Friday, November 26, 2010

Jean Charest's Last Gambit

It's rare to see a leader do nothing in the face of overwhelming adversity, even when doing nothing is the bravest and smartest course of action.

You can call Jean Charest a lot of bad things, but even his enemies understand that his political instincts are unrivalled in this province.

Given the pressure to call an inquiry into corruption, Charest understands that doing so would not only spell the end of his government, but would likely hurt the party for years to come.

So he has decided to do nothing. For him and the party it's the only logical decision, even in the face of overwhelming pressure.

One only has to look back to the Paul Martin government and the foolish decision to launch an inquiry into the sponsorship scandal.
Martin felt he was on solid ground, he wasn't responsible for the mess and felt that the public would understand. It was better to clear the air. In his autobiography Martin wrote;
"I wanted to make it clear that we had nothing to hide and would not sweep anything under the rug"
Proof positive that even Prime Ministers can be fools.
How badly he overestimated the public. How badly he underestimated the political fallout.
Did he honestly believe that nobody would be made to pay?

Jean Chretien, the last great political operator on the federal scene, summed it up succinctly when he commented that Martin was indeed better off sweeping the whole thing under the rug, because no matter how big the bump underneath, the alternative was worse.

That my friends is politics. Chretien and Charest are consummate pros, while Martin an amateur.

So, dear reader, are you outraged? You think Martin showed courage?

In life nice guys finish last, in politics nice guys don't even finish the race.

Again, if you are angry with this point of view, remember, it was the public that destroyed the Martin government, over a Jean Chretien affair.

And so in spite of all, Jean Charest maintains his control over his caucus while bungling Steven Harper is losing control of his.
Considering the positions of the two leaders, it's quite an achievement.

So what is Jean Charest thinking and what is he telling his caucus?

First, he's told them to forget about an inquiry. It will never happen under his watch. He's reminding them that it would destroy them all.

Then he's telling them that things are not as bad as portrayed in the press. The polls are actually quite close and all the negative publicity is brewed by a separatist press.

If he pulls off a by-election win next week, (and it's likely he will) it will be a stunning reversal of fortune.  The press will have to admit that he is far from dead. The caucus will eat it up.
Never mind that it took a two billion dollar pork project to seal the deal.

But the real gamble is this.
Charest is placing all his money on the police investigations into corruption turning something up. The rumours are saying that there will be arrests. If this happens next year it will be a game changer.

If the arrests happen and people are hauled into court Charest will crow that his course of action was solid.

Under the best case scenario, the crooks will take a deal, plead guilty and admit they were fixing construction prices without bleeding over the government.

The public will be somewhat satisfied. Not the pequistes, but the Liberal base and that's what counts.

It all comes down to a gamble, but when you are down by a lot of goals in a hockey game, it's time to take risks.

Can he pull it off?

Time will tell.

50 comments:

  1. Mississauga Guy said...

    No doubt about it. John James Charest has been in politics for half his life and about 90% of his post-school career. He's an old pro and therein lies the problem. I really think the Americans have it right. Leaders should be subject to two mandates/terms at the leadership mantle before they become corrupt...or at least before they become too crafty at becoming corrupt.

    Look at [retiring Newfoundland Premier] Danny Williams. You may, and I believe you think he is a son of a bitch, Editor, but at least he turned his province's fortunes around and after seven years, he's leaving the mantle on top of his game.

    Trudeau stuck around for 16 years minus a short interruption. He retired during the seven months the Liberals were the opposition, then changed his mind and served one more costly term--costly to Canada, that is.

    He endlessly alienated the Western Provinces, but they didn't have enough of a population base to defeat him. Then again, many westerners did vote for him, until the National Energy Policy, and then Alberta had zero red on its electoral map. It was all blue!

    When Trudeau came in, Canada had a national debt of about 18 billion dollars and a $600 million surplus during the fiscal year he became the PM. He left the PMO running $32 billion deficits. In his 1984 budget speech, Marc Lalonde, a Trudeau lieutenant, called his projected $29.5 billion deficit that year "fiscally responsible". In the end, the deficit that year was around $34 billion. In just 16 years the national debt under Trudeau jumped from $18 billion to almost $200 billion. Fiscally responsible? PUH-leeze!

    That final term in office under Trudeau was extremely costly, what with bailing out companies that were friendly to Trudeau, and Trudeau mostly thinking about his legacy: The Constitution. It was signed by the Queen on April 17, 1982, when the prime rate of interest was at 20% or so, inflation for 1981 was 12%, 10.5% in 1982 and the "official" unemployment rate shot up to 13% or so. In reality, taking into account the hidden unemployed, mostly exhaustees of their E.I. benefits who then had to go on welfare (and statistically didn't count as unemployed), that rate was probably pretty close to 20%. Nevertheless, Trudeau was more worried about his precious constitution that ended up with holes big enough for a locomotive to run through, namely the "notwithstanding clause". His home province, Quebec, didn't endorse and sign on to it, and guess which province was first to exercise that crater called the "notwithstanding clause" with a little something called Bill 178?

    Like Trudeau, Charest has been at the mantle now for 12 years and is looking for more. For the sake of the PLQ, they may want to look for relief at the helm before some real nut job comes to power. Hey...Hitler was elected to power, fair and square, and we all know how that went! Germans were down in the dumps then, and Quebec is just about there now!

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  2. Totally disagree with Mississauga guy.

    Quebec's political culture is like a gladiatorial venue where, for better or for worse, political strongmen thrive, and consensus-builders go to die. The fact that neither Charest nor Marois inspires confidence for Quebecers is a telling sign that the neverending media drumbeat of corruption, scandals, and drama have caused many of us to shake our heads and sigh.

    Charest is a survivor, and his shrewdness has always been his greatest asset. Although you could argue that since Bourassa the Quebec Liberal Party has in many ways been a slow-motion version of the PQ, even a staunch federalist will pick the lesser evil. Look at the landscape and tell me that this isn't even more true given the PQ's trend of continuing radicalization under self-styled Queen-in-exile Pauline Ist's daily banshee screeching and the mounting theatrics of that party's dying guard and Curzi-style opportunists. Check out the eroding relevance of the ADQ under what's-his-name-again. Amir Khadir can command some respect from the flower children lefties or elicit complete disgust (Editor, I'm looking at you), but can't form a government at least for now and can't do more than get his face on TV. Legault's will-he-or-won't-he shtick isn't doing much this week.

    Charest is still the best leader his party has had anytime in its recent history. His ability to weather storm after storm amid the mounting calls for his resignation as early as 2003 stand as proof to his acumen.

    Martin's own narcissism got the better of him, and the party he sought to lead is still wandering the desert looking for itself nearly a decade later. With countless numbers of ad-hoc pro-separatist mobilization movements and pressure groups springing up almost daily and polluting the aether with their populist, pseudo-intellectual, pipe-dream-chasing drivel, I'm actually grateful for the seven years of comparative national unity calm. I'm glad that we have a premier who knows better than to cave to the artsy fartsy separatist Cegep 'history professors' and the Plateau Clique scum that have self-appointed themselves this province's vanguard, and that he has shown himself able to outwit the separatists at every turn.

    Vive le Quebec libre... libre des péquistes!

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  3. Totally agree with Mississauga guy.100% correct.

    A great post as usual.Trudeau was a racist, bigoted anti-English language, anti-BNA bigot.

    Until the charter is Repealed, this country will continue to go down the toilet. Trudeau supported the banning of English in Quebec while forcing the French language all across the country, this was his goal, he stated it several times. The man was hateful bigot. Just a couple of his quotes below…

    " ....Given these facts, should French-speaking people concentrate their
    efforts on Quebec, or take the whole of Canada as their base? , PM Pierre Trudeau

    "Quebec can make French the only official language in spite of the
    Constitution". Pierre Trudeau, 1967.

    "There is no way two ethnic groups in one country can be made equal
    before the law....and to say it is possible is to sow the seeds of
    destruction".
    Pierre Trudeau, 1966.

    "Bilingualism in truth was nothing less than a social revolution…no one in Ottawa in the later 1960's let on that a massive change was about to happen… Trudeau knew this all along. He lied about it as a necessary means to an end". Richard Gwyn in his book the Northern Magnus.

    Wake up people.

