AngryFrenchGuy

Posts Tagged ‘bloc quebecois

Liberals Talk the Talk. Bloc Walks the Walk.

with 101 comments

Ruby Dhalla

It’s so hard to find good help these days.  They have no respect, run their mouths to the neighbours and think they have all the rights of, you know, real Canadians.

Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla won’t find much sympathy out there.  You can’t be young, scandalously sexy, successful, represent a battleground ridding and not expect the other side to try to portray you as an evil Veronica Lake.

We all know Ms Dhalla was accused a couple of weeks ago of mistreating three live-in domestic workers hired to take care of her mother.  One of them even accused the MP of withholding her passport.  The accused claims it’s some kind of vast right wing conspiracy and that its her brother who was abusing the Filipina workers anyway.

When my uncle was transferred to Singapore by his company, he told me about how the apartments literally came with a live in maid who had her one little room without Air Conditioning only two two rights: to work or to leave.  This is a common way of treating workers in many parts of the world.  There are many countries who recruit their labourers with temporary schemes and single-employer visas.  The Middle East is notorious for these emirates where 70% of the population is made up of temporary workers with partial rights who can be asked to leave the country on at any moment.

Canada has usually recruited its workers the other way: by granting those who agree to come, after some basic bureaucratic formalities, full rights of citizenship.  It’s a little more expensive to do it this way, but it tends to attract better quality personnel.

But there are a few exceptions to this rule.  Temporary agricultural workers, for example.  Or Live-in domestic help.

Live-in nannies and maids, contrary to other landed immigrants, are only allowed to work for one employer.  They are also obligated to live with this employer and do not benefit form all social services, things like CSST (work-accident protection) in Québec, for example.

This is, of course necessary because, well, do you have any idea how expensive it would be to hire three live in workers at a real salary?  You have to be serious, now.

Ms. Dhalla’s Liberal Party has always won the hearts and purses of Canada’s immigrant communities by portraying the Conservatives and, above all, the indépendantistes as evil and anti-immigrant.   Of course, live-in maids and nannies don’t vote, so the Liberal were quick to dismiss them and stand behind Ms. Dhalla.

Besides, anyone who’s ever walked through Westmount, Town of Mount-Royal, Hampstead and other Liberal strongholds in Québec between 9am and 5pm understands that any salary increase given to immigrant care-takers would seriously diminish the amount of disposable income these constituants would have for things like campaign donations.

People in Rosemont and Blainville, on the other hand,  can’t afford that kind of help, even the imported discounted kind.  That’s probably why the Bloc Québécois (with the NDP elsewhere in Canada) has been the only party actively working for the rights of these workers way back before this latest scandal made the issue sexy and politically lucrative and why they’ve  had the abolition of these discriminatory rules in their political platform since 2000.

This of course is surely only a cynical ploy to win over the nanny vote to their treasonneaous seccession projects.

You know, that horrible Republic of Québec that will treat immigrants and minorities like second class citizens that the Liberal Party is trying to protect you from…

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Written by angryfrenchguy

May 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm

The Biggest Loser: Gilles Duceppe

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duceppe

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

Separatists Pay Taxes Too

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Jean et Harper

Stephen Harper did not win a majority in the last federal election and guess who he blames?

Money and ethnic votes.

This is the conclusion we can reach from his decision to abolish the public funding of political parties and the unprecedented constitutional crisis that is resulting from it.

It’s absolutely true, by the way.  If it wasn’t for the Québécois, who insist on voting Bloc and Liberal, the Conservative party would have a comfortable majority in the House of Commons right now.  It’s also true that if it wasn’t for the taxpayer money these parties receive from the federal government, the Conservatives could have easily outspent both of them in the last election.

Harper is factually right just as Jacques Parizeau’s infamous “money and ethnic votes” comment was factually solid:  If it hadn’t been for the Anglo vote and federal money today Québec would be an independent country.  If it hadn’t been for the French vote and public funding of political parties, today Canada would be the Conservative beacon of the Western world.

