Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Justin Trudeau and the Ghastly and Dangerous Separatist Card

As anyone who has ever read this blog must know, I have tried to be as non-partisan as possible, and stay out of the battles between the Liberals and the NDP.

In the firm belief that all progressives should focus on defeating Stephen Harper and his foul Con regime, who are threatening to destroy the country we love.

So although I believe the NDP is our best hope of defeating the Cons, I have never attacked Justin Trudeau despite the many mistakes he has made. On the contrary, I have defended him over and over again, when the Cons have attacked him.

I like Justin, I think his heart is in the right place.

But as a Canadian and a Quebecer, I can't let this go unchallenged 

The NDP needs to better explain why it thinks Quebec should have an easier path to independence than the one outlined by the Supreme Court, says Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Ottawa's Clarity Act, which followed the Supreme Court's ruling, states that a clear majority vote on a clear question on secession would be required before any negotiations. 

The NDP says it would recognize a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one in any future sovereignty referendum.

Because digging up the Clarity Act, or ripping the scars off old wounds, or playing the separatist card at time like this one, and for crass political purposes, is both pathetic and dangerous.

Especially since the Clarity Act is itself unclear as to what exactly would constitute a clear majority vote. The Supreme Court decision was very carefully and deliberately ambiguous.

And as Mulcair points out, if 50 per cent plus one was good enough to determine the political future of Scotland and Britain, it will be seen by impartial observers to be good enough for Canada. 

“If you want to take part in this discussion, you actually have to have a position: we have one. Our position is the exact same as the one taken by the mother of all parliaments in the recent Scottish referendum,” Mulcair said.

And it doesn't make a YES vote easier, it actually makes it harder...

““People have to understand that yes means yes ... Yes can’t mean no but perhaps we want a better deal. People have to be clear about that,” he said.

By drawing a clear line in the sand, and forcing people to more carefully consider the consequences of their vote.

And as for suggesting, like some Liberals are doing, that Mulcair is a separatist stooge, that couldn't be lower, or more unfair.

“I am the only leader in this campaign who can boast to have fought tooth and nail to keep Quebec in Canada,” Mulcair said. “I did that in both the 1980 and 1995 referendum and I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending this extraordinary country of ours,” Mulcair said.

Because there is no more ferocious separatist fighter in Quebec than Mulcair. I have personally witnessed him dismembering one PQ cabinet minister after the other in the National Assembly.

And no federalist leader has done more to bury the independence movement than he has.

Just ask Gilles Duceppe...

Who thanks to all the seats Tom Mulcair stole from him, and the fact that so many Quebecers see the NDP as their best hope of defeating the hated Harper regime, is  still going nowhere. 

It appears the honeymoon between Quebecers and the Gilles Duceppe-led Bloc Quebecois was short-lived – a new Leger poll puts the Bloc in third place in voter intentions. 

In Quebec, the NDP continues to lead with 37 per cent support, the Conservatives are at 23 per cent, and the Bloc is at 19 per cent. The Liberals trail with 18 per cent. The results show there’s been a six-point drop in support for the Bloc since the days just after Duceppe’s return.

The independence movement is moribund, but by bringing up the Clarity Act controversy the Liberals risk reviving it, risk splitting the progressive vote in Quebec, and playing into the hands of Stephen Harper. 

Who could whip up anti-Quebec feeling to win himself a new majority...

So all I would say to Justin is this: let sleeping separatists lie, don't play cheap politics with the future of our country, I think you're better than that. 

And since it's extremely likely that you and Tom Mulcair will soon be working together in a minority government or a coalition, don't undermine the effort to topple the Harper regime. 

Don't shoot yourself and the rest of us in the foot.

And don't go down the road to nowhere.

Or the road to ruin...

Now is not the time for progressives to attack each other.

Now is the time for us to prepare to join forces.

And defeat the Harper Cons...

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  1. “I am the only leader in this campaign who can boast to have fought tooth and nail to keep Quebec in Canada,” Mulcair said. “I did that in both the 1980 and 1995 referendum and I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending this extraordinary country of ours,” -- Mulcair needs to pound that message home around the country when confronted with the Quebec question during the election campaign. It's a factual piece of his political history that places him in a league (somewhat) with Trudeau the Elder. A political history that Trudeau the Younger can make little to no claim. JT either needs to make a more nuanced and well thought out argument about Quebec separation or stfu.