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  4. Wake up people...Apprenez le Français,c'est l'avenir du Canada.Le bilinguisme est une très bonne chose pour tous.C'est le seul moyen pour que le Québec et le Canada demeurent amis.

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  5. The whole bilingual myth is a joke. Harper had it right "bilingualism is the god that failed" and of course continues to fail. The usage of french outside of Quebec has diminished by about 25% from 2001 to 2006 according to stats Canada.

    Something to think about:

    Usage of population using french in the house.

    BC 0.4%
    AB 0.7%
    SK 0.4%
    MB 1.8%
    ON 2.5%
    QC 81.8%
    NB 29.7%
    NS 2.0%
    NF 0.1%
    PEI 2.1%

    These from the Official Language Commissioner Web site.

    Obviously, outside of Quebec and NB there is really no french to speak of. Canada is not a bilingual country and the politicians who continue to use their edgy and bad french on National TV and Radio are making public asses of themselves. (Including Harper himself).

    They have tried to cram the French language down everyones throughts since Trudeau's official language act and at the end of the day the numbers have decreased. A wasted program brought to us by an asshole who only had the benefits of one province in mind (yes his power base at the time). He virtually f'ked everyone else...remember him giving western canadian farmers the finger....arrogant asshole.

    So, after 40 years there has been no real positive results of the OLA except that we have spent untold billions of dollars (some say well over 300 to 400 billion) on this ill fated enterprise. This, by the way, at the expense of the civil service of Canada discriminating against the majority anglo population of Canada.

    Now tell me this is not the case!!!

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  6. "C'est le seul moyen pour que le Québec et le Canada demeurent amis."

    Not likely every to be the case. Quebec is far to self absorbed and greedy to have any real amis in the other provinces. Unless you are referring to Candy Friends... Not too mention that the values in Quebec are suspect when one looks at the tolerance for Corruption in all levels of government.

    Canada would be far better with Quebec out of the house. I see Danny Williams negotiated (before he resigned) the 6 billion dollar power line to circumvent the Quebec Hydro distribution network. (he really was given no choice by Quebec Hydro) This is just one of the many isolationist moves that provinces will put in place with regards to Quebec. Others, I am sure, will follow suit. In Alberta they are very critical of the equalization being donated to Quebec who have social programs which are not enjoyed by the donors.

    The ROC has Quebec's number and further it is now becoming widely (thankfully) known what type of corruption and deceit exists in Quebec.

    Really quite pathetic but of course it is the people who put in place these distasteful politicians.

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  7. Cher éditeur:

    Pourriez-vous réaliser un billet sur le bilinguisme des juges de notre plus haut tribunal?
    Qu'attendent les sénateurs pour adopter le projet de loi appuyé par tous...Sauf les conservateurs?

    Merci!

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  8. "Pourriez-vous réaliser un billet sur le bilinguisme des juges de notre plus haut tribunal?"

    Stick up your Quebecois a.. There are alreadby three out of nine Quebec judges appointed to the supreme court. This is overepresentation as Quebec's population is only about 22% of the country. Does this pandering to Quebec every stop??

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  9. Mississauga Guy said...

    Anon @ 4:33PM must have read my contributions previously, or at least knows his top from his bottom.

    In the Western and Atlantic Provinces, except N.B., French spoken at home is negligible. Put together, there are more English speakers in Quebec than French outside the rest of Canada, INCLUDING N.B.!

    Actually, I didn't realize the truth of that until I took the numbers of the Office of the Official Languages Commissioner above into account.

    Boy, this proves more than ever the tail really is wagging the dog, and it's time to put that to bed! It's to repatriate English as the primary official language of Canada, with or without Quebec's support.

    Quebec imposed French as the only official language in Quebec, and so there is NO reason why the Candian majority cannot declare English as the primary language of Canada. The Constitution stands in the way of making English the only official language, and in spite of it all, I'm still willing to protect French, but only to a point. Should Quebec choose to separate at any point in the future, the protection of French would then become a moot point.

    Yet another argument for a federal political party putting the interests of the majority of Canadians outside Quebec first!

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  10. My totally out of topic comment:

    For Mississauga and Toronto guys, if you are so happy and content living in your respective cities, check this out:

    http://www.torontolife.com/daily/informer/the-new-normal/2010/11/25/toronto-is-the-saddest-place-in-canada-csls-study/

    The details are here:

    http://csls.ca/reports/csls2010-09.pdf

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  11. "The Constitution stands in the way of making English the only official language, and in spite of it all, I'm still willing to protect French, but only to a point."

    Wow. Just wow. I'm as anti-101 as they come and I wince every time I read/hear a French-language supremacist saying there isn't enough French this or that in Quebec (which in those situations is essentially code for "Montreal"). Reading about English-speakers seriously advocating the revocation of (in this case French-language) cultural rights enshrined in the highest piece of our country's legislation is just as disconcerting if not more, because I always thought ideas like Vigile.net were the product of an insecure rabble who was unable to make it on this continent and needed to do something they thought was constructive with their time.

    If you distill our history from even the 1830s through Confederation, you'll appreciate that Canada was founded as a social contract between two main peoples, and that constitutional impasses have dogged us to the point that a lot of what we do is by convention. (Even the position of prime minister is established by convention and not codified within any constitutional framework). This has more or less worked for a century and a half. Language squabbles aren't as big an issue as either side would lead us to think. Especially when rather than spend time whining and protesting, you invest your time learning the "enemy's" tongue.

    "Yet another argument for a federal political party putting the interests of the majority of Canadians outside Quebec first!"

    One such party? Besides, that sounds like yet another protest party along the lines of an un-Bloc Québécois, and is unlikely to gain much traction, especially since its purpose is either implicitly or explicitly anti one particular province. Again, the more our Federal parliament becomes fractured along regional lines, the less cohesive and united will be those "governments" which "we the people" will "elect". We've seen what the red state/blue state divide has been doing to the south of us. Are we going to advocate an even more colorful (and more dysfunctional) map for Canada where governments will eventually be formed by luck and by coalition rather than by majority vote?


    "Should Quebec choose to separate at any point in the future, the protection of French would then become a moot point."
    Affirmative action-style protection of any language or culture IS moot. French has survived for 250 years in this country because there were enough people who wanted to continue speaking it, and in many cases despite overt or covert legislative actions against it. Same goes for the situation of English in Quebec. Or for any language or culture anywhere.

    At the same time, ensuring that our Federal government institutions are adequately staffed by bilingual individuals is not any more unreasonable or crazy than to want Quebec institutions to be staffed by the same.

    The more we want bilingualism to be a problem rather than a solution, the more it will be.

    It's a shame, though, because not seeing the wisdom and beauty of learning and incorporating a second, third, or fourth language in one's daily interaction - even all loftiness aside - robs everyone of more enriching interactions and cultural exchanges.

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  12. "...if you are so happy and content living in your respective cities, check this out..."

    Qui aurait cru ça?Quelle surprise ce matin.Imaginez maintenant Mississauga...Ouch!

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  13. "If you distill our history from even the 1830s through Confederation, you'll appreciate that Canada was founded as a social contract between two main peoples, and that constitutional impasses have dogged us to the point that a lot of what we do is by convention. "

    Apparatchik, we're in 2010. Look at the stats cited by Anon Nov26 1:11PM. This is the reality of Canada 2010 AD.

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  14. Last Crop-LaPresse survey gives his party a 23% of votes (17% amongst francophones), 15% behind the PQ at 38%. With Gilles Duceppe, it would be 49% of all Quebeckers voting for the PQ. His refusal made him fall 7 points in the past few weeks. 235 000 people have signed a petition calling for his resignation (just like any decent man should do but Charest is far from behind a decent man, he is an evil opportunistic and corrupt politician of the worst kind) despite behind a Quebec Solidaire call and an Amir Khadir call who tends to mix every subjects in there (gaz de schistes among other things).

    If Quebeckers forget all that in the course of 2 years, they are dumber than I thought. However, you can never count Charest dead as we have seen both in 2007 and 2008 so we better be careful about that.

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  15. "The public will be somewhat satisfied. Not the pequistes, but the Liberal base and that's what counts."

    Well, with 23% of all voters, he can get them all but will never win a general election with such figures.

    How dishonnest on your behalf to take out ADQ which scores about 35% in Quebec, Beauce-Appalaches and Eastern region.

