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But…But Tasha! I Want Steve to Have to Have Political Nightmares! And Victory Declared!

Before I lambaste Ms Kheirriddin with the shabby treatment I usually deliver to these yellow journalists and columnists she so richly deserves, I would like to open with some good news.   Victory!  According to CJAD news this fine evening,  Premier Jean Charest, along with finance minister, Raymond Bachand and health minister Yves Bolduc seem to be unanymous in scrapping the proposed 25$/use of the health care system (hospital, doctor visits, treatments, labs, etc), at least for now. Was it the power of Quebec’s community groups and trade unions who protested continuously that did the trick? I would certainly like to believe that would be part of it. Strength in numbers and so many not shutting the fuck up probably did help, but I  figured only later.

Why they acquiesced sooner rather than later, I think is for much bigger and more obvious reasons. Anyone who has been following Quebec’s political woes as of late knows that Premier Charest and the provincial Liberals have been mired in scandal for quite sometime.  He has launched a lawsuit against former Justice minister, Marc Bellemare for libel.  Read here for more details .  Scandals that continue to get bigger and bigger along with an excitable Pauline Marois and the language extremist factions in her party pressuring Charest to do something about that beleaguered Bill 104, that bill the supreme court of Canada scrapped, regarding the rights of access to English language schools. Yes, she wants more public enquiries into the construction industry as well, but that ain’t gonna happen.  One thing Charest has never been was stupid. He has  bigger fish to fry than to continue  worrying about protesters from all factions and walks of life protesting health care user fees.    He needs to pick his battles and in the grand scheme of things, it would be politically expeditious for him to scrap the user fees out right. Good news as 72% voted against the user fees. I’m surprised more didn’t vote against them.

While I believe Charest’s problems and upcoming battles promising to get worse and more challenging for him in the days and months ahead being the cause for him to scrap these proposed user fees so quickly, it is still very important to not shut the fuck up. Here in Quebec,  be it Charest (although, his future as premier is looking pretty bleak) or some other government,  user fees or a further Americanization of our health care system can happen quite easily. We came this close.  Canadians outside of Quebec should and must take note.

Yes, there will still be that contribution at the end of the year. Nobody believed that was going away anytime soon. That 200$ scheduled for 2012 will hurt a lot of Quebecers, but I don’t really object to that part, if it means keeping health care universal. I only wish it could be progressive instead of that ghastly flat rate is all.

Speaking of scandals and yellow journalism (Natty Po advertises that it’s yellow journalism; look at their colour!) and useless hacks who fancy themselves as columnists. Here’s one piece of advice Tasha, dear: don’t write about a province you have no clue about.  Yessirree! Tasha Kheiriddin now fancies herself an expert on Quebec .  True, Quebec sovereignty has been revived by Gilles Duceppe, not Pauline Marois, by the by.   Popularity of sovereignty has grown, thanks largely in part to the scandals Charest and the Liberals find themselves embroiled in.

However, Steve, through the wishes of  Albertans more than likely want to be rid of Quebec as  they (Alberta) are of the sad belief they’re supporting us financially and they hate the Bloc because they are perceived as what stands in the way between Steve and his precious majority; again, another fallacy.  But that is what they think and as  I”ve pointed out many times before, more often than not, what is perceived to be true is more important than the truth itself.  Alberta is clearly the favourite child in Harpercon family. So, Tasha, how would Quebec separation be a political nightmare for Steve ?

Tasha, I have a news flash for you: Quebec’s relationship with and it’s place in Canada is already unstable. Have we forgotten that Quebec never signed the constitution? Did you honestly think that just because the sovereignty movement was dormant that it was dead forever?  Anybody with a brain would have known that the perfect storm would come up to revive the movement yet again. Gilles Duceppe once told Tommy Schnurmacher during an interview that he believed a sovereign Quebec would attract more business because the matter would be settled once and for all. He has a point, it could well help, but that is contingent upon Pauline Marois and the French language extremists being gone or at the very least, toned down.

So, if Steve and many Canadians; westerners in particular want Quebec out of Canada to make way for his majority, why is Tasha panicking?

This would be bad news for both Canada and Quebec. At a time of continued international economic uncertainty, with volatile markets flinching at every sign of instability, the last thing our nation needs is another outbreak of separatist fever. Unless he succeeds in overcoming his troubles, Mr. Charest’s problems could come to affect the whole country– and draw Mr. Harper right into a new political nightmare.

I agree with one thing, as a Quebecer, I am concerned about how a sovereign Quebec would sustain itself economically; would the taxes we pay to the federal government now simply all go to the new sovereign Quebec? More than likely, but would it be enough to sustain itself? I’m not so sure.

As for Charest’s troubles, if they really affected Steve in anyway, wouldn’t he have reacted by now? We haven’t heard any comment from Steve or any of the opposition parties regarding the scandals plaguing the Quebec Liberals these days, not even from Gilles Duceppe; he started the sovereignty tour long before the height of Charest’s scandals.   The resurrection of the sovereignty movement was happening, even if  Charest and his Liberals were leading quiet boring political lives. The scandals may have helped in the sense that it may expedite a referendum but they’re not end all; be all. As she, herself, pointed out, Charest is only 16 months into his mandate. With a majority, there is still another three years before he (or another Liberal leader, should he resign before then) has to call another provincial election. A lot can happen before then. Maybe he’ll come out of these scandals with few scars and bruises, maybe he’ll end up being forced to resign before his term is up. Either way, how does this affect Steve, really? As long as the Liberals still have their mandate, a referendum on sovereignty isn’t going to be called anytime soon.

No, Steve isn’t losing any sleep over this, he’s too busy, well, being the schoolyard bully and being secretive to be bothered with Charest and his woes.  Nor will he lose sleep over the possibility of Quebec leaving Canada, especially when he, himself, wrote that Alberta firewall letter in 2001 and calling the east coast “a culture of defeat”, proving a united Canada isn’t necessarily what he wants.

Even if Steve is having political nightmares, well, considering the fact that he is a political nightmare for most Canadians, just as Tasha Kheiriddin and her brethren at the National Pest are journalistic nightmares, do we really care about Steve’s feelings?  That would also assumes he has any.

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