October 24, 2006

The Anglophone Media Responds

In the interests of full disclosure, the anglophone newspaper predictably responds by sounding every alarm they possibly can. This goes to the whole West Island Fortress idea many French journalists were bringing up. The Gazette is hardly known for being a leader in recognizing Quebec anything. (However while bringing up the fact they once proposed joining the United States or that they supported assimilation would be smearing, that never stops separatists) MacPherson blames Ignatieff supporters for making the Liberal Party go this way, yet he interviews no Ignatieff supporter. In fact, he interviewed a Rae supporter who disagreed with his own boss.
80% of the people in the room supported the resolution. No way it was only ignatieff supporters who voted for the resolution...but no need for the facts Don, you are too busy inventing conspiracy theories for that.

Liberal Party prepared to rip itself apart over Quebec 'nationhood'

But provincial Liberals already reject the policy as not going far enough

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Guided only by political opportunism and with no other idea of where they're going, the Quebec members of the federal Liberal Party giddily decided on the weekend to take the country on another doomed expedition into the great dismal swamp of constitutional reform.

To the sound of Pierre Trudeau turning in his grave, the Quebec wing of his old party adopted a resolution recognizing this province as a nation.

The resolution stops well short of saying this recognition should be enshrined in the constitution. Rather, it would leave it up to a "task force" to advise the party's next leader on when and how to "officialize" recognition, and doesn't even mention the constitution.

"It could be political or cultural," the proposer of the final version of the resolution, William Hogg, a Bishop's University political scientist, told me yesterday. "It doesn't have to be formalized. We didn't want to tie the hands of the next leader or take a position in favour of any of the candidates."

But that important detail was buried deep below the headlines raising the expectations of Quebec newspaper readers, to whom constitutional recognition with real effect is the only kind that matters.

With that one ill-considered resolution, the Liberals have ensured that the explosive issue of Quebec's identity and status polarizes their party's national convention later this fall and therefore the country as it is about to head into elections at the federal and Quebec levels.

They also have made sure that the new leader who will be chosen there will start out already weakened and on the defensive in one part of the country or another.

They did so by making the resolution a priority, sending it directly to the convention's plenary session to be debated by all the delegates. So either the convention as a whole will recognize Quebec as a nation, or it will not. And even the leadership candidates who have studiously avoided the question will be forced to take a position.

This is all Michael Ignatieff's fault. Convinced that he is smarter than all the people who have tried and failed to settle the Quebec question during the three decades that he was out of the country, he has proposed to recognize Quebec as a nation in the constitution.

This has made Ignatieff popular in Quebec. More elected convention delegates from this province support him than any other candidate (though together, the delegates supporting Stephane Dion and Bob Rae, who oppose constitutional recognition of Quebec as a nation, outnumber Ignatieff's). And Ignatieff's supporters dominated the meeting at which the Quebec resolution was adopted.

But none of the Quebec commentators who have been cheering him on suggest there is even a remote chance of success of his constitutional proposal in the foreseeable future.

And while the mere word "nation" might be too much for English Canada to swallow when applied to Quebec as well as aboriginals, the recognition he is proposing is purely symbolic, and so empty that no Quebec government could accept it.

The campaign manifesto in which he made the proposal says recognition would not be "a prelude to further devolution of powers."

Nor would it be an interpretive clause like the "distinct-society" clause in the ill-fated Meech Lake accord, directing governments, legislatures and the courts to take Quebec's nationhood into account in interpreting the rest of the constitution, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For Ignatieff's "fundamental principles" that are to be respected in the constitution include "the unity of Canadian citizenship" and "the primacy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

This falls well short of Quebec's "minimal" position in the Meech Lake accord, as well as the position of its current federalist government.

Benoit Pelletier, the Charest government's minister for Canadian intergovernmental affairs and architect of its position on federal-provincial relations, said diplomatically yesterday that he is "encouraged" that the idea of recognizing Quebec is "advancing."