    A PQ-PLQ approach, man, it's a passéiste approach, it's a Montreal approach which take us back 40 years in time at the beginning when all that referendum shit all started. Anglo VS Franco and we take the left while corruption is at its highest. I love this PQ-PLQ cat fight, so sarcastically entertaining an approach which never seem to end in Montreal where the economy has gone down the drain for the past 40 years.

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  16. "In life nice guys finish last, in politics nice guys don't even finish the race."

    You said it yourself my friend and we can hold you accountable for those words.

    That shows us how evil and corrupt Charest really is, it says it all in one simple sentence and one could not hope better said from a own liberal end perspective.

    Now if liberal fans themselves see themselves like evil and corrupted crooks, how can we expect the opposition to see otherwise.

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  17. Les commentaires récents montrent donc que la politique de lente assimilation instaurée par Lord Durham est efficace; les structures fondamentales de minorisation des francophones, politique instituée d'une manière structurelle par l'Union de 1840 et perpétuée dans les changements constitutionnels subséquents.

    On constate d'ailleurs une lente érosion de l'usage du français, même au Québec et c'est flagrant à Montréal. On voit donc que la politique de Trudeau a été un échec.

    À quelle conclusion les francophones doivent-ils arriver? Les Canadiens leur proposent d'être bilingue, mais ce bilinguisme n'est-il pas un état intermédiaire entre le passage d'une langue à l'autre? Quand tous les Québécois seront bilingues quel sera l'avantage d'apprendre le français, de le parfaire, de le perfectionner puisqu'on pourra communiquer en anglais avec tout le monde?

    Les QUébécois n'ont donc d'autres choix que de devenir indépendant ou disparaitre.

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  18. "...it would be 49% of all Quebeckers voting for the PQ."

    Imaginez si notre chef (Gilles) était réellement dans la course.Ce serait un véritable raz-de-marée.Notre nation redeviendrait colorée d'un beau bleu de mer et comme le regard fonceur de notre guide.

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  19. @L'engagé

    Votre excellent commentaire est d'une logique implaccable.
    Le bilinguisme des Francophones au Québec n'est qu'un état transitoire vers la langue anglaise.

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  20. "mais ce bilinguisme n'est-il pas un état intermédiaire entre le passage d'une langue à l'autre?"

    Prove it. I don't believe that Francophones would abandon their language if they adopted English as their common second language. Swedes never lost Swedish, Danes never lost Danish, Finns did not lose Finnish. Are you saying that Francophones are different? If you do in fact think that by opening up to English your people will turn their backs on their language, then you have absolutely no respect or confidence in your people or your language. And how do you expect the immigrants to respect it, if you don’t respect it yourself?

    In fact, what you're saying is nonsense. It's a typical scare tactic used to frighten people into submission and to lay a guilt trip on them so as to get them to support laws and political ideas (like secession) that run counter to their real interests.

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  21. "Swedes never lost Swedish,Danes never lost Danish"

    Baignent-ils dans une mer de 350 millions d'anglos?Réfléchissez un peu plus Adski.

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  22. "Now if liberal fans themselves see themselves like evil and corrupted crooks, how can we expect the opposition to see otherwise."

    What difference does it make to Anglos and Allos anyway? This would be more of a concern for those that are actually represented in the political spectrum and in Quebec, that's only the Francophones. The rest of us will vote for a floating turd if it means the progression of a Franco-first agenda will be a little slower than the PQs agenda. We're not voting for political improvement, but for fascist lights in the hope that fascist regular or extra strength don't take over.

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  23. Il n'y a pas de passage d'une langue à l'autre. C'est toujours dans le même sens. Pour protéger une linquistique et une culture, oui une culture, oui une culture il faut la protéger. Dommage que l'éducation soit réduite à celle de l'ordinateur....

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  24. Mississauga Guy said, particularly to the attention of Apparatchik,,,

    Wow! Just Wow! Methinks I've struck a raw nerve, so I'll strike it with more vim and vigor:

    First of all, your last paragraph in your first contribution to this thread read: "Vive le Quebec libre... libre des péquistes!"

    Then the second paragraph in your second contribution reads: "Wow. Just wow. I'm as anti-101 as they come and I wince every time I read/hear a French-language supremacist saying there isn't enough French this or that in Quebec (which in those situations is essentially code for "Montreal").

    Who the hell are you, Robert Bourassa's ghost? Being a péquiste, or at least a sympathizer, and be anti-Bill 101 are not mutually exclusive views. You can't suck and blow at the same time notwithstanding Bourassa's numerous attempts to do exactly that.

    I can't thank you enough for writing: "Reading about English-speakers seriously advocating the revocation of (in this case French-language) cultural rights enshrined in the highest piece of our country's legislation is just as disconcerting..."

    First of all I am NOT revoking ANYTHING, but the fact you're pouncing on what I wrote is absolutely NO surprise, just like when Howard Galganov wrote his book Bastards in the late 1990s. The French media was all over him for being a racist, only because he wrote about the blatant racist tactics Quebec was aiming against its minorities, pure and simple. Galganov made the lot of your racist ilk eat their words, and they didn't like it. As Galganov would say: TOUGH!

    Secondly, you pro-separatists are always commingling your meanings. Somehow language becomes culture and the excess of English in the QUEBEC jurisdiction is really the so-called excess of English in Montreal, because outside Montreal and a couple of off-island pockets of English, there is barely ANY English spoken outside that Greater Montreal Area (GMA).

    My mother tongue is English, but I don't consider my culture to be one iota any part of the United Kingdom beyond my mother tongue. I'm not even pro-monarchy, and I'd like to see Canada move towards a republican type of government. The monarchy is an antiquated, obsolete concept and why should the head of my country be someone who is bequeathed this privilege by the accident of birth? That is what family heirlooms are for, not my country.

    As far as I'm concerned, the concept of the monarchy is something important to the U.K. for historic and tourism purposes. Other than that, at best, I'd allow the current Queen to complete her reign and then Canada should assume its role as a Republic upon her death, or her choice to abdicate the throne.

    You also wrote "...you invest your time learning the "enemy's" tongue." I was born, raised and educated in Quebec. Did I have a choice? I HAD to pass French in high school to obtain my High School Leaving certificate and go on for higher education. I took French in school because it was COMPULSORY...not because it was an option. I NEVER took a French course in CEGEP or university.

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  25. Mississauga Guy said, particularly to the attention of Apparatchik,,,

    2 of 2

    On the other hand, I'm not sorry I developed my French. It does mean I can speak with most of my compatriots from coast to coast, and it has been an advantage in obtaining and keeping jobs. You again commingle communicating in the French language with BEING French. The way I saw things while living in Quebec, I was catalogued aMONG «les autres», i.e., one who is not of the ilk of the majority hence I was the intruder, the enemy. The PQ and lunatic fringes like RIN under the late Pierre Borgault, Impératif-français, SSJB and a host of other splinter groups making up that lunatic fringe.

    Then you write: "One such party? ...other protest party...its purpose is either implicitly or explicitly anti one particular province... the more our Federal parliament becomes fractured along regional lines, the less cohesive and united will be those "governments" which "we the people" will "elect". We've seen what the red state/blue state divide has been doing to the south of us. Are we going to advocate an even more colorful (and more dysfunctional) map for Canada where governments will eventually be formed by luck and by coalition rather than by majority vote?"

    Why not? It works well in Israel, and besides, what is going on in the states is really a two-party oligopoly. What is really aggravating things in the U.S. is the current polarity of the two parties, i.e., there are liberal Liberals and conservative Conservatives, words expressed by former Minnesota governor, Jesse Ventura. He also feels the will of the people at large is lost in this two-party state, and the lack of independents in the fray worsens the problem, but big, big $$$ in the war chest of both parties makes this a virtual impossibility.

    Too, the party I propose is NOT a regional government at all! Candidates would be run in parts of Quebec--ENGLISH-speaking Quebec...and from coast to coast. I would propose a realistic platform that is good for everyone, INCLUDING Quebec, but not pandering to every whim of Quebec on threat of separation. If Quebec wants to separate, then separate and shut up...and good luck paying down your exceedingly heavy debt without equalization payments that exceed what your fascist society kicks into the federal system.

