Where does Bloc Quebecois support go if the party eventually dies?

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socialdemocrati...

I'm not assuming that my position is the only valid one in the room. You might not be personally attacking anyone. But you keep on saying that the position YOU disagree with is motivated by "emotionalism" and "territorialism". The only person assuming that there's only "one valid position" is you.

It's not a question of whether someone is representing their party. It's a question of whether someone is representing the PLATFORM that they campaigned on. If someone leaves their party, they might not agree with their party, but they haven't completely rejected everything that they campaigned on. When an MP then crosses over to another party, they're now working towards a platform that voters didn't vote for.

So the NDP won't stop people from going independent. But they will make it illegal to cross the floor to another party without an election. For all MPs of all parties in all circumstances. I get that you disagree with that. But you won't so much as concede that there's a rational and principled reason for people who disagree with you.

NorthReport

Yea I agree SD, I don't know what Smith is on about. Nothing to see there, so perhaps move on.

wage zombie

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Again, I am no lawyer, but I don't think the law works that way.

Ae you saying the problem with the NDP floor crossing policy is that it would be illegal?

6079_Smith_W

@ wage zombie

Two things (two quite different things, actually):

First, as I said further up, I do wonder if it would be legal. Is a candidate changing or leaving a party valid grounds to overturn a democratic election? I think at the very least there should be some burden of proof, not just a vote by parliament.

Seems to me any voter who supported a candidate's departure would be rightly outraged at having the election results overturned.

But the quote you pulled was about something else - the assertion that there is a difference between floor crossing, sitting as an independent and getting booted. And I think not, because in the strictest sense, the breach wouldn't be based on motive, but rather on the simple question of whether you still represent the party you were (presumably) elected to represent.

That is the reason most people here are offering, after all.

 

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

So the NDP won't stop people from going independent. But they will make it illegal to cross the floor to another party without an election. For all MPs of all parties in all circumstances.

Not quite, sdm. The NDP's bill would also stop elected independents from joining a registered party. Just want to make sure everyone sees the NDP's full policy in all its spendour.

 

socialdemocrati...

Represent the *platform you were elected to represent. That's the reason I'm offering. If you switch parties, you're switching platforms. If you go independent, you're rejecting one part of a platform. There's a difference. Don't obscure it. It's important.

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Represent the *platform you were elected to represent. That's the reason I'm offering. If you switch parties, you're switching platforms. If you go independent, you're rejecting one part of a platform. There's a difference. Don't obscure it. It's important.

Sorry, I'm not following you at all. Why would I, elected as an independent, be thrown out of Parliament if I joined one of the parties after a couple of years? That's what the NDP's draft legislation says. What "platform" is being switched? Maybe I was elected because I'm a very popular local personality who has done much good for the community. I made no promises (because as an independent, there was no danger I'd form the government!), except to exercise my utmost personal integrity at all times and do my best to represent my constituents.

So one more time - why does the NDP says that a person elected as an independent has to remain as an independent, or else vacate her seat?

 

6079_Smith_W

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

But you won't so much as concede that there's a rational and principled reason for people who disagree with you.

I have asked once already. Can we keep this on the issue? I haven't questioned anyone's motives here, or in any way undermined them, and I'd appreciate the same consideration.

If you want me to say I agree with them, no I won't, because I don't. Beyond that I'm not sure what you are asking, or why. If we fail to compliment each other on presenting nice arguments is that somehow impolite?

Beyond people here, I do question the NDP's motives in holding this policy and I explained why I think it is emotional and territorial. All of that is fair comment.

 

socialdemocrati...

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Beyond people here, I do question the NDP's motives in holding this policy and I explained why I think it is emotional and territorial. All of that is fair comment.

If that's fair comment, then you can't turn around and accuse ME of believing there's only one principled and reasonable position. That would be hypocritical.

Disagree without being disagreeable. That's all.