But, he also told me, the Charest government "favours" recognizing Quebec in the constitution, which is more than what the Quebec federal Liberals are offering, and in an interpretive clause, which is more than what Ignatieff is offering.

So even before the federal Liberal convention tears itself apart over the offers, Quebec has already rejected them.

36 Commentaires:

Blogger The Tiger a dit...

Michael "Mulroney" Ignatieff.

Could be a good solution, but what if things go wrong?

Historical analogy: Admiral Jellicoe in charge of the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow during WWI. Yes, it'd be cool to have and win another Trafalgar against the German High Seas Fleet, but what if you lose? Why give up a favourable position and risk it all on one throw of the dice?

10/24/2006 9:05 a.m.  
Blogger [JTF6.0]Undecided a dit...

Antonio, splitting Quebec into Anglophone and Francophone spheres seems to me a little divisive. What MacPherson's article suggests is that not only does the motion prove highly explosive, but that it also divides Quebecers on ethnic grounds. This is why I prefer the term "national identity" over "nation" even in terms of canadian nationalism. "National Identity" is far more open to the vast differences in identity that exist within the country than "nation" and gives each individual the freedom to define their own "authenticity" without imposition from the state.

10/24/2006 9:32 a.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

The sad thing of all of this politicking is that the resolution will likely not pass at the Convention thus more divisions within the Party.
As MacPherson correctly states the word "nation" does not sit well with the ROC.
Worse, this symbolic measure does nothing to recognize Quebec's nationhood formally.
In sum, it creates divisions within the Federal party and does nothing to assist the Provincial party against the PQ.
It seems however to impress the Quebec French media. Big deal!

10/24/2006 9:45 a.m.  
Blogger big gay al's big gay liberal sanctuary a dit...

antonio give it a break... you sound really desperate and on the verge of pulling another toddler-tantrum, like the one witnessed on the weekend.

10/24/2006 9:49 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I said anglophone because they write in English...I am being divisive?

10/24/2006 9:56 a.m.  
Blogger CuriosityCat a dit...

Ignatieff shows once again that he is the loose cannon among the Liberal contenders for leadership.

Only a rookie would do what he is going on this issue.

10/24/2006 10:04 a.m.  
Blogger In_The_Centre a dit...

As long as the term "civic" is pressed upon and it is made clear by Liberals that recognition will be in name only (no new powers in order to keep expectations in line), we could get by this ok.

Especially if the people who are neither federalist or seperatist come aboard.

That would be the ultimate difference between Meech Lake and today. The Conservatives set up high expectations which resulted in greater dissapointment. There was also an ideological backdrop to the whole Meech Lake process.

10/24/2006 10:10 a.m.  
Blogger Herb a dit...

Alienating the last safe Liberal constituency in Quebec...yeah, that makes a lot of strategic sense.

10/24/2006 10:11 a.m.  
Blogger Sinestra a dit...

Writing from the West Island Liberal Bastion of AngloLand...

Antonio: Do you think Iggy will maintain this Western Montreal Liberal stronghold as Leader?

Also, wondering how many Grit seats are there in the only part of Montreal that seems to count for you? And how many Iggy ridings are actually 'Liberal' ridings?

I'd tread very, very carefully here my young friend. Your comments are as divisive as the first resolution.

10/24/2006 10:20 a.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

"80% of the people in the room supported the resolution (including Dion's own wife from what Alex tells me)."
You are correct that a large majority of people in the room supporter the Pablo Rodriguez-presented resolution from LPC(Q).
That's why I was surprised when the media reported that Dion and Rae's delegates voted against it. The amendment to create a Commission however puzzles me. Can anyone provide insight?

10/24/2006 10:23 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

What happened to your post on Jean Lapierre, Antonio?
Good MacPherson article, though.

10/24/2006 11:02 a.m.  
Blogger Sinestra a dit...

Many delegates voted against it. Don't let the Iggy-spin fool you. This resolution is EXTREMELY unpopular among certain segments of LPCQ. People are very unhappy that there was no vote-count and no one believes the 80% or 2/3 of the room of whatever the Iggy spinmeisters are trying to spoon feed us.