    1. hi Omar...yes I suppose Mulcair should pound that message home, but as said in my post, I wish we could let sleeping dogs lie, for no good can come of this. It will bring out the worst in some Canadians, and it will play into Stephen Harper's hands. And needless to say it won't do anything for Justin's image. He should stick to the high ground, as should Mulcair, and focus on the real enemy....

  2. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Dear Justin:

    Shut The Fuck Up.


    1. Anonymous5:07 PM

      Dear anon,831 Am. Take your own advice Bud. That's exactly why your chosen Leader will erode all his support before Oct 19th and likely end up in the bottom once the election is Over. Trudeau is from Montreal and Quebec is in Montreal. Perhaps you need to take a moment, look at Canada's map and work on your lack of smarts. Hummm, I meant your IQ. Your leader and his 79 Mp's from Quebec are sadly missing in action. Not too smart those Mp's

    2. hi anon 8:31...yes, he should shut-up, as I told Omar he's only hurting his own image, and that's all he's got. But then I don't blame him, I blame his advisers who have mishandled his campaign in the worst possible way....

    3. hi anon. 6;06 am...what are you talking about? Mulcair and the NDP are flying high in Quebec, and as the Bloc vote shrinks, the chances of another orange wave grow greater and greater. And I predict by the time the election over the one who is going to end up at the bottom is your Great Leader Stephen Harper....

  3. This is PRECISELY the type of discourse that will boost Duceppe's would-be comeback. Someone named Trudeau telling Québécois that they may not beome an independent country if they so desire (when there is little thirst for a referendum these days)? All Duceppe has to do is allude to Trudeau père "sending in the troops" in 1970.

    No, it won't boost the Bloc vote to where it was before 2011, but it can damage the NDP vote. And in some places, such as the Québec City region, it could actually help the Cons.

    1. Anonymous8:42 PM

      Isagatta. Justin is not his father as you are not your father. Enough said, you get the picture.

    2. hi lagatta...yes you're right, but trying to explain Quebec to some people is practically impossible. I have one foot in each solitude, and even I find it difficult. I actually like Duceppe, I think he is a decent guy. But now is not the time to split the anti-Harper vote when the sovereignty project is at this time going nowhere....

  4. Anonymous10:40 AM

    My first thought was at times Trudeau behaves so politically immature but on the other hand we want honesty in government. He position is honest but timing and focus on Mulcair is immature and plays directly into the Con game of divide and conquer.This is not a Quebec debate but comparing Quebec with the country of Scotland is also an immature view. Its not about percentages but more about having buy in of all major stake holders beforehand. Although there is always a possibility that an enlightened country would do things differently, history shows that nasty things tend to happen when you start dividing countries into smaller parts. Its the type of thing that warmongering Cons revel in.

    1. Anonymous5:11 PM

      So you believe Mulcair can run Trudeau down but it's okay for Mulcair to just that? Tit for Tat. Bud .perhaps you need to grow up. People such as you are a danger to your own chosen party and to the entire Canada..


    2. hi RT...Why shouldn't the situation be compared to the Scottish referendum? Were the stakes not as high there as they were here? The Clarity Act was a product of another time and it should remain there. As for whether countries should separate that's a whole other argument. I support the independence movement in Scotland because although I'm half Scottish half English I believe that's the only way Scotland is going to be able to build the more left-wing society it believes in, and escape the clutches of the Con beasts in the south. If distinct nations like the Scots and the Quebecois feel comfortable living in a larger country they won't separate, and if they don't nothing will stop them. But as I said in my post, why on earth are we talking about this, when there are so many other more relevant issues we should be focusing on?

    3. Anonymous6:21 PM

      Hi Simon.... You don't need to publish this as it will just create more distraction from the issue at hand but with respect to Scotland it was a country for hundreds of years with defined borders before merger with England. Even after all the years of conflict between the two countries they still had the maturity to work together to lay out the main rules and voter question regarding separation .... essentially a yes vote meant that Scotland would leave with the territory it entered with. Canada / Quebec is more complex from a territorial perspective and all the agreements and cooperation that allowed both to grow to the present state. Also unlike England and Scotland the two sides have never been able to discuss the rules in a civilized manner much less involve the major stakeholders and recognize their needs even if there is no agreement. Rather than frame the Scottish referendum as a model in maturity the separatists latched onto a unilateral 50+1 as the only message. I do not expect resolution of the main issues but people should at least have a chance to voice them even if the governments decide not to take a position on specific concerns before any vote. The are possibly a few happy examples of country break ups where mature representatives negotiated the principles before hand but there are many more examples of how not to do it unless you a prepared for a lot of suffering. Eastern Ukraine and Crimea are recent examples.

