The Biggest Loser: Gilles Duceppe

with 103 comments


Gilles Duceppe was given a choice this week.  He had to decide whether he was going to save Stephen Harper or Stéphane Dion’s ass.

No third option.  Dion or Harper.  Pick one.

Gilles Duceppe also lost the best gig in parliamentary politics this week: perpetual opposition.  The right…   – no, the constitutional duty – to rip the government and the other parties apart without ever having to offer a viable alternative.

Yesterday he agreed to keep a Liberal-NDP coalition in power for over a year.  He signed away the Bloc’s right to oppose their budgets or any other major legislation.  If the coalition ever forms the government the Bloc is  going to be held accountable for what it does.  The Bloc is going to have, ugh… a record.

And you think the Liberals and the NDP are going to have a hard time explaining to their constituents that they signed a deal with the separatists?  Gilles Duceppe had to sign a deal with Stéphane Dion!  Mister Clarity Act!  Canada’s Separatist-Slayer in Chief!

For an important part of the Independence movement, Gilles Duceppe became Maréchal Pétain yesterday.

All this for what?  Nothing.  Sweet fuck all.  Gilles Duceppe candidly admitted at the coalition’s press conference that he did not obtain anything substantial for the Québec Nation in return for his support.  Layton and Dion had him by the balls.  Either he ran with them or he was to become the man who saved Stephen Harper.

And the English Canadian media will have you believe this is the Québec independence movement’s greatest coup in history…

Written by angryfrenchguy

December 2, 2008 at 10:55 am

103 Responses

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  1. Bruce,

    Concerning Pauline Marois and her understanding of “common people: she has a baccalauréat in travail social and worked in different community organization. Françoise David, from Québec Solidaire (can’t get more understanding of common people then that), is from a very rich family.

    Just so you know, people like you give me hope that we can do something with this country. Unlike MANY others. But it is my fault and the fault of my people, I know. Let them go, they say.


    December 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

  2. This guy Bruce would be an excellent writer, but for the National geographic. Especially I like this: “Money going to Québec: Well our ancesters seem to have oppressed them to the tune of considerable financial benefit to the anglos for a good 200+ years so it is fitting to return some of that, rich country that we are. “ Beautifull stupidness.


    December 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm

  3. Poline feels very guilty about having some cash? Ha,ha, who can believe that.


    December 5, 2008 at 3:37 pm

  4. Jonathan, Tremblay, Olivier, AFG et les autres gens québécois(es):

    C’est toujours plus facile à mépriser “disser” (?? ce n’est pas français!! — to “diss” someone and their ideas or feelings) qu à communiquer dans une manière respectieuse et pensive. ABP talks about getting “rebuffed” and not being “bienvenu”. C’est un peu de l’amertume là, mais peut-être c’est pour lui sa réalité.

    There is a certain pendulum that swings in life, and we all have experiences that make us in some ways “damaged goods.” People’s perceptions get “spun” by politicos, chroniqueurs, and by their own life experiences and those of their friends and family.

    If some one does not smile back at you, so what?

    They probably aren’t having a very good day and you need to shrug and move on, it doesn’t prove much — you need to accept that you are not bringing happiness their way today and maybe never would be able.

    You don’t automatically get accepted just because you move into the neighbourhood! If you try really hard you’ll probably find at least one friend somewhere about, and that one could be very important!

    It doesn’t mean however that those who aren’t rushing to bring you into their circle are hostile unworthy people in their own life. They just don’t have the time and energy to deal with you, and to them you automaticaly symbolise near certain non-comprehension of their own most cherished values ideas (and even misconceptions as well.)

    You’re right ABP in a certain way — three words out of my mouth, and people know je ne suis pas de souche, et non même français! C’est bien évident et normal. But a smile can help – a foolish grin is best!

    While at work we run into persons from anywhere in the world, and we can place them by their accent. If I hear a French accent I switch to French, with appropriate apologies for my great deficiencies therein. It is an acknowledgement that we are co-equals in the eyes of God and in the eyes of men who keep some idea of justice in their souls.

    An accent is an opportunity, but it also does show that you are not a “charter” member of a community or
    “in group.” So you might get rebuffed. No big deal.

    Another person you encounter will be open, is ready to relate individually rather than generically. Triumph! Joy! Les deux peuvent s’intéresser,se rire ensemble et s’amuser!

    You cannot really expect the MANY to be willing to dialogue respectfully, and anyhow blogging is a form of “psychotherapy” in a way. But it is a means of reaching out, even if ineptly or insensitively. You can always find friends anywhere in the world if you are really determined — but we have to meet at least half way to do that.

    Jonathan: it is NOT your fault, and NOT the fault of your people! It is true you will forever hear the bitchings of many anglo interlocateurs who don’t have the time or the willingness to hear your side of the experience. It is hard to turn one’s cheek! We all know our own insecurities best.

    Ne t’inquiète pas! Il y aura des meilleurs temps devant nous on doive souhaiter! Soit ensemble, ou soit dans des solitudes indépendentes.

    Que qu’il soit ensemble, si nous avions de la chance à l’avenir! Mais c’est vrai que l’utopie n’existera jamais!

    (I don’t know if I can do the subjunctive right — I only met up with it about a year and a half ago. hardly exists in english, but it is a neat thing.

    En tout cas, je dois aller. Bonne fin de semaine à tous.