” We, the taxpayers of Canada, are underwriting 86% of the expenses of a party whose sole raison d’etre is the destruction of the country. Let them work their treason on their own dime”, wrote Andrew Coyne on his Maclean’s blog about the Bloc québécois.  This is the party line that continues to be diligently copy/pasted by conservative pundits accross the country.

We, the taxpayers are also separatists, by the way.  Bloc voters pay taxes to Ottawa just the same as Conservative voters.  The Bloc’s 1,95$ per vote is our ‘own dime’, Andy.  It doesn’t matter if the Bloc gets 10%, 30%, 60% or 86% of it’s funding from the federal government.  They get their twoonie per vote the same as everybody else.  That twoonie comes out of it’s supporters pockets through their taxes.  Period.

Jacques Parizeau was straight out offensive in the way he blamed the referendum defeat on one segment of Québec’s population.  But Jacques Parizeau never called Anglos traitors.  He never said they had destroyed the country of Québec, even though a clear majority of Francophones had voted for independence.

He certainly never cut the funding of Anglo organizations and political parties, even after it became widely known they had illegally used millions of federal tax dollars to thwart the democratic expression of the will of the voters.

These are awfully dangerous times for English Canada to return to the Oka Crisis-style politics of ethnicity and Québec-bashing.  An economic meltdown.  A constitutional crisis.  And now a coordinated campaign by the Canadian Right to blame the whole thing on Canada’s historical scapegoat:  Québec.

Update: The Tories back down on the public financing of political parties but the Liberals are still talking coalition.

The Montreal Gazette, making itself useful for once, leaks Conservative talking points for talk radio enthusiasts: “Certainly not a single voter voted for the Liberals to form a coalition with the separatists in the Bloc.”

“There is simply no way Michaelle Jean can endorse a separatist-controlled coalition without triggering a crisis on the monarchy, never mind the Constitution.” – Don Martin, The Calgary Herald

“But we’re now faced with the real possibility that the Bloc Quebecois could have a seat around the cabinet table if opposition members topple the Conservative government next week and replace it with a coalition that includes Quebec separatists.” – Tom Brodbeck, Winnipeg Sun

Now the Governor-General cannot be trusted to do her job. Too French. “Ms. Jean was appointed by former Prime Minister Paul Martin. At the time of her appointment, she also held French citizenship, which she wisely renounced in the ensuing controversy. There was also considerable controversy over whether she and her spouse, Jean-Daniel Lafond, harboured separatist sympathies; in his case, few of those who know him believed the denials.” Norman Spector, the Globe and Mail

It has now become an all out separatist conspiracy!   Count how many times the Conservatives use the word separatist on their website: “The EFU was merely a trigger to execute a longstanding secret deal between the NDP and Quebec separatists.”

Yeah, I must be paranoid.  No one is trying to make this about Québec and the Bloc…

Written by angryfrenchguy

November 29, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Why You Should Vote Bloc and Why I Will Not

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You’re all going to accuse me of being a bourgeois socialist so let’s just make one thing clear right away:

I am. Big time.

I’m from the very bourgeois NDG and given we are exactly the same age, I came just this close to being bourgeois pinup Justin Trudeau’s classmate at the very bourgeois Collège Brébeuf.  In my youth there’s been yacht clubs and brunches at the Hôtel Bonaventure.  I’ve owned plenty of penny loafers and polo shirts.

That said bourgeoisie doesn’t always rhyme with money and I’ve got more working class patches than most of you bitches.  I’ve got a taxi driver’s pocket number and I’ve hauled big rigs all the way down to MS and BC.  I’ve been union. I’ve even been a Teamster.

(Although looking back at my trucking days, cruising in New England in my Volvo, sipping allongés from my in-cab coffee machine and listening to René Homier-Roy on my satellite radio, I have to admit I was still pretty bourgeois…)

As we head into worldwide financial apocalypse, all indicates that on next Tuesday Canadians are going to re-elect a Conservative government determined to avenge the memory of Herbert Hoover, who was kicked out of the White House in 1933 just as his Great Depression action plan of doing absolutely nothing for four years and letting the markets sort themselves out was just about to show some results, or so he said.

