Saturday, October 20, 2007

Weekend News

1. The latest Ipsos poll has Canadians warming to Stephen Harper. OK, so they may not yet feel about him the way Ellen DeGeneres feels about homeless puppies, but it's getting there. 58% of Canadians want a majority government and 58% of those want a Tory majority. Which means Harper is looking at a pretty solid base of 34% of people who want a Tory majority.

2. Mario Silva has proposed a national "Pierre Elliot Trudeau" holiday to celebrate Xavier Trudeau's birthday. In the words of UWHabs "I just can't wait to see the PET Day parade in downtown Calgary".

3. Although it doesn't look like we'll get a crime election, I do kind of miss the prospect of the inevitable "child pornography moment" it would be sure to generate.

"If they have a problem with the area on dangerous offenders, and that's the hill they want to die on, standing up for dangerous offenders in this country, that's their decision," Nicholson told reporters.

4. The PQ is proposing a bill that would prevent non-French speakers from running in elections or donating to political parties:

Under the proposed law, immigrants who can't speak proper French after an appropriate apprenticeship in provincially funded language courses would be forbidden from running for election in provincial and municipal elections as well as those for school boards.

PQ Leader Pauline Marois said she sees the measure as "normal.''

Normal? Well, for South Africa, maybe. But to deny someone the right to run for School Board trustee on the West Island because they can't speak French? This is absolutely insane.

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  • And what do we see at the Blogging Tory site? Why, that 58% of Canadians want a Harper majority, which as Red Tory pointed out at his site - the same as here - that is not true.

    By Blogger Oxford County Liberals, at 3:42 p.m.  

  • Oh god how I hate the PQ.

    By Blogger The Fwanksta, at 5:00 p.m.  

  • I thought the PQ jumped the shark a long time ago, but they just keep leaping again and again and again...

    I don't want a PET day. I have books on him, I have videos of him bookmarked, I don't have any agenda against him, but I just don't see the need.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 5:42 p.m.  

  • I cannot see too many people coming out for PET day in Calgary. If anything I would be worried for my safety if I came to celebrate PET day in Calgary considering how hated he is there. Off course here in Toronto, where Mario Silva is, we love him, but I think a national day should be someone who is loved coast to coast, not just in some areas. A Lester Pearson day or Wilfred Laurier day would make far more sense as both are generally well liked by Canadians coast to coast. And for the Tories, perhaps a John A. Macdonald day as he is about the only Tory who is liked coast to coast.

    In terms of the PQ proposal on the French language, do they not realize this will only increase anti-French sentiment in the rest of Canada. I have gone to great lengths to try and stop anti-French sentiment and English Canada and this just makes it tougher for those who believe in a bilingual Canada where both English and French speaking communities have rights no matter what part of the country they live in.

    By Blogger Monkey Loves to Fight, at 6:08 p.m.  

  • John A McDonald Day fer shure

    S. Dion has discovered self-help

    The PQ are so yesterday....they keep losing, coming back for mo

    PET Day in Calgary? Bout as popular asa PETA Day.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8:38 p.m.  

  • Miles - Of course the PQ's policy won't go over well in English Canada (and even in some part of Québec), but I don't think the PQ really cares about the ROC. The PQ has always been clear that it wanted a Québec with one official language, where English was a secondary language, and those who expect the PQ to establish policies that favour bilinguism in Québec are probably misguided.

    The PQ's proposition is not all too surprising considering that it's... the PQ we're talking about. It's the party trying to build a country based on linguistic grounds, and its point is that only those integrated in the society (something they find impossible without French capabilities) can be apt to

    Of course, I disagree with the idea. But, it's not all too surprising. It's no secret that the PQ and the ADQ are in a very open fight in rural Québec, and the PQ is trying to seduce nationalist voters who are adamant about everyone in Québec speaking French. A lot of nationalist voters went over to the ADQ, and even though I don't like the PQ's policy, it at least has the merit of being consistent with the PQ's values of wanting to make Québec a French state, and is a much better alternative to much of what the ADQ is proposing. But, yeah, it doesn't mean that it's necessarily the best thing to do. At least the PQ's trying to do something new, the provincial Liberals have not done much recently that had much merit besides basic populism.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 9:54 p.m.  

