What shall we tell our children? - Macleans.ca
 

What shall we tell our children?


 

Apropos of not much, the Prime Minister offered the following interpretation of Parliamentary convention during QP yesterday.

Mr. Speaker, I gather it has been the will of the House to replace the government with an unelected coalition. If that is indeed the will of the House, they know that they have to get a mandate from the people of Canada, and they cannot tinker with the House rules to work around that reality.

Those who would like to attempt to put that in context can view the full exchange here.

Matters such as this are infinitely debatable, but, for the sake of argument and perhaps because it is worth taking seriously anything the Prime Minister says in this regard, we turn to How Canadians Govern Themselves, a guide written by the late senator Eugene Forsey, published by the Library of Parliament, approved by the Department of Canadian Heritage and posted to Parliament’s official website.

Specifically, we turn to the second section of the chapter entitled “Parliamentary Government.” There we find this particular paragraph.

In very exceptional circumstances, the Governor General could refuse a request for a fresh election. For instance, if an election gave no party a clear majority and the Prime Minister asked for a fresh election without even allowing the new Parliament to meet, the Governor General would have to say no. This is because, if “parliamentary government” is to mean anything, a newly elected House of Commons must at least be allowed to meet and see whether it can transact public business. Also, if a minority government is defeated on a motion of want of confidence very early in the first session of a new Parliament, and there is a reasonable possibility that a government of another party can be formed and get the support of the House of Commons, then the Governor General could refuse the request for a fresh election. The same is true for the Lieutenant-Governors of the provinces.

This all, of course, brings us back to the events of December 2008. Here is what constitutional scholar Peter H. Russell wrote at the time. Here (scroll down), for a counterpoint, is what author and academic Richard Van Loon argued. And here is a valuable overview of the competing visions from our Andrew Potter.

Granted, this is so 15 months ago. And there are obviously quite pressing matters demanding our attention at the moment. But Mr. Forsey’s guide is said to have “helped tens of thousands of students, teachers, legislators and ordinary citizens in Canada and around the world understand the Canadian system of government.” And the Prime Minister is, well, the Prime Minister. So perhaps we should not too loosely forget or neglect this point of contention.


 

What shall we tell our children?

  1. May I point out the obvious? If the guide is so useful, perhaps the Prime MInister could use it, too.

    • What, Harper reading something? Yann Martel has been trying to get him to do that for years, but with no success.

  2. You have to wonder if Stephen Harper genuinely thinks his government was directly elected by the voters, as opposed to endorsed by the House of Commons. He may honestly not understand how our system works. Or he may be out to lunch. Or he may be willing to misrepresent the Canadian constitution for personal advantage. Which is scariest?

    [polldaddy 2925135 http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2925135/ polldaddy]

    • Why can't I choose "all of the above" :)

    • None of the above.

      • People who wear tinfoil under pit helmets should take what's given. Make your own skewed poll, in other words.

    • All of us who enjoyed the chuckle that Jack provided by this poll should remember that the "real pollsters" are out there working for (mostly) right-wing forces, chipping away at democracy using polling techniques that are basically just push-polls in disguise.
      They have become one of the leading forces engaged in manufacturing consent.

  3. I read quickly. No putting Peter ____ directly amove ____ Van Loan. Scared me.

  4. There is nothing new here. We all know that a coalition government is permitted under the constitution. The affront was the election was 6 weeks earlier and the main opposition party only got 26% of the vote and during the election denied being prepared to enter into a coalition with the NDP. The real insult was in order for the opposition to form a coalition they needed the support of the Separatist party in Parliament. Despite what was written down the fact is the Bloc would have had control over Parliament maybe not officially but in reality they would. Nothing would come before the House that the Bloc did not think was in the interest of Quebec. So the process was illegitimate from the get go and that is what Canadians outside of Quebec objected to. You can try to rewrite history but these are the facts.

    • "So the process was illegitimate"

      By your own lights, the result was unacceptable — but the process was legitimate. You don't get to call the process illegitimate if you don't like the results. I don't like the fact that Harper is PM but I don't consider him illegitimate. If I were as willing to throw out the rule of law as Conservatives like yourself I'd already be calling Harper a pretender and a usurper.

      • and yet how many of the posters (not sure aobut you Jack) here have been screaming about the "process" of prorogation? Perfectly legitimate according to the constitution, yet it spurred a facebook revolution and how many calls for conservative heads in parliament and motions supported by the opposition to limit the process. That is a rich irony.

