October 25, 2006

Liberals Ignore their History in Quebec…Boisclair soars to a 14 Point Lead

Ever since the time Levesque was gang-raped in the night (those who read FD know this is what I call the Night of the Long Knives) the Liberals have never won a majority of seats in Quebec. In fact, in every election the Tories were united, we have had fewer votes than the Conservatives, except 2004 when it was still the Reform Party to most Quebecers. Not surprisingly, all were Tory victories.

So before people go trumpeting the success of Trudeau and Chretien federalism, think twice, the gang-rape cost us the fortress, and our rejection of Meech created the new fortress, the Bloc Quebecois.

So, the Tories, and then the Bloc beat us in every election since 1982, we win the referendum by a whisker, and now that the Tories are competitive, we are reduced to our mini-fortress on the island of Montreal. Most recently, both parties received more votes.

Please do not lecture me on constitutional success in Quebec when 49.53% of Quebecers voted YES and almost broke the country apart. People forget Chretien’s passionate plea that night in Verdun: Le Canada est mon pays, le Quebec c’est ma patrie! That speech was a deathbed conversion. Even Chretien realized he may have erred by rejecting Meech…merely 4 days before the decisive vote. It regained us enough votes to pull out the victory. He also promised constitutional change which never came. The promise of the last referendum fell on deaf ears. Nobody has even talked about it, until now.

Andre Boisclair now boasts a 64% approval rating and the PQ have soared back into the lead with a 14 point advantage (38-24) on the heels of the lumber mill closings in Quebec. The election is next spring, and a PQ victory would trigger a referendum by Fall 2007 or Spring 2008. How can we promise anything then, will it not be too late? Will another deathbed conversion be able to save us this time?

We need to talk about re-opening the constitution. It does not have to be now. It has to be somewhere in the near future. We must bring forward this discourse to the Quebec people now, as even the rank and file has acknowledged this fact. Michael Ignatieff never said he will open the constitution tomorrow morning while you are brushing your teeth. This is a big project which we must prepare for. Not to sound too Bouchard-esque, the federalists need “winning conditions” in order to pass such a major recognition. Ignatieff has not set out too much of a timetable although with these new PQ numbers, I would encourage him to do so.

We have 4 options left in this race. Two who will compromise: Michael Ignatieff and Gerard Kennedy, and two who will not, Bob Rae and Stephane Dion. Quebecers will not take very kindly to someone who just backhanded them in the face by denying the obvious. Kennedy is more moderate, saying we need to ensure that this measure passes, but not saying how or when he would do anything. Michael Ignatieff is not scarred by the failures of the past. He is best positioned to take on Boisclair in a referendum that may be as near as 18 months away. Canadians can no longer afford to look the other way.

26 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Oh, is that what you call it, Antonio? If you can delude yourself into thinking that you invented the term the "Night of the Long Knives," I understand now why you might also delude yourself into thinking Ignatieff is something other than an incompetent political poser.

Gang rape? Seriously? You do you candidate a disservice...

10/25/2006 4:53 a.m.  
Blogger Braeden Caley a dit...

Antonio, as you well know I'm not a Quebecker, but I follow Quebec politics probably 1000% more than your average Joe, and my first thought about these numbers is this: Is it any coincidence that when Harper is fast dropping in the polls and in popularity, that the Premier so visibly connected with him would fall as well?

While we can't underestimate the dangerous potential of the numbers you're highlighting, my thought from afar would be that Quebeckers just don't necessarily like Charest's economic and social policies, and perhaps his close connection to a man who is now becoming a very unpopular Prime Minister in the province.

10/25/2006 5:22 a.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

You need to go back to the books, Antonio - the night R.L. was "gang-raped" as you so charmingly put it, was never the rejection of French Quebec by English Canada that nationalists and separatists clamor about.
It was the separatists walking away from the table, as they have done time and again, and turning it into a PR coup by using a bit of revisionist history.
And your '95 numbers fail to take into account the thousands of ballots in support of Canada which were rejected by crooked scrutineers!
Do your homework and get it right instead of flinging offenisve terms around for attention.

10/25/2006 6:59 a.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

ps - it's been pretty obvious for awhile now that you guys have fixed your eyes on Kennedy's delegates as your last chance to win - but it seriously ain't happening.
It's nice that you are towing the campaign line and kissing up to Gerrard, though.
The only problem is that any goodwill you hope to build up by doing so is totally overshadowed by your obnoxious behavior towards all the other candidates, especially those who are closest to beating Iggs.

10/25/2006 7:02 a.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

pps - Chretein wanted to get involved in the campaign from day 1 - it was the provincial Liberals who forbade it, to disasterous results. When Ottawa finally did get involved, they managed to get things turned around.
Jeez! Where do you get your info?