  • I would also like to say that I'd consider voting for the Bloc if there was a John A. MacDonald Day supported by the Liberal Party of Canada. If anyone deserves it, it's probably Laurier. Or, if you absolutely want a Conservative, I'd go with Borden over MacDonald quite easily. Hell, I'd go with G-É Cartier over MacDonald!

    By Blogger jeagag, at 9:56 p.m.  

  • Jeagag - I understand why the PQ wants to make the law, my point is they are doing a disservice to Francophones living outside of Quebec. There are around a million Francophones living in the rest of Canada and having access to service in French is quite important for this group. If in Quebec they won't extend the same courtesy to Anglophone minorities, there is probably going to be less support from English Canadians for doing the same thing for Francophone minorities.

    Besides one of the great things about Canada is the fact it is a bilingual and multicultural country. This idea of dividing countries along ethno-linguistic lines is out of date. Countries should be divided based on culture and values, not ethnicity or language. If anything we should be encouraging people to speak more than one language if we want to succeed in a global economy. I myself wish I could speak 3 languages.

    By Blogger Monkey Loves to Fight, at 10:04 p.m.  

  • Miles, I agree with you that unilinguism, especially when you have great natural conditions for bilinguism, is a bad idea. I am, after all, a (federal) liberal. I, in no way, condone what the PQ is doing. I was merely showing how it was consistent with the PQ's values, and even though I don't share these linguistic values (I have a lot to say about language laws in Québec - I can see the use for some of them, but others, such as radio quotas, are disgusting), but they're still sound.

    To comment on what you pointed out in your last post, it's not the PQ's job to care about francophones outside Québec, not any more than it is to care about francophones outside Canada. If anything, the PQ would love for francophones in the ROC to "migrate" to Québec, but francophones outside Québec are really not under the jurisdiction of Québec provincial parties, PQ or otherwise. I know they are doing a disservice to francophones outside Québec, but they probably see it as collateral damage - it's sad if that happens, and they don't want it to happen, but if it's the price to pay for an independant Québec, they'll pay it (and gladly welcome them as Québec immigrants).

    You bring up one of the topics I most like to discuss with my separatist (or federalist Québec nationalist) friends, that is how most of them complain about being assimilated by English Canada yet trying to assimilate non-francophones within Québec. I'd like to think I make them think about it, but all of them leave the discussion showing no signs of regret with wanting to do in Québec, as part of the French majority, what they would not want to get in Canada, as a minority. They are quite fine with this discrepancy. I do not understand it, however, but even within soft federalists it's a very frequent position. I don't know if you've ever lived in Québec, but the question of language is a very, very, very important subject to many Québecers, and probably the #1 reason for independence - if it's important enough for independence, surely a law obligating people to speak it in order to get elected isn't the most radical of ideas. I know it might sound silly, but these people don't operate with the same frame of mind as we do (see: voting for the Bloc). Note also that the PQ doesn't say that we should all speak JUST French - the PQ has no problem with teaching English and other languages in public schools, on the contrary - what the PQ wants is for everyone in Québec to speak AT LEAST French. The rest is great, it's wonderful if you speak Hebrew or Russian, but you must at the very lest speak French.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 12:33 a.m.  

  • Scott Tribe insists that the "58% of Canadians" is incorrect. What he really is saying is that The Good Liberal Ship Titanic is only sinking in 4200 metres of water, rather than 5800 metres. The effect is the same. Glug, glug, glug, glug ...

    Scott, don't blame the messengers or the CPC for the failing of the LPC and its miserable excuse of a "leader".

    Turning to the Marois subject, she is merely employing extremism to rekindle the old "us versus them" battles of the past. Let Marios and her crowd wallow in the past. And let Quebecers deal with her. Nothing more she would like than firing up the old arguements and views.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:14 a.m.  

  • “And what do we see at the Blogging Tory site?”

    Thanks Scott.