    The party concept I'm proposing would kick back to Quebec no more that what it contributes to the federal system...NO MORE! Too, to be considered for equalization, Quebec would have to raise QUEBEC taxes to pay for the subsidized hydro rates, tuition fees and daycare costs...or raise the user fees to the national level. Why the hell should the federal system subsidize Quebec to the tune no other province in Canada enjoys?

    The Liberals and Conservatives don't have the political will to do this because they NEED Quebec votes to hope for a majority. The new party concept I propose may not form a majority government, but we can influence and direct federal party policy because we would run as a federal party from coast to coast. Placing candidates in primarily French speaking ridings is redundant. You're already calling me a supremacist without knowing the full story, or choosing to ignore it.

    If Quebec one day separates, you don't think the rest of Canada will have a backlash on French? YOU better BELIEVE it will happen. I wasn't suggesting I'LL be the one to direct or even advocate it, but you can believe it WILL happen!

    New Brunswick won't advocate it because of their instituting the protection of French in the Constitution, but what is to say the 70%-or-so Anglophones in New Brunswick would tolerate it on their own? I assure you I genuinely hope that will not happen, but I'm only one person. I can't speak for the entire population of New Brunswick. For the most part, they're very nice people and my dealings with folks in the Atlantic Provinces have always been very positive and memorable, Anglophones and Acadians.

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  26. Mississauga Guy said, particularly to the attention of Apparatchik,,,

    Now 3 of 4!

    You also wrote "...you invest your time learning the "enemy's" tongue." I was born, raised and educated in Quebec. Did I have a choice? I HAD to pass French in high school to obtain my High School Leaving certificate and go on for higher education. I took French in school because it was COMPULSORY...not because it was an option. I NEVER took a French course in CEGEP or university.

    On the other hand, I'm not sorry I developed my French. It does mean I can speak with most of my compatriots from coast to coast, and it has been an advantage in obtaining and keeping jobs. You again commingle communicating in the French language with BEING French. The way I saw things while living in Quebec, I was catalogued aMONG «les autres», i.e., one who is not of the ilk of the majority hence I was the intruder, the enemy. The PQ and lunatic fringes like RIN under the late Pierre Borgault, Impératif-français, SSJB and a host of other splinter groups making up that lunatic fringe.

    Then you write: "One such party? ...other protest party...its purpose is either implicitly or explicitly anti one particular province... the more our Federal parliament becomes fractured along regional lines, the less cohesive and united will be those "governments" which "we the people" will "elect". We've seen what the red state/blue state divide has been doing to the south of us. Are we going to advocate an even more colorful (and more dysfunctional) map for Canada where governments will eventually be formed by luck and by coalition rather than by majority vote?"

    Why not? It works well in Israel, and besides, what is going on in the states is really a two-party oligopoly. What is really aggravating things in the U.S. is the current polarity of the two parties, i.e., there are liberal Liberals and conservative Conservatives, words expressed by former Minnesota governor, Jesse Ventura. He also feels the will of the people at large is lost in this two-party state, and the lack of independents in the fray worsens the problem, but big, big $$$ in the war chest of both parties makes this a virtual impossibility.

    Too, the party I propose is NOT a regional government at all! Candidates would be run in parts of Quebec--ENGLISH-speaking Quebec...and from coast to coast. I would propose a realistic platform that is good for everyone, INCLUDING Quebec, but not pandering to every whim of Quebec on threat of separation. If Quebec wants to separate, then separate and shut up...and good luck paying down your exceedingly heavy debt without equalization payments that exceed what your fascist society kicks into the federal system.

    The party concept I'm proposing would kick back to Quebec no more that what it contributes to the federal system...NO MORE! Too, to be considered for equalization, Quebec would have to raise QUEBEC taxes to pay for the subsidized hydro rates, tuition fees and daycare costs...or raise the user fees to the national level. Why the hell should the federal system subsidize Quebec to the tune no other province in Canada enjoys?

    The Liberals and Conservatives don't have the political will to do this because they NEED Quebec votes to hope for a majority. The new party concept I propose may not form a majority government, but we can influence and direct federal party policy because we would run as a federal party from coast to coast. Placing candidates in primarily French speaking ridings is redundant. You're already calling me a supremacist without knowing the full story, or choosing to ignore it.

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  27. Mississauga Guy said, particularly to the attention of Apparatchik,,,

    4 of 4 (I guess I wrote more than I thought!)

    If Quebec one day separates, you don't think the rest of Canada will have a backlash on French? YOU better BELIEVE it will happen. I wasn't suggesting I'LL be the one to direct or even advocate it, but you can believe it WILL happen!

    New Brunswick won't advocate it because of their instituting the protection of French in the Constitution, but what is to say the 70%-or-so Anglophones in New Brunswick would tolerate it on their own? I assure you I genuinely hope that will not happen, but I'm only one person. I can't speak for the entire population of New Brunswick. For the most part, they're very nice people and my dealings with folks in the Atlantic Provinces have always been very positive and memorable, Anglophones and Acadians.

    You wrote "French has survived for 250 years in this country because there were enough people who wanted to continue speaking it, and in many cases despite overt or covert legislative actions against it. Same goes for the situation of English in Quebec. Or for any language or culture anywhere."

    EXACTLY!!! So why do you have these paranoid language zealots trying to quash English as doggedly as they are? This is EXACTLY why I left Quebec! I KNEW French isn't going to die because for over 200 years there was NO language legislation to "protect" the "French culture", and you previously mentioned how the word "culture" is an abused buzz word to represent the people of the majority «pur laine» ilk. Nobody, BUT NOBODY, CAN LEGISLATE POINTS OF VIEW, HUMAN EMOTIONS or simple daily living.

    The last one to try was that Romanian dictator, Chauchescu, and I'm sure you know how his life ended, viciously slaughtered like a rabid junkyard dog in a back alley...and he fully deserved everything he got!

    To answer you final paragraph, learning a second language is very much a rewarding subject and I would NEVER discourage anyone from learning a second language, French or otherwise. These days Mandarin Chinese and Spanish are significant languages, even more than French. China has 1.3 BILLION people. Latin America has about 335 MILLION people. That beats the hell out of 6 MILLION Francophones in Quebec, but again, that's for another discussion. What two language between those three REALLY has more clout? You KNOW the answer to that!!!

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  28. @Mississauga Guy:
    Wow you really let yourself go there! Good stuff! I hope your outpouring of comments was as cathartic to you as it was beneficial to the discussion.

    “Who the hell are you, Robert Bourassa's ghost? Being a péquiste, or at least a sympathizer, and be anti-Bill 101 are not mutually exclusive views. You can't suck and blow at the same time notwithstanding Bourassa's numerous attempts to do exactly that.”

    Maybe in a strictly logical sense it’s not altogether impossible to find anti-101 separatists or anti-PQ separatists, but you’ll agree with me that where there is no causality there are at least some strong correlations. And for the record, I think Bourassa played the nationalism card more than was good for him.


    “…the fact you're pouncing on what I wrote is absolutely NO surprise, just like when Howard Galganov wrote his book Bastards in the late 1990s. The French media was all over him…”

    Okay, three things: (1) I disagree with you. (2) How the hell did Howard Galganov suddenly enter the room, and (3) the French media will run with any kind of rabid anti-French figure, real or perceived, that they can find. Don Cherry, Mordechai Richler, Lord Durham, and Alliance Quebec are on the permanent roster.

    “Secondly, you pro-separatists are always commingling your meanings.”

    WHOA. Coup bas! Low blow. I never called you a rabid anti-Semite nor did I intimate you were a boring individual on account of your choosing to live in God’s Waiting Room (I love Hazel’s feistiness just as much as the next person, but I’ve been to your town and it both ages me and makes me sleepy).

    Anyway, I am not now nor have I ever been a separatist, nor a sympathizer. At the same time, it is very healthy to frequently exercise my mind by trying to look at the same things in new and different ways so that I can say I’m a federalist out of conviction

    “Somehow language becomes culture and the excess of English in the QUEBEC jurisdiction is really the so-called excess of English in Montreal, because outside Montreal and a couple of off-island pockets of English, there is barely ANY English spoken outside that Greater Montreal Area (GMA).”

    Two things again: in Quebec, language IS culture. Fifty years ago we cast off our only other identity marker – the Catholic Church – and we did that by ourselves. If you take away our language, then we’re really not that distinct anymore, are we?