10/25/2006 7:07 a.m.  
Blogger Herb a dit...

It's ludicrous that somebody who purports to be a Liberal would buy into the self-serving PQ mythology about Quebec's supposed exclusion from the Constitution.

Take a look at the Quebec seat totals in the 1980 federal election and tell me again that Quebecers lacked representation in the constitutional debate.

10/25/2006 7:33 a.m.  
Blogger [JTF6.0]Undecided a dit...

Antonio, I must admit that I'm finding your posts increasingly frightening. You seem to have forgone logic and reason in lieu of pure emotionally fury that only aids the separatists. We beat the BQ in 2000 in terms of popular vote and were at 50% in the polls when Chretien stepped down. A calm review of history will clearly show that the Chretien/Dion approach has worked and the Turner/Martin/Ignatieff approach has failed.

10/25/2006 7:47 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Ha, Mr Kelly.

It is a reference to Levesque's actual words

A reporter asked him in English How do you feel? he responded, like I was gangraped in the night

I dont like the other term because it refers to an event from Nazi history and I am in the Jon Stewart school of thinking that we should not insult the gravity of what the Nazis did by comparing peaceful canadian events to murder sprees.

Braeden
Charest has managed to pull into a tie before Boisclair made it to Parliament. Now the lead is 14 points. Is part of it due to Harper, obviously. However, Harper was willing to give Charest some room to negotiate. Harper will not deliver, and we ill be in a big mess. We want a Liberal PM when the PQ gets elected

As for the rejected ballots, there has never been definitive proof and we cannot foret the federal government blindly accepting immigration requests at an interesting speed in Fall 1995. Both sides had fun, the results were what they were, a nail biter.

Is it mythology that Quebec has not signed? Really? What was that whole debate we had in 1987 about geting quebec to opt in?

Blame Mulroney all you want. Quebecers felt so left out they devastated the Liberal Party and have not elected a majority of Liberal MPs since 1982.

Our ELECTORAL fortress has been reduced to ridings of anglophone and allophone Montrealers. Is it still Mulroney's fault? Trudeau did many good things. However, he underestimated the impact that allowing Quebec to walk away from the table would have on the outcome. We must move away from Trudeau as a Liberal messiah. He did many good things, one of which was the Charter document itself, however, he should have been patient enough to wait out Quebec's approval, even if it took the election of a federalist leader to do so.

10/25/2006 8:16 a.m.  
Blogger DivaRachel a dit...

Boisclair est une caniffe vide. No matter what his approval ratings are, QC voters will not follow through at the next election. We've all see this before. His name is Mario Dumont. Je connais tout ca par coeur.

10/25/2006 8:37 a.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

Antonio
Please careful when looking at these poll numbers.
The methodology used by the polling firm was ajusted, for the 1st time in history, to take away a significant portion of the undecided vote from the Liberals.
Also, we should not fear Boisclair. In fact, given past voting trends, it is highly unlikely he will be the next Premier of QC.

10/25/2006 9:34 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

westmount Liberal

I gave raw numbers exactly because of that fact

38-24 with 17% undecided

ADQ 10 Vert 7 QS 2

10/25/2006 9:40 a.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

"Ever since the time Levesque was gang-raped in the night (those who read FD know this is what I call the Night of the Long Knives)"

You've just lost a lot of respect in my mind. A LOT!

10/25/2006 10:04 a.m.  
Blogger godot10 a dit...

//We must move away from Trudeau...//

That pretty much says it all.

By taking this stand, Ignatieff has declared himself to NOT be a Trudeau Liberal.

Don't expect Trudeau Liberals to vote for him.

10/25/2006 10:39 a.m.  
Blogger big gay al's big gay liberal sanctuary a dit...

Antonio, anyone who knows anything about Quebec politics will realize that poll numbers mean very little.

When Charest first entered the scene as PLQ leader, he had huge support, far greater than Bouchard. By the time the election came, Bouchard won. Polls have a tendacy of wild swings here, like the surge in Tory support in the last federal election.

Therefore, don't jump to doomsday conclusions. Your recent analysis makes you sound quite unknowledgeable of the whole issue. I suggest take a breather and don't comment for a while. Your posts have become hogwash.

If this is your attempt to scare people to vote for Ignatieff, than congrats... you have stooped down to the level of Republicans in trying to scare people to vote for you.

10/25/2006 10:41 a.m.  
Blogger Cerberus a dit...

In our frenzy to bolster our preferred candidate (or more accurately try to push up or tear down Ignatieff because there is so rarely these days any promotion of the abilities of a candidate, just attacks on Iggy), and in the focus on Antonio's more incendiary statements here, the BIG point is being missed or dismissed.

