Quebec politics: Room for one more party

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks for that, Stock - I was amazed to see an attack on one of the NDP's  most stawart and dedicated members, but I guess it's part and parcel of all this Mulcair versus QS conspiracy nonsense.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
It isn't as though anybody who voted NDP in 2011 federally in Quebec would be backing Charest on the tuition increase or on austerity.  Who the hell does he think that stance actually helps him with?

Charest keeps winning elections in Quebec because he won't call another referendum, as bad as his government may be on other issues. I strongly suspect that several people who voted NDP this time around held their noses to vote for Charest for that reason. You cannot make assumptions about how people vote, especially since many people voting for CAQ voted last year for the NDP.

NorthReport

Let's hope this translates into victory in many seats

 

http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/elections-quebec-2012/201208/21/01-456...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Plan Nord (and the Romaine Hydro Project) will continue with the election of the PQ or the Liberals, and under a different framework with the CAQ. That is why it's so important to me to get the NDP in place provincially, because it doesn't look to me like QS will ever have enough power in the National Assembly to block projects like these. A provincial NDP and QS combined can block the worse of these awful projects, especially if the NDP manage to replace the Liberals as the provincial federalist party. This can not happen fast enough.

love is free love is free's picture

Stockholm wrote:

love is free wrote:

y we'll need a much better spokesperson than rebecca blaikie - i don't even know that i'd want her as a candidate in the province, so alien she seems to the province's political culture.  which also speaks to the fear that an ineffective ndp leader or an overly radical one could do immesurable harm to the federal brand.  a lot to think about.

 

In case you didn't know, Rebecca Blaikie lived in Montreal for about 8 years, speaks French almost perfectly, was provincial secretary in Quebec and was single handedly responsible for a lot of the candidate recruitment and organization that set the stage for the Orange Crush...I think she may know more about Quebec's political culture than you give her credit for.

i know that people say that she speaks almost perfect french, i know that the was running the quebec section out of the old saint laurent blvd office for the federal party, i know that she's a federal ndp-type.  hanging around with your concordia university set and the free radicals (which is what the ndp was from 2000-2010) in montreal and applying ottawa's plan, even running mulcair's by-election in outremont - this is not quebec politics.  quite apart from the fact that if the ndp has its candidates openly stating that the ndp's success in quebec is a rejection of independentist aspirations, this will hobble a provincial party.

i doubt that mulcair himself would make the mistake, but i think that many many folks in the ndp - including some quebec mps - want to over-reach on their conclusions in re the fragility of quebec national identity and the results of the last federal election.

and it's not an attack on rebecca blaikie, so much as it is a rueful fear that some of the people running the ndp show may not quite realize how to keep that show together.  we need a very strongly francophone party that has at least as much independence from ottawa as the other provincial parties do, and emphatically not a quebec section redux.  but there are a lot of pratfalls along the way to that.

lagatta

Veteran activist Pierre Beaudet on "La bourde de Mulcair" (Mulcair's blunder):

http://www.pressegauche.org/spip.php?article11322

Stockholm

love is free wrote:

and it's not an attack on rebecca blaikie, so much as it is a rueful fear that some of the people running the ndp show may not quite realize how to keep that show together.  we need a very strongly francophone party that has at least as much independence from ottawa as the other provincial parties do, and emphatically not a quebec section redux.  but there are a lot of pratfalls along the way to that.

Keep in mind that Rebecca Blaikie is being used as a spokesperson for the NDP in ENGLISH media on the topic of building a provincial party in Quebec. That makes sense. If you are going to have someone explain on shows like Power and Politrics or Powerplay what the NDP is planning in Quebec - it makes perfectt sense to use someone like Blaikie who is party president, is anglophone AND is highly experienced and knowledgeable about Quebec. I assume that the NDP uses other spokespeople to represent the party on French language political talk shows.

love is free love is free's picture

sure, but why not a bilingual or anglophone quebecer?  shouldn't any ndp quebec be responding to the needs of the quebec electorate rather than the needs of the federal ndp?

that beaudet analysis is interesting and strikes me as sound, particularly, again, in contrast with rebecca blaikie's description of the ndp's potential electorate in the province.