Antonio, since you're so gung ho about pointing out the differences b/w French and English in Quebec, would you like to explain how this resolution will affect Anglos and Allophones and where exactly do non-Francos fit into Iggy's 'nation'? There are about a million of us square heads who would REALLY really like to know.

10/24/2006 11:17 a.m.  
Blogger duojet57 a dit...


You are being divisive by painting anglophones as alarmists and un-enlightened.

It's unfortunate that Quebec issue continues to take up so much of our political discussions.

It's disheartening when so-called Liberals take pages out of the separatist playbook and foment discord.

10/24/2006 11:17 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


When did I call english people un-enlightened. Altho I do disagree with MacPherson, his article is rather alarmist. Him, not the entire english community.

hehe and professor Kelly, I imagine taking your class would have been fun. It's ok I got Brooke Jeffrey instead...dont worry she is letting me have it too.

10/24/2006 11:36 a.m.  
Blogger Graydon a dit...

It is amazing to me that in a country where for ten years the seperatists have been seeking 'winning conditions' for a successful referndum on seperation that some Federalists believe the status quo will forever suffice.

It's like water dripping against a stone, it may take a long time but the stone will eventually wear away.

This vapid adherence to the status quo is what will doom this country in the long run and it is time for Federalists to stand up and together work towards bringing about the 'winning conditions', conditions that will bring Quebec's signature to the consitution.

You don't win anything by letting the other side take all the shots and engage in all the offence. What Ignatieff has proposed is NOT the immediate reopening of the constitution, what he has proposed is a strategy that will appeal to those who want to put an end to the Constitutional divide.

The same people who trumpet Trudeau's accomplishment today forget that it took fifteen years and a failed consitutional round in Vicotria to accomplish it. This was of course proceeded by many other failed constitutional talks.

But where would we be if he had not taken the intitiative? Would the same people who trumpet this accomplishment be the same ones who would have been naysayers at the time?

It's time for a leader who puts forward a vision for a united country where all provinces have signed the constitution and the seperatist threat has been addressed, not the same old status quo politics by the same people who almost lost the '96 referendum.

10/24/2006 12:41 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

Catch-22: damned if you do and damned if you don't.

By putting this resolution forward we have put the party and the country in a precarious position. Whether the resolution passes at the convention or not, the seeds of discord have already been sown.

Expectations have been raised. If they are not met, Quebecers will be upset. If they are met, the rest of the country will be upset. Moreover, this leads us inexorably towards reopening the Constitution...an unpalatable and dangerous exercise if there ever was one.

I am truly dismayed that someone who has spent the past thirty years outside the country, takes such a cavalier attitude towards its unity. For what? For political self-interest? Treason!

10/24/2006 12:46 p.m.  
Blogger CuriosityCat a dit...

I feel like I am at at carnival, with Ignatieff trying to con me and voters in Quebec, with the old bait and switch technique.

Do voters have to nail one of Ignatieff's feet to the ground in order to get a straight answer out of him?

10/24/2006 1:39 p.m.  
Blogger Donolo is a Rae Flunky a dit...

Well, it seems to me that there is a bit of confusion going on here at Fuddle Duddle.

Might we suggest that now is the time to ask everyone's favorite Neutral and Impartial Liberal Strategist to weigh in?

Yes, we at Donolo Watch think that's just the thing to help clear the air. So we ask, what does Peter Donolo say? Time for the noted Rae flunky himself to speak the truth to the masses.

10/24/2006 2:41 p.m.  
Blogger Sinestra a dit...

Antonio: time for some clarity.

Again, HOW will Iggy's plan affect minorities in Quebec? Has Team Iggy come up with an answer for this?

I imagine Brooke's letting you have it. I used to be her RA/TA - she's used to dealing with nationalist wannabes - and she's damn good at it. Have a lovely semester.

10/24/2006 3:24 p.m.  
Blogger Iggyconserv a dit...

