Saturday, September 12, 2009

Frustrating Safety Valves in Canadian Politics

Jacob Levy, my erudite and articulate colleague, has a blog post about a piece in the Globe and Mail (not mine) on the Bloc Quebecois, which is the national-level (meaning it sits in the Parliament in Ottawa and not at the Provincial level in Quebec City) separatist party (yes, they call it sovereigntist--I thought I had blogged about it but have not--so coming soon). The basic idea is that the BQ may make a real separatist campaign harder by providing Quebecers with enough influence and ego-stroking to provide a release for separatist passions.

This does not surprise Jacob since he has written about this in the past, nor does it surprise me since I have written about how governments play a dual role in any civil conflict--as a deterrent against violence but also assuring folks that they can block abuses of the state. With the BQ as a major actor in the system (and because parties need enough support in Quebec to win a majority at the national level), folks can feel assured that the government will not abuse them and may actually favor them.

From the op-ed piece, a very apt conclusion:
Heaven never came. The Bloquistes scored at the polls and won concessions in Ottawa, but in so doing moved further from realizing their cardinal ambition. As such, we should salute them as builders of Canadian unity and wish them continued success. They are one of the great backfiring stories of our time.

1 comment:

Francois Caron said...

It curious how political goals are misread. Got to be a winner. If you've lost, got to dissipear. Society projects are so long to win.

Yep, the BQ takes care of the Québec interest and average way of thinking at the federal level. Our opinion is not lost behind a party line - primary reason the BQ started with Bouchard. Every province would loved having this. How long the West wanted to be at power. Now they have Harper.

So many people only focus on BQ sovernety support. It cannot do it, only at the province level it can be achieved. It supports it - nothing else.

BQ helps Canada be, indeed, and will vote for any other province interest if it makes sens.

Long time Chantal Hébert of the Toronto Star came to this conclusion - read her at I just can't find an online english of that page she wrote in the Actualité.

Let Canada have a true confederation by having a multi-party system where party would be coming from other provinces or part of Canada like West or Maritimes.

Let the West go with their horrible sand-oil, let Newfoundland be independant, just let it be!

We are not leaving today to make the pre-era system live, we are here to make a system, a country serves the *today* needs. This system has to be adaptable, and we are not helping anybody be doing anything to keep the current constitution as is just because it's no politicaly popular to touch it or what other stupid reason.

See also how good confederatist is Charest doing, if you can read this.

By reading more Québec french analysis, you'll get a better full picture.

Best regards,