, absolutely not, recognizing "Quebec" as a nation.

            Fortunately, the Conservative Party has now implicitly clarified that that distinction was all just bunk in order to try to sell their reversal on this kind of a motion.

          • I also agree with CR. I remember the incident distinctly. All Harper did was turn the tables on Duceppe's "Quebec is a nation" motion, which would never have come about except for Ignatieff's ill-advised comments on the subject. I'm sure that if Ignatieff hadn't opened the can of worms Harper would never have gone near the subject, and Harper has done nothing since to show that the motion was anything more than empty pandering to create a graceful way out of the trap that Duceppe laid, and as I recall he was roundly applauded for doing so, since it is of course an argument that can never be won.

          • In my thinking the distinction was that the "Quebecois" was a nation inside of Quebec, and that Quebec had other people in it, including First nations. I actually thought it was a clever wording, and gave Harper much kudos at the time. I share John G's take that Harper was forced into a corner here, not least by Iggy.

            You're right now thou, the towel's off, and the "Quebec nation" is out there waving for all to see.

            I think it is disgusting and disgraceful by all three federalist parties, but the buck stops with the PM. Any kudos Haper got from me on this are recended, and it is another little piece of his legacy. I would have rather had my government fall, then be the PM who allowed this.

          • Andre Arthur wasn't having it. My respect for him is way up.

            All other federalists MPs take a hit on this from me, due to the historical nature of "Quebec nation" type things in this country, and my perception that they caved in and sold out cravenly.

            PM Harper takes the biggest hit, as this was on his watch. I thought he had handled the "Quebecois nation" thing very well, but this defeats that carefully worded phrase.

            The Quebec nation has now been recognized by the Canadian government, for the first time in history. No turning the clock back now, and all over a stupid magizine cover too. What a shame.

  8. Memo to Rogers Publishing Marketing Dept.

    Renew or subscribe to Maclean's NOW, and receive a FREE GIFT: 150 tissues in a Maclean's-logo'd box, to use for yourself and your family or, better yet, to deliver to your saddened Member of Parliament. Hurry! Supplies are limited…

  9. Well, that cover made me sad, too. I can't really disagree with what Parliament said about it.

  10. Thomas Mulcair, the king of spin. Just shut up please.

    The real scary thing is not how corrupt Quebec is, that's a given, but that a lot of these same people have been in Ottawa since the 1960”s. Yes Quebec is definitely corrupt but official Ottawa comes a close second. I have lost track of the billion dollar boondoggles, scandal, corruption that has gone on in Ottawa for decades. Trudeau brought this same mentality to Ottawa and its been rotting and getting worse with every passing decade. Ottawa is very similar to Quebec. A cesspool of slime, corruption, fraud, spin…a complete disaster.

    Quebec, corrupt and racist to the core. Ottawa not far behind…

  11. This makes me sadder than what was written by Maclean's. Oh! boy what a sad sad stupid thing, coalition of NDP and Bloc, with agreement from expectedly Liberal party. To have the Conservatives on it too, is the saddest of them all. We are stuck in appeasement and pandering to those who wish to break a country. Oh Boy! I feel as if somebody just died.

  12. A sad day for Canadians for sure when all parties sold out to pandering instead of butting out of something that just wasn't their business!

    Canadians are capable of writing letters to the editor.

  13. That motion was "opportunist" from the NDP and the Bloc, and if the other parties had not agreed with it, it would have given munitions to Gilles Duceppe to do his own "Quebec bashing" on all the quebecer mp's that are with the liberals and the tories…

    The Bloc with the complicity of the NDP, would have made somme political capital for itself in Quebec, even if most Quebecers agree with the articles in Macleans…

    It's sad, but the Bloc is a very DEMAGOGIC party in Quebec, and by condanming Macleans, the liberals and the tories indirectly protected the mp's from Quebec in there party…