Stockholm

Blaikie is bilingual and lived in Quebec for many years. The people watching English political shows are about 99% people who don't live in Quebec so it makes no difference to them whether the person being interviewed is currently a Quebec resident or not.

Beaudet's article is what you would expect from a hard core sovereignist who woke up one morning to the BQ being wiped out and screamed "who moved my cheese???"

The NDP is a federalist party. Always has been and always will be. I agree with Chantal Hebert that the NDP could potentially replaced the Quebec Liberals as the main federalist party in Quebec - but with more more clearly left of centre identity than the PLQ ever had.

lagatta

Pierre Beaudet never supported the Bloc.

Bärlüer

Stockholm wrote:

Beaudet's article is what you would expect from a hard core sovereignist who woke up one morning to the BQ being wiped out and screamed "who moved my cheese???"

Did you actually read the article? Beaudet says that the NDP is doing useful work in Ottawa and that it was normal for Quebecers to give the party a mandate to represent them.

What he does say, entirely rightly, is that Quebec voters haven't suddenly become: 1) federalists; 2) NDP loyalists.

Unionist

To [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/qu%C3%A9bec/what-ever-happened-plans-provincial-... myself yet again[/url]:

Unionist, in November 2011 wrote:

Please do not debate with Stockholm about Québec. He covers his lack of knowledge with enthusiasm. It can easily be mistaken for provocation.

Please note that these lectures about establishing a provincial NDP come from those who are incapable of convincing their neighbours to elect a significant number of NDPers - after generations of trying. We just put Jack on TV, and people rise to the occasion - people who don't give a fiddler's fart for the federation, but who care about their families and their future.

The more I hear ignorant comments about Québec from abroad, the less reluctant I am to set up some immigration and customs controls.

 

Stockholm

Bärlüer wrote:

What he does say, entirely rightly, is that Quebec voters haven't suddenly become: 1) federalists; 2) NDP loyalists.

a. The vast majority of Quebecers do not want another referendum and would vote no if there was one. Obviously not "all" Qcers are federalists - but a great many are - the more the merrier

b. A good way to help cement the brand image of the NDP in Quebec is for the party to be active in as many levels of politics as possible. What's not to like?

Unionist

There is nothing new in this thread. The triumphalist Canadians lecturing to the ignorant Quebecers about the merits of federalism. You know, us Quebecers - who elected more NDP MPs in one evening than the rest of Canada had ever elected in history.

Please review [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/qu%C3%A9bec/what-ever-happened-plans-provincial-... thread[/url] to see all the stale old arguments, one year earlier.

 

lagatta

It is rather funny, considering that many a "hard-line sovereigntist" has accused the left NGO Alternatives and its historic leader Pierre Beaudet of being federalist stooges. Beaudet has always sought strong ties with progressives in English-speaking Canada, and worldwide, for that matter. Judy Rebick, founder of this site, has been close to Alternatives for a very long time.

Pierre and I do have our differences, but that was a very strange picture of him.

Well, not all (rest of) Canadians are triumphalist in that way. But there are certain ones who would simply like Québec to disappear or become a folkloric relic. Fortunately many others - and people at the other end of the Americas in Chile and many other parts of the world - were thrilled at the vigour and creativity of our movement this spring and summer. The walls and streets were singing, and exploding with colour.

love is free love is free's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Bärlüer wrote:

What he does say, entirely rightly, is that Quebec voters haven't suddenly become: 1) federalists; 2) NDP loyalists.

a. The vast majority of Quebecers do not want another referendum and would vote no if there was one. Obviously not "all" Qcers are federalists - but a great many are - the more the merrier

b. A good way to help cement the brand image of the NDP in Quebec is for the party to be active in as many levels of politics as possible. What's not to like?

