Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Quebeckers are overwhelmingly tired of the battle between those who say they are federalists and those who say they are sovereigntists. Quebeckers are nationalist, Quebeckers are autonomist, and our political formation is fully responsive to those desires."

Thoughts?

Labels:

21 Comments:

  • I think recent elections in Quebec provide some evidence that Quebeckers are tiring of the endless federalist/sovereigntist debate. If the trend continues it will have a big impact on federal politics in this country in that majority governments become much more likely since federal parties will be competitive in more seats.

    It will also be interesting to see how such a change affects the federal parties. We've already seen the Conservatives transformation in recent years, but the Liberals will also have to adapt if the Conservatives reach the point where they can sweep up the regions in Quebec like they sweep up Western Canada.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:17 PM  

  • Harper's speech in Quebec largely mirrors this sentiment.

    There's no doubt Harper has his finger on the pulse of this new Quebec dynamic.

    The Liberal's solution? There appears to be none at the moment. I think the above commenter is correct to wonder about the possibilities of a Quebec sweep for the CPC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 9:53 PM  

  • The beauty of civic nationalism is that we get to choose how to label ourselves, not to let silly people like Lawrence Cannon tell us how to label ourselves...

    By Blogger Antonio, at 9:57 PM  

  • I am a Quebecker, and I am neither nationalist nor autonomist. Then again, I am also not a francophone Quebecker, and maybe that is what Mr Cannon was referring to. A majority of anglophone or allophone Quebeckers are neither nationalist nor autonomist. I think that Mr Cannon is still wrong, however, even if he speaks of francophones. Many are not as he claims (either because they are not that nationalist or because they are still sepratist). Of course a lot are, but how many is a question: the "autonomist" ADQ is not doing well in the polls.

    As for the necessity of changing the Liberal message on Quebec, and the possibility of a Conservative sweep, I would like to remind you that Pierre Trudeau won 74 out 75 seats here in 1980. Sapienti sat.

    By Blogger Leonid, at 11:08 PM  

  • "A majority of anglophone or allophone Quebeckers are neither nationalist nor autonomist."

    that is just as presumptuous as Mr. Cannon's comment

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11:19 PM  

  • "As for the necessity of changing the Liberal message on Quebec, and the possibility of a Conservative sweep, I would like to remind you that Pierre Trudeau won 74 out 75 seats here in 1980."

    That would be a great reminder if it didn't happen more than 25 years ago and the PCs didn't win 58 seats in Quebec in 1984 precisely because they opposed Trudeau's view of Canada.

    Still, if holding Trudeau's view of Canada is the key to Liberal success in Quebec, how come the Liberals have never been able to win a majority of seats in Quebec since? Did Chretien not share this view? Why has the Bloc beaten the Liberals every election since the PCs imploded?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 AM  

  • Cannon is simply telegraphing that he will pander for votes from the Bloq's base.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:13 AM  

  • Leonid,

    seperatism is largely dead in Quebec, and so too is the Liberals politics of division that worked for them so well in that province.

    Get with the times man, stop dreaming of the Trudeau era.

    By Anonymous kody, at 8:36 AM  

  • anon - Yeah, but Mulroney won the seats in Quebec because he had what are now BQ voters voting for him. Which I guess is the coalition that Harper is trying to put together again but we all know how that turned out for Brian in the end...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:16 AM  

  • Absolute vote pandering is what it is.

    Hmmm....Lawrence Cannon - a Liberal all his life, his family history of devoted Liberals - now, suddenly had a change of heart?

    Na....pandering.

    By Blogger RuralSandi, at 9:31 AM  

  • My personal thoughts, since you asked...

    I'm tired of Quebec. It was nice to live in, but too politically charged. People like Antonio are constantly in your face about their politics and "identity" bullshit - it's sick. It's like being at a political rally all the time, there's a "with us or not with us" energy pervading the air, and it doesn't matter who's giving off that energy - leftist, rightist, environmentalist, monarchist, republican, etc - it's just tiring.

    I would love it if Quebec could just cool its heels and be a normal, cool place like California or Japan, instead of pretending it's Macedonia. No one likes a crybaby, and that's all Quebec's been my entire life. I do feel it is growing more emotionally mature and less needy all the time, and that there's a lot of hope. But I'm sure glad I moved on and didn't stay.