    December 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm

  5. ABP:
    Since you’re continuing to “beg the question” about transfer (not providing the proof but repeating your controversial statement), here are some of the transfer payments by capita in 2008-9:

    New Brunswick: 3,288 millions
    PEI: 3,701 millions
    Newfoundland: 2,963 millions
    Manitoba: 2,860 millions
    Nova Scotia 2,835 millions
    Quebec: 2,166 millions
    Saskatchewan: 1325 millions
    Ontario: 1,086 millions
    BC: 1,145 millions
    Alberta: 924 millions

    Are you prepared to repeat your insulting comments about everyone receiving more than Quebec ?

    Since federalist are so found of reminding us “if you like French so much, learn it correctly” it’s amusing to say to a bill 101-complainer “if you want to protect english so much, learn it correctly”.

    Wikipedia entry “begging the question”:
    “In contemporary usage, “begging the question” often refers to an argument where the premises are as questionable as the conclusion.

    In popular usage, “begging the question” is often used to mean that a statement invites another obvious question. This usage is considered to be incorrect;[5] “raises the question” is more appropriate.”


    December 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm

  6. Kriss:
    Sorry if I was unclear about who “beg the question”. By the way, he’s begging the question about your question too.

    Thanks for elevating a little bit the debate here. You seem to understand that we are not enemies, in fact we’re on the same side, at least on some of the issues that seem to matter much to you. But if you don’t know after this week what scare us about being in Canada, I don’t know when you will. Look: a government mostly elected by the three or four Western province (more or less for BC) will try to impose it’s will in total disagreement with Quebecker’s value (well, most of them). Women’s rights, Unions, democracy, repression… we didn’t vote for that, in fact 80% of us voted against that, and Ducceppe as a clear mandate to block that kind of madness. And for the 62% against Harper, if you substract Quebec, I think it’s closer to 50%. But if you substract the West, I suppose Conservatives would be reduced to almost nothing, so I don’t know what to make of these numbers.
    Since they are talking about a republic of western Canada, what about a republic of eastern/central Canada ? I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but that can be discussed.


    December 5, 2008 at 5:08 pm

  7. Bonsoir encore Tancrede! Hola bon homme! Ne fais-tu pas la panique! Les gouvernements viennent et ils s’en vont aussi!

    No one outside of Quebec is allowed to vote for the Bloc, … clearly! And so there are for us, just 3 choices besides the Tories.

    62 % of Ontarians voted for someone else beside the Tories, but due to 3 candidates split on the left against only 1 on the right, Harper wound up with about 51 of our 103 seats.

    The Tories only have a few seats in Atlantic Canada, most people there did not vote for them, except in New Brunswick they got 6 out 10 I think.

    The West is NOT monolithic, but average folk always felt left out from the power of “central Canada — Ontario/Québec”. Also they never forgave Trudeau for his NEP energy policy which penalised Alberta and Saskatchewan.

    There are NDP seats in 3 of the 4 western provinces, even 1 in Alberta. BC Saskatchewan and Manitoba ( once upon a time, a heavily francophone province!) have all had, or do have, NDP governments from time to time, as has Ontario.

    The “separatist” sentiment in Alberta is no more that 5%, and there isn’t even a party organised out there for that. They are all to be heard on “talk radio” — local a.m. stations where people grumble and bitch, just like in the U.S. where everyone on talk radio was putting Obama down, except that he won despite all that redneck talk!

    Harper is from Calgary, so the West sees him as “their turn at government” In Alberta it is not so easy to travel down to Québec so the % of people there that know much about your end of the country is limited.

    Tancrede! C’est peut-être increible, mais tu et moi, nous ne sont pas prêt à creér “a republic of eastern/central Canada!” Canada is a big tent. I’m a B.C. boy, you realise! People in the west are hospitable and decent pour la plupart, like anywhere else.

    Harper has shot himself in the foot almost fatally. He lost respect this week, not only from Québec, but from all parts of the country. People believed however that he was a “good manager”. — that image is somewhat tarnished, and the economy is not something that he can resurrect quickly.

    He has a huge unpleasant mess to deal with. Too bad he scape goated Duceppe for the crisis he made himself!

    Dion will be gone in a few months, and Harper cannot do that much “bad” now, because he realises the combined opposition will not permit it any longer.

    Here’s hoping, that “if he doesn’t play nice” and the government falls, that Michaëlle Jean will ask whatever “coalition” that votes it down to form an alternative government rather than a new election.

    But that can only take place IF the Liberals resolve their leadership, so….

    Maybe Bob Rae, who was formerly the NDP premier in Ontario 1990-1995 will be the new federal Liberal leader — these things are hard to know. He speaks pretty OK French, it is generally acknowledged. I hear Ignatieff also is not too bad in French — both have it down better than Harper at any rate!

    Tancrede, remember that Canada is not a right wing place, not even on the prairies out West.

    The current Tory party is somewhat right wing (the hidden agenda) but they cannot even get a majority! Especially because the Bloc is there with about 50 seats!! Harper hopes to get majority power now without Québec so we all have to do our best to prevent that!

    You guys can go to those Tory ridings around Québec City and work to knock off those remaining PC members. We can vote strategically in Ontario to knock of some of our Tory members. It depends whether the Liberals and NDP are willing to let certain ridings go uncontested by one or the other of them, which they can win, whether Rae, if be becomes Liberal leader can work effectively this way with his former NDP colleague, Layton.