        • Because there's a difference between a parliamentary process that follows the letter of the law and tradition, and a parliamentary process undertaken in order to flee the law and tradition.

    • It's funny to watch how conservatives have to squirm to explain why the coalition was illegitimate (which was, btw, the exact same thing when it was Dion and Layton supported by Duceppe in 2008 as when Harper proposed his Harper-Layton-Duceppe coalition).
      So how would conservatives re-write the rules?
      "The government must maintain the confidence of the House" is appended with "except for the first few weeks after an election, during which period the govenrment doesn't need the confidence of the House because people just finished voting".
      "Some policy positions invalidate full participation in parliamentary coalitions. Policies which would invalidate this participation may include separtism, but is to be left up to whatever the conservatives decide at the moment."
      "If the largest member of a coalition has less votes than the largest single party in parliament, then the coalition is illegitimate. The total of all votes for each coalition party is irrelevent."
      And the master rule – superceding all others, is "Notwhitstanding all or any other rule on coalitions, if Stephen Harper does it, it's okay."

      • Just to clarify. If you read Bian Topp's book about the 08 coalition you would note that the letter that Harper sent to the GG was very general in nature. Nothing like the coalition of stooges proposed in 08. His letter never discussed how power would be shared etc.

        • Again, squirming. Harper's only purpose in writing that letter was to declare his willingness to form a coalition, not to helpfully point out arcane trivia and theoretical possiblities that were within the GG's options.

          • Brian Topp disputes that assertion from Jack Layton. Read the book and get the facts.

        • Maybe, but as regards the Bloc and the 08 agreement, the agreement was, basically, that for two years the Bloc wouldn't really have any power at all. The Bloc Quebecois agreed, on paper, to support all of the legislation put forward by the Liberal-NDP coalition for two years. How getting the separatists to agree to sit on their hands and support a federalist government for two years was twisted into somehow being a big victory for the traitors I'm not sure, but there you have it.

          • You are suggesting a piece of paper can prevent the Bloc from voting as they see fit in the HOC?

            Too funny.

            Mr. Speaker we had a deal, it's not fair Gilles promised to play nice!

          • Don't be obtuse. The bloc would have known such treachery would have been the end of them in the house – no-one would ever tust them again, and all the federal parties would seek their destruction. Besides, the federal parties could all vote together in the event of such an event. Why not admit you guys just don't repect the constitution, or only the parts of it you happen t like?

          • Are you suggesting the accord is more important the deal with their duty to protect Quebec's interest?

            Naive?

            Each political party operates out of self interest and survival and you suggest I don't like the constitution?

            If the NDP/Liberals were cutting a deal to save the auto forestry ind gets matching 10 billion. Same with QST 2 billion payoff.

            You are suggesting the Bloc would risk their own careers for a two year signed deal….too funny.

          • Obviously they took the view that the more immediate danger and roadblock to Quebec's interests was SH. It's a perfect example of self interest – the bloc could also have cut a deal wit Harper, they chose not too. All your doing as far as i can see is muddying the pool they made a choice. You have no evidence at all that the bloc wouldn't have kept to the deal.

          • I don't have to prove the Bloc would break the deal. I demostrated they could and the signed piece of paper has NO legal mechanism to prevent them from destrabilizing the country further.

            A) You believe the Bloc support Canada's interest before Quebec
            2) You believe they would not help tear it apart if it could advance their main goal of separation.

            I am not dreaming in technicolour. They are separtists first who are looking for political advantage. The coalition was their opportunity compliments of the desperated Liberals and scheming NDP.

            Ignoring the reality and truth is your problem.

          • "Ignoring the reality and truth is your problem."

            We're both just speculating here,but nice attempt to abrogate reality for yourself.

            a) Non sequtur.No, i said their behaviour may was arguably consistent with their self interests.
            b) No, i argue that signing the deal demonstrates they were willing to put their main goal on hold. Why on earth would they sign a deal that didn't advance their self interest? Furthermore i argued the consequences for them of tearing up a deal would be the end of all cooperation with them in the house and perhaps their destruction. So, unless your position is it was always just a plot to bring an end to Canada, your arguement is nonesense. But good job of misrepresenting my positions..

          • …should be no may in a)..