Great Britain is about to nationalize British banks and George W. Bush nationalized AIG, Freddie Mac and Fanny May.  It doesn’t matter what your political ideology is or what Stephen Harper thinks about it, this is the new world order.

No other party than the Bloc has as many people who have first hand experience with the Québec tradition of using the state as an economic and financial agent with institutions like la Caisse de Placement et de Dépôt du Québec, Hydro-Québec, la Société Générale de Financement and the like.  No party has as much knowledge on how such institutions work and how they fail.  Conservatives are hostile to government intervention.  The Bloc has people that understand government intervention.

Québec’s Quiet Revolution was Canada’s most wide-ranging, most recent and most successful attempt to use the state to manage and reform an economy.  No other party can claim to represent the legacy of the Quiet Revolution better than the sovereigntists and the Bloc.  The Bloc can’t form the government but we need their knowledge and expertise in Parliament and in the committees.

By definition sovereigntists have not been afraid of overhauling institutions.  At the root of the sovereingtist movement there are people who spent their whole lives taking on corporations for the benefit of people who had no capital and limited power.

The Bloc’s left is not the old left.  More than any other party, even more than the NDP, the sovereingtist movement counts people who have been at the front lines of novel and progressive ways of thinking about the markets and capitalism. Think of Yves Michaud (goolge’s sad translation) and what he’s done for shareholder activism or of Parti québécois vice-president François Rebello and his work for socially responsible investing.

The Bloc can’t make Québec an independent country without another referendum.  You can support the Bloc without supporting sovereignty.  Don’t let your Canadian nationalism stand in the way.

That said, I ain’t voting for the Bloc.

I vote in the riding of Westmount Ville-Marie and in my riding the MP is not chosen by the voters.  It’s chosen by the members of The Party. Over here, as in the Soviet Union and in China, people don’t vote for ideas or candidates, they vote for the colour red. In 2006 the Liberals had an 11 000 vote majority.  In 2004 it was 16 000.

The Conservatives are not a threat here.  Our only hail mary hope for some change is for the riding’s sizable progressives (like myslef) and the handful or separatists (also like myslef) and the enviromentalists (that’s me) unite together like they did in neighboring Outremont and elect the NDP’s Anne Lagacé-Dowson.

In last Wednesday’s Gazette – Montreal’s Anglo newspaper – Lagacé-Dowson and Thomas Mulcair, the NDP MP from Outremont defended their support for a Bloc québécois bill that would’ve extended bill 101’s protection of the right to work in French to the federal service in Québec and to other federally chartered institutions.

“To give you the simplest possible example, a woman working at the Royal Bank doesn’t have the same linguistic rights as her colleague working across the street at the Caisse Populaire”, Mulcair told the Gazette.

He did qualify his support, saying he only wanted to extend the debate to committee, but you can’t deny it takes a serious set of mexican huevos for a pair of Anglos to defend the expansion of the Charter of the French Language in an English newspaper in the middle of an election campaign.

Armchair socialists of the world unite!

Written by angryfrenchguy

October 12, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Québec Minorities in the 2008 Election: Not So Bloc And White

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Ok, I know I’m going to get in trouble for this, but today we are going to look at the color and ethnicity of the Québec candidates in the 2008 federal election in Canada.

Yeah, I know…

I’m sorry but I know you’ve all been doing it too. Diversity is the 21st century litmus test communities, corporations and political parties are judged on. We all scan our products and teams to make sure they reflect the rainbow coalition that proves we are on the good side of the fight.

You know you’ve been walking around Montreal looking at Desjardins’ new ad campaign where they change the name of the company for your last name, secretly keeping count of how many English and “ethnic” names are used.  We’ve all been doing it.

Diversity has become a fundamental value of our society.  When the Montreal Canadien traded with Edmonton for Georges Laraque, I’m sorry, but my friends were not calling me to discuss the Habs strengthened defense. “We got a black guy!” was the big news.  