    Lots of ifs here…

    What if Québec was NOT part of the picture? Then maybe Harper could be the “king” in ROC, for a while anyhow.

    That would not be a very nice next door neighbour for you guys! That’s another good reason why Canada is lucky to include so far le Québec. Most of the time our Prime Ministers come from Québec, not always, but we are used to that — usually works OK. And it is just about impossible to have a PM nowadays who cannot at least get by in French. They don’t necessarily like that idea so much in Alberta, but there are still lots of French Immersion schools out there.

    What is most important in my opinion is for ROC ers to come and spend time in Québec. When they enjoy that, they will appreciate all of Canada much more for the cultural diversity and for its dualistic reality, even if they cannot feel Québec history in their bones.

    In this respect Federal programs that allow for linguistic training for anglo students in Chicoutimi, Trois Pistoles, Rimouski, Trois Rivières, la ville de Québec, Sherbrooke and other centres are indispensible.

    Nous sommes ici en ligne des spécialistes en fauteuil, n’est pas? Je crois que n’importe où on doit soutenir les initiatives progressives avec la participation locale des amis pour améliorer la démocratie. On ne devra jamais quitter la lutte à cause des certains reculs de temps en temps.

    Sois optimiste! Soyez tous et toutes de vous optimistes! Il y avait quelques progrès à travers du temps! Bon à vous!


    December 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm

  8. tancrede,

    you must realize at some point that socialism, despite its comforts, is corrosive when applied liberally to human beings. choice (aka freedom) is the tonic.

    will you not recite some other statistical interpretation to support the illiberal concepts of imposing “educated” and “better” ways on citizens? my worry is that if you keep at this line of thought long enough, you will have truly convinced yourself.

    wake up, my friend! alberta is quebec’s best friend and best hope in producing a nation prepared for the 21st century. it has been irrefutedly demonstrated that pesonal domestic product (pdp) suffers from negative trending (when weighted) by bullshit.

    eh voila!


    December 5, 2008 at 9:14 pm

  9. i know this is a snapshot but it is encouraging nonetheless or notwithstanding or whatever…

    notice m.duceppe’s numbers are the least affected.

    and just so we know who’s losing on this question, i would like to share the results of this poll from compas on december 4, 2008.


    Canadians Call for an Election
    Below are highlights from a new Canada-wide, COMPAS Research poll on the recent turmoil in the House of Commons. Permission is granted to publish or broadcast results provided COMPAS Inc. is appropriately cited.

    For comments or inquiries, please contact COMPAS President Conrad Winn at (416) 598-0310 or on his direct cell at (416) 460-5844.

    By a more than 2:1 margin, Canadians call for another election if the choice faced by the Governor-General were between inviting Stephane Dion to form a government and hold a fresh general election weeks after the most recent one. That is the key finding from a national representative poll completed December 4, 2008.
    If an election were held today, Stephen Harper would win a large majority based on nation-wide support of 51% compared to 20% for the Liberals, 10% for the NDP, 6% for the Greens, and 8% for the Bloc. Harper would sweep seat-rich Ontario with 53% of the vote compared to 24% for the Liberals and 10% for the NDP in that province and would surpass Dion in Quebec with 32% of the vote compared to 19% for the Liberals and 35% for the Bloc.

    Key factors in this lightening speed transformation of public opinion:

    * 66% of Canadians oppose the Bloc Quebecois having a say in who forms the government;

    * 48% have confidence in Stephen Harper as Prime Minister in the current economic climate compared to 14% for Michael Ignatieff in second place, 11% for NDP leader Jack Layton, 8% for Stephane Dion, 4% for Bob Rae, and 3% for Gilles Duceppe;

    * 58% believe that the Coalition’s real or main motivation was a power grab while 28% perceive the Opposition as honestly believing that Harper is a poor manager of the economy;

    * 61% believe that the Liberals, following their drop in support in the October election, should not be trying to form a government.


    December 5, 2008 at 9:36 pm

  10. Be welcome in this blog Bruce. You will be surprised by the subsides obsession of many west bloggers here, even if the reality is far from what they says. Also, those welfare allusions and the demonization of bill 101… I think those people simply hate quebec and quebecers and try to find some rational reason to mask it..


    December 6, 2008 at 12:31 am

  11. Hi Johnnyonline: En anglais … only for you!

    Since you are following the thread also,

    “Key factors in this lightening speed transformation of public opinion:”

    then bla bla, the *poll* of FEAR!! but thanks anyway,.. it may be a little depressing for all of 10 seconds…means diddly squat by December 25th.

    All this ( instant poll data) on the day (DEC 4) of the “PRO ROGUE” ** crisis –is just a flash in the pan, a knee jerk reaction!

    A moment in time meaning respondants say at this point: “The melt down is scary, don’t bother me, Christmas almost here I don’t want to think about these issues so go with the flow”.

    It is not like they have been on a jury, debating the issues, reviewing the evidence etc. that has arisen.

    **PRO ROGUE: (Her Excellency, the GG ruled in Harper’s favour) …. get it?? just a little heh heh… sorry all!

    In 3 months when Harper is still there and (Canada having just lost 70,000 jobs in November — something that will continue in January, February etc. and for many months beyond, how will people be responding then, as the pain spreads deeper and farther in all directions. The economic melt down didn’t have anything to do with market regulation, but rather due to a complete lack thereof. That is NO market regulation!!

