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Just Sayin’

Yeesh!! I am aware that this post is not going to make me any friends, for it will piss off a few progressive bloggers.  But, as a disillusioned Quebecker observing some of these blog posts, I need to make a few obervations.  If this is going to brand me as some partisan hack in some form or another, so be it.

I will be posting my opinions and speculations about Quebec sovereignty and who may be to blame at a later time with some historical facts to back it up either later this evening or some time tomorrow. I’m trying to find some polls that were taken shortly after the 1995 referendum which are proving difficult to find as the internet was not readily available to all at that time, as well as some other research.  I thought a blog post on the fave subject du jour from the blogosphere, punditry and media from an increasingly disillusioned Quebecker would be in order.  However, right now, this post will be observations I’ve made on the blogs I’ve read from the blogosphere. Really, not impressed!

Moving right along!

1) Every time I read an NDP blog slamming “the Liberals”, I click a link, thinking somebody from the Liberal Party or one of their official spokespeople actually said something. It would always turn out to be another Liberal blogger. I wasn’t aware that bloggers like Calgary Grit, Jeff Jedras, Impolitical or Curiosity Cat were official spokespeople for Bob Rae or any Liberal MP.  They’re bloggers, expressing opinions, just like you; just like me.  They don’t speak on behalf of the Liberal party any more than you speak on behalf of the NDP.  Just sayin’.

2) It’s not Jeff Jedras’ fault that the likes of the wicked witch of Saskatchewan, KKKate, decided to link to Jeff’s column in the Nasty Post.  Doesn’t make them bosom buddies. You can disagree with him all you want. Hell, I don’t always agree with him, but I’m not going to lump him with Stevie Spiteful or the Blogging SupposiTories. It doesn’t bolster the argument to link to  KKKate and her Small brain dead followers rather than linking directly to Jeff Jedras’ column directly. Just sayin’.

3) Note to self: don’t comment on a blog before swallowing that first cup of coffee before work, first thing in the morning.  Didn’t notice the last part of that post at the time

I’m all for using historical facts and events to bolster an argument, but it should be relevent. Did you really have to bring up Tommy Douglas’ old thesis in eugenics ?  Douglas wrote that thesis when that kind of ignorant thinking was in vogue.  He renounced his thesis in its’ entirety long before he joined politics. Yes, I saw your comment thread and that you only meant it in jest, but many might not have seen it that way and could and would have caused unnecessary trouble in an already heated debate.

Also, Tommy Douglas, being a Westerner, himself,  I’m not sure if he would’ve approved of Jack Layton’s Sherbrooke Declaration, slamming of the Clarity Act or of his pandering to Quebec nationalists.  I’m not even sure if he would’ve seen Quebec as ‘distinct’. In fact, I think his political ideals would’ve been more PanCanadian. Just sayin’.

4) Exactly How is the Liberal Party tearing the country apart or endangering national unity?  First you say that they’re dead, reduced to nothing, and other such things.  For a party that is supposedly dead, you sure are giving them an awful lot of power. Or should I say, the Liberal bloggers have more power than the party they support?   Just askin’.

5) Last, but certainly not least,  Simon, I have always liked your blog, but I find myself at odds with you lately, like today .  The passage below, I find particularly interesting.

But if they don’t see the errors of their ways, and keep on attacking the NDP instead of the Cons, I will have no choice.

Attacking the NDP instead of the Cons?  Uh, excuse me,  I don’t remember any protesting when the NDP starting putting out attack ads on Iggy and Iggy alone following the debates and basically leaving Stevie Spiteful alone, just as they had in previous election campaigns.  (Still trying to figure out what that whole “Hey, Steve! What Happened? You changed! You used to be for the little guy!” on the English language debates. Gawd, my skin crawled when I heard that one. Stevie Spiteful never used to be for the little guy. Hint, you don’t join the NCC because you’re for the little guy. Yeesh! ).  What’s good for the goose ain’t good for the gander? Just sayin’.

Nothing wrong with debate.  We probably should be having it. I just would prefer it to remain heavier on facts and less on blind partisanship.

As much as it’s apparent that Jack Layton probably bit off more than he can chew, he didn’t open this Pandorra’s box. Columnists and some pundits and even Nik Nanos the pollster quipped about the potential for the separatist movement resurrecting should Stevie Spiteful get his majority without Quebec.   Just sayin’.

Another thing to be noted. The Liberal party, not to be confused with Liberal bloggers, itself, isn’t divisive.  It’s really too early to tell what kind of approach Bob Rae, as interim leader will take, because the party really hasn’t said anything to date!  If I were to guess, I imagine the party will take a PanCanadian approach.

I will be writing a more detailed post later, hopefully, I will find those 95 referendum aftermath polls by then.

14 comments to Just Sayin’

  • Michel

    You bring up some good points. Lots to think about and to consider.