1) while people are not particularly keen on jumping back into a referendum, the last good poll i saw on independence had the "yes" side ahead by 12 percentage points, quite aside from the fact that the quebec understanding of federalism is of one very deeply decentralized.  angus reid had a poll out a few days ago showing that just 20% of quebec voters would see the pq win as a mandate for a new referendum (and probably many of those are anti-pq) but virtually all of the pq's disengage from canada policies find majority support among the electorate: issues like culture, employment insurance and education.  i head drainville the other day straight up saying that the supreme court of canada ought not even to bother ruling on future quebec moves on language, because the pq government will just ignore any ruling against such laws.  if support for an independent quebec is stuck between 40-45%, it's because of the success of the disengagement policies of successive quebec governments, wherein quebec gradually assumes an autonomous space within the federation.  the lack of enthusiasm among the electorate today owes specifically to the lack of friction with a government that's fine with asymmetrical federalism and radical decentralization, plain and simple.  change the formula and referendum support goes up.

2) into this morass steps the ndp.  while the sherbrooke declaration went some way to satisfying some basic demands of quebecers, it was more important as a symbol of the absence of a drive to centralization for which the ndp has always been most famous.  i remember during the debate duceppe doing his best face of incredulity as he listed the ndp's "incoherently centralizing tendencies" and their role as even "more centralizing than the liberals".  and i don't really know how mulcair intends to rule, but i do know that his credibility in quebec provincial politics leads many to believe that he'll bring a form of this modern consensus to the prime minister's office.  just the friction between the pull of quebec and the much more programmatic ndp mps (especially the long-timers) will lead to a host of issues, i'm very anxious at the tensions that inhere between what must be done to be successful in canadian federal politics, and what must be done to be successful in quebec politics would lead to some serious harm to the ndp.

Stockholm

Meanwhile today Pauline "The Bigot" Marois showed her racist streak once again - this time saying that she will ban Native and Inuit communities from electing mayors who can't pass a French language test.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
It isn't as though anybody who voted NDP in 2011 federally in Quebec would be backing Charest on the tuition increase or on austerity.  Who the hell does he think that stance actually helps him with?

Charest keeps winning elections in Quebec because he won't call another referendum, as bad as his government may be on other issues. I strongly suspect that several people who voted NDP this time around held their noses to vote for Charest for that reason. You cannot make assumptions about how people vote, especially since many people voting for CAQ voted last year for the NDP.

OK...they vote PLQ because Charest doesn't call a referendum.  That means that ALL we can assume they back him on is the referendum.  That doesn't refute my point on the tuition issue.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Bärlüer wrote:

What he does say, entirely rightly, is that Quebec voters haven't suddenly become: 1) federalists; 2) NDP loyalists.

a. The vast majority of Quebecers do not want another referendum and would vote no if there was one. Obviously not "all" Qcers are federalists - but a great many are - the more the merrier

b. A good way to help cement the brand image of the NDP in Quebec is for the party to be active in as many levels of politics as possible. What's not to like?

OK...they may not want another referendum at this point..but that doesn't mean they've surrendered to the federalists.  And the best way to MAKE them want another referendum is to use the kind of "I'm glad you've seen the errors of your heathen ways" rhetoric that your posts on this issue often embody.  The best way to bring back sovereigntism is for federalists like yourself to gloat.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

 

self-delete.  dupe post.

Brachina

Unionist wrote:

There is nothing new in this thread. The triumphalist Canadians lecturing to the ignorant Quebecers about the merits of federalism. You know, us Quebecers - who elected more NDP MPs in one evening than the rest of Canada had ever elected in history.

Please review [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/qu%C3%A9bec/what-ever-happened-plans-provincial-... thread[/url] to see all the stale old arguments, one year earlier.

 

No ones calling Quebecers ignorant, stop making stuff up.

If this is just a bunch of Triumphantist Canadians (which somehow includes Quebecers like Boom Boom) and Quebecers really have no interest in a Quebec NDP then why are you concerned? It should just be business as usually for QS with at best the NDP splitting the "Triuphantist Canadians" vote in Quebec.

Unless you realize Quebecers are willing to support a Quebec NDP and vote for it.

And were is the centralization you speak of Unionist? The provincial wings run thier own affairs, they're autonimus, they decide thier own policies and run thier own campaigns.

