November 10, 2006

Oh Jason, How Naïve is Thee?

We need Dion more than ever! Jason Cherniak sees Harper’s secret plan to re-open the constitution as an attack on Canada. Only Dion can save us now!

Well interestingly enough, what Harper wants to do is put something in which was originally in the Meech Lake Accord, which Dion actually supported. So Jason, you better check with Stephane…THE MAN WHO NEVER CHANGES HIS MIND!

I do not support what was in Meech, I wrote something a while back which I never posted but I feel it is appropriate now. Brian Mulroney fucked up a lot of shit in his day and Meech Lake was one of those fuck-ups. There are some things I agree with, such an attempt to bring Quebec into the fold which was necessary, however, there are 3 fundamental major problems which would preclude me from signing on to what was presented to the provinces.

1) Distinct Society in the body of the text. I have said it over and over again that Quebec is a distinct society and a nation. However, placing such a contentious vague phrase in our constitution would be a mess for our judges who would have to define it themselves. It is a way to make one Canadian unequal to another one because they happen to belong to a distinct society. Sorry guys, I may think Trudeau made some mistakes, but he was right when he said all Canadians are equal. Remillard’s original “demand” was for it to be placed in the preamble, where it would change nothing except symbolically recognizing a historical truth. Stupid Mulroney went and put it in the body of the text.

2) A veto for all provinces. God help us all if we needed unanimity in order to pass a constitutional amendment, especially considering no other federal state has the same kind of provision. The provinces can duck legislation with the not-withstanding clause anyway. If the federal government proposed something which would affect culture that badly that even the not-withstanding clause could not fix, then I would be surprised. I guess I could cave on this one, if it was limited to something specific and exhaustive, depending on what it was limited to.

3) The federal spending power. This is BY FAR the biggest problem with Meech Lake and would be a major stumbling block down the road. This is essentially the elimination of any future national social program by the federal government. Maybe it is because I am a nasty centrist but sometimes I believe the federal government can sit down with the provinces and come up with a great program, like medicare or the CPP. The province always has the power to opt out of the federal model. However, that is the point of national minimum standards. Mulroney had put in something similar in nature. Gilles Remillard said he could spend money for child care on sidewalks. Yeah that doesn’t fly with me either. Meech eliminated the possibility of national minimum standards.

So yeah, the accord was pretty messed up. It made Canadians unequal, promised a deadlock for all future constitutional amendments (meaning Mulroney would be the only one who could get all of them to agree, EVER) and eliminated the possibility of future national Canadian social programs…sounds like a Conservative dream to me too.

19 Commentaires:

Blogger Cerberus a dit...

Antonio, you know I like you, but let's leave out the blogger on blogger pokes.

Jason defends Dion just as much and as loyally as you and I defend Ignatieff.

We are all going to have to start working together after this is done, folks.

11/10/2006 10:07 a.m.  
Blogger Lookout Mountain a dit...

So, you support the nation resolution why? Parliament was recognized Quebec as special of whatever in the mid nineties. If thats all you want to do, why do we need to pass a new policy?

11/10/2006 11:05 a.m.  
Blogger anna yanuk a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/10/2006 11:29 a.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

I think its funny how you are defending ignatieff by attacking dion by attacking meech.

Its also interesting how you put "the man who never changes his mind" in capitals. We are not american pundits, changing your stance on policy when presented with other ideas and views on a matter because you believe the new way is better for canadians then the old way is not a bad thing. Its much better than sticking with a bad policy just so you can say you're consistent.

Maybe it isnt so much that ignatieff is constantly changing his mind. Maybe its just that ignatieff has to
constantly rephrase himself because i have no idea what he means.

Sorry , try as you might, i think the main channel is still turned to "why did ignatieff support the resolution". And because he did support it, he has to live with the bed he made.

11/10/2006 11:36 a.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

Antonio, to say that the notwithstanding clause could be used in a laissez faire manner by provinces is perhaps the most naive comment I have ever read on a blog. You really are young.

11/10/2006 12:02 p.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

I don't understand why you think distinct society is a vague and dangerous term to put in the constitution, yet you think "nation" is better - even though it has far more legal weight, and no one can agree on what it means.

11/10/2006 12:18 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

ok where do I even say ignatieff in this post. This is me poking fun at Jason. I did not appreciate the whole "DION IS MY SAVIOUR" tone of his post so I had some fun.

Point is Harper pulled this right out of meech...before people rush out to make leadership positions on it, I wanted to remind people meech had many flaws.

I dont know Igantieff's position on this...therefore I do not call him MY SAVIOUR every time an issue comes up

11/10/2006 3:09 p.m.  
Blogger big gay al's big gay liberal sanctuary a dit...

antonio, you are always basically saying that iggs is your savior, canada's messiah, and that with a flick of his magic wand, a guy who's more american than canadian will solve all of canada's problems.

luckily, canadian votes are a lot smarter bunch compared to their american cousins (well recently they smartened up), and will see through a guy who panders to quebec to get more votes, while alienating the rest of canada on their issues.

harper would have a field day with iggs. anyone would... rebuttle to any question "you were in the US for 30 years, you dont have a good understanding of how things work up here".

come on man, dont u realize that is iggs loses (which may very well happen), you will have to work with other liberals? stop dividing and alienating others! you have to work with everyone after the convention, why can't you comprehend that... booing other candidates is certainly no way to make bonds.

i hope you do realize that you and your immature friends' actions basically shot iggs campaign in the foot. who needs opposition when he has supporters like u?