  5. Why on earth is comparing the Québécois nation with the Scottish nation "immature"? Many nations, including Scotland, Wales, Catalonia (Spanish and French), Euskadi (Spanish and French) Québec, Acadia ... a case could be made for Newfoundland ... and certainly all the First Nations of the Americas aren't sovereign states. That doesn't exclude nationhood in the historical and social sense. And it sure as hell isn't immature. Saying we (here in Québec, for example) have the right to self-determination does not necessarily mean we would vote "yes". It means that it is a democratic right, and that nation-states should be founded on assent, on wanting to be toghether, not on sending in the troops.

    1. I see no reason why Canadians should get hysterical about the idea of Quebec forming its own nation. Just like Scotland. Apparently human emotions are such that it's a crisis of biblical proportions if one loses some of one's national territory.

      But I think some limits have to be put on these separation referendums. A simple 50% + 1 majority would override the democratic will of Quebecers in the previous two referendums.

      So this turns into a sucker's bet. The nationalists lose one referendum. But instead of settling the issue with a best 2 out of 3 contest, it becomes the best 1 out of 3. Then best 1 out of 5. Then best 1 out 7. Etc. This gives Quebec nationalists an unearned advantage over Quebec federalists.

      The only way Quebec's right to self-determination can be respected in this sense is to have a higher majority threshold that takes into account the results of previous referendum results.

      But clearly this is something that should be dealt with in Quebec internally, rather than becoming a political wedge issue where Canadian nationalists exploit the emotions of voters and dictate democracy to Quebec to win votes outside of Quebec.

    2. hi Ron...and who is to decide that majority threshhold. And if a referendum has to take into account the results of other ones, shouldn't elections take into account what happened in those in the past. In any normal question 50 plus one is a majority. And anyone who suggests otherwise is just trying to jimmy the results. The referendum in Scotland was not just a nationalist question, it was a choice of what kind of country people want to live in? The people of Scotland have a more left-wing anti austerity position than those in the rest of Britain, and it's their right to do what they democratically can to escape the monstrous Thatcherites in the south. But yes I agree, it is up to bQuebecers to decide their own destiny, and since they seem quite happy in Canada these days, we should let sleeping dogs lie and not play into the hands of harper and his Cons...

  6. My 1st priority is to dump Harper. Nothing else comes close and all three main parties have shown they put their success ahead of the country's well being.
    I think you've found a real weakness in the NDP but have missed the real implication.
    My concern with Sherbrooke Declaration is the damage it will do to the NDP outside Quebec not the threat of short term re-awakening of neverendumreferendum. .....

    I was intending to vote for the Liberal incumbent in my riding.
    First, Justin's C51 support bugged me (I was out protesting it early).
    Then the Bill Blair recruitment moved me to undecided.
    (And the Ont. Lib hydro sell-off makes it hard for me vote Liberal again.)

    The NDP's clarity act position bothers me.
    Imperfect it may be but the clarity act helped kill the sovereignty movement (imho).
    I could vote orange if the local con is not a threat at election time and/or the incumbent looks like toast. For many others, the NDPs Quebec-sovereignty "dance" means they can't vote that way.

    So ya blame Justin for this ugly move but Tom would (will?) be just as ruthless and reckless.
    They both want power more than they want to make things better. (Or we'd be happily supporting a joint Cullen/Murray ticket)
    Justin will use the "lack of clarity" to hurt the NDP outside Quebec to great effect.
    The CONs consistently do better than their polls indicate and a 3-way split favours them.
    Canada: fubar

    1. Anonymous5:26 PM

      Have you read the bill CV-51 Did you also not hear why Trudeau supported it? Did not also read that he would amend the bill. Take stuff out that doesn't make sense did you read that C-51could help

      To protect us from what happened a few months ago in Ottawa a few months ago? Are you willing to see this happen again?