    I would like to say that it’s because of Right-Wing Authoritarianism. But, it’s just plain stupidity.

    Not surprising that two thirds of us don’t want a harper majority.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:09 a.m.  

  • I kind of see where both Miles and jeagag are coming from on the PQ one. I mean, one of the main reasons they want a country is to protect the French language in north America. I'll admit that I haven't looked into it too much but one would think that PQ members would be generally supportive of billingualism across Canada and of offering services in French to francophones outside Quebec. Admitedly, the drive to separate kind of has always been against this since francophones outside Quebec would lose a lot if the country broke up but, c'est la vie in the eyes of a lot of PQ members.

    This latest idea really loses the party a lot of credibility. They're basically announcing that the country they want will be an ethno-centric one with no tolerance for minorities. It might play a bit to their base (or, more specifically, the ADQ base in rural Quebec), but you still need votes in Montreal to win a referendum.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:57 p.m.  

  • "It might play a bit to their base (or, more specifically, the ADQ base in rural Quebec), "

    CG, no way!

    It plays to a stereotype of their base that the Liberal-separatist symbiosys enjoys flogging.

    A quick listen to the call in shows was, even for a Quebec lover as me, shocked at how hostile heartland Quebeckers are to the idea.

    Protecting french should have to look dangerously close to protecting the Aryan race.

    And I breach Gowin's law only because that was a running theme on the show I was listening to.

    What this does is give Mario and the ADQ a huge opening:

    By slamming the Marois moronism and finding a more moderate approach, ADQ can build Montreal support while the PQ loses support everywhere.

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 1:32 p.m.  

  • There's a serious question of constitutionality over the PQ's proposed bill, if it ever actually gets enacted. Section 3 of the Charter gaurantees the right of Canadian citizens to vote for, as well as stand for, election to Parliament and provincial legislatures. I think that if the bill ever got enacted in Quebec, the province's lawyers would have a devil of a time arguing not speaking French was a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society, which is section 1, and what is normally used to allow bills that would otherwise infringe on our rights to stand (for example, going to jail).

    This is all a little early; they're the third party and I don't think they show any signs of picking up soon. But wouldn't it be nice to see the Supreme Court slap down the PQ :)?

    By Blogger TrickyNix, at 4:00 p.m.  

  • CG - have you seen this?

    By Blogger Ian, at 6:13 p.m.  

  • Mario who?

    By Blogger daveberta, at 9:17 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Concerned Albertan, at 10:40 p.m.  

  • Despite BT headlines, the IPSOS poll looks a little off anyway. First off, how is there 15% of Albertans supporting the NDP but only 9% of Saskatchewans/Manitobans? I am pretty sure that hell will have frozen over when Alberta supports the NDP and Manitoba does not. Also, the BT seem to have missed the question about timing - 68% of Canadians would prefer a spring election, only 22% want an election now. That is not the sort of condition for immediate electoral success.

    By Blogger Wheatsheaf, at 11:58 a.m.  

  • Not surprising that two thirds of us don’t want a harper majority.

    An even larger number of Canadians don't want a Dion majority.

    By Blogger Brian in Calgary, at 12:38 p.m.  

  • An even larger number of Canadians don't want a Dion majority.

    I don't want any party to have a parliamentary majority based on 35-40% of the populat vote.

    By Blogger JG, at 1:00 p.m.  

  • “An even larger number of Canadians don't want a Dion majority.”

    I wouldn’t want dion to have a majority either. Here’s a guy who knows peanuts about politics, and isn’t interested in being a political leader.

    In this respect, Canadians are very wise about harper and dion.

    That said, dion only needs a minority government to get climate change legislation going.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:39 p.m.  

  • ian - Hell, I've been saying the provincial Libs should change their name for a long time...right now, it's the only thing holding them back from forming government.

    Chucker - that's good to hear. You never know how these things will play on the ground - hopefully Marois will get a lot of flack over this.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:57 p.m.  

  • How sad that many Canadian got minority in Dions.

    By Anonymous satin shirt, at 8:49 a.m.  

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