    The Wall Street “robber baron” wolves had been in the the hen house, “unsupervised”, for a good long time before the “golden eggs” were discovered missing and the hens found to have all been murdered!

    Choice is good, and freedom is good as long as we are not free to rip off our fellows with shameless blood lust for extreme riches — and to hell with everyone else!

    Can you tell me, Johnnyonline, why all those traders in New York who got their million or multiple million dollar Xmas 2007 bonuses, haven’t so far offered to return any of that loot??

    And we are in a recession that may turn out to be a full blown world wide depression?

    Thanks almost entirely to totally haywire US economic policy and the idiot theories of wide open market deregulation and now a 12 Trillion dollar deficit!

    Hey that’s only 12000 billion dollars — or about $35,000 per man woman and child — so far. Trickle down “supply side” economics ?? Johnny?? are you with me still?? — Phil Gramm?? — theorist of Republican voodoo monetary (mis) “management” Forgive a cynical snicker here… these guys should be sent out to repair your crumbling roads and bridges, — but not without “supervision” —- puuuhlEeASE!

    This is not a crisis that will go away thanks to a COMPASS poll on the day that Parliament was shut down arbitrarily.

    I’m not saying Harper caused the depression* or whatever we are in, but fundamentally the theories he admires, in place for so long in the States, did !!

    (* He just caused a different kind of ‘depression’ dans la belle province de la nation Québécoise, je crois!)

    Besides in terms of real job-layoffs we’ve already got it big time in Ontario, and I know the forest workers in Sagenay- Lac. St Jean. and in B.C. too are suffering already for some time, and getting worse daily, so yeah! action and fiscal stimulus are urgently needed. The Flaherty economic update was a pretty sick joke in every respect, don’cha know Johnny?

    We of course don’t need a Stalinist state, but we need the opposition to sort out its leadership and get prepared for the day, not far off when Harper runs out of ideas and solutions.

    We ALSO have to find out the true cost of things that we have — the labour, the effect on the land, the air and the water the cost of cleanup, what happens when non-renewables are used up. Harper doesn’t think Green, and hasn’t got a clue how to do so.

    There are limits to where growth can go on this planet, Johnnyonline, and we have to see if we can figure out how to make a sustainable = durable future.

    This is a bigger issue than who talks English, French, Mandarin, or Inuit. We need to talk to each other in all those languages about that challenge!

    But don’t you see how the COMPASS snapshot is just an interuption of people’s lives, while their feet are unwashed, by some pollster who needs a sound bite moment on screen.

    I have no crystal ball … and do you? really??

    Saying what will happen over the next 6 -12 months is like an office pool on some horse race.

    Johnnyonline don’t take any of my remarks personally to heart. But speaking to Tancrede, be more collegial if you can!

    “wake up, my friend! alberta is quebec’s best friend and best hope in producing a nation prepared for the 21st century.”

    …. Alberta is polluting itself at an incredible rate, squandering its watersheds, and hardly preparing any of us for the 21st century! The oil sands are an environmental disaster, the oil is going to run out in 10 or 15 years, and then what??? Unlike Norway who put aside 200 billions in their “rainy day” fund from their North Sea Old, Alberta is dipping into the 5 or 6 billion they put away. A drop in the bucket!! I don’t see Alberta diversifying as they should be. At least hydro in Quebec will last beyond 10 or 15 years.

    I don’t see that Alberta has answers for Canada or for Québec …… In fact there have been some good article in L’Acualité outlining some of the huge environmental problems happening in the oil sands megaprojects.

    As for what happened in what the COMPASS poll refers to as the “powergrab” agreement, that was pretty predictable — Harper left them (the 3 oppositions — plus the “invisible” Greens, — with nothing left to lose. When it is your life on the line, you are allowed to fight for it, including Duceppe and the Bloc.

    This thread was about Duceppe at the outset was it not ?? AFG argued the thesis that Duceppe screwed up, but in the thread most of us have politely begged to gently differ, (and that is not begging the question precisely is it?? Aiiie… begging the question!!

    Je supplie de m’endormir! C’est après minuit à l’heure actuelle.

    Bonsoir Québec. Ayez de doux rêves.


    December 6, 2008 at 12:32 am

  12. @ Bruce.

    ‘You are writing off les Québécois unfairly, ABP !!

    But you too are ambivalent!

    Keep an open mind and an open heart!’

    C’est possible mon ami….

    A good poste…par vous.



    December 6, 2008 at 2:23 am

  13. Tancrede–THANK YOU for bringing the misuse of “begging the question” to everyone’s attention. This (mis)usage drives me nuts!

    To beg a question means to avoid it or sidestep it.


    December 6, 2008 at 6:09 am

  14. Famous usage of Internet in politics grows in leaps and bounds….

    Here for example, a French citizen simultaneously shows off his language skills and delivers a powerfull message to the World (no less will do)…


    December 6, 2008 at 6:43 am

  15. Une affiche un peu plus court:

    Midnightjack: Merci de ton bon accueil.

    Hey FrankD !!

    — vous êtes inutilement cruel et sarcastique envers ce chef à défaut! Nous connaissons que le vidéo discours est plutôt d’amateur. Mais il parlait assez bien en anglais et de son coeur.