Les gens de Bob Rae n'ont pas du tout hué, malgré les attaques. Les jeunes de Ignatieff ont manqué une belle occasion de laissé place aux vérités.

10/24/2006 3:36 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Bo Green a dit...

Quebec is not a nation, and it never will be a nation - that time is over. Ignatieff is incorrect.

The Quebecois are a nation - the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual province of Quebec is not.

Thank you for your rapt attention to the obvious.

10/24/2006 3:43 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

Antonio, saying that Ignatieff wants to reopen the constitutional debate and that its a bad idea is not smearing. Its just a bad idea. You guys are like the boy who cried wolf. No one is listening anymore to your cries of smear because they don't mean anything. Read Paul Wells. he's even harsher to Iggy supporters than that.

10/24/2006 4:44 p.m.  
Blogger Krieber a dit...


Je n'ai pas voté pour la motion sur la nation du Québec et je ne voterai jamais pour une telle motion.
Vous tous, bloggeurs, n'oubliez jamais que nous avons sacrifié plus de dix ans de notre vie familiale pour l'unité de ce pays, nous y tenons donc beaucoup.
J'avais déjà traversé beaucoup de crises constitutionnelles avant que vous perdiez vos dents de lait, ne croyez pas tout ce que Alex vous raconte.

Pour les blogs: Stephane's wife

10/24/2006 7:06 p.m.  
Blogger [JTF6.0]Undecided a dit...

Hey Antonio, I don't mean to pile on, but perhaps you owe Mme. Kriber an apology. Let's remember people, at the end of the day, we all have to unite as a party. That goes for everyone, not just for Iggy Nation.

10/24/2006 7:33 p.m.  
Blogger Eugene Forsey Liberal a dit...

The French Media Responds Too:

<< M. Ignatieff connaît bien mal le Québec d'aujourd'hui >> Translation: Mr. Ignatieff does not understand/know modern Quebec

Tout le monde en parle, un succès pour Ignatieff? Mon oeil!

As Lysiane Gagnon noted in her Globe column today "Iggy just wants to be liked (really)" (behind subscriber wall) and more pointedly, in her La Presse column Saturday, available in the Saturday edition (samedi 21 octobre 2006) of the separatist newsletter Vigile under the title Ignatieff et le Québec, his appearance on the popular Quebec talk show Tout le monde en parle was not the earthshaking popular success Iggy-cultists pretend, but rather a demonstration of his abject ignorance of Quebec, whence, no doubt, his deluded constitutional rhetoric. He couldn't even name five Montreal streets, five Quebec Premiers and five Quebec companies: the hosts and guests had to help him with half the answers. And when asked to name two Montreal suburbs, he named Outremont and Westmount?! That's like saying Rosedale and Cabbagetown are Toronto suburbs or Yaletown and Kits are Vancouver suburbs. It would be farcical if he wasn't running for leader and future PM - that makes alarming: a man whose grasp of either Quebec or the French language is so weak that he doesn't know any of the who, what, where, when and hows of Quebec? I know he's previously confessed "I am a Martian outsider” but still, even for a brother from another planet, that's pitiful. But it's of a piece for a guy who, standing in the Regent Park 'hood in Toronto, keeps it calling Regent's Park, after the rather nice actual park in London. which is understandable for a guy who's lived more years (22) in the UK than in Canada. I know almost as much about Alpha Centauri as Iggy does about Canada!

But then, when you're a snob jetsetter, as Mme Gagnon remarks, you've got more important things on your mind, like the awful service on Air Canada compared to what one is used to receiving from one's faithful serfs in first class on Air France. BA, Singapore Airlines, Cathay, doncha know? Now there's a public policy issue to really get het up about, rather than these dreadful badly dressed plebes in what's its name...St. Henry?

10/24/2006 9:38 p.m.  
Blogger big gay al's big gay liberal sanctuary a dit...


Answer the question... what about Quebec's minorities? Do they fit into Ignatief's equation at all, or just swept under the rug?

You have lost SO MUCH credibility... who the hell will take anything you and your infantile friends have to say?