    Here’s a question though: if the number one issue facing the Liberal Party is the need for a grassroots renewal (and I doubt anyone would dispute that), why does Stéphane Dion insists on dredging up the Clarity Act at every possible occasion (CBC and Ottawa Citizen op-ed). That topic quickly turns a debate toxic and he must know it by now. Flashback to the caricature drawing in La Presse of Dion as a rat. That SOME (not all) Liberal bloggers seem invigorated by this old divisive topic tells me that Liberals are still lacking a way forward.

    I’m not going to bash Bob Rae because, as you stated, it’s too early to judge. Personally, I thought his hula-hoop comment was funny (although I disagreed with it) but some of old guard Liberals have to know what battles to pick a little bit better. Justin Trudeau and Marc Garner aren’t diving in the Clarity Act debate because they realize just how dumb it is to pick that fight.

    My thoughts: Stephane Dion isn’t helping the Liberals rebuild right now and is a bigger liability than an asset. If he’d shut up about his Clarity Act and talk about the environment (that was his strength long ago, wasn’t it?), then he might be an asset again.

    ck Reply:

    I am going to cover the Clarity Act in my future more detailed post, so I’m not going to go into too much detail now, except to say that I support parts of it and can leave parts of it.

    I’m ok with 50% + 1, as there is a historical precedent of sorts that supports it. However, with a certain condition attached, which I will elaborate further on in my next post.

    Michel, I am assuming you’re from Quebec? Did you vote in the 95 referendum? I found the question convoluted and can easily see how many could’ve been confused and I have post-secondary education. What about many of those Quebeckers who have very little education, which is many? Those who’s reading comprehension is already poor? I do remember some polls(still searching for polls of the aftermath), after the fact, in the 20% – 30% range saying that people did not clearly understand what they voted ‘yes’ to. No, I’m not imagining it, as I’ve asked a few of my co-workers today to make sure I was not imagining this. They remember the same thing I do. This concerns me greatly. Democracy shouldn’t be confusing. For something this important like secession, which will be complicated enough, the question should be simple, straight forward and written in very simple language. Is that too much to ask? Simply put, I don’t trust Pauline Marois to walk straight with this, certainly not with pushing from the more radical MNAs from her party like Pierre “I think the Habs are too Federalist” Curzi.

    Should Harper continue his sharp right turn and theocratic agenda, which I think he will–he no longer has his leash; he won’t be able to help himself; should he and his puppets continue their fuck off attitude toward Quebec as they have with the Richelieu flood victims, I’m ok with a referendum on sovereignty and if the ‘yes’ side wins, this will all be on Harper, but I also want it to be fair and democratic.

  • FFIBS

    Bravo CK!

    Well done.

  • SteveV

    Well said.

  • Skinny Dipper

    One thing about the Progressive Bloggers community is that it is very broad. There are NDPers, Liberals, Greens, former Progressive Conservatives, a communist or two. There are socialists, blue Liberals, the religious, and the not-so-religious. We are not always going to agree on everything. In fact, we probably disagree on many things than which we agree.

    When I discuss the Conservative Party, I don’t see the party as a common PB enemy. I just see the Conservative Party as an adversary right now. It is a party that is lead by an autocratic leader who espouses right-wing views. Perhaps if the party becomes more progressive and democratic someday will I change my views. In the meantime, would I support the Che Guevarra supporters just because they hate Harper? No. While I think there are a lot of meaningful bloggers on PB, there are always one or two that may seem kooky to me.

    Do I have strong opinions that my offend other PBers? Of course I do. I recently voted for the NDP even through I support an elected Senate. Note: I would be OK with the abolition of the existing Senate. I opposed the Meech Lake Accord and voted in a referendum against the Charlottetown Accord. Did I oppose more autonomy for Quebec? No. I did oppose the West-Lothian concept of Quebec eventually gaining more autonomy while still excerising its full share of authority over my life outside Quebec. I also opposed vetoes to Quebec and other provinces mainly because I believed and still do believe that a province would have only one opportunity to exercise its veto. Otherwise, we could see the rise of separatism elsewhere in Canada. When I saw the Parti Quebecois and the Quebec Liberal Party, I saw the former promoting sovereignty-association and the latter promoting some form of associated-sovereignty between Quebec and English Canada. I could not see the difference between the two concepts.

    We may agree or disagree about different things. Hopefully, we can be civil in our comments and discussions.

    ck Reply:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Skinny Dipper, as always.

  • Volkov

    What can I say? I’m a sucker for controversy.

    I get the point though. My, er, “wit” is really lost in translation much of the time in speech, and even more so in text. I’ll try to be a little more careful in the future.

    That being said, please do keep coming back! Always enjoy your comments and critiques.

    ck Reply:

    Don’t worry, I’ll come back!

  • Alison S

    I’m really glad you posted this. I read Montreal Simon’s post with some dismay as I have been very uncomfortable with Jack’s stance on a possible referendum. I happen to think 50 + 1 of ALL eligible votes with a clear and unambiguous question is just fine. However, I would like to see this put on the back burner by all sides. We do not need to reopen the sovereignty issue at this time. Let’s see how awful Harpie is to Quebec before going down that road. Certainly his handling of the Richelieu floods is callous and petty, but that is what I would expect from him. Quebecers will remember this for a long time and he has probably blown any chance of having any MPs from this Province in the next election.