    And yeah, I do agree the Liberals seem slow to adapt - they're a bit asleep on this one. But I think the problem is not so much "the Liberals" as it is "the Quebec Liberals" (federal party, not provincial).

    That's my two cents, and only because you asked.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 10:24 AM  

  • I am in people's face all the time?

    thats rich Jason

    You're rarely going to have 100% agreementon identity in Quebec (if ever).

    What Liberals (or at least some Liberals) are pushing for here is the idea that we dont have to choose a particular identity.

    It might not matter to you, but identity matters to people all over the world, not just Quebecers

    By Blogger Antonio, at 10:55 AM  

  • I don't think Cannon is trying to tell Quebecers what they are / are not. I read that as being (and I'll admit it could have been more clearly phrased, particularly given that it's politics, in Quebec) some Quebecers are nationalist, some Quebecers are autonomist, and that's fine - we're the country for you, and we're the party for you.

    The former part of that message to me hearkens back to Trudeau in Federalism and the French Canadians - Canada's constitutional structure and federal structure accomodates all these desires, such that investing energy in chasing independence is redundant. I heard Dion speak at Ottawa U, back around 2000, and he said much the same thing in emphasizing how decentralized Canada is. Heck, one could even shoehorn Harper's firewall letter in there - it proposed emulating Quebec and taking advantage of powers given to the provinces.

    I'm not trying to adopt or parrot the arguments of any of the above men, but rather point out that Cannon's comments really aren't that unusual when taken in context.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:13 AM  

  • identity politics matters to those who lack an understanding of self, and need the strokes.

    then it becomes pandering.

    By Blogger art, at 11:15 AM  

  • "Yeah, but Mulroney won the seats in Quebec because he had what are now BQ voters voting for him. Which I guess is the coalition that Harper is trying to put together again but we all know how that turned out for Brian in the end..."

    And I guess these same voters didn't vote for Trudeau in 1980 when he won 74 out of 75 seats. They magically appeared out of thin air once Mulroney pandered to them. It had absolutely nothing to do with what Trudeau might have done between 1980 and 1984 and they are all entirely Mulroney's fault. This still doesn't explain why the Liberals can't win even a majority of seats in Quebec while Trudeau took 74 of them, does it?

    As for comments on pandering, well of course it is. That's what politicians do. They pander for votes and put coalitions together to form government. It's no secret that Harper's plan has always been to bring back the nationalist voters in Quebec. Recent election results seem to suggest its working out pretty well.

    And as for alluding that the end result will be the same as Mulroney, you're making the same mistake as leonid in assuming the country's attitudes are the same today as they were 15 years ago. Surprising, alot can happen over 15 years. Do you think Harper's quebecois nation resolution would have passed as easily as it did in 1993?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:28 PM  

  • If Antonio thinks Cannon is going too far, then you know he is.

    By Anonymous CW, at 2:12 PM  

  • We can pander to Quebec two ways - with words or with dollars. I prefer words.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 1:04 AM  

  • identity politics matters to those who lack an understanding of self, and need the strokes.

    Very, very, very true, Art.

    We can pander to Quebec two ways - with words or with dollars. I prefer words.

    Wow - pithy *and* wise. I hope you don't mind if I steal that, in thinking and in repetition. You may have just changed my entire attitude towards the fed. government's handling of the entire file. Well said.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:02 PM  

  • Great! Let's see their nationalist autonomist selves support themselves without any more handouts from the West!
    Marnie Tunay
    http://fakirscanada.googlepages.com/

    By Anonymous Marnie Tunay, at 1:43 AM  

  • The Cons are pushing the right buttons, although Harper is principled and won't compromise on them. The result is that Quebecers are voting on the same basis as other Canadians. The federalist parties, in particular the Conservatives, will stand to benefit. They went from 0 to 10 in 2006 and will likely at least double that total next go round.

    It's good politics, and basically Harper is only following the division of powers in the BNA act.

    Ruralsandi - if there was an award for a combination of the most banal and partisan commenter in the Liberal blogosphere, you would be a finalist.

    By Anonymous Rieff's riffs, at 7:54 PM  

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