Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Turmel Turmoil

We all knew the NDP’s flirtation with the separatists would emerge as an issue at some point during the 41st Parliament. I just don’t think anyone expected it to move to the forefront quite so rapidly:

Interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel says she's a federalist, despite having had links to two sovereigntist parties and being a member of one as recently as Tuesday.

Just days after being named interim NDP leader, Turmel found herself on the defensive and explaining her involvement with parties other than the one she was elected to represent on May 2. NDP Leader Jack Layton is taking time off to battle cancer and he hand-picked Turmel to replace him.

Turmel held a membership with the Bloc Québécois until January of this year, and also held a membership in the left-wing, pro-sovereignty provincial party Québec Solidaire until Tuesday.


Turmel's side of the story is that she only bought the BQ membership to support a friend, Bloc MP Carole Lavallée (since wiped out in the orange wave). Presumably, each of the four times she renewed her membership, it was to support her friend. Presumably, the four financial donations she made to the Bloc over the years were in support of her friend. It does not sound like her Quebec Solidaire membership was to support a friend - rather, she joined them for policy reasons that had nothing to do with sovereignty.

That explanation will likely satisfy the majority of Quebecers - after all, most of them switched their allegiance from the Bloc to the NDP 4 short months after Turmel did.

Other Canadians may be less forgiving. As Rob Silver points out, the Bloc is not like other political parties. Its raison d'etre is Quebec independence - go buy a BQ membership online and it says right there: "devenir membre du Bloc Québécois, c’est soutenir activement le plus noble des objectifs, celui de se donner un pays" [google translation: "Vive le Quebec Libre!"].

For most voters, the Bloc is a separatist party and if you're a member, you're a separatist. Point finale. That's why Harper got so much traction by repeatedly screaming at the Bloc bogeyman during the coalition crisis. That's why most voters will feel a bit uneasy when Turmel says quitting the Bloc "had nothing to do with the party's policies".

Now, no one knew who Nycole Turmel was four weeks ago, and no one will care about her past four years from now when we head back to the polls. But it's yet another example of the close ties between the NDP and the separatist movement, something which could explode to the forefront should the PQ form government in Quebec. Or Turmel's old party, Quebec Solidaire, for that matter.

Labels:

23 Comments:

  • How is this different from having a guy as PM that wanted to firewall his province from the rest of the country?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:24 PM  

  • Being a member of Solidaire ought to blow up in her face, too, but few Canadians know how obnoxious that party is.

    Unbelievable that the NDP couldn't find someone to lead the party that wouldn't immediately discredit it in the eyes of Canadians.

    By Blogger Brian from Toronto, at 10:12 PM  

  • Two of Harper's cabinate ministers were BQ memembers. The Liberals have thier own BQers. Most importantly the BQ not only jumped on the pile on, they had to have been the ones who release her membership. Ask yourself why? This is the story the msm is too busy acting stupid to ask. The BQ are the puppet masters in this and the libs, cons, and msm are the foolish puppets. Instead they are attacking those seperatists who choose federalism telling them how unfit they are to be federalists they are. Pure win for the BQ!

    Free bonus, both parties just burnt they bridges in Quebec, this weakens the tories future prospects abit as it removes a back up plan for them if the west gets bored of them. For the liberals it is worse because without Quebec they will never govern again and they will never rebuild because they need Quebec back.

    By Blogger Gyor, at 10:28 PM  

  • Let's not forget it was the NDP that wiped out the BQ

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:35 PM  

  • Bit of a giggle seeing the Dippers trying to spin this. So far as I know neither Stephen Harper nor Bob Rae were ever card-carrying separatists.

    What this scandal really speaks to is how thin the ranks of the NDP are. With Layton gone, the only leader they could find was a BQ member just a few months ago.

    By Blogger Brian Henry, at 9:20 AM  

  • Clearly, the solution is Ruth Ellen Brosseau for interim leader.

    By Anonymous Daniel, at 9:27 AM  

  • The Bloc Solidaire is the aggregation point for the detritus of marxists, trotskyists and all other sorts of communists and radical socialists. The mega stupid of the terminally stupid.

    And she joins them because she fits with their policies.

    She gets the Walter Duranty award for stupidity and hypocrisy for a Canadian politician.

    By Blogger Fred, at 11:13 AM  

  • So far as I know neither Stephen Harper nor Bob Rae were ever card-carrying separatists.


    "True" but only because Harper didn't have a Bloc Alberta to carry a card for.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 11:22 AM  

  • How is this different from having a guy as PM that wanted to firewall his province from the rest of the country?

    No different Anon; good point.