Your right that Quebecers elected a record number of NDP MPs and I applaud them for it, it showed a great deal of wisdom and an interest in building a better future, for more then the ROC showed, although I have great hope that will change. No ones agueing with that, but it does show an openness to vote for the NDP.

Again your arguements are hollow Unionist.

You act like this is being force fed onto Quebec by outsiders in Ontario and elsewhere, its not true. This isn't coming from Pat Martin or Andrea Horwath, its coming from Mulcair and his team, the majority of whom are Quebecers, in response to requests from Ordinary Quebecers.

Do you honestly think Mulcair would be doing,this if Quebecers didn't have an appeatite for it? You've met Mulcair personally haven't you Unionist? Do you think this is something he would do for no reason?

Brachina

Stockholm wrote:

Meanwhile today Pauline "The Bigot" Marois showed her racist streak once again - this time saying that she will ban Native and Inuit communities from electing mayors who can't pass a French language test.

Taking away basic democract rights from Natives and the Inuit can't be legal, that's got to violate Quebecs own charter doesn't it?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Having been President of NDP riding associations in two different provinces and in both the federal and provincial spheres, twice for cabinet ministers, I have only one question?  Where the hell are they going to get the on the ground activists to do the work for both a provincial and federal riding association.  I am astounded that the federal party would be trying to start a provincial party when it appears they have little grassroots structure supporting the current MP's they have elected.  Of course if the NPD has a surplus of very active volunteers in 60 or 70 ridings to do the prep work for the next federal election then it might be a good idea.

If the new provincial government is in a minority or very weak position then serious riding associations end up on near constant war footing waiting for the writ to drop.  Federally during the minority years we had regular EPC meetings for years, plus running fund raisers and community events.  Political parties need to be more than a facade to survive in the long term.

Unionist

Brachina wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Meanwhile today Pauline "The Bigot" Marois showed her racist streak once again - this time saying that she will ban Native and Inuit communities from electing mayors who can't pass a French language test.

Taking away basic democract rights from Natives and the Inuit can't be legal, that's got to violate Quebecs own charter doesn't it?

You take Stockholm as an authority for what Pauline Marois said? Pity.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Is Quebec about to elect its own version of the Wildrose Party?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I sure hope not. What poll are you looking at?

autoworker autoworker's picture

Wouldn't it be ironic should Charest be re-elected as a champion of tolerance and democracy?

lagatta

No, it would be capitalist bullshit.

Are you really an autoworker? Do you listen to your QuébécoisEs comrades at all?

Psst, enemy of PQ and PLQ...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Unionist wrote:

You take Stockholm as an authority for what Pauline Marois said? Pity.

Anyone wanting to run for public office in a Quebec led by Pauline Marois will have to prove they can speak French first, the Parti Quebecois leader said as she announced her latest language-related campaign promise Tuesday.

The PQ leader said anglophones, allophones and aboriginal people will be forbidden from seeking municipal or provincial office unless they have an appropriate knowledge of French.

Marois said the idea is reasonable, given that French is the official language of Quebec.

"We will present this bill but it is not just for new Quebecers — it is for everyone," Marois said during a campaign stop on Tuesday in Montreal. "All Quebec citizens who want to be elected as a mayor or a councillor, as a member of the legislature, must have a knowledge of French."

Without that ability, a person could not be a candidate in elections, participate in the public financing of political parties or petition the legislature to address grievances.

 

My guess is that the PQ don't want any of the anglophones, allophones and aboriginal people's votes. Frown

ETA: That was before Marois 'clarified' her comments apply only to immigrants.

autoworker autoworker's picture

lagatta wrote:
No, it would be capitalist bullshit.

Are you really an autoworker? Do you listen to your QuébécoisEs comrades at all?

Psst, enemy of PQ and PLQ...

Yes, I assemble vehicles, and separatists are not my comrades.

adma

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Is Quebec about to elect its own version of the Wildrose Party?