Admit that booing and NOT ALLOWING PEOPLE TO VOICE THEIR OPINION was WRONG and NOT DEMOCRATIC. Doing so might actually show a shimmer of maturity on your part.

But I know I'm asking for too much.

You claim Dion is a divider.

Well Ignatief is a uniter.

Everyone is uniting against him. Have fun losing the convention, you deserve it.

10/24/2006 10:02 p.m.  
Blogger menage_a_trois a dit...


10/24/2006 10:16 p.m.  
Blogger Sinestra a dit...

Merci, Janine. Personne a cru que vous avez voté pour cette résolution. C'est dommage que notre parti est réduit comme tel.

10/24/2006 11:17 p.m.  
Blogger Winnipeg Liberal a dit...

eugene forsey liberal,

Can you name me three neighbourhoods in Winnipeg? How about three major streets?

What's the name of the former premier of Manitoba who became Governor General? Or, if you prefer something easier, name three of the last five premiers of Manitoba.

Before Winnipeg became a city, what was it called?

What is the nickname of gold statue on the top of the Manitoba legislature? See my photo if you're not clear on what I mean.

If you can answer any of these questions without using Google, I'll be impressed with your knowledge of Manitoba.

I'll bet you that 90% of Canadians - certainly 90% of Canadians west of Ontario - couldn't have answered the questions as well as Ignatieff did.

I realize there's a tendency among many Quebeckers to assume the rest of Canada is fascinated with your lovely province, but for the most part, we're as ignorant of Quebec as Quebec is of the rest of Canada.

10/24/2006 11:56 p.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

the problem with your arguments is that they are not fact-based, note how you are so quick to paint everyone who disagrees with you as a jerk - in debating this is known as an "ad hoc" argument, because rather than address anything which your opponent says, you result to insulting them.
Secondly, you are hypocritical, because although you are probably the biggest smear artist on Liblogs, you accuse others of your own cardinal sin.
Thirdly, your positions in favor od the whole "nation" thing mirror your similarly uneducated stances on anything Iggy supports. You just agree with anything he says, without doing your homework, and are therefore unable to properly defend your arguments, which leaves you having to desperately smear your critics.

Anyone who understands the Canadian unity question (which Iggy does not, because he has been absent for both referendums and failed Constitutional negotiation rounds) understands that recognizing Quebec as a nation is legally moronic. Far from preventing another referendum, as you ignorantly predict, such a resolution will only hasten one. Separatists are not motivated by logical arguments, their desire to have their own country is entirely visceral, and will never change no matter how many facts you confront them with or how many trinkets you offer them.
Furthermore, the "nation" resolution is redundant, because such a resolution has already been passed provincially - BY THE PQ. So Iggy is just basically grubbing for votes here from misguided Liberals like you and closet separatists like Denis Coderre.

10/24/2006 11:57 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


Mes Excuses

J'enleve ce fait immediatement


10/25/2006 1:38 a.m.  
Blogger [JTF6.0]Undecided a dit...

Antonio, I applaud the fact that you were strong enough to properly apologize to M. Krieber. To paraphrase an old idiom, "anybody and make mistakes, but it takes a real man/woman to admit them." See you at convention.

10/25/2006 7:51 a.m.  
Blogger [JTF6.0]Undecided a dit...

Great, I totally messed that up. LOL. You get the idea.

10/25/2006 7:51 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Guys I may be a dick

but I am always fair...ALWAYS

10/25/2006 9:41 a.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...


actually, in logical reasoning, an attack on a persons character is referred to as an "ad hominem". it is a fallacious argument b/c it attacks the person and not their point of view. "ad hoc" refers to something that is impromptu or improvised, and not something that has been planned out...i.e. "the gov't's responded to the crisis at hand in an ad hoc fashion".

10/25/2006 2:38 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Bo Green a dit...

I'm a new reader but I'm getting the opposite impression, Antonio. You seem more like a dink, you don't seem very interested in a fair debate and exchange of ideas.

10/25/2006 4:58 p.m.  

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