Community of Communities
There’s more money for Saskatchewan, but apparently it’s not enough. Because now Quebec and Manitoba want a role in foreign affairs. Yes, you read that right: Manitoba wants a role in Canada’s foreign affairs. Un-freaking-believable. Of course, Harper will not only honour these deals but go further, and Jack Layton is calling Quebec a nation. So, with this in mind, I offer a glimpse of what's to come in the upcoming election:
Campaign 2005 – The race to decentralize
May 22: Jack Layton says that an NDP government would tear up the Clarity Act. "People don't care about Clarity," Layton says. "They care about smog warnings."
May 24: Paul Martin offers “side deals” on equalization to British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and PEI. But adds “Stephen Harper would cave in to Ralph Klein and do a deal with Alberta. I will look Ralph Klein in the eye and say ‘no’.”
May 25: After 28 hour bargaining session, Paul Martin gives Ralph Klein a blank cheque. Says he’s still standing firm by refusing to cave in to Nunavut.
May 26: After David Herle reviews the northern poll numbers, Liberal give Nunavut 3 billion dollars over 254 years.
May 28: Stephen Harper says Martin has “not gone far enough” and offers to give all future surpluses to the provinces. Also promises to take feedback from Premiers on writing future budgets. Says “that still beats having Jack Layton write your budget.”
June 4: Jack Layton announces he supports a European Union style system between Quebec and Canada. However insists both countries must elect their Parliaments by proportional representation.
June 7: Paul Martin, falling in the polls, offers to turn over transport portfolio to the provinces. Cynics say it’s just an excuse to boot Jean Lapierre from Cabinet.
June 9: Stephen Harper promises to turn over all federal powers to the province with the exception of foreign affairs, defense, and some taxation powers. “We felt we needed to keep the ability to offer corporate tax cuts” says Harper.
June 10: Paul Martin muses that the province of Quebec should take over foreign affairs. “They’ve made every major foreign affairs decision over the last decade anwyays” he reasons.
June 15: Jack Layton says he supports complete Quebec independence including their own passport and currency. Gilles Ducceppe cautions Layton he might be “going too far”.
June 19: Stephen Harper announces a Conservative government would demolish the Parliament Buildings and run the “country” out of the ten provincial capitals.
June 20: Scott Brison says a Liberal government would one-up Harper by destroying all federal government buildings in Canada. “We were just going to sell them and rent them back but then we concluded that that was perhaps the stupidest idea by the federal government in the last fifty years,” says Brison. “So this was the logical solution.”
June 24: Stephen Harper, falling fast in the polls, in a last ditch of desperation promises to abolish the federal government altogether.
June 26: Paul Martin announces that Canada will cease to exist for all purposes except for sending hockey teams to international sporting competitions.
Mark my words. By the end of this election, Gilles Ducceppe is going to look like the strongest federalist of the four leaders. You might think I’m joking but, sadly, I think this is one prediction that won’t stray too far from reality.