    By the way, I too deplore the exaggeration by which English spoken in western Montreal somehow threatens to make a hick town like Hérouxville (may our Catholic, French-Canadian God of old forever watch over them) anything they try to legislate against. I also think there is no problem in encouraging Quebec and Canada to be bilingual.

    “My mother tongue is English, but I don't consider my culture to be one iota any part of the United Kingdom beyond my mother tongue.”

    That’s good for you. By the way, I too find it amusing when francophones here, particularly in the media, pseudo-intellectually refer to “Anglo-Saxon culture”. Incidentally, the part of me that genuinely “feels” anglo feels more American than British. Incidentally, I spell color without a ‘u’. At the same time, I do feel a strong political connectedness to our British history and to the heritage we share with other English-speaking commonwealth countries just as I do other members of the Francophonie…

    (1)

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  29. “I'm not even pro-monarchy, and I'd like to see Canada move towards a republican type of government. The monarchy is an antiquated, obsolete concept and why should the head of my country be someone who is bequeathed this privilege by the accident of birth? That is what family heirlooms are for, not my country.”

    I can understand how you might dislike the undemocratic nature of the monarchy, but I still see a constitutional use for it. Until someone shows me a better/revamped/overhauled framework, I’ll stick with the status quo.


    “You again commingle communicating in the French language with BEING French.”

    Do you presume, good sir, to tell me that the one third of me that IS ancestrally French is allowed to tell the two-thirds of me that aren’t that they do not belong? There is bigotry and exclusion everywhere in the world and both Quebec specifically and Canada in general both quite amply supplied. I advocate bring more people into the Canadian fold rather than thinly-veiled discrimination against foreigners whose last names happen to be unable to pronounce.

    “It works well in Israel, and besides, what is going on in the states is really a two-party oligopoly.”
    Israel, Italy, Lebanon even… these countries are political basket cases, and the dizzying whirl of alliances and betrayals among dozens of parties make for sexy poli-sci history. But on balance, their set of advantages/disadvantages arguably don’t secure much more “progress” than do the donkey and the elephant.


    “…the party I propose is NOT a regional government at all! Candidates would be run in parts of Quebec--ENGLISH-speaking Quebec...and from coast to coast…”

    You’re fighting the Bloc fire with Anglo fire. Pardon my being obtuse but I still don’t see how you’re any better than the opponent you seek to bring down. Besides, doesn’t an eye for an eye make the whole world blind?

    “I would propose a realistic platform that is good for everyone, INCLUDING Quebec, but not pandering to every whim of Quebec on threat of separation.”

    Good. Good. But we saw where the Reform Party went…

    “If Quebec wants to separate, then separate and shut up...and good luck paying down your exceedingly heavy debt without equalization payments that exceed what your fascist society kicks into the federal system.”

    Incidentally, I don’t believe we should separate because of the many fiscal and cultural advantages of being part of Canada. You’re preaching to the choir on this point.

    “Why the hell should the federal system subsidize Quebec to the tune no other province in Canada enjoys?”

    Actually, even if we get the highest dollar-amount payout, it’s actually our maritime “have-not” cousins who are getting way higher *per-capita* cash from the federal teat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalization_payments_in_Canada

    (2)

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  30. “If Quebec one day separates, you don't think the rest of Canada will have a backlash on French?”

    You mean like Kristallnacht but in early 21st century Sudbury or St-Boniface? I don't think that's what Canada is about, notwithstanding the rabid psychos which dot our landscape. In any case, I think you shouldn’t go there. And if you do, try to more carefully articulate what kind of “backlash” you’re talking about, because the remainder of that section sounds like the rant of a lunatic.

    “Did I have a choice? I HAD to pass French in high school to obtain my High School Leaving certificate and go on for higher education. I took French in school because it was COMPULSORY...not because it was an option. I NEVER took a French course in CEGEP or university.”

    There are those in this province who think they shouldn’t have to study English because it’s nowhere near as useful as we’ve been led to believe it is. Quotes like the one above sound like the English version of those rants.


    “So why do you have these paranoid language zealots trying to quash English as doggedly as they are?”

    Because they’re 60’s flower children that never grew up? Because the drama sustains them and their cause? Because they believe their nation-building exercise is 400 years in the making? Out of revenge for 1759?

    Maybe their refusal to let us evolve naturally comes from their own lack of realization that preserving a snapshot in history is the work of anthropologists and not that of a living people?

    I come from a multilingual background where the emphasis was placed on genuinely wishing to be as expressive/articulate in as many languages as possible, and finding it tragic when for some reason this wasn’t possible. The result is that even today a small part of me gets extremely irritated when I happen to phrase something better in one language than in another.

    “China has 1.3 BILLION people. Latin America has about 335 MILLION people. That beats the hell out of 6 MILLION Francophones in Quebec, but again, that's for another discussion. What two language between those three REALLY has more clout? You KNOW the answer to that!!!”

    You bet. In fact, if in the next century or so China became the world superpower and its language occupied the role that English does today, I would be among those who would call for its being implemented at all levels of our school curricula and even advocating that it be given co-official status (at least on par with English in Hong Kong) so that we could not just communicate, but successfully compete with the best Chinese speakers anywhere.

    I might be a little emotionally disappointed if my own great-grandchldren don't relate to any part of the cultures that I'm a part of today. I would find it sad if they didn't know history, since the shows keep repeating, but with different actors.

    But universal values like respect, honesty and education aside, I seriously need to stop and ask myself whether wanting them to identify with everything I am today (or was, by the time they come around) isn't a little (or a lot) selfish on my part. Mid-nineteenth century culture and values (Jim Crow laws, Chinese foot binding, Ottoman Turkish language) aren't identical to those of the 21st century.

    I live in my time, and they'll live in theirs.

    (3)

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  31. Apparatchik, I enjoyed reading your retort to MGuy. I’ll take you up on one point though:

    “Actually, even if we get the highest dollar-amount payout, it’s actually our maritime “have-not” cousins who are getting way higher *per-capita* cash from the federal teat.”

    This may be true, but you’re overlooking one fact – the Maritimes, on the receiving end as is Quebec, NEVER complain about being in the confederation. So that changes everything. I’d rather give a 100$ to someone who will appreciate it and thank me for it, than give 1$ to someone who constantly spits in my face and through self-entitlement thinks that he deserves that 1$ no matter how he behaves. And while I won’t regret dropping the 100$ on those in need who appreciate my help, I would regret spending a cent on those who bitch about me behind my back.

    So it the equalization payment argument, there is no point to pursue a hopeless course to justify Quebec. What’s happening is just wrong, and is a proof that something is rotten in our country.

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  32. Mississauga Guy to Apparatchik:

    Part One responding to your first of three entries(and this will be volumnous!):

    "Until someone shows me a better/revamped/overhauled framework [than the monarchy], I’ll stick with the status quo."

    I stated it: A rebublican form of government. The Americans have a much better system of checks and balances when the president appoints supreme court judges and other people of high position. They get screened (grilled, really) by a committee before being able to assume the mantle of their appointed duties. Other positions like judges, auditors general and other positions are by election. They elect their senate as well.

    Here in Canada, the PM is practically the dictator who puts his cronies and toadies in many, many positions, including federal court judges, auditors general, senators and a whole gammut of other positions. The PM and its office have far too much concentration of power. When was the last time anyway that a monarch changed a law here in Canada? QE II put her signature on the Consitution in 1982--a virtual rubber stamp and little else. I don't care much for figure heads, and we can put our own people on the obverse of our coinage and currency.

    "I think Bourassa played the nationalism card more than was good for him."

    Yes, his game of serpentine put the Anglo community on notice, and my decision to leave was there pending my finishing my education. When the PQ got elected, that started the mass exodus. It took me 6 years beyond that point to finish my education and I was gone the day after my convocation. He proved to me once and for all the number of Franco Québécois who are truly federalist was few and far between.

    "Okay, three things: (1) I disagree with you. (2) How the hell did Howard Galganov suddenly enter the room, and (3) the French media will run with any kind of rabid anti-French figure, real or perceived, that they can find. Don Cherry, Mordechai Richler, Lord Durham, and Alliance Quebec are on the permanent roster."

