September 26, 2006

Chantal Hebert Says We Need Constitutional Change

As I stated in earlier posts, there are 3 main French Papers in Quebec (Le Devoir, La Presse, and le Journal de Montreal) After La Presse and the Journal de Montreal's main political columnists supported Ignatieff's Quebec proposal, only Chantal Hebert remained from Le Devoir.

Today, (in the Star) Hebert weighs in on the fire this proposal has lit, but when she throws in her opinion, and you have to look hard to find it because she is such a good journalist, her view is clear.

''Overall, the current regime is set up in such a way that the provinces that depend on the rest of the federation to make ends meet have a bigger voice on the governance of the country than some of those who foot the bills.

The only way to address this dysfunction would be to amend the Constitution. But if, as Dion claims, the lack of modern national institutions is not preventing Canada from living up to its full potential, it may be because Parliament is less and less relevant to its national life. In a normal world, that should be a concern for those who are vying to lead the country.''

The only way to address the problem is to not sit on our hands...I could not agree more...Quebec needed this debate...and the outcome of it will play a big role in the upcoming showdown next year in the provincial election.

4 Commentaires:

Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

I may be wrong but isn't Quebec a net beneficiary of transfers -- in Chantal's words, one of the Provinces that cannot foot the bill on its own, and therefoe one with a lot of power?

If that is the case, wouldn't opening the constitution only serve to diminish Quebec's voice/power?

9/26/2006 5:16 PM  
Blogger Steve a dit...

So now in defending Ignatieff's position, you have bent over backwards to defend a process (ammending equalization?!) that is as far from his original position and certainly Trudeau's (fuddle duddle-oh but as you said a few months ago he is dead) as possible. As Ignatieff stated it, Quebec already has the powers it needs. This kind of discussion is a)concrete proof of the kind of danger in opening up this debate on one set of terms and having it end up around another entirely and b) concern-raising as to what this nationhood entrenchment entails. None of this reasonably follows from a defense of civic nationalism in the constitution. I would assume Ignatieff disagrees, but this certainly gives weight to those who fear what this process could mean.

Basically, my point is that this is not, or should not be, a debate about constitutional change vs. no change, at least for Ignatieff supporters, but rather what change.

9/26/2006 6:13 PM  
Blogger Steve a dit...

When I say I assume Ignatieff would disagree, I mean not with what I am saying but with Chantal Hebert. None of his talk on "fiscal imbalance" has mentioned constitutional solutions. And since he has explicitly called that a problem of the future and "not for now," while saying the fiscal issues must be adressed, these two cannot be seen as coinciding in his view. He has also said his constitutionalism is not about granting new concessions.

Now you could say "well, who cares" and that is fine, but I'm adressing it as far as Ignatieff goes. If it's just your personal opinion, then that's for you but since it is Ignatieff that brings this issue up I assume this is tied to that. If not, then fine, but perhaps realize you seem to disagree with Ignatieff, which might be the opposite of your original intention. If not, oh well.

9/26/2006 6:17 PM  
Blogger Altavistagoogle a dit...

I think when you wrote your intro you confused Montreal with the province of Quebec (don't wory, people in Toronto confuse their city with Canada). Who in their right mind would read the Journal de Montréal outside the Montreal area? By the way, many more people read The Gazette than Le Devoir. But I guess Le Devoir could qualify as a "national" newspaper, Quebec being the nation, despite the low readership.

9/26/2006 8:47 PM  

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