          • Besides, the whose issue of Quebec separation is one that is purely decided by the National Assembly and ultimately, the people of Quebec. Yes the Bloc are separatists, and they eventually want Quebec to be their own country or achieve some form of increased sovereignty/self-government (not that that is necessarily a bad idea), but the that issue is one to be decided by the people of Quebec (who have voted twice before to remain in Canada ) and not by Parliament. The Bloc basically has no control over when Quebec separates. Yes, they have a specific constituency they represent (Seperation/Quebec's Interests), but then again, shouldn't ALL MPs represent their own constituency's interests?

            And why should the Bloc be treated as second-class parliamentarians just because they have political viewpoints that you disagree with? The Reform/Alliance and now Conservative party more than likely have quite a number of Western Separatists as supporters (and even MPs). Do you really want Western Separatists in the cabinet who also want to break-up the country? Are Western Separation and Quebec Separation really any different? They both want to break-up Canada for political and other reasons. Quebec separatism because they see independence as the only way that French Canadians can fully achieve self-determination and to maintain their culture and society. Western separatism is generally about western economic Conservatives/neoliberals (I hate to be stereotypical, but usually from the Alberta resource industry) getting angry about the economic and political imbalances vis-a-vis "The West" versus Ontario/Quebec (although it's usually because they're pissed off that their right-wing policies aren't readily accepted by the country and they want their way or the highway, they just use the real historical economic/political imbalances as an excuse to sucker people aboard their bandwagon).

            However, it has been my experience that Bloc-hating is usually just a veil for people who are still racist towards French Canadians and Quebecers in particular. People (usually redneck Reformer-Conservatives from personal experience) who are still pissed off about bilingualism and "French invading their lives" like its some kind of disease or something.

          • Ah but there's the rub. Duceppe would stand in the House and criticize the coalition government but in behind the scenes he would negotiating what should come before the House. I am not just talking about confidence motions I am talking about any kind of legislation. If the issue does not suit Quebec it would never see the light of day. Thats no way to run a government no matter how the anti Conservative crowd likes it.

          • Funny, I never knew that someone making baseless assertions had a smell.. but… it does.. one an awful lot like flatulence. Perhaps that's because of where your "facts" are being pulled from.

        • "His letter never discussed how power would be shared etc"

          I never inhaled!

        • Perhaps even the stooges in '04 knew not to sign anything that Harper proposed — perhaps it was the 'John Howard' signature that was crossed out that tipped them off…

    • 'Nothing would come before the House that the Bloc did not think was in the interest of Quebec"

      Why to conbots lie so blithely?

    • What's the difference between Reform and the BLOC? not a lot really…. although at least quebeckers respect parliamentary democracy. If Quebec separates, Ontario wants to go with them.

      • Well, that and the Bloc want to destroy the country as it is.

        And the fact that the Reform Party, whatever you think of their conservative policies, was also a democratic reform advocate and wanted to make Parliament more responsible to constituents, MPs collectively stronger than the PMO, committees stronger, remove the ability of the PM to call elections on a whim, force the government to be accountable to Parliament, that sort of thing.

        Seems we could use a lot more Reform Party in Ottawa right about now, actually.

      • When you suggest that Reform(ers) don't respect parliamentary democracy I assume that you are referring to today's incarnation of Reformers?

        I ask because I'm fairly confident that the version of parliamentary democracy that we see today is quite different from the version that Preston Manning was pitching (and his followers of the day were expecting) 20 or 30 years ago.

  5. I don't think you give the Bloc enough credit. They ask a lot of legitimate questions in the house that are just as relevant to people in New Brunswick and Fort McMurray as they are to Quebeckers.

    • In fact, Harper was ready to give the Bloc plenty of credit – and possible influence – within his coalition of 2004… Aha, the pre-power-and-the-glory CON days…

    • Unfortunately this is more a function of the Bloc's position as a party that will never need to be accountable as the government rather than some high-minded ideology. It's easy to stomp and cry when you've never got a chance at running things.

      • Lynn did say "They ask a lot of legitimate questions in the house that are just as relevant to people in New Brunswick and Fort McMurray as they are to Quebeckers"; my read of that suggests that Lynn believes the Bloc isn't stomping and crying. And even if Lynn didn't mean it that way, I do.