    OK: (1) Feel free to agree to disagree; (2) You just brought three names and one organization into the room, and I brought one: Galganov! He also had a radio show that didn't pull punches, and while I unfortunately never heard his show (living in Canada, and out of CIQC's earshot), I read that book and support 95% of what he wrote.
    TUEZ GALGANOV, câlisse de tourne-à-vis!

    Re commingling terms. Yes it was a low blow, and maybe you personally don't deserve it, but too many of 1/3(?) of your ilk do. If you come to my fair city again, may I suggest you go ahead of time to your fave search engine and look up "things to do in Mississauga". We have live theatre, a fabulous city-wide international cultural event called Carassauga the last weekend in May, beautiful huge and clean lakeside parks with barbecues (you bring the charcoal) and a host of other arts and cultural events throughout the year. We also have a symphony orchestra that has been around since 1972! My old city Laval didn't get one until the year I moved out for good--1984!

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  33. Mississauga Guy to Apparatchik:

    Part Two in response to your First Entry:

    "...in Quebec, language IS culture. Fifty years ago we cast off our only other identity marker – the Catholic Church – and we did that by ourselves. If you take away our language, then we’re really not that distinct anymore, are we?

    Sorry, I disagree with language being culture. This was brought to North America with you ascendants (1/3 of them anyway!), and there is a lot of French in Québécois culture anyway. I don't even entirely consider the Church culture, but since the community makes the Church, perhaps it is in a sense. Quebec has its own TV and radio shows, books (fiction and non), food (ever hear of a tortière, créton, fondu chinois or poutine outside Quebec?), quilts, the cabane-à-sucre meal and rituals, art (paintings, sculpture, music, etc.), the Christmas reveillion, etc. ALL THAT is definitely culture because it is unique to French-speaking Québécois! OK, OK, poutineries and tortière...AND crêpes too are now available in Toronto. Guess who dragged it out here?

    Sadly, attempts to bring those hot dog câsse-croutes à La Belle Province and Valentin's out here have unfortunately failed. We have street vendors, but I don't like their home-made fries off the chip wagons as much as La Belle or Valentin's or even Chalet BBQ at Sherbrooke St. W. & Decarie. Poutine off those wagons is brown gravy, not the spicey orangey gravy you get in Quebec. Missives worth visiting Montreal for!

    "I also think there is no problem in encouraging Quebec and Canada to be bilingual."

    Encourage? Fine. Force? Uh-uh, ain't gonna happen. I work with people out here who have put their kids in French immersion. For those who can handle it, I heartily endorse and encourage them to stay the course. In our global economy and techology that puts us in contact instantaneously with the whole world, unilingualism is no longer the reality, or it puts those who are unilingual behind the eight ball. Multilingualism is good exercise for the mind, and that has been scientifically proven.

    "I...find it amusing when francophones here,..., pseudo-intellectually refer to Anglo-Saxon culture”.

    Yes, because those who do so tend to commingle all English-speakers as one and the same. Because I speak English, I'm probably seen as pro-monarchist and I explained previously that I am not...at all! In fact, I'm Jewish. While my mother tongue is English, my father, born in Poland, was Yiddish mother-tongued as were his parents and other ascendants, yet why did my ascendants and those of most of my cohorts, not teach us Yiddish?

    Just because Yiddish is on the decline doesn't make me feel less Jewish, and Yiddish was only spoken by Ashkenazim (i.e., the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe). The Sephardim (Jews of Iberia and other Mediterranean countries) did not speak it. While it is a bastardized language made up primarily of German and, depending on your country or region of residence, other languages of that area. That was an aspect of culture but because it's not as widely spoken as in the past, I don't feel my culture has been diminished. My religious rituals, foods, ways to celebrate certain holidays and observances, arts and music are what make up OUR culture. Not speaking Yiddish or Hebrew does not make me feel I'm a lesser Jew.

    These are my responses to your first of three entries. The others will be answered tomorrow if not later tonight.

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  34. Mississauga Guy said to Adski...

    Before responding to the second part of what Apparatchik wrote yesterday, let me respond to you. In a word: Bravo!

    You're absolutely right. Our Atlantic Provinces are appreciative of the monies they get. Editor showed what a sore loser he was in the following thread he put on line this morning re Danny Williams and Newfoundland, and I wrote him so.

    If I gave someone a gift and they in essence spit in my eye as their means of showing appreciation, I'd take the gift right back for their ingratitude! Well stated.

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  35. A > "Until someone shows me a better/revamped/overhauled framework [than the monarchy], I’ll stick with the status quo."
    MG > I stated it: A rebublican form of government.

    You’ll need to do better than that.

    The very purpose of our figureheads/unelected members of government is for them to act as a bulwark within our very own Canadian system of checks and balances. Suppose our democratically-elected government were to pass some reprehensible law because it’s what the majority of Canadians allegedly wanted (in full compliance with all constitutional and parliamentary procedures). I like to know, for example, that there is a “manual override” function that comes built-in to the office of Governor-General, whose “rubber stamp”, as you call it, is necessary for a bill to become law.

    Sure, it might sound off-putting for an unelected individual to be the one to okay all our laws. But I also find something reassuring in the rubber stamping coming from a person who by their very nature should be vested with no partisan interest, but who acts in the name of the sovereign, who is supposed to act on behalf of all citizens. The PM and his cronies and opponents all have to worry about being re-elected. In Canada’s constitutional framework, the Queen/King, in whose name the GG gives a bill Royal Assent, is by her/his very nature an impartial arbiter whose purpose in the Westminster parliamentary system is effectively to prevent (blatantly) mob rule from subverting the established mantra of peace, order and good government. Sounds wonky, but I want to have explained to me in painful detail how a similar mechanism would be ensured within a republican framework.

    “It took me 6 years beyond that point to finish my education and I was gone the day after my convocation.”
    One more NO vote gone. Forgive me for not leaping for joy. It’s been cold lately and my back is sore.

    “He proved to me once and for all the number of Franco Québécois who are truly federalist was few and far between.”

    Maybe, but you need to forget that you identify as an anglo for a minute and give some thought to why as a francophone you might wish to be federalist. I submit to you that the exercise will be particularly difficult in your case because there isn’t a part of you that genuinely *feels* an iota of French-Canadian national consciousness. Two different peoples (especially former rivals with such disparities in socioeconomic clout) don’t suddenly fuse and start singing Kumbaya. French Canadians’ history in this land was entirely different from the British/Loyalists, as was their political structure, religion, and of course, language. As a result, the appeal of Canada to French-Canadians was (and in many ways in my observation, remains) essentially socioeconomic from the get-go for a reason: it was the only logical way to unite the two peoples without further bloodshed and/or assimilation.

    “Multilingualism is good exercise for the mind, and that has been scientifically proven.”

    All the more reason to strive to become multilingual. Again, it’s probably years of multilingual family conditioning talking, but I still don’t see the wisdom of promoting comfort with being monolingual in a place like Canada. I see monolingualism (and even worse, LEGISLATED monolingualism) as synonyms of backwardness and fostering communicational mediocrity. The franco-supremacists are wrong to be legislating it. And the indifferent anglos are equally guilty if they let their own language laziness turn into self-congratulatory mediocrity. French might have lost ground, but it still is a major world language. It’s in our own back yard, so why not pick it up?

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  36. “why did my ascendants and those of most of my cohorts, not teach us Yiddish?”
    Don’t get me started on the death of Yiddish. The horrors of the Holocaust aside, surviving Ashkenazi Jews brought that one about themselves through willful assimilation. At the same time, I find it both deplorable and shameful that Israel, that self-proclaimed haven for Jews, made policy out of actively killing Yiddish – a vibrant, expressive, living language – all to the benefit of some mutant, half-resuscitated, half-reconstructed, majorly relexified variant of a centuries-old dead language. It almost makes me cry.

    “Not speaking Yiddish or Hebrew does not make me feel I'm a lesser Jew.”
    With all due respect, to you your views and to me mine.

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  37. Apparatchik: "I still don’t see the wisdom of promoting comfort with being monolingual in a place like Canada"

    I don't think that's the case. English unilingualism in the RoC is not “promoted”; it's a fact of life. What's actually being promoted in the RoC is French-English bilingualism, even though it’s not catching on. The "comfort" of English unilingualism is not something that is being endorsed, that comfort is the reality.

