Monday, August 13, 2012

Promises, Promises... Separatist Politicians Ignore Reality


Henry Louis Mencken
"When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum

Today readers, we will be discussing (I say we, not in the royal sense, but rather because you will have your part to say  in the comments forum) the unbelievable promises being bandied about in this current election campaign, mostly by the separatist leaders of the Parti Quebecois and Quebec solidaire.

Now the Liberals and the CAQ are making some promises of their own, but modest compared to the billions and billions being thrown out there by the PQ and QS and at least are making some provisions to pay for their them.
Francois Legault has put forward a couple of cost saving ideas, including getting rid of school boards, that layer of administration between the education department and the schools themselves, plus getting rid of the deadwood in Hydro Quebec and in the civil service.
Heaven knows there's enough of that!

As for Jean Charest, he's on record for increasing student tuition as well as the imposition of an additional health tax on families.
But all these measures, according to the Liberals and the CAQ will only serve to finance new spending.

All parties have forgotten to make mention of Quebec's ballooning debt, as if it wasn't there and that paying it down not a priority.
As an election issue, it appears to be taboo, as if speaking of debt reduction is the political kiss of death in Quebec.
It seems that voters aren't interested in being reminded that collectively our credit cards are overloaded and like an ostrich with its head buried in the sand, we live with the fantasy that if we don't talk about it, it may not be a problem. Sure....

It's the same policy adopted by Europe over the last two decades, refusing to deal with the elephant in the room, the national debt that had been piled up over decades of decadent over-spending.
Whether Quebec is in as bad a situation is debatable, but it is true that in terms of Canada, Quebec is in the worst financial position of all the provinces owing a collective debt of $250+ billion or about $39,000 per Quebecker or more than $60,000 per taxpayer.

The idea that this debt is but a trifle is the political philosophy of PQ star candidate, Jean-François Lisée, who actually believes and writes that Quebec really doesn't have a debt  problem at all.
Mr. Lisée reminds me of that seven-day a week, all-day tippler, the drunk who swears up and down that his drinking is no big deal and that he has it under control.

The rank stupidity and callous disregard for the truth by these separatists reminds of the famous quote by Henry Louis Menken, who I will quote and paraphrase extensively throughout this post;

"There's no underestimating the intelligence of the Quebec voter

As voters go, Quebecers are probably no smarter or dumber than your average North American, but that really isn't saying a lot, which brings me to my third quote from that witty journalist.

Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots"

Politicians who abuse the rank stupidity of the masses with unbelievable promises that attempt to bamboozle them into voting a certain way, are usually called to order by a vigilant Press, which is supposed to be the guardians of truth.

But somehow this element is lacking in Quebec.
When Madame Marois makes the most idiotic of proposals, there's nary a contrary peep anywhere, mostly because our journalists are decidedly separatist as well.
Even the English press misses the boat, as it collectively concentrates on the narrowest of issues, which is language and the collective angst of Anglos over having nobody to represent them.
 
And so we get the utterly ridiculous proposals put forward by the PQ and QS, proposals that are so patently stupid, it would prompt a thinking person to throw up one's hands in disgust.

As for Mr. Khadir and Francoise David, I can forgive them their excesses. They can promise the Moon, it is of not matter, even their own constituency recognizes that they are not serious.

The QS will likely elect no more than half the members it takes to host a bridge game and as such, they can say and promise anything they want.

Mr. Khadir's best line of the campaign is the one where he advises us to "sortir du fatalisme de l'austérité," that is, that we should give up the on idea of being obsessed with austerity.

Does Mr Khadir really believe that these last decades, the government of Quebec has been operating on a strict budget and sticking to an austerity program?
It's statements like this that should have the Press howling in derision.

He then goes on to propose an $8 billion social spending increase, without decreasing spending anywhere else. This 12% increase in the provincial budget would be paid for by a $5,000 tax increase on those making over $250,000, by buying generic drugs and cracking down on tax evasion.
Hmm....Perhaps someone can buy Mr. Khadir a calculator Link{Fr}

But as I said, I shall nor critique his proposals, as I said it is a fantasy and a dream.

As for Madame Marois I shall not be so generous, she is making promises that she cannot keep, and if she does, the provincial debt will spiral up even more.