The BIG point of this post is that it seems very clear that there is a very very real chance of the PQ coming to power. Can things change? Of course. Are polls accurate? Of course not but they are indicative and they continue to indicate that federalism is in trouble right now in Quebec. If the PQ win they WILL hold another referendum. They have said very clearly that they are not waiting for "winning conditions".

People who don't like Ignatieff or even those who like him but don't like his solution (which is hardly different from Dion or Rae or especially Kennedy, except they just don't want to talk about it), are dangerously ignoring the reality on the ground.

The way I see it is that Ignatieff has suggested we start talking about recognizing Quebec and Aboriginals as nations in the constitution. No one is suggesting any other alternative. Even if it is an alternative that rejects that notion, no one but Michael is suggesting any plan to deal with the FACT of the VERY REAL possibility of another referendum very soon.

That does not make his solution correct or the best. But it does make his the only solution being put on the table by the frontrunners. It is incumbent on them to act as Liberals and state clearly their plans or ideas beyond just "talking about it helps the separatists" (Dion) and "it's difficult and dangerous" (Rae).

The next Prime Minister is at this point more likely than not to face a national unity issue in the form of a referendum. It is incumbent upon them to tell us now how they would handle that.

Ted
Cerberus

10/25/2006 11:00 a.m.  
Blogger Skip a dit...

Ted,

You scare me.

10/25/2006 11:16 a.m.  
Blogger godot10 a dit...

Je suis une nation.

Vous etes une nation.

Chacun est une nation.

Peter MacKay: "Mon chien est une nation."

10/25/2006 11:30 a.m.  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

Cerberus
You are talking hypotheticals. If, if, if...
He're a fact. If Charest loses the next Provincial election, this will be a departure from the 2 consecutive government pattern that has held since 1970 (Liberal/PQ).
That said, the next leader of te Liberal Party will very likely be faced with the unity file as PM of Canada.
Iggy was not in Quebec for us federalists during the 1995 referendum and his desire to re-open the Constitution reflects a lack of appreciation for the Mulroney fiascos of the past.
We need EXPERIENCE and luckily 2 of our leadership candidates have just that.

10/25/2006 12:23 p.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

Antonio,
Trudeau did not "allow" the separatists to walk away from the table - there was NOTHING anyone could have done to make QC under the PQ sign the COnstitution. ANd look, it worked - all these years later and they are still complaining about being gang-raped - oops, that's you, a so-called Liberal.
Furthermore, the spoiled ballot have been proven! I can't believe you are defending this point! The Gazette, the scrutineers, and even ex-PQ members have all testified to it. The bllots have been shown for all to see. Judge Gold never denied that systematic fraud had taken place, only declined to investigate and lay criminal charges, because of the sensitive times.
As for the lightning-fast visas, it's really no different than QC tripping all over themselves to admit any immigrant from a French-speaking country (ie Haiti) over those who are Anglo or Allophones (check the immigration statistics). But since iggynation doesn't care about Anglos or Allos, why should you? You do not sound like a Liberal anymore.

Cerebrus -
Iggy is not the only frontrunner who has a "plan" for the next referendum (I would say a plan to facilitate the next referendum, but anyhoo).
Mr. Dion has had a plan since 1999.
It's called the Clarity Act.

10/25/2006 12:36 p.m.  
Blogger Kyle Carruthers a dit...

I hope we can convince Quebeckers to choose Canada in a referendum without wading into the quagmire of constitutional amendments, and while I am no expert on Quebec politics I dont think that is going to be a make or break issue.

The Liberals did not blow the last election in Quebec because they have stuck to a Trudeau-esque version of federalism. They blew it because of sponsorship, and our pathetically ran election campaign.

I do believe that the PQ will win the next election, and that their will be a referendum in the near future. I also believe we can win it without amending the constitution, and without elevating an otherwise odious candidate like Michael Ignatieff to leader.

PS I think it is pretty reckless that Ignatieff and his campaign are trying to win this leadership race by making it a national unity issue. Its not a debate that we needed to have, and its pretty sad that one campaign would use it to scare people into supporting their candidate. But then again "recklessness" and "Michael Ignatieff" are basically synonyms.

10/25/2006 1:33 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

the FD post I was referring to is

http://fuddle-duddle.blogspot.com/2005/04/revisionist-history.html

In quebec its actually called the Night of the Long Knives in classrooms.

I prefer the night Levesque was gang-raped in the night because they are levesque's own words and the MEQ would never put THAT in the curriculum would they?