Actually, I was thinking today that QS's current electoral stigma is not unlike the stigma carried by the pre-Danielle Smith Wildrose, i.e. a lot of voters would like to support them, but for their seeming too far "out there" compared to the Mulcairiste NDP.  Which leads me wondering whether the "new electoral option" might happen from within QS rather than from without--again, not unlike Wildrose, notwithstanding the election-blowing bozos who stood as a reminder of the Wildrose of old...

Wilf Day

Mulcair and Evan Soloman last night on Power and Politics (CBC): "the possibility."

Soloman:

Quote:
Did you ever speak with Jack Layton about this idea that you mentioned last week about starting a provincial wing of the NDP in Quebec?

Mulcair

Quote:
Yes. . . Our number one goal is being ready for 2015 for the federal election facing the Conservatives. But if we do wind up with a normal four-year cycle, we've already reserved the name, we're going to look very seriously at the possibility of constituting a provincial wing. Now, it's very important that we not take our eye off the ball, because we're not going to start dividing our forces or starting a second front. We're going to stick with the priority. . . .

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/Power+%26+Politics/ID/2271475975/

 

Wilf Day

lagatta wrote:
I was at the annual "Université d'été" (conference - this name originated in France) of Les Cahiers du socialisme, and my MP, Alexandre Boulerice, said the NDP had its hands full with fighting the Cons. It was obvious that he didn't think this was a good idea.

See the quote from Mulcair in the previous post, backing down somewhat. Was this noticed in Quebec?

lagatta

autoworker, even if you prefer federalism, this is simply ghastly:

"Yes, I assemble vehicles, and separatists are not my comrades".

Do you not know ANYTHING about the trade union movement in Québec? I worked (as a freelancer) for the CSN for many years, and have also done work for the FTQ and the CSQ.And I organised a union here, and was sacked for it. I can assure you that various versisons of sovereigntism, hard and soft, are most definitely in the majority.

So you actually don't consider Québécois workers your comrades, your class brothers and sisters, because of a disagreement about the borders of the bourgeois state that oppresses them and you?

Think a bit of class struggle and class line 101 is warranted here.

autoworker autoworker's picture

@lagatta: Separatism is a betrayal of Canada, in my view. I'll have no part in the destruction of my country. What's ghastly about that?

lagatta

1) Nations have a right to self-determination. Do you really want to keep a people within the Confederation if they should decide otherwide? (By the way, I don't get any impression that there actually is a thirst for a referendum here - Marois is just grandstanding to keep any "caribou" from moving to Option nationale).

2) We are talking about the class line, which is far more important than any bourgeois state. Canada (or an eventual Québec) aren't our countries, they belong to the 1%. Yes, of course you have legitimate national feelings, but so do Québecois people, not to mention the many Indigenous nations. That does not necessarily mean separation into myriad sovereign states, but what it must mean is promoting democratic arrangements, and not sending in the army, which is what you are saying comes down to.

PoliSciStudent

Bärlüer wrote:

As a sovereignist who has voted NDP in the last few federal elections, left-wing federalists who are somehow incapable of voting Québec solidaire baffle (and, I'll be honest, slightly annoy) me...

Just vote "No" in an hypothetic future referendum, for the Flying Spaghetti Monster's sake...


Some people don't want the sovereignty debate. They want the focus to be on health care, social programs and the economy.

autoworker autoworker's picture

@lagatta: Who's suggesting sending in the army? The last time that was done was against the Mohawks (whose sovereignty I do support, as well as that of other FNs), who've had the shit end of the stick since Maisonneuve planted the cross on Mount Royal.

Unionist

@lagatta: Ça ne vaut pas la peine.

autoworker autoworker's picture

En effet, a quoi bon?

lagatta

I support Mohawk sovereignty as well, and that of other Indigenous nations (in Québec, First Nations and Inuit). We just have to sit down and talk.

I guess he thinks it is okay that the US sends the troops in regularly to various more southernly Latin-American countries, because all of them have also mistreated and in some cases massacred the Indigenous populations, to a much greater extent than was the case in Québec.

Obviously zero understanding of imperialism and national oppression, but that is because he wants an anglo world.

The logical conclusion of your bullying crap about treason is sending in the army. And killing us.

love is free love is free's picture

adma wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Is Quebec about to elect its own version of the Wildrose Party?