    It's in Quebec where (French) unilingualism IS promoted, but the facts of life are, again, different, notably in the Outaouais region, Eastern Townships, and Montreal. In Montreal, the reality is that of French unilingualism in East End, through English-French bilingualism in central Montreal, through English unilingualism in West Island, and functional trilingualism for Allos scattered around the island.

    As for promoting either unilingualism (Bill 101 in Quebec) or bilingualism (OLA in Canada), I disagree with both. A "lingualism" should be a function of personal interest and demographic necessity, and not of government policy. The failure of both 101 and the OLA illustrates that when governments encroach into areas of life where “regulation” is not needed or not welcome, the measures usually fail.

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  38. Mississauga Guy to Apparatchik:

    Part One of my response to your second entry, November 28, 2010 11:21 PM:

    No, Apparatchik, no! I am not even THINKING of anything remotely like Kristallnacht. Leaf and Hab fans can sit together at the Bell or Air Canada Centres together and watch a hockey game without resorting to fisticuffs--maybe some colourful repartee at worst. Try that at Parkhead in Glasgow when the rival "Protestant" Ranger and "Catholic" Celtic Football (Soccer) clubs play against each other and that is a horse of a different colour. I know because I attended a match there several years ago! It was an experience, to state the least! Must've learned at least five new profanities THAT day, and we left the stadium post haste after the match. Sometimes the fans supporting one side pick fistfights with the other.

    My vision of a backlash would be more along the lines of less bilingual packaging on products, less promotion of products in French...along those lines. Even then business sensibilities will prevail if interprovincial trade with Quebec is healthy. I don't see too many business people cutting off their noses to spite Quebec, especially if business relationships are very good.

    Perhaps there would be fewer government job postings requiring bilingualism except where absolutely necessary. I can't read the future, but I for one would not advocate violence. There is absolutely nothing to gain from it. Unfortunately, there are people in this world who don't think things like that clear through and therein lies the problem. The recent G20 summit last summer proves this. There are dregs in society--any and all societies. Actually, this responds to the first part of your third entry, but I'm not going to postpone it.

    Getting back to your second entry, your point on the monarchy acting as the "override" has its merits, but I think we can live with the American model, or a modified form thereof. They seem to have good checks and balances on the whole. Is there corruption? EVERY type of political ideology has corruption. Look at "Goldilocks" Charest! The empire beneath his feel is riddled with it...a genuine sickness.

    If I had to go to war, I'd prefer to do so for the people and riches of my country, not "Queen and country". I'll agree to disagree with you as the question of maintaining the monarchy is pretty much split down the middle. I don't think a referendum where a simple majority split the vote is good enough. I'd want to see about 60% in favour of abolition as the determinant for elimination of the monarchy. 50% + 1 is too divisive.

    "There is bigotry and exclusion everywhere in the world and both Quebec specifically and Canada in general both quite amply supplied. I advocate bring more people into the Canadian fold rather than thinly-veiled discrimination against foreigners whose last names happen to be unable to pronounce."

    YOU advocate sensibility--your majority society does not. Federalist and nationalist Quebec governments advocate favouring the rights of the collectivity (aka the tyranny of the majority) while «Canada», as I define Canada excluding Quebec, follow the philosophy of favouring the rights of the individual over the rights of the collectivity. A major, major fundamental difference that I never see reconciling.

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  39. Mississauga Guy to Apparatchik:

    Part Two of my response to your second entry, November 28, 2010 11:21 PM:

    The way I see it, the "collectivity first" view in Quebec justifies the sociopolitical engineering that has taken place since the Quiet Revolution, i.e., the ends (a French-speaking society) justifies the means (Bill 101 and strict, zealous enforcement against the antagonist, i.e., those not of the ilk of the majority). Even those who don't advocate such strict enforcement do agree with the principles of the language legislation--there is a clear, unmistakable consensus there.

    "The franco-supremacists are wrong to be legislating it. And the indifferent anglos are equally guilty if they let their own language laziness turn into self-congratulatory mediocrity."

    Hence the reason for my long planned departure from Quebec, and at least another ¼ million of my like-minded cohorts. Although my late mother MSRIP talked a good fight, I found the parents of my contemporaries let too much ride. When it was all said and done, they were already established and too old to transplant. On the one hand, the good fight was big talk no action and when I discussed it with my parents, they admitted they were sitting ducks if things got hostile--they admitted defeat!

    Let's face it: The fight was not my parents battle to win, it was mine, but I saw the fight wasn't there, and I was very young, so without establishment in a career and my energetic youth, I was able to get up and leave, along with over ¼ million others of my ilk. Unlike that old cigarette ad, we would rather switch than fight.

    Sadly, the fight did come, but too little too late. I and that ¼ million others had already left. The Equality Party came along at least ten years too late (1989 vs 1979), and Galganov was more like 20 years too late (mid 90s instead of the mid 70s). Therefore I'm just one little NO vote. Make that 250,001 NO votes gone! Did you miss us in 1995? Whew...that was close!

    "Incidentally, I don’t believe we should separate because of the many fiscal and cultural advantages of being part of Canada. You’re preaching to the choir on this point."

    Ohhhhh, yes I am! It's exactly what I'm doing...shamelessly. Why not? Was it not Stephane Dion's father who put the bug in Bourassa's ear about holding Canada hostage with a knife to its throat? Wasn't it Dion himself that called Bill 101 a "great Canadian law"? Now that your people are losing your leverage, why shouldn't we take the knife and cut Quebec's throat, or at least hold it to your throats? See how it feels to have the tables turned on YOU!

    As for the fact the Atlantic Provinces get higher PER CAPITA Equalization, I provided the answer to Adski above--they graciously accept the money, not bite hand that feeds them.

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  40. Mississauga Guy to Apparatchik:

    Part Three of my response to your second entry, November 28, 2010 11:21 PM:

    "You’re fighting the Bloc fire with Anglo fire. Pardon my being obtuse but I still don’t see how you’re any better than the opponent you seek to bring down. Besides, doesn’t an eye for an eye make the whole world blind?...Good. Good. But we saw where the Reform Party went…"

    That's EXACTLY the type of simplistic answer your pro-separatist cohorts use when people speak or write against them. The simple answer is anyone who opposes separatism and French running roughshod over English is labelled as racist. Now YOU label me the eye gouging villain, the racist.

    It is not I who wrote and assented to French language legislation;

    It is not I who formed a government that enthusiastically advocated anti-English rhetoric and vengeful, vindictive enforcement against the little guy who puts one letter of one word on an invoice or receipt making a word appear English rather than French, and gets a strong warning of admonishment from said government to correct the action or face severe consequences;

    It is not I who is taking on the role of revisionist so that whatever great accomplishments were made by the minorities are being removed from literature and the streets on plaques and statues;

    It is not I who preached from the pulpits of the Roman Catholic church advocating it's all right to be the "small bread" of society, to reproduce children like sows (Richler's term, not mine, but I strongly agree with his metaphor, like it or not);

    It is not I who became a despotic politician that perpetuated and directed the majority to remain ignorant and pregnant as a means to promote my political agenda for 18 out of 23 years of darkness during the height of the Great Depression and into the post-WWII Era;

    It is neither I who ran the "Westmount Rhodesian" establishment nor was I born into it;

    and so...

    It is not I who should be punished for the history of the past even if it is perceived as unjust.

    I refuse to be the scapegoat for the past injustices for the sole reason I am not French mother tongued. As you previously mentioned, the Church dicked your society around for 200 years. It is THEY who advocated your perpetual poverty and ignorance, with the despotic Maurice Duplessis adding his 15 years of horror that were the last straw of that "Dark Era"; furthermore, now that I left Quebec, completely by my own choice, I don't want to have to suffer anymore over it here in Ontario or any other part of Canada. I did so enough in Quebec!

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  41. To add to what I already said at 9:46AM, I must ask Apparatchik a question in reference to his “a place like Canada" remark: what is Canada but not a unilingual country? If we exclude one “exceptional” and “distinct” (not necessarily my label, but that of the Quebecois themselves) province, we must confront the fact that the French-speaking population varies from 0.1% to 3% in all other provinces (with tiny NB being an exception that proves the rule). If we put political cynicism and Trudeau-ist idealism aside and look at the crude numbers, there is really nothing more to say.