      You so sound exactly like the trolls commenting on all the newspaper's . Are you one of them? Are you willing to place your own family in danger? It appears you are. I support bill C_51 for my family. It doesn't matter to me as I am a senior but it does matter for my entire family, children Grand children and great grandchildren. Irene

    2. hi Northern you all I'm interested in is defeating the Harper Cons, and I have no desire to relive the referendum experience and all its divisions and passions. But I should let you know that the Clarity Act did not kill the independence movement. It flamed out by itself, after most Quebecers got what they wanted. For you have to remember the only reason it grew so powerful was after the rest of Canada rejected Quebec;s demand to be seen as a distinct society, This angered a lot of people who normally would not support the separatists. But the last referendum result shook up the country, and Quebec obtained the right to be considered a nation, albeit within Canada, and that for most was enough. And for that reason I don't think Justin will get much mileage out of raising it. Most people will recognize it as irrelevant and will make their decision based on other reasons.

    3. hi Irene...the only reason Trudeau supported Bill C-51 was because he was afraid that if he didn't the Cons would use it against him. I understand that, but I also understand that most of Bill C-51 is dangerously flawed, and is not necessary to fight the threat of terrorism. So if you think you are doing your grandchildren a favour by turning this country into a police state you should give your head a shake...

  7. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Hi Simon! I feel silly as I just wrote you a comment and I forgot to link the site I was referring to. I suspect my comment did not even get posted because I was not told it was. Here is the site.

    Simon, do you think this is a reliable site? I don't know how they get their data. If it's reliable, then it does not look good for my riding.

    1. Anonymous5:15 PM

      Eric Grenier (308 website) averages all the polls as far as I know (he used to claim that he weighs the polls according to their past reliability but I have not looked at his averages in such detail as to agree or disagree with his claim). However, because some polls are more reliable than others due to their methodology, the average of reliable and unreliable polls can lead to erroneous conclusions.

      Just a recent example: the most recent poll he included in his average is that from Leger, which is one of those online, non random polls that are, theoretically at least, unsuitable for gauging the response of the public at large. This latest Leger poll claimed parity between the NDP and Cons who are ahead of the Libs. However, this Leger poll is contradictory to more reliable random polls from EKOS and Forum, completed only a few days before the Leger poll, that showed the NDP significantly ahead of the Cons and Libs. Thus by averaging the Leger poll with those of EKOS and Forum, Grenier would have undervalued the lead of the NDP and overvalued the support of the Cons, if one assumes that the random polling methodology is a much more suitable way of gauging public response (however, the random polls do have to be carried out competently otherwise they are useless too).

      The uncertainly of polling at the riding level is even more so I would wait for more polls before concluding that it does not look good for your riding (I am assuming that means the Cons candidate is going to win again; note my general comment about overvaluing of Cons support above).

    2. hi anon 243...Eric Grenier's site is a very reputable one. He collects other people's polls and averages them out, so although I wonder about some polls, his methods do provide a good way of tracking trends which are what interest me....

  8. Anonymous4:07 PM

    I s there any sign of the word "SURPLUS" anywhere in the Harpo dictionary? You know where we have a bit of cash at the end of the year instead of one bloody deficit after another year after year.

    1. hi anon...well the Cons are always talking about surpluses, but in eight years they have never managed to achieve one, largely because they have cut taxes to such a degree they are now in a statutory deficit, and must cut services to balance their budgets. And when you do that there is only so far you can go before people start to complain. Unfortunately in this country far too many people want first-class services but aren't willing to pay for them. ten years of Harperite government have made us a grubby and greedy people...

    2. That would be a good project... come up with a Harper dictionary

      eg. fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger whether the threat is real or imagined, (but typically imagined) that I use to try and control people's thinking, as in the fear of jihadists

  9. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Indeed,it is a dangerous game Justin is playing. And a pitiful one too that likely shows his desperation.

    However, I do not think this will affect Mulcair's support from the progressive voters. The latter had previously thrown their support behind Justin and the Libs for over a year but apparently abandoned them in favor of Mulcair possibly due to a series of missteps by Justin, some very serious such as the Liberals' unanimous support for C-51, and Justin's repeated attempts to defend his support of a very bad bill.

    In fact, I would suggest that Justin's attacks on Mulcair could actually backfire as progressive voters tend to be more engaged and intelligent and would understand Mulcair's and the SCC's stand on the question of 50+1 % and the Clarity Act.

    Again, Justin and the Libs would do well not to convince the ABC voters that the only viable alternative is the NDP by showing that he is more interested in winning power for himself and his party (he should at least be smart enough to pretend that he has the country's interest first). And the country's interest is getting rid of Harper and his trained seals, and to support the best party (currently the NDP) in the best position to do so.

    1. Anonymous8:39 PM

      Anon 5:28

      Are you a fortune teller? Are you able to read people's minds? Intelligent you say? I think NOT by your attack's on JT while accusing JT on attacking Mulcair.

