Monday, December 19, 2005

Who Speaks for Canada?

Oh good...Stephen Harper wants to give Quebec a voice in foreign affairs.

You know, it'd sure be nice if there was at least one federalist party running in this campaign. I posted this last spring, but it's probably worth throwing back up, especially given some recent events. This was my prediction for the election...back when it looked like the election would be in the spring.

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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." (Ed: I'll give Jack credit for going back on his Clarity Act musings)

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, trailling 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. (Ed: heh heh. Didn't see Duceppe's hockey team musings coming at all)

19 Comments:

  • Yeah, darn those Liberals who place the principles of rule of law above their ideal of centralized federalism. :)

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 3:03 PM  

  • The idea is that separatists will pack up and go home if you just treat them like their province were a separate country is fraught with problems.

    On the other hand, if you pretend that every province is a separate country, people might just believe they are better off being separate countries.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:17 PM  

  • Ummm, can we think outside the box for a moment? What's wrong with a looser confederation that gives all provinces greater control, tax points and responsibilities over meeding the needs of their citizens? True, at some point there will be an issue that breaks the camel's back and signifies that Canada isn't a nation any more, and that it's just not worth it, but let's think about that path a bit, eh?

    After all, we are now at one end of the spectrum, centralization in Ottawa. Looking more at the middle model of a shift isn't necessarily bad in my mind.

    Anyway, humour of the day is in my new "Captain Canada Secret Decoder Chart" here:

    http://www.thiscanada.com/2005/12/19/decoding-captain-canada/

    Enjoy, Erik.

    By Anonymous Erik Sorenson, at 3:42 PM  

  • this is a great summary of the decentralization trend. well played!

    By Blogger angela, at 3:44 PM  

  • This is the great thing about federalism. The system can withstand differences between jurisdictions, allowing various groups to feel they are represented properly within the system.

    The rise of a regional party system shows that the status quo hasn't been effective. We should decentralize more to calm frustrations.

    By Blogger Jamie, at 3:45 PM  

  • Let's review.

    Chretien narrowly misses losing the country in 95. Sets up sponsorship program to show the flag. Succeeds in showing lots of flags as well as illegally funneling money into financially precarious Quebec ridings. Not to mention close friends.

    Quebeckers get mighty pissed at this little immorality play and support for sovereignty explodes upward. Then Martin puts Lapierre in as his Que. ltnt. further pissing off the province.

    By the time the govt falls due to its top heavy liberal corruption The BQ is polling above 55%.

    Due to Liberal arrogance, malfeasance, corruption, and a culture of entitlement, somebody has to do something different or Quebec goes bye-bye.

    That is how we got to this point.

    The finger points straight back to the highest reaches of the Liberal party of Canada.

    Its time for the Liberals to accept their failure and allow someone to save the federation. Cuz if Martin returns, Quebec leaves.

    By Anonymous colin, at 3:49 PM  

  • wasn't the premier of ontario in china - by himself not too long ago?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:49 PM  

  • The Conservative leader said today he would allow Québec to play a role in international institutions such as UNESCO, when its cultural responsibilities are at stake.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:57 PM  

  • What next. Will he let Alberta continue to sell Canadian oil without federal involvement?

    (Or heaven forbid, wheat)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 PM  

  • ...without the CWB

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:01 PM  

  • Red Star:

    "Prime Minister Paul Martin said before the last election that provinces should have a greater international say in areas of their jurisdiction".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:15 PM  

  • I am fed up with the "Who speaks for Canada" crap.

    This country has been subjected to this centralism dogma begun by Trudeau for over three decades now. And what do we have to show for it?

    The nation is so regionally Balkanized now that its very future as a confederation hangs in the balance.

    Quebeccers are fed up. Albertans are fed up. British Columbians are beyond fed up, resolved to accept the pretense of being Canadian simply because it less hassle than anything else...for now. There are even separatist rumblings in Newfoundland.

    Liberal paternalism has poisoned, not only the regions against Ottawa, but even against each other.

    Ontario's eternal hegemony, which they obviously believe is their God given right, over the agenda of the entire nation is driving a wedge between east and west that, if not solved damn soon, will fracture Canada beyond even the hope of resolution.

    Something has got to give, and give now.

    Harper has, IMHO, offered up the first ray of hope in a truly refreshing and intelligent approach to federalism for a 21st century Canada that has finally matured beyond Liberal paternalism, patronage, and exploitation of regional disparities and differences to their own ends.

    By Anonymous springer, at 6:44 PM  

  • I for one, think we need a lot more of these "Who speaks for Canada" posts.

    The world is growing smaller and there is, to me, little benefit in dividing ourselves into increasingly irrelevant provincial jurisdictions. If we want to think outside the box, lets dispense with provincial goverments and let the feds take over.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 9:55 PM  

  • "...lets dispense with provincial goverments and let the feds take over."

    Sure Comrade Stalin - sounds great...

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 12:24 PM  

  • And just how wretchedly deceitful can it possibly get with Martin's Liberals?

    How about this...

    http://www.stephentaylor.ca/archives/000495.html

    Good Gawd, what's next?

    Anyway...y'all vote Liberal now, ya hear! And remember: Stephen Harper is scary!

    Uh, huh...

    By Anonymous springer, at 12:58 PM  

  • "Sure Comrade Stalin - sounds great... "

    Do you really believe that federalism leads to communism Sailor?

    By Blogger Psychols, at 1:35 AM  

  • Cycles2k, please tell me you are joking. Are you truly so naive as to believe that the answer to regional issues is to get rid of the regional governments?

    What planet do you live on???? I'm guessing Ontario, and, once posting this response, will see if I can find out.

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:55 AM  

  • My apologies, 2k, I guess you're in Calgary.

    You must go through life listening to your ipod rather than your neighbours.

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:56 AM  

  • Candace,

    There was a degree of sarcasm in my original post, but there is also some validity to the idea. I first heard it from a neighbour who argued that our national population is too small to support so many levels of government.

    I suspect that many of our regional "concerns" are artificially created by premiers who present themselves as provincial defenders against evil tax stealing Ottawa Liberals. The PQ started a trend that has been seized by the bunch of them in a destructive war of words that emphasizes our differences over our similarities. When the polarization reaches such a fevered pitch that the talk of breaking up the nation begins, I think it is time to take a stand.

    Yes I live in Calgary. Small l liberalism is alive and flourishing here. Federalism thrives amongst my neighbours.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 12:08 AM  

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