    I am not an enemy of personal multilingualism, as I myself am functionally fluent in both official languages of Canada, plus my own. But I have, and will continue to rail against institutional, imposed, forced, “on-principle” multilingualism. Not only it is counter intuitive and impractical, but also hypocritical (“we must learn the language of people we might not even like that much”), and condescending (“you might not French for nothing in your little BC village, but the government knows best”).

    Pushing French on the RoC is even more annoying if you put it in the context of Quebec. Here we have Francophones who would like to engineer a English+French-speaking Canada from a Canada where French simply does NOT exist, while in Quebec they are trying to engineer a French-only society where a French+English one DOES exist. The hypocrisy in this is simply astounding.

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  42. TO YOU PUSHER AND ARROGANT ENGLISH BASTARDS;
    YOUR IDENTITY SHOULD BE REVEALED, BECAUSE YOU ARE SO RACIST YOU SHOULD SERVE IN IRAK. THAT WILL TEACH YOU

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  43. To the Editor:

    Was it really necessary to publish the comment at 1:36 PM? It is very insulting and has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

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  44. To Anglo Basher

    "Was it really necessary to publish the comment at 1:36 PM? It is very insulting and has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand."

    I've had a lot of this type of nastiness sent in lately and print a couple every now and then to paint a more realistic picture of the reactions to this blog.
    Every time you see a comment like that, understand that there were 10-20 that I didn't print.
    I think our readers are tough enough to take it.

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  45. Anon 1:36PM

    Don’t tell me that in the current Canadian framework, this hypocritical state of affairs isn’t something heavily promoted (however un-successfully due to popular indifference) by both Ottawa and Quebec City:

    -Canada, in the name of "diversity" and "good will", must do everything in its power to turn a de-facto unilingual English-only Canadian society into a bilingual French+English one.

    In the meantime,

    -Quebec, in the name of same “diversity”, must undergo a REVERSE process and turn a de-facto bilingual French+English society into a unilingual French one. While this is happening, the speakers of languages other than French MUST accept this process uncritically, and trick their intellectual faculties and their common sense by priming themselves into thinking that it is occurring for a “good reason” and is a result of “good will”.

    If you tell me that this is NOT the reality, than you will be lying through your teeth. If you admit, however, that it is indeed the reality, then you must also logically conclude that despite being ranked the 4th best country in the world, Canada is ruled by a bunch of very hypocritical types. And a separation of Quebec might actually be a good thing, if only to teach Quebec humility and give it a reality check. And please, forget about “partnerships” and “negotiated” independence. Independence means independence - you’re on your own, fending for yourselves.

    Independence would also mean that when you choose to talk about your language and culture, there would be nobody left PRETENDING to care. It will only be you talking, and the sound of wind in the background.

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  46. Mississauga Guy to Editor:

    Thank you for straightening out Anglo Basher, becasue I was about to ask why the troll (kook, really) appeared @ 1:36PM. I state kook because I think I'm pretty good at geography and I don't know where Irak is. I know where Iraq is, and what does being racist have to do with serving in Iraq? Is everybody serving in Iraq or Irak racist? Did I miss something? Actually that rant did give me a little chuckle! Being Jewish, he'd probably call me a kite! I can tell HIM where to go fly!

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  47. Mississauga Guy to Apparatchik:

    Part One of my response to your third and last entry, November 28, 2010 11:41 PM:

    I answered your Kristallnacht nonsense about an Anglophone backlash, so I won't elaborate on it again. That would be redundant.

    I'll pick up from: "There are those in this province who think they shouldn’t have to study English because it’s nowhere near as useful as we’ve been led to believe it is."

    340 million English speakers in North America vs. six million French in Quebec. YOU do the math! If they don't want to speak/learn English, so much more it is to their detriment, language laws or no language laws. We all know the stats re how well unilinguals compare financially to bilinguals. There are no laws against being a small, close-minded imbecile.

    I asked “So why do you have these paranoid language zealots trying to quash English as doggedly as they are?”

    You answered: "Because they’re 60’s flower children that never grew up? Because the drama sustains them and their cause? Because they believe their nation-building exercise is 400 years in the making? Out of revenge for 1759?"

    Good hypotheses, all three answers (or at least answering my question with more questions)! Now here is a more poignant question: Since you talk about people who are still smoking the pot and doing the LSD they did back in the 60s, why is it Goldilock's so-called federalist Quebec Government and the premier himself still enforcing the language legislation with the same zeal they did back in the 1970s? Is it only for the benefit of the hop-heads of the 60s still living in the past, or has the poison been successfully passed down to the next generation?

    Stating that the emotional fight for separation is blowing over, you'd think a kinder, gentler society in Quebec is emerging from that rabid bitterness for the better part of the last half century, and some diplomatic benevolence would take over. I don't see that happening one iota.

    I just can't see Premier Goldilocks pandering to a residual minority of losers who still drink that 50-year-old bitter water. Governments have to pander to a majority of the population, not the old bitter biddies of an era gone by, many of whom are now magot food six feet below the earth's surface.

    To reiterate, you wrote for your last line "I live in my time, and they'll [the younger generations] live in theirs."

    If that bitter "Quiet Revolution" generation of the past is dead, if the younger genrations are removed from the bitter battles of the past, why is it Premier Goldilocks is as punitive and hard-boiled on the language legislation as he is?

    Please answer that, Mr. Apparatchik! I've already stated my hypothesis to that question.

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  48. "Lorsque l’on a conçu la loi 101 avec René Lévesque, on était trop optimistes, pour ne pas dire naïfs." - Bernard Landry

    Here you go. Unintentional it may be, but here's an admission from the most hardened supporter of 101: Loi 101 failed.

    It's another thing that Landry's admission of failure makes him even MORE determined to stay the course and go down the same beaten path of social engineering...But he must know deep down that it will achieve nothing in the long run.

    It's also an interesting thing in politics - failure means "we haven't gone far enough". How about admitting that you have gone far enough, but you simply failed?

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  49. Mississauga Guy responding to Adski...

    Actually, where Bill 101 failed was where it succeeded: It satisfied the nationalist appetite so well that legal separation was not required. Quebec has de facto separation because it beats up those who desire to send their children to English school, but can't unless they qualify under Section 73.

    It also ensures that it is illegal to post commercial signs in languages other than French except for certain non-profit community organizations and houses of worship serving congregations in languages other than French. It's OK though to not cater to English, North America's most widely spoken and understood language. Outside Montreal and a few off-island suburbs, Quebec's complete face visage is French.

    It also protects employees who don't know any language other than French from being dismissed from jobs even where knowledge of other languages is required. Too, challenging the hiring practices of employers is allowed if there is perception knowledge of languages other than French is questionable. Oh...and lest we forget mandatory possession of a piece of paper a.k.a. a Francization certificate.

    With all that legal protection, isn't the de facto separation Quebec has right now enough? IT'S BETTER! Upon legal separation, Quebec will have NO federal equalization payments to fall back on or other transfers that exceed what the taxpayers of Quebec put INTO the federal system. They'd be CRAZY to legally separate.

    Quebec Premier John James Charest, Premier "Goldilocks", Captain Canada 1995 himself, was so stone-cold hearted so as not to grant a child with French learning disabilities the opportunity to attend English school notwithstanding two merciful and humanitarian sections under Bill 101, namely under Sections 81 and 85. Quebec Premier John James Charest is so heartless so as not to let ONE child, and perhaps a few dozen or even a few hundred children, the right to be helped, to have a fighting chance to finish their schooling in the language they understand better than French.

    Since he so far hasn't responded to my plea for an answer to my question earlier at 10:18 this morning, I would also ask co-reader and contributor, Apparatchik, to comment on this question as well: Why? Why is Quebec Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest's heart so stone-cold?

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  50. 101 failed in its major objective - to turn Quebec into a truly Francophone society, where English is nothing but an optional addition to French. The fact the English remains a viable ALTERNATIVE to French in many day-to-day interactions, work interactions, and business/commerce interactions is something that the Old Guard of Quebec nationalism and all the True Believers simply cannot stomach.

    But of course, 101 did all the things you cite. However, the major goals have not been attained, and people like Parizeau, Landry, Duceppe, et al. will not die happy. And not that it bothers me one bit.

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