    Dion’s English skills are miles beyond the French skills of Harper. His discourse in the campaign was, in fact, too intellectual for the average anglo voter, but the top two reasons anglos wrote him off was because they perceived him to be too unpopular in Quebec, and # 2 because the media mocked him for being weak and indecisive. (We also realise the Libs had no $$ ready for an election, so Dion played Harpers game for far too long, it is true)

    Anglos in the Maritimes and in Ontario and some other parts of the west such as B.C. and Manitoba especially want to support a strong leader who is well regarded by the Québécois, other than the Bloc of course, because we have the pan-Canadian loyalty naturally, and in the election many anglos believed Harper had significant Québec support, until the meltdown to 18% only in the last part of the election. Now the Libs could get better support, in ROC, IF they get someone(fluent in French of course) who is reasonably acceptable in Québec.

    Harper has now blown that support in Québec and raised tensions along ethnic cleavage lines, so I think it is not right to gloat and mock a leader who, although failed, was seen as a sincere man of personal integrity. As an anglo I feel free to say that of Dion, in his defense. As a person, and an intellect he is of greater stature by far than Harper.

    But its true his time has passed now, and the federal Liberals have to get a new leader who doesn’t carry all that negative baggage in Québec. But sheesh — don’t kick at a guy when he is down and out!

    Anyhow EVERYTHNG nowadays is on YouTube so thanks for posting it, sans votre commentaire un peu trop sarcastique. I did not find it offensive or laughable despite the sad story of how it was cobbled together by inept staff.

    Anyhow I look forward to the day when Québec and other provinces, including the west send Green members to dialogue for us in Ottawa. Peut-être quand des poules auront des dents! But, anyhow…….


    December 6, 2008 at 1:43 pm

  16. bruce,

    you are being fisked.

    **bla bla, the *poll* of FEAR!!**
    what is it that you find FRIGHTENING? it’s just numbers about how people are thinking on some wednesday or thursday in canada.

    **the “PRO ROGUE” ** crisis –is just a flash in the pan, a knee jerk reaction!**
    clever by half and speaking of knee jerks, you have just witnessed the making of constitutional history. a precedent has been set whereby a parliamentary instrument has been inverted.

    **In 3 months when Harper is still there…melt down didn’t have anything to do with market regulation, but rather due to a complete lack thereof**
    should i understand that you are predicting that the current prime minister will still be holding office or not? and if you think there is a total lack of regulation – please refer to the legislative record of bill clinton who set much of the groundwork for the sub-prime fiasco currently taking place. and if you look carefully you’ll see that the regulations proposed by bush in 2003 and the regulations proposed by mccain in 2005 (both meant to address the meltdown) were rejected by a usa government controlled by the democrats.

    **The Wall Street “robber baron” wolves had been in the the hen house, “unsupervised”, for a good long time before the “golden eggs” were discovered missing and the hens found to have all been murdered!**
    alluding to wealthy monopolists as an analogy to recent events is hysterically disingenuous – nobody has been murdered and there were no golden eggs – just an incredible number of dubious loans made in a housing bubble – then bought by government institutions – then packaged and re-packaged by banks and sold again around the world. and at the risk of repeating myself – this financial catastophe was enabled and enforced by well-intentioned but nonetheless idiotic individuals such as yourself. look on the bright side and note that investment banking is now no longer considered to be a viable financial model.

    **Choice is good, and freedom is good as long as we are not free to rip off our fellows with shameless blood lust for extreme riches — and to hell with everyone else!**
    the last time i looked it was already against the law to steal. what’s your point? hey why don’t we get elliot spitzer to go after all those bad guys? perhaps a united nations declaration banning evil will make our world a better place?

    **Can you tell me, Johnnyonline, why all those traders in New York who got their million or multiple million dollar Xmas 2007 bonuses, haven’t so far offered to return any of that loot??**
    christmas bruce – it’s called christmas. and they haven’t offered to give any back because… i would venture – because they believe they have earned it. i will not advocate it – but it would be interesting to see the results of you kicking down the doors of some homes in long island or connecticut during “xmas” dinner and demanding they return to the people what they have stolen.

    **economics ?? Johnny?? are you with me still??**
    i have never been with you bruce and it will probably be a cold day in hell before that ever happens!

    **This is not a crisis that will go away thanks to a COMPASS poll on the day that Parliament was shut down arbitrarily**
    compas bruce – that’s compas and you can call the governor-general’s decision arbitrary at your own risk.

    **(* He just caused a different kind of ‘depression’ dans la belle province de la nation Québécoise, je crois!)**
    this remains to be seen – we’ll probably have a better idea late monday night. i’m thinking the electorate in quebec can distinguish between m. harper denigrating the separatistes as opposed to denigrating the entire country’s population.

    **The Flaherty economic update was a pretty sick joke in every respect, don’cha know Johnny?**
    pull your pants up bruce – the forestry industry makes money when homes are being built and the auto industry makes money when people buy cars. nobody’s building mcmansions and nobody’s buying camaros. this is why we have social programs – to help people when the going gets rough. according to the prime minister stephen harper and his conservative government the unsupervised signing of blank cheques (a la coalition) to unionists and separatistes is something that is not going to happen without an election.