        I would say that MPs from the LPC and the CPC could actually learn quite a bit form Bloc MPs, in terms of representing their constituents in general and behaving like adults. I'm interested to hear about examples of the opposite behaviours.

  6. hollinm continued….
    Once again we have to remind ourselves that normally a coalition would be between the senior opposition party and one other i.e the NDP. However, because the government received an increased number of seats in order for the coalition to work all the opposition parties had to be included. Can you imagine the confusion and turmoil in the coalition government given what happened in 2009. We would have been into another election within a couple of months. Three leaders all trying to lead with an incompetent professor trying herd the cats. The thought of it is enough to boggle the mind.
    We also have learned i.e. Topp book that the coalition was planned before the election and despite the government withdrawing the offensive proposals in the economic update they continued on their path without really considering the consequences to the country.

    • Dreadful wasn't it…well it would have been. I wonder where they got the idea from? Might it have been around 04/05 or so…yes, i believe there was another letter…strangely enough it seems to have involved SH, again.

      • No Brian Topp stated in his book the deal was not the same. You should read the book.

  7. sigh

  8. It is truly astonishing how Harper can stand up there and asking the NDP to join the Conservatives in opposing 10%ers.

    The issue of the 10%ers is not a huge national issue of great and serious importance. Which makes it even more astonishing that he would stand up there, in the House of Commons, and lie about his party's position. They voted in favour of the 10%ers and he just wants to pretend that they didn't.

    Aaron Wherry calls it he 48 rule. Rick Mercer only gives them 20 minutes:
    [youtube 6DUOoWv7wXk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DUOoWv7wXk youtube]

    • lol The libs or the ndp really ought to hire this guy to write their adds. If nothing else it would be a hoot.

  9. I'm confused: was Eugene Forsey a socialist or a separatist?

    • He was at one time a member of the CCF. I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to which moniker would probably have been applied to him.

    • I'm not sure, but he was always against the troops.

  10. "But Mr. Forsey's guide is said to have “helped tens of thousands of students, teachers, legislators and ordinary citizens in Canada and around the world understand the Canadian system of government.”

    With the possible exception of our PM. Or maybe he just skipped to the exciting part about how prorogation can be your friend when all other remedies fail you.

  11. Prove I am wrong kcm. Yes the Bloc agreed to support confidence motions but do you honestly believe they would continue to support the coalition if Dion/Layton wanted to do something that was perceived against Quebec's interest. You know Duceppe moves the goal posts all the time. It would have been a disaster for Canada and I suspect you know that.

    Carefuly about who you are calling a liar. We may disagree but you don't have to get nasty. Maybe its because you can't offer a legitimate argument. Name calling is always a leftie trait.

    • name calling is a leftie trait? that's a ridiculous statement coming from the party of Mike Duffy. ahem: " YOU'RE JUST A FAKER!!!"

    • name calling is a leftie trait? that's a ridiculous statement coming from the party of Mike Duffy. ahem: " YOU'RE JUST A FAKER!!!"

      Also everytime Harper passes confidence legislation he needs at least one of the opposition parties to 'coalition' with him. He has passed votes before with only bloc support. like here:

      http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/09/15/bloc-el

      • How silly. Of course he needs the opposition parties, Bloc or otherwise to pass legislation. It ain't no coalition my friend. It is a far cry having the Bloc support specific pieces of legislation versus giving them de facto control of the federal government. There is the law of unintended consequences and once the coalition of stooges had control of the government who knows what would have happened.

        • Why would the Liberal/NDP coalition needing Bloc support be any different that the Conservatives needing Bloc support to have legislation passed?

          And why does anyone thinkk that the coalition would allow the Bloc to pull the strings for 2 years and "force" them to pass only bills that supported Quebec? If it came to that, I'm sure the Liberals would have pulled the plug on the coalition, forced an election and campaigned on being heroes by sacrificing their government for the good of the country as a whole.

          • Nice fairytale. Thanks for cute story.

            Politicans don't break promises and lie….lol

    • Elementary logiic…one can't prove a negative. That said, i'll try. They signed an 18month agreement, until they actually demonstrated bad faith no one could possibly know. That's why life can only be lived going forward, and understood looking back. I should read Topps book [my bad] Does he explictly endorse your view? Are you only prepare to cite the bits you like?

      I should have been more specific. Why do they lie so blithely with regard to this particular issue?

      "Name calling is always a leftie trait"

      Yes, you definitely have me on that one.