      It will take more then 50%+ 1 and to rid the Clarity Act. Senators are there to stay. In order to get rid of them it will have to be supported of 100&% by all provinces. I suspect that you really do not know much about what a Real PM has to do. I despise the one now sitting in the PMO. He;s a fake and a poc on all Canadians
      Once he's gone, we certainly do not need another one, hence Muclair. Irene

    2. Anonymous11:46 AM

      @Anon 8.39 pm or "Irene": The minute I read the first sentence, I was telling myself this is Irene the troll. A troll, BTW, is defined partly as someone who attacks others online with a view to making them upset. Like for instance, accusing me of saying something about getting rid of the Senate ... there is nothing about that in my original comment. LOL.

      Hey, Irene, I am no fortune teller, but neither are you. But it does not take a fortune teller to tell that you seem to be a Trudeau fan. That is fine, that is your prerogative. But you have to argue why Justin would make a better PM than Mulcair. And what am I to make at your accusing me of not knowing what a real PM has to do, implying that you do but I do not? Oh, I think you mean "pox", not "poc". :)

      BTW, did you ever read that CBC link that said that Paul Martin considered the treatment of the AFN as cultural genocide? You had suggested that I had lied when I said that. :)

  10. FYI Simon, the Supremes provided an "opinion" and not a ruling. There was nothing to rule on since there was no referendum vote at the time.
    Thus Trudeau also showed his lack of knowledge.

    1. hi jan...thanks for pointing that out. I remembered that the Supreme Court judgement was not as significant as many people think it was, but not the reason why. And I still can't believe the Liberals would bring it up, when at the present time and for the foreseeable future it's entirely academic...

  11. With the Loonie now at 0.75cts US compared to parity on February 7 2015 and a budget deficit forecast of $1billion; and with food bank demand at record levels in Alberta - Hard to justify the experienced economist's steady hand as he crashes the Canadian economy onto the reefs of despair!
    Snowbirds are going to be hit hard this winter.
    A 25% loss of purchasing power!
    These are core conservative voters.
    Harper's dream of Canada becoming an Energy Superpower is rapidly dwindling.
    With the Nexen new pipeline leak ( from a brand new 1 year old pipeline) the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipelines are dead in the water.
    When you are just a couple of paycheques away from foreclosure and you lose your job - a scenario being lived out by hundreds in Alberta; coupled with agricultural disaster from the current prairie drought - then smoke and mirror Harper economics will not work.
    Suddenly the US has woken up from a right wing nightmare. Marijuana is LEGAL in several states !!!
    We are still making criminals out of pot smokers!
    Canada is looking more and more like a hick country.
    We deserve better than Harper.
    And people get the governments they deserve; don't they?

    1. hi're absolutely right, people should focus on real issues like the economy, and the horrible job the Cons have done managing it. There are so many things that need to be corrected in this country and the only was we are going to to that is by joining forces to defeat the Cons...

  12. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Simon .... let's not ignore the Duceppe BQ wild card candidacy that is being financially backed by multi-millionaire PQ new leader Paul-Karl Peladeau (PKP) who is using Duceppe as a stalking horse in the federal election to flush out the nationalist vote.

    Duceppe is an angry angry separatist who was shocked and angered that les quebecois would swallow Bon Jacques Orange Crush koolaid and destroy his beloved BQ. He will launch an angry campaign that will confront les quebecois for voting for dead Jack's NPD and getting a bunch of incompetent NPD MPs who failed to protect Quebec interests in Ottawa. He's gonna hit les quebecois with brutal force to shake them out of their hangover with Jack and now Thomas. If it works, the BQ rebounds and wins big in Quebec thus defeating the Mulcair NDP/NPD and denying them government of Canada.

    Your thoughts ........ thanks

  13. I think that junior must be taking some very bad advice about infighting from older more crass federal actually make this sort of statement reveals more about his ego than his position re Quebec.
    The NDP is doing well in Quebec, ergo, stir up the separatist pot and see where this sort of stupid analysis goes, if it has traction, right, Junior?
    Between this and his public refusal to consider coalition, when no less than Nathan Cullen spoke today of the NDP's willingness to support the concept to get rid of Emperor Steve's Reich...I can't help but think this is the clueless arrogance of youth, of Junior's sense of entitlement gone amok...wake up Junior, before it's too late...
    If you put your ego ahead of the good of the country, you are stabbing yourself in the back in the eyes of the voters...