    Q. What's the difference between a Quebec separatist and Stephen Harper?

    A. Stephen Harper can be understood globally in French.

    Har har har.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 11:24 AM  

  • libs, cons, and msm .... are attacking - seperatists who choose federalism telling them how unfit they are to be federalists... Pure win for the BQ!
    Gyor shoots, Gyor scores.

    Federalists should be delighted that ex-separatists are hopping on the bandwagon, not shoving them off.

    DARTH VADER: It's okay son, you're going to live... I just turfed the Emperor into the power generator, despite a missing hand, and saved the Alliance.
    LUKE: NOOOOOO! I didn't want your help!!!! Fuck!

    Disappointingly, Canadian federalists are probably as stupid as Quebec separatists.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 11:33 AM  

  • Oh for cryin' out loud.

    Good for her that she learned the error of her ways and left the BQ. That's not the issue. That she had BQ friends was discussed during the election.

    The problem is twofold: first, that she was not forthcoming about her membership in the Bloc (and the QS, which raises her involvement to another level); second, that she appears to have held memberships simultaneously in TWO federal political parties, very much contrary to the rules and to anyone's sense of common sense.

    That she seems so unwilling to live by the rules set by the Party she claims to love (at least, not until she's caught) raises deep questions about her qualification for the role she now finds herself in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:02 PM  

  • to anyone's sense of common sense

    Excluding mine; I believe you should be able to belong to more than one party.

    I would join them all if I could... especially considering, contrary to anyone's sense of common sense, that voters in this federation are barred from voting for PM and the MPs they *can* vote for have zero power. I should have a say in who runs the federation - that's democracy in action.

    That (BQ past) 's not the issue.

    It looks like that's the issue wherever I look/read....

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 12:23 PM  

  • "The Bloc Solidaire is the aggregation point for the detritus of marxists, trotskyists and all other sorts of communists and radical socialists. The mega stupid of the terminally stupid."

    That's right, but you should also add that it's one sitting MPP foams at the mouth whenever Israel is mentioned and joined a picket against one of his own constituents because he had the gall to sell a couple of made in Israel shoes in his shoe store.

    The QS MPP also seems to believe the Joos pretty much run the world, but of course that's not antisemitism. These days it's called "criticism of Israel."

    By Blogger Brian Henry, at 3:42 PM  

  • We should also remember that QS is the only party in Quebec - doubtless in Canada - to vote *against* a motion condemning terrorism, because the party supports Palestinian terrrorim...


    QUEBEC — Quebec solidaire's lone member was the only member of the province's 125-seat national assembly to vote Tuesday against a resolution inspired by the death of Osama bin Laden, saying the motion smacked of "Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin's" rhetoric...

    [Teh motion] affirmed that Quebec "has and will continue to be an ally of the whole international community in security issues and more particularly against the menace of terrorism."


    The motion's co-sponsors were Louise Beaudoin, of the Parti Quebecois, and two independents....


    Khadir later explained that his objection was to the "security" aspect of the motion, which he said ignored the causes of terrorism, naming the status of the Palestinian people.

    By Blogger Brian from Toronto, at 7:42 AM  

  • these attack ads are gonna be sweet! long live king harper!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:47 PM  

  • Damn was hoping Hoser2Hoosier might have some clarity for me. Ah well.

    attack ads are gonna be sweet

    Yes... I wonder why Layton eschewed Mulcair. Would it be impossible to have Mulcair as interim because he will naturally seek 'real' leadership later?

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 5:50 PM  

  • joined a picket against one of his own constituents because he had the gall to sell a couple of made in Israel shoes in his shoe store

    Ouch... for realz? If you have a link I'd like to read...

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 5:55 PM  

  • Surprising (not surprisingly?) it was actually easy to find on google... got it.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 6:06 PM  

  • Anon: How is this different from having a guy as PM that wanted to firewall his province from the rest of the country?

    Jacques: No different Anon; good point.

    Terrible point. How is it even remotely "separatist" to advocate that Alberta take on the same provincial responsibilities as Ontario, Quebec, and/or Newfoundland already do?

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 1:29 AM  

  • Wait. The provinces have different responsibilities?

    *le sigh*

    Yet another reason I prefer, by far, the structure of the US (where, I presume, the states have equal responsibility).

    Sure, you may call me naive, but I speak two official languages, and you don't. :P

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 10:46 AM  

  • Still Anon's point is valid.

    We've had a G-G who's on film toasting and feting the separatist cause, a PM who pined to weaken Ottawa the way that separatists wish to, and multiple separatist OLO's... what's the big deal about Turmel, at this point? It's just political point-scoring, and nothing more.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 10:50 AM  

  • It is hard to believe that Liberals are out of the picture that quick, and not fighting back either.

    By Anonymous David, at 6:59 PM  

  • because their have hidden something.

    By Anonymous mauri shoes, at 6:45 AM  

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