      • Read the book. Brian Topp explains the deal was not the same.

    • Careful who you call a name caller, hollinm.

      I will agree with you that the Bloc would have had an impossible time supporting something that was detrimental to Quebec's interest. You do understand that that is a different statement than your, "Nothing would come before the House that the Bloc did not think was in the interest of Quebec" right? (In case you don't see the difference, the Bloc would have no problem on something that doesn't affect Quebec, or that is both good and bad for different regions or demographics, for Quebec as well as everywhere else.)

      And to further clarify: You think Harper wouldn't have included the Bloc in his coalition move if it came down to it? Seriously? Surely you realize, as the rest of us do, that it just didn't get that far.

      • Jenn….I don't like being called a conbot or a liar. If that's all the leftie crowd has left then there is not much point in posting on this site.
        I understand your point. It was poorly written. However, I still make the point that the Bloc would stand up in QP as an opposition party and criticize the coalition government but would be negotiating behind the scenes as to what legislation would come before the House. Anything that offended Quebec's interest would never see the light of day.

        I don't know what Harper would have done but I suspect he would not hand the keys to the treasury to the Bloc.

        Remember Layton/Dion wanted to be the government. This would cap Layton's career and Dion was desperate to be PM. They probably would have sold their own grandmother if they thought it would give them the power.

        • I happen to be left-handed, so don't mind in the least the appellation "leftie." But if you can be honest with yourself, you will know that you use it with the very same derogatory shorthand that others use "conbot" to denote the 'other' side of the political divide. So, golden rule and all that. But I do appreciate that you wouldn't like to be called a liar.

          • leftie vs conbot label

            Can you guess which term denotes non-human?

          • I'd say the inference is just yours. I've never used the term conbot to label someone non human – perhaps someone intended that when they came up with the term, but until you mentioned it, it had never occurred to me [ feel free to beieve me or not]. As for leftie, it's become a derisory term that is use to label anyone who isn't part of the consevative political family – it's inacurrate, and designed to imply only consevatives can occupy the centre. I'd argue conbot is primarily aimed at those who only parrot a consevative TP, never conceding there may be another possibility. There are good number of conservatives who visit Macleans who aren't at all conbots. Perhaps all the labels should just be dropped – you first. :)

        • They probably would have sold their own grandmother if they thought it would give them the power.

          I think it is fair to say that you could apply that statement to any of the party leaders

        • I don't want to be the one to make you stop posting here, so if you're that offended i apologize for calling you a liar. But in my view Jenn is right. If you're prepared to throw around phrases like the leftie crowd, then you can't complain about the term conbot. And please don't say, "well aren't you all lefties"?Cuz we both know that is self serving bs.

    • Yes the Bloc agreed to support confidence motions but do you honestly believe they would continue to support the coalition if Dion/Layton wanted to do something that was perceived against Quebec's interest.

      Well that shows they were not actually part of the coalition, therefore (by your own reasoning) the coalition was perfectly legitimate, and would be again if it is required.

      You know Duceppe moves the goal posts all the time.

      It would seem he's not the only one.

    • What the hell? Provide a single piece of evidence that your hypothesis is correct before you go challenging people to prove that you're wrong. That's as bad as the "Soldiers in our streets" crap.

  12. HollinsM forgets the fundamental change that was wrought on the Bloc (and the Pequistes) only in the last month. St. Lucien of Bouchard basically told them they are a bunch of dreamers and to get on with life – that particular dream is dead!
    Aside from the fact that they have ALWAYS been legitimately elected MPs representing Quebec interests, they now have no value in even surreptitiously pursuing the Holy Grail of Sovereignty any longer.
    Makes it hard for Harper to push that bit of string!

  13. Or you can do like Harper…..say all kinds of high minded stuff when in opposition, and simply jettison that record once you gain power!

    • May I remind you of the 1993 Red Book. It ain't just Harper. Its all politicians.

      • Ok. But right now, it's Harper. Which does not change the fat that this thing you said….
        "So the process was illegitimate from the get go " is still wrong.

        Sorry. Just putting the goalposts back where they started.