Actually, I was thinking today that QS's current electoral stigma is not unlike the stigma carried by the pre-Danielle Smith Wildrose, i.e. a lot of voters would like to support them, but for their seeming too far "out there" compared to the Mulcairiste NDP.  Which leads me wondering whether the "new electoral option" might happen from within QS rather than from without--again, not unlike Wildrose, notwithstanding the election-blowing bozos who stood as a reminder of the Wildrose of old...

this is sort of astute.  in sainte-marie--saint-jacques, manon will almost certainly underperform relative to her qs brethren in parts north and east, mostly because she's seen as something of a weirdo.  my guess is that - especially if qs scores 4-5 seats on election night - solidaire will have a more broadly appealing group of potential candidates from which to draw next time around.  that is, unless the party is obliterated by the ndp (a distinct possibility, since amir and françoise are real progressives, and they'd shut up shop in a second if they thought that the left could govern quebec.  i could easily imagine both amir and françoise as ndp mnas five years hence, though the sovereignty point would likely be a major issue for françoise.

autoworker autoworker's picture

@lagatta your twisted semantic extrapolations are far removed from logic, and verge on paranoia. Take Unionist's advice.

lagatta

This is absurd.

I will take Unionist's advice, but for other reasons. You are a traitor to the working class if you want your brothers and sisters in Québec dead simply because they may desire different borders.

The above post is dreadfully written, by the way. And I don't mean in terms of the type of grammatical and semantic errors skilled workers might make because their training was more hands-on and practical. Sounds phoney, actually. (Lots of autoworkers and such in my family). Sounds a lot more like a posh, rightwing troll.

My advice for you is beyond the parametres of polite discourse on this board, and you may well guess what it is.

love is free love is free's picture

autoworker wrote:
@lagatta: Separatism is a betrayal of Canada, in my view. I'll have no part in the destruction of my country. What's ghastly about that?

a thing that you have to realize is that canadian and quebecois visions of canada are pretty far apart, even for those who tend toward pro-canadianism.  most canadians feel an affective attachment to the country, most quebecois feel the federation as a political arrangement.  indeed, i'm not even sure that the word "federalist" is used to describe canada anywhere but quebec - the notion of belonging to a political grouping is obscured by the affective attachment that canadians have.  in quebec, it's never obscured, it's always totally clear that quebec is where one's heart lies (unless anglophone) and that canada is a political arrangement that has its positives and negatives.

the idea of "betrayal of canada" is notionally incoherent in the context of quebec politics.  even a staunch federalist like charest would never say something like that, it would appeal only to the 20% of the population that's truly hardcore on the canadian question.  even i just reflexively recoil at the words, and i'm an anglophone.

autoworker autoworker's picture

@love is free: I suppose what it comes down to, for me, is that I'm Trudeau Liberal, long in the tooth, who hasn't given up the ghost, despite having been pushed aside by events. Besides, if Canada is just a political arrangement, as you say, why not sign on to the Calgary Declaration, and see where that leads?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Trudeal Liberalism is extinct in Canada now.  It's best to be open to new options.  Really, what could possibly revive it, given that there's no way it can ever possibly win majority support in Quebec again(and remember, when Trudeau was his zenith of power, Rene Levesque was riding high in Quebec and the Liberal opposition there had become nothing but a party of the corporate center-right)?

Probably the most sustainable arrangement would be something like Belgium, with the dual national character.  It holds their country together without denying the national character of either entity within it.  Would THAT really be so terrible?

lagatta

autoworker, a complaint has been filed about your personal attack against me. (insinuations about mental health).

You are a disgusting right-wing prick.

love is free love is free's picture

except that belgium appears to be on its last legs.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Well, the problems Belgium is having(which are mainly economic, not cultural)can be studied and a future Canada/Quebec binational entity can find better solutions than the Belgians did.

And if Belgium does fall apart now(and I'm not sure it will..the party that wanted to break Belgium up isn't doing that well in the polls these days and wasn't able to become part of a governing coalition)it did last over 200 years...which is a pretty good run, all things being equal.

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