They negotiated without Quebec and expected everybody to be happy? completely fair? No

Gang-rape? funny...but no

10/25/2006 2:25 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

i love how the iggyites say that we should recognize the First Nations Peoples as A nation...ummm, A nation??? That's like calling Europeans or Asians or Africans A nation? They are not monolithic. They are extremely diverse.

as for calling quebec A nation. someone has already pointed out that 'quebec' is not a nation (if we are talking about benedict anderson's "imagined community"). les quebecois sons un nation, not quebec. quebec is a multicultural, multilingual province. the strangest part of the iggy camps support of quebec as a nation is that it explicitly recognizes "territory" as part of the nation. again a nation is "an imagined community". one must wonder how the First Nations Peoples of northern quebec feel about THEIR territory being referred to as quebec's. it is unfortunate that most quebecers don't realize that a vote to separate is a vote to break up the province into smaller pieces, with a large part of their hydro-producing lands remaining in Canada.

and cerberus:
you don't actually think that rae and dion's stance is no different than iggy's. even keith martin, iggy's man on van-isle, says we should not get into debating this kind of "nomenclature". changing the constitution is not merely "symbolic", it is as rae said "dangerous". what is good for canada is not the same as what's good for quebec's separatists...so stop playing to their tune.

10/25/2006 2:27 p.m.  
Blogger nbpolitico a dit...

Antonio, I am confused. The "gang rape" to which you refer is the biggest fraud in Canadian history.

Levesque would not have suppored any constitutional arrangement because it would have made his party - one dedicated to sovereignty for Quebec - irrelevant.

Levesque claimed he would sign on the the constitution if he got two things, the notwithstanding clause and a veto for Quebec over constitutional amendments. The gang rape that occured was a consensus driven by Chrétien, McMurtry and Romanow when Levesque and his justice minister refused to play ball.

The result of the work of Chrétien-McMurtry-Romanow? A notwithstanding clause and a de-facto veto for Quebec with the 2/3-50% amendment formula. Levesque, if he was good to his word, would have endorsed the repatriation and we wouldn't have the problems we have today.

Instead, being politically smart, he fooled most that he had been fooled and belitted and stabbed in the back. The reality? His bluff was called, he got the constitution he said he could live with but claimed he had been betrayed.

He then was afraid to campaign on sovereignty in 1985 and was pushed out of the party leadership and the PQ lost the election. Hardly a hot bed for soverignty in the days and years after 1982.

It was Levesque's refusal to accept the constitution he asked for, and far, far worse, Mulroney and Bourassa's irresponsible scheme to falsely raise the expectations of Quebeckers in 1987-1990 and 1992 that has created the problems we have today, not the repatriation of 1982.

10/25/2006 2:55 p.m.  
Blogger [JTF6.0]Undecided a dit...

"Quebecers will not take very kindly to someone who just backhanded them in the face by denying the obvious."

I hate to say it. But Antonio, thy name is Jean Lapierre.

Your provocative posts seem to wish to fan the flames of regional discord, to pit one region against another rather than reconciale the diverse regions of Canada with one another. Instead of trying to understand why so many are opposed so diligently to what you suggest, you simply use Quebec separatism as a threat. Such behaviour has no place within the Liberal Party of Canada, whose sole responsibility has been to reduce regional tensions and build national unity on ideals that we all can share. Rest assured, Ignatieff will lose, but not before doing great damage to both the party and the country. That is why he could not and should not be leader. Great leaders overcome divisions, Ignatieff is trying to use them to his advantage.

10/25/2006 11:32 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

that was a low blof JTF

calling me Jean Lapierre was a very low blow.

Lapierre always sought to gain special status for quebec, something better, not something equal and different.

I really dont appreciate that

10/26/2006 8:55 a.m.  
Blogger [JTF6.0]Undecided a dit...

--that was a low blof JTF,
--calling me Jean Lapierre was a very --low blow.
--Lapierre always sought to gain --special status for quebec, something --better, not something equal and --different.
--I really dont appreciate that

You're right, I suppose THAT WAS UNFAIR (to turn back one of your earlier quotes). But seriously, I am worried about your increasingly incendiary remarks. It strikes me a remiscient of what happened in 1990. Lapierre raised the stakes (as you are doing now), tried to humiliate a francophone candidate in Montreal to try to prove that "only your candidate" can win Quebec, and then used the threat of Quebec separatism to try to support your position (as you've done in this point). You're walking down a road that I and few others in the Liberal party can follow. It is the responsibility of the Liberal Party of Canada to defend Canada, not to apologize for it. If we don't defend Canada, then who will? Quebec's signature on the Constitution is preferable, but not at the risk promoting regional conflict, which is what this motion will do. Just please promise me that if Mr. Ignatieff doesn't win the leadership, that you and your compatriots won't do something rash like Mr. Lapierre did so long ago.

10/26/2006 1:43 p.m.  

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