6079_Smith_W

I made it clear at #98 what I was refering to.

I'm not sure how you'd interpret it if someone said that to you; I take it as a claim that there's an unassailable argument that I'm just not getting.

But again, we're far enough off topic as it is. One more time... can we at least get away from the personal, and back to the issue of floor crossing, if not the BQ.

(edit)

Truth be told, I have half a mind to actually get disagreeable (as a demonstration), but I know Old Goat has already pointed out that this stuff tends to happen when he's being a substitute. Better to practice some christmassy restraint.

 

 

 

 

cco

The idea of forbidding floor crossing by legislation seems to me to be incompatible with the nature of the Westminster system. It's not like there's any way of legally requiring parties to implement their platforms (or not to change them mid-stream), and a floor-crosser doesn't automatically repudiate everything she believes. Floor crossing is more often down to petty squabbles or personal gain (David Emerson, Belinda Stronach) than a sudden conversion of ideologies.

But say such a thing were to be implemented, not giving party leadership the ability to force a by-election, but merely forbidding MPs from joining another caucus, so they'd have to sit as independents until reelected under another banner. They could still sit as "Independent Liberals" or whatever else until the next election. They could still sit in on caucus meetings, attend party functions, and endorse the party in public speeches.

Hell, it wouldn't even have stopped Emerson from sitting in Cabinet (there's no rule that says cabinet ministers must be from the PM's party). I get that this is a good issue for the NDP to chest-thump on, but in the Westminster system, the proper remedies for floor-crossing are electoral ones.

Of course, if such a bill were in effect, it would've prevented the Bloc from acting as a recognized party between 1990 and 1993, which may be on the minds of some of those considering this from either side.

6079_Smith_W

@ cco

Yup.

And, as I mentioned above, the Harperite conservatives would have had to all resign... and the logistical problems of calling snap by-elections when some parties might not even have candidates. As I said, they used to do it in the British system when members came into cabinet, but things were on a different scale back then.

 

Sean in Ottawa

I don't get the reason why an independent cannot decide to join a party. I think that is part of what independent should mean. Maybe there is an oversight or I just am mising some reason for it.

I think there are two trains of thought here: one is what should be the rules or the law. I am fine with not allowing a person elected under one banner to join a competing party- sitting as independent ok (and necessary to provide the ability to act on conscience) and someone who is elected as indpependent should be able to join a party if they want.

The second train of thought was where I was when I said I don't think that it is good politics to take a person elected for one party as a candidate in the very next election. I while technically it might be fine to be lega; I thinkfor the most part you want a candidate who has not just joined your party after fighting against it in the last election. I think the NDP can find better candidates than that.

The other question of whether a party should be able to offer cabinet positions to people from opposing parties is a difficult one. Sitting in a cabinet is crossing the floor and there is an inducement in salary even to do so. People in the riding voted against that party the person is now in cabinet with.Cabinet members have no independence to speak of and can hardly maintain their party loyalty if they are of a different party.

On the other hand I see the point about having representation from a needed area, bringing in a person of talent. My preference would be to see this as a form of coalition and require the consent of the party the person is from. Naturally few parties would consent just to have one person work in cabinet. However if this consent is there and the person is allowed to remain representing the other party albeit in government including expressing a minority opinion it might be reasonable. I just se few takers under those terms.

nicky

Returning to the subject matter of the thread.....

The latest EKOS poll indicates these second choices amongst Bloq voters:

 

Lib 12

Con  10

NDP 28

Gr 23!!!!

None  29

This broadly reflects other polling that has consistently shown that the NDP is by far the second choice for Bloq voters. What is new (and likely wrong) is that the Green vote overall is unrealistically high at 9%.

Second preferences amongst Green voters:

Lib 23

Con  8

NDP 33

Bloq  4

None  30

janfromthebruce

According to EKOS poll as posted above by Nicky, Bloc voters would as likely vote Lib as Con revealing the similarities in their positions and electorial positioning.