We value this diversity, but it’s a fluid morphing thing that we are never sure how to define.  Your Italian last name might have earned your grand-father a membership card to the “cultural communities” club, but in the age of Tiger Woods and Barak Obama, you’re just another white guy. Names don’t say much.  Just think of all the Peter McLeods and Normand Brathwaite’s of Québec who are as pea soup as Jean Chrétien.  The candidates bios, although many emphasize it, don’t always tell us much about the candidates heritage.  And then, some candidate’s names tell a very different story than their face.

Nevertheless, by using the very arbitrary criteria of VISIBLE minority, the AngryFrenchMediaLabs have determined that the Liberals have the most diverse team with 11 visible minority candidates, the Bloc québécois is second with 8 and the Conservatives and, surprisingly, the NDP, are tied with 6 each.

Two phenomenon have emerged from this politically incorrect exercise: First, the political parties still pad up their diversity cred by dumping minorities in unwinnable ridings.  Second, 2008 has seen the rise of a new political operative, the Minority WingWoman.

The Bloc

It seems Gilles Duceppe doesn’t go anywhere these days without his Wingwoman, Vivian Barbot, by his side.  She sits behind him in the House of Commons, her face is as big as his on the campaign bus and she follows him around wherever he goes in Montreal.   

Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc have worked harder than anyone to bring the sovereignty message to Montreal’s cultural communities and in 2008 these communities’ representation in the sovereigntist team is about proportional to their weight in Québec at large.  Most of them, with the exception of Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac in the more rural riding of Ste-Hyacinthe-Bagot, face extremely tough fights in central Montreal neighborhoods and even incumbents like Mme Barbot are far from certain they will have a job on september 14th. 

The Liberals

Way before it was fashionable, the Liberal Party of Canada was branding itself as the party of multiculturalism and it’s head start holds strong with 11 visible minority candidates.  Leader Stéphane Dion has even been campaigning in the ROC as the son of an immigrant himself – his mother is from France – for whom English is a second language.    

Most minority candidates are running in unwinnable ridings in Montreal, Laval and the South Shore.  It is not impossible that Marlene Jennings, Stéphane Dion’s answer to Vivian Barbot, will be the only one elected.

The Liberals do still have the unconditional support of Anglophones and third and fourth generation Italian, Portuguese, Greek and Jewish communities who will probably elect at least another half-dozen invisible minorities to Parliament. 

The NDP

Jack Layton has a natural visible minority WingWoman, his real-life wife and fellow MP Olivia Chow.  

That said, it is surprising how few minorities are running for the only Canadian party that’s a charter member of the Socialist International.  The AngryFrenchGuy counted only six.  (A few names were not counted as the website offered no bio or picture of the candidate.)   

The NPD and Jack Layton have a tremendous amount of sympathy in Québec, but those people usually vote Bloc québécois when it counts.  The only chance the NDP have at a seat is in Outremont and Westmount-Ville-Marie if, and only if their candidates Thomas Mulcair and Anne Lagacé-Dowson, convince all the Bloc voters to vote for them.   

That’s right, the NDP’s only chance in Québec is getting sovereigntists to elect two Anglophone left-wingers in two of Canada’s wealthiest ridings.  The workers revolution…

The Conservatives

Unlike Gilles Duceppe and Stéphane Dion, Stephen Harper does not have a black woman sitting behind him in Parliament.  There are few women in the Conservative caucus to start with.  

With the exception of the Bloc, the Conservatives probably have the worst image problem when it comes to diversity and, as far as Québec is concerned, it’s not their handful of candidates in lost-in-advance ridings that will change anything about it this year.  The most notorious Conservative minority in Québec is Mustaque Sarker who got headlines for running in a French neighborhood while barely able to speak French himself.  

The Conservatives do, however, once again demonstrate their uncanny knack in appealing to forgotten constituencies, as evidenced by the high number of rural Québec Anglos running for them.

 

Written by angryfrenchguy

September 29, 2008 at 4:08 pm

In Montreal Liberals Try to Speak French and the Bloc won’t Speak English

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In the last few day there has been a few reports and rumours suggesting that some of the political parties in this fall’s federal election were fielding candidates in Montreal that could not speak French.