    That said, Jack and the NDP have to get used to being attacked. They don’t really have any high ground here as they have consistently hammered at the Liberals while saying almost nothing about the Cons. We must not forget they voted to withhold the G8 report prior to the election. That was a shocking slap at democracy and we have still not had any explanation from Jack. Why not? And why has the MSM dropped the ball on this question?

  • Simon

    hi CK….

    Attacking the NDP instead of the Cons? Uh, excuse me, I don’t remember any protesting when the NDP starting putting out attack ads on Iggy and Iggy alone following the debates and basically leaving Stevie Spiteful alone, just as they had in previous election campaigns.

    Actually I did criticize the NDP at the time. I’ve been pretty consistent over the years, all I want is to see progressives united, because if we are not we won’t win.

    But don’t worry I’m not pissed off… :)

    ck Reply:

    Again, with the commenting before I’ve swallowed that first full cup of coffee. But I’m in a hurry this morning. Forgive me if this doesn’t come out right.

    Perhaps you critiqued the NDP for attacking Iggy at the time of the elections, Simon. I’ll give you that, but you know how many NDP partisans were perfectly ok with it?

  • Rick Barnes

    I guess we have to understand a few things. In general progressive bloggers have one thing in common. We don’t like Harper or his government. That is primarily what has us all together in one place. The other thing many of us have in common is that we are partisan. Its a mistake to consider Liberals and NDP as “like” parties. Its a mistake to think one can easily accept the other party. There is a lot of bad blood over the years.

    The time they worked best is when Trudeau had a minority in 1972. For two years most of the progressive stuff done by any one federal government was done then. Ideally if you want peace between the two, it would be a minority led by one or the other.

    There was good effort made when the coalition was attempted with Dion. When the Liberals changed leaders the good will vanished.

    I am not sure if there will ever be a chance to co-operate at election time. Things will have to get much worse before either party will go that route.

    If you want to know what the differences are on the ground, one need look no further than BC. The provincial Liberals in that province have been BC’s Mike Harris. Yet many federal liberals and bloggers support them. I know many fed Liberals in BC that support the NDP provincially because of the “harper con” influence on the BC Liberals.

    From the NDP side, many LIBs would never accept the involvement of unions. They don’t trust unions and so could not be comfortable with them. As a strong union supporter I could not accept pushing unions out in order to join forces.

    Finally, the LPC has one route back to opposition, attack the NDP. Its all thats left to them. So expect they will together on some things and not on others. Also expect the Liberals to go after the NDP whenever they are given a chance. I don’t expect anything less from them and though I would prefer they did not, I would likely do the same if in their boat.

    Progressive bloggers here do not generally speak for their party of choice and also tend to be opinion leaders, very much needed by the parties. The rank and file membership of the NDP and Liberals and Green are likely more able to accept change.

    Progressive Bloggers is not going to calm down for awhile. I will try to take some of the bite out of my comments, that will last until I feel it can’t be ignored.

    All that said, I consider most Liberal Bloggers to be friends, especially those I have met at blogger meet ups and else where. What I can say definitively, they are just like me. Strong passionate believers in what their party stands for and consider it to be the best option out there.

    ck Reply:

    Thank you for your comments, Ricky.

    The discourse was really getting silly and for many, (I won’t mention names, it’s pointless, really). reality was getting lost.

    Looks I, the Quebecker will get the belated last word on the NDP, the resurrecting Sovereignty question, and all the fun that goes with it. Will be published tomorrow. It may no longer be trending, but, I haven’t seen a post from an actually bonafide Quebec blogger. I’ve designated myself.

    Then I get interrupted by the pocket dog quitting!

    As for that coalition under Dion, yes, at the time, it was an emergency stop gap measure. However, if you recall, outside of French Quebec, in rest of Canada, most violently rejected it. Be it because of constitutional ignorance, or whatever the reason, they rejected it full-stop. Sometimes democracy is following the will of the majority of the people.

    A time of crisis is not the time to attempt educating a bunch of angy Porch sitters. They don’t want to learn and won’t absorb. The threat was enough to get some kind of stimulus package hobbled together.

    Besides, if you look back, or do the research, this coalition would’ve fallen like a house of cards anyway. Duceppe is not and never was a stupid man. First, he was never wild about getting into an agreement with Dion at the helm, in fact, for awhile, it was a deal breaker before he aquiesced. He also was the first to want to back out. He saw the writing on the wall. He knew the rest of Canada really hated his and his party’s involvement in this arrangement. Or all Stevie would’ve had to do was entice Duceppe back to the dark side with an offer for Quebec Duceppe couldn’t refuse.

    Speaking of unions and Liberals, apparently, CAW endorsed the Liberals this past election campaign. It got that Blogging Suppository, Paul’s knickers in a twist, along with his idiot friends.