6079_Smith_W

That "none" is even more significant, and not just because it is the biggest percentage. It indicates that there is a need for the party, and that whatever happens, it is likely to return in some form.

 

socialdemocrati...

Agreed. To the original point of this thread... the Bloc is unlikely to go away, just because there ARE a significant number of people who say "it's the Bloc or nothing". Those who aren't fond of the Bloc can wish them into irrelevance, but you can't wish them away completely.

Stockholm

They won't disappear totally just yet, but they could fall to the low teens and lose all of their remaining seats in 2015 and then file for bankruptcy protection. For 20 odd years from the late 60s to the early 90s there as no BQ and people who were hard core separatists didn't seem to mind...they don't care about the politics of Canada...it's a foreign country to them. Asking a our et dur separatist to vote in a Canadin election is like asking them to vote in a Norwegian election, meaningless

6079_Smith_W

Except when that foreign government taxes you, and doles it out as they see fit, provides services in your province, has jurisdiction within it, and passes laws that affect it, and takes political stands and actions on the issue of sovereignty.

Not something that would interest everyone, but I can see why many people, sovereigntist or not, would want some input for as long as the relationship is there.

 

Stockholm

Except that since the BQ refuses to have any role in government they cannot influence any of those things even if they had 50 seats again. In 2011 the BQ was damaged all the articles about their 20th anniversary as a party that noted that they had accomplished absolutely NOTHING in all those years in parliament.

6079_Smith_W

Yeah. Sounds kind of like voting NDP federally, no?

 

6079_Smith_W

Yeah. Sounds kind of like voting NDP federally, no?

 

socialdemocrati...

Federal NDP has a lot to brag about, especially (and not exclusively) in minority government situations. Start with our health care system.

Stockholm

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Yeah. Sounds kind of like voting NDP federally, no?

 

No it doesn't, the NDP has extracted all kinds of concessions in minority situations including getting Martin to make massive concessions in his 2005 budget. In contrast the BQ has accomplished nothing. In fact an article in La Presse concluded that after 20 years all the BQ ever accomplished was to pass two private members bills changing the names of two federal ridings. That was it!

6079_Smith_W

And the BQ never made the difference on specific issues?

Like the vote to kill C-391, which kept the firearms registry in place.

Or as a silent partner (because to do otherwise would set anti-sovereigntists spinning) supporting the coalition in 2008.

Or more importantly, having input on numerous issues from a perspective that has the Quebec nation's distinct interests. Seems to me a reason the party came into being was because some felt they could no longer trust that could happen through Canadian parties.

Sorry, but that whole argument about a party accomplishing nothing is obviously a biased argument. And the fact that 30% of voters see no other voice for them kind of makes a mockery of it.

And really, framing this falsely as "parties doing nothing" is yet another part of this running argument that sets parties as the most important body in our democracy, above the elected members, and the will of the voters.

What is important is not whether a party holds a plurality, or ever have a chance of forming government but whether it represents the people who voted for it. Though for a party which accomplished nothing it's surprising how many people paid a lot of attention to it, I suspect for some what bugged them most about the BQ is that is foiled their chance at having a tidy majority.

To get back to my first comment here, the whole question is a silly one, because if some think that if the BQ falls apart it means the end of the issues it raised they should think again. The party sprang virtually out of nowhere once, and it can do it again if people feel the need.

 

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

I know in the cooperative housing movement the Bloc was a key ally in getting our voices heard.  You can say they accomplished nothing only if you filter out most of the day to day work the MP's do.

Aristotleded24

I'd also add that the Bloc supported Nathan Cullen's climate change bill, C-311.

cco

Amen, Smith.

Stockholm

Individual MPs may have done good work but in every case the BQ as a whole was at most voting exactly the same way as a bunch of NDP or even Liberal MPs would have voted.