    **We of course don’t need a Stalinist state, but we need the opposition to sort out its leadership and get prepared for the day, not far off when Harper runs out of ideas and solutions.**
    finally you have written something that would indicate you cranium is not entirely filled with granola.

    THE NEXT 28 LINEs should be taken in context of jack layton flying over alberta in an airplane and making an off-the-cuff remark about shutting the tar sands down. yes – he said that.

    and bruce – tancrede is obviously a person capable of responding no matter what the tone is – but you might want to take a little bit of your own advice.

    for your added enjoyment – some truly twisted number magic from the last election:
    the canadian electorate (74%) refused to be governed by liberals, and an overwhelming majority (82%) said no to the ndp. The bloc, rejected by 90% of all Canadians, wasn’t even running outside quebec. lizzie (green) may did not even come second in her riding.


    December 6, 2008 at 3:21 pm

  17. Funny how Mr. Dion did everything he could to save Canada and now he’s a pariah. He’s hated in Québec for what he did against his own people and he’s hated in Canada for some reasons (oh, he does not speak good english I heard so). What a tragic fate. And he is still telling Canada that he will work days and nights…. wow now that’s pathetic.


    December 6, 2008 at 5:42 pm

  18. I think Dion is honest, but the Canada he lives in or dreams of only exists in his mind.


    December 6, 2008 at 5:50 pm

  19. I think Dion is a bad politician, and the chief reason he is a bad politician is that he doesn’t understand that he is a bad politician.


    December 6, 2008 at 5:56 pm

  20. Just a little correction on what I said (I hate giving false info). The transfers per capita to the province from statcan should be in $ not million $. Sorry for that.
    For your argument ABP: in 20007, transfers per capita as % of GDP= (transfer p.c. /gdp p.c.)x100 = (1972/36242)x100=5,4%…


    December 6, 2008 at 6:09 pm

  21. Johnnyonline:

    Hey I wasn’t attacking you personally! You may support the Ottawa Conservative government that had 38% support if you wish, realising as you do however that 62% of us wanted other than what they have to offer.

    When Mulroney was in, his Conservative finance ministers overestimated revenues every time, and the annual deficit was touching $45 billion. Paul Martin was the guy with fiscal DISCIPLINE and ended by turning that deficit to a SURPLUS of around 40 billion! So it was Liberal fiscal discipline that put Canada back into good shape!

    So what has Harper done — To buy our votes he knocked 2% off the GST and thus has squandered our very handy little surplus which is now going to balloon into a big nasty DEFICIT! This is the core truth of Conservative ideology. We may grumble, but we didn’t need that 2% put back. Instead the national debt could have been paid down a little faster, and a healthy surplus could prepare us better for these hard times.

    Johnny, I DO want value for my taxes, but taxes are the price we pay for civilisation. When they are too low we wind up less civilised and more of a brutish society.

    21.8% of eligible Cdn voters supported Mr. Harper (low turnout included) so its not like they have a powerful mandate, or even a majority within our flawed system, so where is he coming from coming on like a spoiled brat who does not have to compromise?

    Better democracies than ours use proportional systems. I’m Green, and 8% of us voted green so we want some representation in Parliament, which a more democratic system would allow for, as in Europe, where “civilisation” is doing just fine vis à vis ourselves.

    Sorry to have mentioned that the US system does not work well, except for the top 1%, and the superelite (maybe in Long Island and around Greenwich Connecticut) as you say are about 0.1%.) There are some great aspects to the US, but it is nonetheless an overly toxic society for a huge proportion of its people. They could do a lot better, and in Canada we have more or less.

    The issue for the folks on this blog is whether the Québec language, French, can thrive and flourish long into the future, remaining within Canada — or whether they could only achieve that outside of this country.

    For you personally that question is not a concern that is part of your own soul, not being French Québécois I presume.

    Seemingly, you are coming from a place where thoughts of economics and political power are uppermost in your mind. So why bother telling the Québécois, in English here, that they are so well off? And that it is thanks to Alberta?

    That is not going to make anyone in Québec feel more secure and happy, and it isn’t a real dialogue because you don’t seem to show you share the fundamental concern for a French culture that won’t just become a minority within Québec over the course of time and immigration.

    I have family in Alberta and B.C. and they are good places but Alberta DOES have environmental problems! You scoff at that, but does that change the challenge posed for the future there?

    Getting back to Québec, yeah I do see them as already “free” and “independant” in all but name — they don’t have a “foreign minister” or their own army, but otherwise they have re-invented themselves, and are still in progress. I guess the PQ overspent, which is why they shifted to the PLQ which is a soft nationalist market liberal government which is moderately popular currently.

    Hard core separatists are unhappy long term no matter what and will have their axes to grind long after independance, should that come about.

    After all Québec will still have to innovate and compete effectively in an Anglo-American-Indian (english) Chinese (mandarin) world. Québec has made progress in many ways but still spends more than they are able to currently afford — looks a bit like the American model that way, but not as bad thank God. At least they spend on day-care instead of war.

    The guys on this blog believe that leaving Canada would ensure clear sailing for French cultural and linguistic preservation.

    Maybe, and maybe not — I don’t think there is any guarantee of that — I think the way the present relationship Québec/Canada has evolved is the best of all worlds presently, not that there cannot be refinements.

    Québec is a cultural jewel within this confederation. Even if some of you bloggers from ROC think it is costing you money, what would you have instead?