  14. providing context risks the appearance of bias and said bias appearing to be against the government risks the appearance of unpatriatism ergo risks the appearance of, war not being wtthout its conveniences, NOT SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS ergo

    he can push that string as much as he wants. It'll probably make it to youtube

  15. He's composing a piano concerto for it right now.

  16. The real insult is that the Prime Minister I (indirectly) voted for is willing to misrepresent the Constitution, subvert Parliamentary government, and childishly suggest that seeking answers to legitimate questions about political and diplomatic policy in a time of war is an "attack on our troops."

    • A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

      Alexander Pope

  17. Agreed the book should be read. But why should i take Topps view over Laytons? Both men were there,

    • Brian lays out the story nicely and it refutes the narrative of Jack Layton. Layton did not want to risk an election in both cases.

      The deal made sense if public were not allowed to cast their ballot. Ignatieff had no stomach in January 2009 to risk an election. Layton backed down in Sept 2009.

      Pattern Liberals, NDP in the people's house will avoid the people. Since 2006 how many times have they voted non-confidence?

      And they keep stating they don't support the CPC Agenda.

      • Okay. But that still doesn't answer why we should take the word of Topp over Layton.

        • Two people from different parties stated same thing

          B.T. and S.H.

          • Canadian senseless again with the B. and the S.
            If history doesn't fit the CON framing, scrap history and ask, what would John Howard do?

          • Truth and logic escapes you, nothing unsual.

            A) Two people from different parties state the same thing about an earlier agreement who don't share a vested interest.

            b) Jack Layton story does not match the details of Brian Topp's book. Can you link the statement Jack Layton requiring a retraction from Brian Topp?

            Funy that in your feeble attempt to deny the detailed evidence, you resort to attacking Brian Topp.

            Welcome the Forrest Gump Party.

          • Except that S.H. wasn't there. So if we're not believing Topp in the first place, why on earth would we believe the person that wasn't there and who has significant motive to want Topp's version to be true?

            I'm not actually arguing for either version, btw, I'm just pointing out that the logic still leaves something to be desired.

  18. Mr. Harper has to be called on this nonsense. A Serious Journalist® must demand of him a) does he understand the constitution? followed by b) if so, where in that mighty document does he draw the conclusion of illegitimacy? and b(i)) if not, what legitimacy does he have leading the nation?

    Left unanswered, the conclusion is pretty much in line with Mr. Mitchell's poll above. Thus, leading to the humdinger, "Are you willing to misrepresent the Canadian constitution for personal advantage?"

  19. Thank you Jack…
    you might add a fourth choice.
    That the Prime Minister is now whistling in the dark – because he realizes that he is in Check and the next move – whatever it is – will put him in mate!

  20. Precedents matter, not an interpretation without precedent.

    The GG ignored the request of the Opposition to form a coalition government,
    and granted her newly appointed First Minister prorogation.
    Precedent set.

    The GG has granted her First Minister's request to prorogue Parliament in 2007, 2008, 2009
    Precedent set.

    What makes Liberals think that Jack wouldn't also form a coalition with the Conservatives?
    Didn't Gilles say such a plan was in the works to toss out Martin?
    Why, yes he did.

    • Do you read this stuff somewhere, or just make it up?

  21. "What shall we tell our children?"

    That we were too busy buying stuff to notice?

  22. What shall we tell our children? Here's one:

    "Years ago when you were much younger, the world was a very different place. Well, back then the people who gave us information were few in number. They wrote for things called "news papers" and talked on the "evening news" – a place where everyone went once a night to be told what was important.

    You know, how you are taught not to argue with the referee in your hockey game, because he's just trying to do his best and doesn't take sides.

  23. The people who told the news, also told us that they were like the referees in your hockey game. That they never took sides. But then along came the internet where people could compare what the "news people" were telling us, with the facts that they weren't telling us. When we could compare we could see that they only told one side, and always the same side. They were like a referee who called penalties against only one team. AGW is a good example. But there are many many more.

    That's why we don't have "news people" anymore."

    • Speaking of climate (which we weren't), Biff gives us another maunder.

  24. "They are separtists first who are looking for political advantage. The coalition was their opportunity compliments of the desperate Liberals and scheming NDP"

    That may well be true, but that's not the same as having only one goal – the end of Canada. They made a calculated choice, which would of course be to Quebecs advantage. There are more ways of doing that then simply separating, as they are well aware. They have us by the short and curlies anyway, so why not just keep a hold – no need to separate at al really. Look the thing boils down to could the deal keep them undr control, you argue no, i say probably yes.[ wishy washy enough for you?]