First she has declared that she will eliminate the new health tax and roll back the tuition increases put in place by the Liberals.
Among her other promises:
  • increase the amount of $7 a day daycare places
  • Increase salaries to family doctors.
  • Use the Caisse de dépôt's (our pension money) to fight off hostile takeovers of Quebec companies.
  • High speed internet for all.
  • Additional kindergarten starting at age four. 
  • A $500 tax rebate to families that enroll their children in sports.
Aside from all this, Marois proposes a massive spending program in the  'regions' as she promised in her trip to the Gaspé.
All this in the first ten days of the election and I shudder to think what is coming.

To pay for this Marois proposes taxing the 'rich' families who make over $80,000 a year and an increase in royalties on minerals. (Oh if it were that easy!)

More spending, more taxes, this in the highest taxed province or state in North America and only in Quebec can a family with an income of $80,000 be considered 'rich.'

This is the type of responsible government that the separatists propose, one that ignores the fiscal reality and one which will paradoxically insure that their own independence project will remain unaffordable and unrealizable.

We are just in the beginning phase of the campaign and political parties save announcements of new spending projects, to be parcelled out as the campaign progresses, to keep interest alive.
So I imagine we can expect more, much more idiotic spending promises.

I close with some more sage political advice from the above-mentioned H. L. Menken;
To the Parti Quebecois;
"Economic independence is the foundation of the only sort of freedom worth a damn."
To Pauline Marois;
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. 
To the Quebec solidaire;
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup."

To Amir Khadir;
"The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic."

To the Liberal Party;
"People constantly speak of "the government" doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men. They may have some better man working for them, but they themselves are seldom worthy of any respect." 

To Jean Charest;
"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office."

To the OQLF;
"No one ever heard of the truth being enforced by law. Whenever the secular arm is called in to sustain an idea, whether new or old, it is always a bad idea, and not infrequently it is downright idiotic."  

To French language militants;
"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true."

To Jean-François Lisée;
"There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.
To voters everywhere;
"A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar"
To  all political parties;
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and both commonly succeed, and are right."
To readers of this blog;
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."

93 comments:

  1. "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."

    You forgot "we get the government we deserve".

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    Replies
    1. Personally, I don‘t think I deserve the PQunt. Only people like SuperRacist do.

      Delete
    2. Sweet Pauline Purebred MaroisMonday, August 13, 2012 at 12:46:00 AM EDT

      Look, up in the sky! It's a plane!
      It's a bird!
      It's a frog!
      A frog?
      Not plane nor bird nor even frog. It's just little old me...
      Heh-heh, Pauline Marois.

      There's no need to fear! The PQ majority government is here!

      ...Looks like this is the end. But don't miss our next election!

      Delete
    3. Right you are, App, and for all the Anglophone pussyfooting over the last 35 years, you all deserve the PQ. They'll spend you all into economic oblivion and tighten the screws on English in Quebec, as far as they possibly can!

      In the meantime, you'll all still be sitting with your thumbs up your rectums!

      Delete
    4. You are obsessed with body parts inserted into anuses.

      Delete
    5. Sauga,

      You saying we should vote for the racists?

      Delete
    6. Nope, I believe Mr. Sauga is saying we've screwed ourselves. We put the noose around our collective necks, threw it over the branch and then handed the other end of the rope to the separatist.

      Instead of blindly voting for the Liberals repeatedly, regardless of how they've treated us (i.e. like feces), maybe we should have re-formed the Equality party and COLLECTIVELY VOTED THEM IN. Instead we have allowed our rights and freedoms to be scarified, all in some idiotic hope that the separatist will play nice, pat us gently on our heads, and let us live in peace. So how's that working out for us?

      There are far too many Anglophone-sheep in this province. Just two weeks ago, a bigoted STM ticket booth employee (at Lionel-Groux metro) refused to speak a word of English to me, despite my struggling to understand him. An English woman in line behind me actually took HIS SIDE saying "He has done nothing wrong refusing to speak English. He must speak French only, it's the LAW in Quebec!". I was a bit taken aback, not sure who to be more disgusted by, the separate working in the ticket booth, or the English customer who took his side. Talk about Stockholm syndrome.

      I see nothing left but for me to leave.

      As for the election, my prediction is the PQ will win. Even if it's a minority, the CAQ will eventually re-join the PQ to give them a majority. I wonder if it wasn't planned all along (split the PQ into two parties to get more votes, them merge back). Quite frankly I don't care, I am done with this so-called province, the separatists and the sheep.