The only thing the BQ ever really accomplished was to help Harper stay in power because as long as 50 Quebec seats were off the table it meant that a non-Conservative government was virtually impossible.

Anyways the good news is that the BQ is virtually dead and all we need to do in 2015 is administer the last rites to what was ultimately a failed experiment

cco

I believe the argument you're looking for is "okay, it's not that voting NDP is pointless, just that Liberals would do the same things. We promise." And, of course, for 60% of the period the Bloc dominated, there was a Liberal government federally, and the current Conservative majority would still be a majority even if there were no Québec, despite those 50 seats you somehow feel entitled to going to one of those non-Bloc parties you like so much.

The Bloc wasn't some expression of temporary insanity that bewitched Québec voters merely by existing. It didn't "steal" votes from other parties, because those other parties weren't entitled to those seats to begin with. The Bloc didn't keep Harper in power by existing any more than the NDP does by "stealing" votes from the Liberals.

socialdemocrati...

The best thing the Bloc ever did was deprive subsequent Liberal and Conservative governments of easy majorities. And the people who elected the Bloc wanted it that way. It's actually an example of Democracy working properly (if you ignore the problems with FPTP).

6079_Smith_W

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

The best thing the Bloc ever did was deprive subsequent Liberal and Conservative governments of easy majorities. And the people who elected the Bloc wanted it that way.

They weren't the only ones happy to see a foiled majority in the second last election.

Stockholm

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

The best thing the Bloc ever did was deprive subsequent Liberal and Conservative governments of easy majorities. And the people who elected the Bloc wanted it that way. It's actually an example of Democracy working properly (if you ignore the problems with FPTP).

Remind me when they did that? The Liberal had a majority for 11 years despite the Bloc sweeping Quebec. I suppose it's conceivable to argue that the Bloc's presence might have helped prevent a Liberal majority in 2004 but then after that they I'd nothing to stop the Tories from having a majority since there was never any way that Quebec was going to vote massively for Harper if the bloc didn't exist. There is a reason the Bloc got flushed down the toilet in 2011 and that was that Quebecers woke up to the fact that they were a wasted voted that did nothing but scream and yell a lot to no end

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:
There is a reason the Bloc got flushed down the toilet in 2011 and that was that Quebecers woke up to the fact that they were a wasted voted that did nothing but scream and yell a lot to no end

Thank goodness you didn't say Linda McQuaig got "flushed down the toilet". It shows your capacity for rage and provocation are somewhat circumscribed.

Quebecers will always surprise you - not because you don't understand them (which of course you don't) - but because they don't follow your egregiously partisan norms. They have open minds, with all the potential rewards and risks that that entails.

 

jjuares

Unionist wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
There is a reason the Bloc got flushed down the toilet in 2011 and that was that Quebecers woke up to the fact that they were a wasted voted that did nothing but scream and yell a lot to no end

Thank goodness you didn't say Linda McQuaig got "flushed down the toilet". It shows your capacity for rage and provocation are somewhat circumscribed.

Quebecers will always surprise you - not because you don't understand them (which of course you don't) - but because they don't follow your egregiously partisan norms. They have open minds, with all the potential rewards and risks that that entails.

 

Now I don't know if Stockholm is correct ( I don't have your preternatural gift for knowing the viewpoints of all Quebecers.), but I do know that his opinion is shared by others.  Your nasty  and demeaning dismissal of his opinion doesn't change that reality.

As for your belief in the value of an "open mind" , it is interesting to see you are not burdened by an overly developed sense of irony.

 

socialdemocrati...

If the Liberal party got an absurd majority for too long, it had more to do with the split opposition in general than the Bloc.