    Plus Canada needs a proportional electoral system.

    ROC has adapted to the presence of the Bloc and to minority parliaments. Québec is still working out how to be cosmopolitan yet eminently French.

    I doubt that Canada is standing in the way of this in any truly super important ways.

    We need above all 2 way respect. Québec craves love, but not everyone craves, and not everyone in ROC wants to give it either.

    That will only come in a “minority” fashion of course.

    Societies are always led and managed by engaged “minorities”, those who have the luxury and time and skills etc to become engaged. You’re either “engaged” or “enraged”. C’est la vie!

    We are a nation of “minorities. –something Mr. Harper hasn’t fully mastered so far.

    Respectfully submitted, Johnny! lets all search for our better inner and outward dialogue. Sorry if you felt demeaned or dissed by my commentary about your post!

    The problem for me is a want to dialogue in the French language, and these English threads are not doing that for me!

    This however is a Québec initiated blog –remember that bilingual AngryFrenchGuy? He’s making it easy for you and me to “rant” in our own tongue, but helping his ‘nation’ discuss their issues in the other language that they need to succeed better in the global environment. The most important is probably the anglo-allo-français dialogue within Montréal and Québec.

    We from ROC are interlopers, and kind of irrelevant here!

    People like me should be making a fool of himself on a French only blog! Thats what I need personally.


    December 6, 2008 at 8:16 pm

  22. FYI Bruce

    Si tu veux dialoguer en Français sur le Québec (not that I wish to get rid of you), check out, section politique et opinion. et sont très bons. Tu peux aller lire François Parenteau sur aussi.


    December 6, 2008 at 9:31 pm

  23. bruce,

    i did not take any of your posting personally. i know that it was not directed at me. and if you’re smart – you won’t take any of my posting personally. we’re talking politics here.

    and if 62% of the electorate want a change – then let’s have it. we can agree on that.

    your passion and enthusiasm is a gift and i believe, that given time, you stand to reap great success within the green party. i hope things go well for you.



    December 6, 2008 at 11:12 pm

  24. Bruce:
    “Manitoba ( once upon a time, a heavily francophone province!)”

    Yes, the rate of assimilation is appalling. One more reason why Canada can’t work.

    “We need proportional representation”

    Couldn’t agree more. We wouldn’t be debating of this situation in such a system. I’m tired to vote for the lesser of the evils. Note nonetheless that if Ducceppe didn’t made an campaign based on strategic voting (sending people to a website that used polls to suggest the best way to defeat conservative, even if sometime that meant voting for the Liberal or NDP) we would have ended up with a divided vote and more conservative MP, like you did.

    “He’s making it easy for you and me to “rant” in our own tongue, but helping his ‘nation’ discuss their issues in the other language that they need to succeed better in the global environment.”

    I’m not sure of that, but I suppose he’s the better placed to answer. However, I think it’s important that people from Quebec and the ROC discuss these things, in a language that they both understand, so that if we quit Canada you know us well enough so that no useless animosity will be created, and if we stay, we understand each other better. Look at the Czech Republic and Slovakia: their separation is called the “Velvet Divorce” for a reason.

    According to Wikipedia, the relation between the two country are better than they ever been.

    “wake up, my friend! alberta is quebec’s best friend”

    Weirdly, it’s kind of true, in part. We agree on a decentralized country. I think that’s one of the reason the conservative did so well the first time. But that may be the only thing we agree on, and until the constitution change, what we disagree on (economics, social measures, women’s rights, global warming religion, etc.) is more important.


    December 7, 2008 at 12:40 am

  25. “People like me should be making a fool of himself on a French only blog! Thats what I need personally.”

    Then that is what you should do…vous allez et parlez la francais sur les blogues du Quebec, pour certainemaut.. Pour quois pas…Vous aimez le langue comme tu dits…alors, il est tres mielleux pour vous a’ attendrez le mots.

    Vous doit avoir plus temps avec ton longue ecritez ici.

    Bonne chance.

    Pour l’autres.

    Dion will be gone shortly.

    Rae is equally effected by Dion and has no chance.

    The liberals are just a red bus going down the hill with no brakes and no driver at the wheel…And they are out of gas for the next hill they have to climb.

    Harper is currently under the gun from within. Yes, it is realility. . But, at the end of the day he will likely survive at least for awhile although I doubt a long time.

    Duceppe, at least he calls it straight and tells everyone he is only interested in Quebec. Give him credit…that is his convinction and he doesn’t say otherwise. Therefore, he was happy to go along with the coalition to forward his only agenda. Question, if you don’t have the interests of all Canadians at heart,,,why are you allowed to sit in the government at all. Notice I didn’t utilize the term “begs the question” :)

    The economy is truly a shipwreck in progress..The ship is out of control with no rudder and has only to land on the rocks to play out the eventual end.

    Jack Layton, just wants to be somebody, at any cost. Vision, the lights of the cameras are reflecting off his moustache and and blinding his eyes.

    The auto sector…done and over. Any bailout by taxpayers will just prolong the ultimate end. Time to let them go, somebody will pick up the pieces and make it work again without the incredible burdens the unions have placed upon them (the companies allowed it to happen). Could be toyota, hundai etc…

    The paper industry, equally done and over and not likely to come back soon…Look at the plant in NFLD going dark, as those that have closed in Quebec.

