Last Friday I was watching the sports news on TSN and saw the Philadelphia Phillies third baseman drop a rather routine mini pop fly in the infield. Embarrassed, he scooped up the ball and fired it to first base, where the batter was put out because he wasn't hustling up the line. To make matters worse, there was a runner going from first to second who was tagged out as well, in the confusion.
more often than we believe, screwups lead to good fortune. We've all
experienced it, an unplanned serendipitous turn of events that works out
For twenty years now the Bloc Quebecois
has represented the bulk of Quebec Parliamentary seats with the
self-proclaimed goal of "defending Quebec's Interests in Ottawa"
that level, they have been described by federalist commentators, in
article after article, as being wildly unsuccessful and it's hard to argue
against this conclusion.
The Bloc has had negligible
impact on legislation and as of yet hasn't had the guts or the
inclination to bring down the government. As for getting Quebec
'goodies' or retarding legislation that goes against Quebec's better
interests, they can best be described as an 'O-FOR', to borrow another baseball term (0/1, 0/2, 0/3, etc.)
is on that level that federalists have viewed the Bloc as a failure, a
political party that has done nothing for Quebec, while robbing that
province of meaningful representation in Ottawa.
But perhaps that failure has actually served the Bloc's best interest, advancing the cause of sovereignty and like George Costanza on Seinfeld, sometimes it's better to do the opposite. Explanation
While the Bloc solemnly avers to attempt to do good for Quebec, their best fortune lies in doing badly for Quebec.
the Bloc was able to bring Quebec greater power and influence, if it
were able to garner a bigger slice of the federal pie and if it was able
to remediate language and cultural concerns, the basic raison d'etre for its existence, Quebec sovereignty, would be seriously jeopardized.
twenty years, the Bloc has been pissing in the soup of national
politics, screwing up our Parliament, much to the consternation of the
rest of Canada. Canadians, who twenty years ago, were tolerant of the
idea of a united Canada with a strong Quebec and francophone element
have had their patience sorely tested by Bloc shenanigans.
Canadians have given up on Quebec, based on the incessant whining of the resident 'enfant terrible' of the Canadian political scene.
Let's face it, to Canadians outside Quebec, the Bloc is
Yet poisoning the relationship between
Canada and Quebec is just about the only thing that the Bloc could accomplish in Ottawa, that would further the cause of sovereignty. To this end they have been wildly successful, whether or not they set
out to do so expressly. (Which I highly doubt.)
And so doing the opposite, hindering, instead of defending Quebec's interest in Ottawa has actually worked out for them.
As long as
Quebec feels prosperous and secure and appreciated in a united Canada, sovereignty will
not happen. Making Quebec even more secure and more prosperous in a
united Canada is the exact opposite of what the Bloc needs to do
politically in order to accomplish their goal of independence.
no denying that the Bloc Quebecois have been doing particularly badly
for Quebec these last twenty years, so its hard to deny that their
tenure in Ottawa has not been successful in a perverse sort of way.
Just ask George Costanza.
The Bloc may have accomplished what it needed to do, that is, to prepare Canadians to accept an independent Quebec, but unfortunately for the Bloc, the province itself has turned away from the independence option because of changing circumstances.
Since the last referendum, Quebec has added a half million new immigrants, the bulk of whom will vote against the prospect of a new country, making it much, much harder to achieve a YES result.
Economic conditions also play a role, with most Quebeckers well aware that their economic well-being is now tied to Canada's purse strings. The illusion of a soft referendum question, one that muddles the question of what real sovereignty means, is no longer realistic, with Quebeckers now well aware what a YES victory entails.
So the Bloc has done well, it has accomplished what it wanted to do. But if sovereignty isn't even on the table in Quebec, what is the final impact on their presence in Ottawa?
It's one thing to throw salt on a meal prepared by your 'enemy' in anticipation of another meal back home, but what if it's not there? What are you going to eat?
And so, the more 'successful' the Bloc is- the worse for Quebec!