Sean in Ottawa

I find the argument that the BQ is a waste is partisan blather. They have a prime purpose in that they represent a particular point of view and constituency that remains present and significant. No other party at the federal level shares their perspective. I don't agree with the point of view of the BQ but I do entirely accept the value in representation of all points of view to a peaceful place of debate. As for accomplishments they have voted on many proposals and made a difference, representing very well those who elected them on many. Sure I am a supporter of another party but surely we can understand democratic function, participation and representation. Quite often the BQ and the NDP have voted together as well. I may prefer that Quebec choose the NDP but I won't argue that there was useless representation from the BQ members as that is simply not the case. Presumptions about who represents the voters in future are a bit arrogant. You earn that vote each time and the BQ will make their case as will the NDP.

Stockholm

This is all true. But in 2015 people in Quebec will have a choice of REPLACING Harper by voting NDP (or to a much lesser extent by voting Liberal) or they can vote To enable Harper by electing MPs from the BQ who will scream and yell a lot but who refuse to actually replace Harper. Every seat the BQ wins is another reason for Harper to smile.

Anyways, it's not up to me. It's up to voters in Quebec and IMHO in 2015 the BQ will do even worse than in 2011 and likely be wiped off the map.

6079_Smith_W

I could make that same argument about people who voted for other parties I didn't support, or who presumably split votes, or people who didn't vote at all. None of it would be true, or any of my business.

And it especially would not be true as part of a claim that Quebec somehow owes the rest of Canada something because some of us are so fucking stupid that we keep voting for Harper in the first place. Shouldn't those who actually cast votes for him be a slightly higher concern than those in Quebec, who have done the best job of turning their backs on him?

It seems to me that trying to goad them into acting in the interests of the rest of Canada is a bit late and a bit presumptious, since the catalyst for the Bloc in the first place was when some who tried that course realized their vision didn't get the same consideration from the rest of Canada at all.

I know things aren't quite the same right now as they were in 1995, but I wouldn't push it.

 

 

Stockholm

There are lots of parties that I don't agree with but I respect that the fact that they are theoretically running to form a government...even the Green Party is running in all ridings and is not just there to make a statement. If enough people voted Greeen May would be PM of Canada. The BQ is a different story, they refuse to participate in the governance of the country. Their message is essentially "elect us as MPs so we can disrupt and make the country as ungovernable as possible". They served a purpose when there was no other place for Quebecers to go if they didn't want to vote Liberal under Chretien or in the wake if the sponsorship scandal. Now that the NDP is the major federal factor in Quebec, the rationale for the BQ has become very weak and that's why I think they have no future. Parties don't HAVE to exist as the death of the union nationale and of social credit taught us. After 2015 when the last of the per vote subsidy is gone, the BQ will likely have to file for bankruptcy and it will be a closed chapter in Canadian political history.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:
Parties don't HAVE to exist as the death of the union nationale and of social credit taught us.

Very true.

Like the Progressive Conservative party.

Or the CCF.

Or the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Democratic_Party_of_Quebec]Québec NDP[/url].

Here today, gone tomorrow.

Watch out!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Stockholm wrote:
Individual MPs may have done good work but in every case the BQ as a whole was at most voting exactly the same way as a bunch of NDP or even Liberal MPs would have voted. The only thing the BQ ever really accomplished was to help Harper stay in power because as long as 50 Quebec seats were off the table it meant that a non-Conservative government was virtually impossible. Anyways the good news is that the BQ is virtually dead and all we need to do in 2015 is administer the last rites to what was ultimately a failed experiment

If you really WANT support for the Bloc to stay down, acting like the people who supported it in the past(but then switched to the NDP in 2011)are idiots and disrespecting their past choices is not exactly the best way to achieve that goal.

BTW, If the NDP had stayed with the Quebec position you'd have likely preferred, it would never ever have made a breakthrough in Quebec at all.  Would you really PREFER the NDP to be "pure" but irrelevant in Quebec?  That kind of mindset will just produce results like 1988 from here on in.

(last line edited by me...I could have made my point without getting that personal.  My bad.)

6079_Smith_W

What's up, Stockholm? You insult people's choices and in the same breath chide them for not giving you a leg up.