    Softwood lumber, you have to have a market…Check out the houses for sale on both sides of the border. This one will take awhile to get back on track for sure.

    Alberta, oil now down to less than 40.00 per barrel. Things are changing there rapidly…and for SK as well. BC could be in problem mode shortly

    So then, Ontario is already in agony, the commodity pricing going down the who is the have provincee and who is the have not province..Where will the equalziation payments be generated Going forward?

    There is a lot of uncertainty, no one has answers( least of all the policitians) and we are in a position of reacting to the current situation as best we can.

    One thing I know, fighting within a family does not make the unit stronger to face the problems coming to the door. And that, it would seem, is what we have elected to do at this time.

    Get over yourselves and lets get on with what we can do to salvage our economy and country. I have repeateldy said on this blog with regards to the these issues ..does it make any difference in what language you say ” I don’t have a job”. And for those that think the government can make this problem go away..think again. They can do what they can to soften the blow…in the end it is the people who have to make it happen. Que est nous.

    Everything is cyclical…this cycle will end and given time a better cycle will begin.

    The members of a good family look out for each other in good times and especially in bad times.

    Bonne nuit a tous.



    December 7, 2008 at 1:54 am

  26. “I think Dion is a bad politician, and the chief reason he is a bad politician is that he doesn’t understand that he is a bad politician.”

    Dion is a teacher and a good one and should have kept teaching. He was my teacher in political science in the 90’s. Very good. Cold. Retented. But I learned something with him. That was during 1995 referedum. Strange guy. Sort of a weak Robespierre. Completly out of touch, driven by his Ideal. Mirabeau said about Robespierre: ” Beware of him, he believes what he sais”. The same could be said about Dion, but fortunatly he is a mediocre politician and has no charisma what so ever.


    December 7, 2008 at 1:59 am

  27. Actually Dion’s Ideal is valid but anachronic. He sees Canada as the country of “les Canadiens-Francais”, like Curé Labelle in 1880 and he believe in federations as good political systems, which might be true.

    But he just doesn’t see that Quebecois don’t identify themselves to Canada anymore. What a guy from Toronto or Winnipeg thinks and feels about Canada, a french speaking guy from Montréal thinks and feels it for Québec.


    December 7, 2008 at 2:21 am

  28. re: proportional representation and lesser evils

    why would one of the planet’s oldest functioning democracies (canada) want to give up its westminister styled parliament for something dysfunctional? who thinks that current de facto attempt at imposition of proportional representation under the guise of traditional practice is legitimate? proportional representation would make last week’s events a regular occurence in ottawa.

    one could argue that the intrigues and scrambles for power would at least keep the politicians so busy that there would be less intrusions of the state… but the workings of the knesset in israel and italy can’t seriously inspire anyone. and if it does – then you are a fan of antonio gramsci. no thank you and the horse you rode in on.

    british columbia produced a serious study (at great expense) on the subject several years ago and it failed to even get out of the gate because nobody could understand it.

    in our first-past-the-post institutions, if a duly elected political entity expects to participate fully – then, is it not abusive and intellectually dishonest and unsustainable on their part to maintain that their participation is for the express purpose of destroying the relationship? some would say that word is harsh and would go with the less emotional term reconfigure.

    imagine if your partner came to you three out of every seven days and said consistently “i can’t do this anymore – i want out.”

    mr. duceppe is honest and that’s quite an achievement for somebody that used to espouse communism – a maoist no less. he tells his partner 24/7 that canada with quebec fully participating is imaginary and can’t work.

    and there was never any famine in china ;)

    mr. harper is working to address this very issue. the people of quebec have already recognised this dichotomy. who knows maybe the people of quebec will provide the seats necessary for a conservative majority in the next election? then we wouldn’t be having this discussion – it would be just as agf says.

    we should get a better sense after tomorrow’s exercise in democracy that will send representatives to the national assembly.

    btw agf, i have followed this closely and my hat’s off to you – you were the first i read anywhere to suggest that mr. harper would prorogue. good call.


    December 7, 2008 at 4:02 am

  29. In Quebec we have that British STYLE parliament since 1792: it is an old tradition and also a very stable system based on the MPs. Not many people wants to replace it: only people from marginal partys who wants a place in the sun: the greens, quebec solidaire, le parti de la loi naturelle(trancendantal meditation!) marxists etc. I hope the proportionnal will never come: i don’t want l’assemblee nationale become une auberge espagnole: the stability of the state depends on the stability of the parliament. That regime is one of the best thing the british colonialist gave to us.


    December 7, 2008 at 4:52 am

  30. Dear separatist guys! You talk so much about your identity and necessity of Quebec separation and all this stuff. Why you disregard our opinions? We are the same immigrants in this country as you are. Why you don’t ask us whether we want to separate or no? We are not sick about British colonialism. Because the frenches were the same bastards. We don’t want to be separated from Canada and we have the same solid votes as yours. You are thinking you will force as to bark in French. No, it is impossible. We will speak in common Canadian language – English. And we force our children to do it. We send them to the English colleges and universities. We want them to be Canadians but not Quebecers or Ontarians. The more you force us the more we are separated from you. We don’t need your job places. We created our own businesses. It is so easy. We don’t care about 101 because we are not of French origin, why we have to follow it?

    New Quebecker

    December 7, 2008 at 11:57 am

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