Intrigued, the PKP cell of the AngryFrenchMediaLabs lauched a major investigtion revealing that for all their talk of inclusion, the two political parties currently slugging it out for the control of Montreal’s electoral map, the Bloc québécois and the Liberal Party of Canada, are still very much le Parti des Anglais and le Parti des Français.

The Liberals

Very few ridings in Montreal seemed to have an active Liberal campaign at all at the time of the investigation, the week of September 14th to the 20th.  Of the handful of candidates that had a phone number and a website, most were in predominantly English-speaking Western Montreal. Even the Liberal Party of Canada – section Québec’s website has a heavy English accent with phrases such as “Contribuez à ce circonscription

Calls to the campaign offices of the party of Trudeau and Official billingualism were usually answered in English or in bilingual.

In the riding of Mount-Royal – the former riding of Pierre Elliot Trudeau himself – the staffer asked the AFG to speak English because it was too noisy.  Is English louder than French?  Mount-Royal is 21% French-speaking and is represented by former justice minister Irwin Cutler.

In nearby Westmount-Ville-Marie, the riding that includes all of Downtown and Old Montreal and where the party is fielding one of it’s rare Francophone rookie stars, rocketman Marc Garneau, the phone was answered in English.  The staffer was able to answer questions in friendly – if laborious – French.

According to the 2001 census, 37% of the ridings residents are English-speaking and 58% speak French or other languages at home.

One of the few active campaigns out east is Jesus… sorry…  Justin Trudeau’s who is trying to get elected in the predominantly French-speaking riding of Papineau with a weird franglais introduction video.  Despite reports that he also employed unilingual Anglo staffers, numerous calls to the campaign headquarters were always answered in French.

In nearby Honoré-Mercier where former Official Languages Commitee chair Pablo Rodriguez was one of the rare Liberal Francos to survive the sponsorship scandal, staffers spoke French to the caller, but the language of work in the campaign office was quite clearly English, as revealed by this CSI-style enhanced clip:

The Bloc

Well…  at least the Liberals were nice.

Justin Trudeau’s opponent, incumbent Vivian Barbot‘s staffer was able to speak to the AFG in English.  But she obviously didn’t want to.  And was quite rude about it.

Over in Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, whoever was answering the phones for the Bloc candidate Farid Salem simply refused to speak English.

Both ridings are predominantly Francophone, but also have sizable immigrant communities that the Bloc absolutely needs to win over if it wants to take these seats.  Interestingly, both candidates in these ridings are themselves so-called Nouveaux Québécois.

In Western Montreal, where the Bloc will not win any seats, several campaigns were run from the same office and the English was fluent and friendly.

The NDP and the Conservatives

With the improbable exception of Outremont which could re-elect the NDP ‘s Thomas Mulcair and the West Island’s Lac-Saint-Louis riding, which some say is within the Conservatives’ reach, few expect the far left or right to win anything in Montreal.  Calls to the few operational campaign offices of both parties were answered in fluent French and English without any difficulty… or attitude.

Written by angryfrenchguy

September 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec.

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The Angry French Guy wants to take this opportunity to welcome the three new MPs elected in last week’s federal by-election, in particular Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac. The Bloc Québécois MP was elected by the good people of Ste-Hyacinthe-Bagot to defend them in Ottawa and continue the struggle for Québec independance.

Exactly one year and one day before Ms Thaï Thi Lac’s election, Jan Wong wrote a piece in the Globe and Mail about the Dawson CEGEP shooting in witch she blamed the whole thing on the separatists:
“What many outsiders don’t realize is how alienating the decades-long linguistic struggle has been in the once-cosmopolitan city. It hasn’t just taken a toll on long-time anglophones, it’s affected immigrants, too. To be sure, the shootings in all three cases were carried out by mentally disturbed individuals. But what is also true is that in all three cases, the perpetrator was not pure laine, the argot for a “pure” francophone. Elsewhere, to talk of racial “purity” is repugnant. Not in Quebec.”
The last time the Montreal Anglophone community elected someone of Asian descent to represent them was: never.

Written by angryfrenchguy

October 1, 2007 at 3:31 am