How many people do you honestly think you're going to win over with this team sports harangue? If I lived there I'd be asking what the better bet is: helping Canadians who don't seem so interested in helping themselves and hoping that my concerns get remembered, or putting my energies into taking care of my own house.

One thing is for sure - if I were to make the same pitch I'd focus less on the ridicule and welfare of the party, and more on common issues of concern, and leave it to the rest of the people of your nation to figure out what they think the best vehicle is.

 

 

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The Bloc appeared when it did because NO OTHER PARTY, including the NDP, was addressing the issues the Bloc took up.  

If a political vacuum is created, something will always emerge to fill it.  

Insulting those who felt that vacuum serves no good purpose, especially when many of those who did are NOW backing the party you thought they should have been backing then.  Why insist on this sort of "well, you've finally given up that confounded foolishness" rhetoric when it just alienates people who have been moving in your direction?

It's not as though it was EVIL to vote Bloc, and it's not as though it was stupid.  It was just a choice that some people felt compelled to make at the time, and the times may have changed.  

Stockholm

I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am not knocking on doors in Repentigny telling former BQ voters that they were idiots to have ever supported such a useless party. I am expressing my opinion as to why the BQ is now obsolete in an English language website/newsgroup called "babble" that is read by at most 20 people in all of Canada - likely NONE of whom are francophone Quebecers who are swing voters.

cco

Stockholm wrote:
Their message is essentially "elect us as MPs so we can disrupt and make the country as ungovernable as possible".

I'm sure it's pointless to even ask, but do you have any actual evidence of this?

It's not in their platform, not in any of their campaign messaging, and not borne out by their actions in Parliament over two decades. They're not pulling a Sinn Féin and denying the legitimacy of the House they're elected to, forming an extralegal body back in Québec City.

They haven't blockaded Parliament. They've voted yes on many bills and budgets, and introduced plenty themselves, even ones that have nothing to do with sovereignty. They've sat in committees and, in fact, were nearly a vital if unofficial part of a governing coalition not so long ago.

In short, the Bloc hasn't been "disruptive" or "made the country ungovernable" in any way except the one that clearly frustrates you the most -- providing evidence that Québecers preferred them to any federalist party for nearly two decades, and thereby "stealing" the votes that God and Trudeau clearly deeded to Liberals in perpetuity.

Had the Bloc won zero seats last time or all 75, it would have made no difference. Good ol' Ontario and the West delivered this particular pile of shit to Canada's doorstep. Québec hasn't voted Conservative since Mulroney, and obviously 2011 doesn't fit into your argument. If every Bloc seat had gone Liberal in 2008, Harper would still have had a plurality, and the coalition would have worked out the same as before, with the Liberals backing down.

Essentially, you're blaming the Bloc for denying Canada the glory of the Liberal minority government continuing between 2006 and 2008. Is that making the country "ungovernable", or is it just frustrating you by not voting the way you'd like? Because I have some frustrations of my own about certain other provinces and their voting habits, but never have I suggested they're under some kind of obligation to vote NDP, or that they'd vote NDP if the Tories didn't exist. It just doesn't work like that.

As for your contention that a party with one seat that nobody ever listens to is more relevant than a party that had a major influence in Parliament and shaped the national conversation for two decades because the Greens could *theoretically* form government given a sudden outbreak of national insanity, it seems not only silly but reductionistic when it comes to the principles of the Westminster system. You might want to listen to Jack Layton's interview on Tout le monde en parle where he says his most important power as opposition leader is the ability to shape public opinion, not parliamentary maneuverings in a minority situation.

Wait, that interview's in French. Nevermind.

theleftyinvestor

cco wrote:
If every Bloc seat had gone Liberal in 2008, Harper would still have had a plurality, and the coalition would have worked out the same as before, with the Liberals backing down.