11/10/2006 4:25 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

Just out of curiosity, why do you support this nation stuff if you are against distinct society in the constitution? Where do you see "nation" leading to in the long-run?

11/10/2006 4:34 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit... it again

11/10/2006 11:15 p.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

How do you think that Meech would have made Canadians unequal, but enshrining Quebec's "nation" status in the constituion doesn't do the EXACT SAME THING?

11/10/2006 11:22 p.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

The way i understand it, dion was for meech, so meech was bad. But ignatieff was for this nation resolution, so that resolution is good.

Why on earth does it seem sometimes people cant disagree with part of their candidates platform and still support them. Its like if you admit your candidate is not always right it means the end of the world or something. As much as i love trudeau i think he facked up big time on going ahead with repatriation of the constitution without quebec. That doesnt negate all the good i think he did for the country.

People make mistakes. Dion does. Ignatieff does. I think ignatieff made one supporting that resolution.

11/11/2006 8:09 a.m.  
Blogger Andrea a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/11/2006 10:30 a.m.  
Blogger Andrea a dit...

Antonio, read Don Macpherson's article in the Saturday Gazette.

Forget that he's against Ignatieff.

This is how you and I and everyone else who is not pur laine fit into the Quebec nation.

"The reality of Quebec nationhood was candidly summed up by a sport commentator on RDS I happened to catch this week."There are only 7.5 million of us in Quebec." he said while discussing Quebecers' need for francophone sports stars, "and only 5 million real Quebecers".

In reality, there are 7.7 million Quebecers, 6.3 million of which are "real Quebecers".

Also, Macpherson states something interesting about Ignatieff. In his 1993 book, Blood and Belonging, he wrote that Quebec nationalism is ETHNIC. Now he's decided its civic.

So which one is it?

The fact of the matter is that you and I can become prime minister of Canada, but because of our last names, we are not "real Quebecers" and could never become premier of Quebec.

I realize that a majority of francophone Quebecers don't think this way, but a big minority do, and that mentality is never shot down and critcized for how bigotted it is. That would be heresy, right?

I restate that Ignatieff is a good guy, but this nation thing has grown into a big mess. He showed a lack of vision and leadership by jumping onto the bandwagen to support something that would alienate those who are not "real Quebecers" and the rest of Canada, like Newfoundland, for example, that has every right to be recogonized as a nation too, with Ignatieff's logic.

Recognizing everyone as distinct nations would tear at the already thin fabric that holds the country together. Its shortsighted, and IS NOT THE MAGIC SOLUTION that will solve the separatism problem. To think so is naive.

11/11/2006 10:33 a.m.  
Blogger ottlib a dit...


The more imminent threat to Canada is not Quebec separation it is allowing Stephen Harper to gut the Federal government and making it an empty shell.

Unfortunately, such an idea resonates well amongst Quebecers.

So Liberals are going to have to come up with an alternative that resonates just as well. If they do not then they have ceded the hearts and minds of Quebecers to the decentalizers in the Conservative Party or the Separatists in the Bloc.

So to you and to all of the other folks who have come down so hard on the Quebec Nation Resolution and the folks who support it I would ask:

What would be your alternative to it?

If recognizing Quebec as a nation is not the answer what do you have to offer that will counter both the Conservative and Separatist solutions?

11/12/2006 1:05 a.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

I cant think of a provincial premier who wouldnt blame at least partly the federal government for some provincial shortcoming. Quebec has the pugil stick of seperatists to use, alberta has western alienation, every province im sure thinks they are not getting enough, or at least want to say so because they want more. I think the best way to handle quebec is state:

first: quebec nationalist (not seperatist, nationalist) asperations (strong french-canadian presence thats protected by law, a sense of the french language and french-canadian institutions having equality with english,etc) are entirely possible within canada. In fact canada should be treated more as an aide then an impedament to these goals.

second: make it clear in a non-threatening way that quebecs territory is entirely up for grabs in a separatist outcome, every square inch would have to be negotiated for, every "canadian enclave" or "native nation" in quebec would have equal rights of separation, and that such a step would be the eventual death knell of of a french presence outside whatever borders quebec ends up with. quebec would be alone in north america.

Third: Have the federal government clearly seperate the usual provincial-federal give me more-i dont have any money crap from nationalist goals. Do not allow quebecs government to mix the two with out calling them out on it.

Fourth: redouble efforts to truly make this a billingual country. Last time i checked noone's head exploded
by learning french. If this nation is stronger and more united by more people outside quebec being billingual, the federal government has to react accordingly and give the necessary resources to make it so.

Thats what i got off the top of my head. Feel free to tear it apart and make it better. Only good can come of it.

11/12/2006 8:53 a.m.  
Blogger Cerberus a dit...


MacPherson is wrong.

In Blood and Belonging, Ignatieff clearly rejects ethnic nationalism and points to Quebec as an example of civic nationalism, as an example of how ethnic nationalism can be overridden by a civic nationalism.

11/12/2006 3:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

You really have to stop with these personal attacks.

11/12/2006 8:26 p.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

With all due respect to ignatieff, if he thinks quebecs ethnic nationalism has been overidden by civic nationalism, hes been out of quebec for too long.

Canada can be canada with everybody named chan. Quebec cant.

11/13/2006 12:25 a.m.  

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