Well that's debatable. Not to say all would have been roses and daisies but let's think this through. If every Bloc seat had somehow gone Liberal in 2008 (notwithstanding Sponsorgate), they'd have won 126 seats, up from 95. This would have been seen as a major improvement for the party. Surely such a Quebec sweep would have secured enough party confidence in Stéphane Dion to keep him on as leader.

Hence Harper would have gone into the Throne Speech with a permanent non-interim opposition leader. At this point the opposition would have been in a position of considerable leverage because they could have voted down the Throne Speech, and approached the GG to govern. (Recall in reality the Liberals passed the Throne Speech, vulnerable and scared with an interim leader, and did not protest until the fiscal update.) Dion was always open to working with Layton. Iggy is the one who scrapped it.

The whole anti-coalition backlash relied heavily on the involvement of the Bloc. Liberals were scared that governing with Bloc support would alienate the ROC irreparably, whereas leaning on the NDP has tended to steal NDP support (except 2006). It was also controversial because the Liberals lost seats and then proposed to govern again anyway, and because they didn't even have a leader. None of these would have been at issue in this alternate universe. A Liberal-NDP majority accord may have still resulted in backlash but most Canadians would have seen it as more democratically legitimate.

To be fair, however, if the Liberals had won every Bloc seat in 2008 it would have been because they did something to deserve it, because of Dion's incredible charisma and campaigning skills, his insight into how to craft a platform that inspires people to turn out and vote for it, his incredible ability to turn around a scandal 180° a short few years after it came to light. Wait, I think I see why that didn't happen :)

Unionist

theleftyinvestor wrote:
A Liberal-NDP majority accord may have still resulted in backlash but most Canadians would have seen it as more democratically legitimate.

While I agree with much of your post, I must have missed when "most Canadians" pronounced the 2008 coalition to be democratically illegitimate.

Did that same majority of Canadians consider Harper's minority government "legitimate" in the face of a Commons majority opposing it?

I don't think we should allow Harperite propaganda to become the dominant discourse in assessing historical events. We'll have enough of that in the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Great Slaughter. We should practise making and reporting our own history.

 

Wilf Day

6079_Smith_W wrote:

. . . as a silent partner (because to do otherwise would set anti-sovereigntists spinning) supporting the coalition in 2008.

Though for a party which accomplished nothing it's surprising how many people paid a lot of attention to it, I suspect for some what bugged them most about the BQ is that it foiled their chance at having a tidy majority.

But Duceppe was right . . .  not being "a silent partner" was what killed the 2008 coalition, when English Canada noticed their all-too-visible partnership. They had accomplished worse than nothing  . . . they had given Ignatieff the excuse he wanted to back away from the coalition, which had been very popular in Quebec. So in 2011 when Jack Layton said they only knew how to play defence but couldn't score goals, he was being polite: in fact in 2008 the Bloc had earned an assist when Harper's prorogation scored the game-winner. Ever since then, wasn't the Bloc's raison d'etre on very thin ice, awaiting the population noticing that (to change the metaphor) the road-runner had run off the cliff?

I think the Bloc will be wiped out in 2015, because it is no help in ridding Quebec of Harper.

 

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:
While I agree with much of your post, I must have missed when "most Canadians" pronounced the 2008 coalition to be democratically illegitimate.

Did that same majority of Canadians consider Harper's minority government "legitimate" in the face of a Commons majority opposing it?

I don't think we should allow Harperite propaganda to become the dominant discourse in assessing historical events. We'll have enough of that in the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Great Slaughter. We should practise making and reporting our own history.

You may have missed what happened outside Quebec in December 2008 (I was at a joint Labour Council/Liberal/NDP rally in Peterborough that month, we had a great turnout but we were spitting against the wind of public opinion that month), but that's not as bad as the media missing what happened in January, when all the attempts to educate the public outside Quebec actually bore fruit in the polls -- too late; Ignatieff shared Harper's view that the coalition would fall apart, so those polls were not what he wanted to hear.

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