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    7. The Equality Party would have achieved nothing much in the same way that the Bloc has achieved nothing. The Anglophones of Quebec have let every election become a single-issue one, and this has led to an obsession with cultural issues as opposed to more pressing economic ones. Failure to integrate with larger politcal parties and movements has only contributed to the increasing isolation of the Agnlo minority.

      This is sad microcosm of what ahs happened with the Quebecois at the federal level - once proud contributors and leaders in the LPC, francophones are now basically non-existent in Ottawa afteryears of isolation imposed by the Bloc and a lack of credibility in the undergrads staffing Quebec's NDP seats.

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    8. while I could be wrong I think there could be another exodus probably slow but steady after the PQ gets in..I predicted that the students would go back to school after hearing Marios offer and they did.now the new offer of even more 7dollar day care spots would be available witch would keep them stable at the polls..

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    9. I know racism in Quebec is a fact, but why are there no Videos of Service personnel refusing to speak english.

      I've seen plenty where service people fuck around pretending they don't know what things mean it's legal if you get it on video.

      Harper has no choice but to pull the pins on racism and bigotry in the entire country.

      Delete
    10. Mr. Sauga to Editor and the Anon contributorTuesday, August 14, 2012 at 12:18:00 AM EDT

      YO, EDITOR, I THOUGHT YOU WERE CULLING ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTORS! HOW ABOUT IT?

      To the gonad-less Anonymous contributor: Like that picture of Pauline Marois this past Friday (10th) in the pointed hat, your point is under a hat like that. What exactly has Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest done for the minorities? Has he helped by substituting Bill 104.1 with Bill 104.2? Has he helped by hiring 26 more language SS to harass the little businesses who, unlike the big international businesses who have large corporate law firms on retainer to shoo off the SS? Does it help he has Anglo Quislings and yes-people who vote with him on language issues that are blatantly against the minorities?

      I learned recently that the minorities make up 40% of Quebec's tax base yet only 20% of the population. Frankly, I hope the PQ wins and WINS BIG, BIG, BIG! Maybe it will take another mass exodus of the minorities to remind Quebec who's buttering their bread, because the 80% of Francophones who make up the Quebec population don't even pull their weight of the tax base (just 60% of it for Christ sake?)!!! Goddamn lazy, brain-dead asses!

      Read what AppleIIGS wrote above. Too bad for you that he's right in what he writes! Anglophones contribute twice the tax weight their population makes up while French Quebec barely makes up 3/4 their weight per the Francophone share of the population. Either they're stupid, they're lazy or both! Take your pick, readers and contributors!

      Anglophone Nation: WAKE UP! WAKE THE HELL UP!! Learn the Golden Rule: "Those who hold the gold, make the rules!"

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    11. Mr Sauga,

      Is there a source about the 40% of tax base by anglos and allos?

      I always thought it was case but would love to have a reference.

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    12. Jarry, I was watching some of the news items ONLINE, from CTV News Montreal (the former Pulse News, as it used to be called before I emancipated from Quebec). There was an archived story with the editor of The Suburban, Montreal's largest English community paper. It was either him, or somebody else in a recent story who mentioned this.

      Who do you think most of the welfare bums are anyway? Not the ones who built your city with hard work and toil.

      Delete
  2. If you know there are piranhas in the water, why would you dive in?

    The Libs opponents are racist, why would anyone who’s not, vote for them?

    DISGUSTING

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    1. Une simple question en passant:

      Un déménagement vers l'ontario ne serait pas la chose la plus simple pour vous afin d'éviter cette vie insoutenable parmi les racistes?

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    2. Non!

      LA PROVINCE CANADIENNE DE MONTREAL

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    3. Évidemment,j'aurais dû y penser :)

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    4. Ois monsieur. La séparation, séparer!

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    5. GensDenis, I believe it is a bit too late.

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    6. TS
      It is not too late.

      Most of the legal groundwork for The Eleventh Province is already in place. The rest is will!

      Separation is difficult and messy, not to mention treason. Redrawing the border of a country or province is nothing more than gerrymandering. The estimated population of Notre
      LA PROVINCE CANADIENNE DE MONTREAL is 4.5 million. 4.5 million people who renounce QuébécoisRacism!

      Things are changing all over. There may be proportional representation in parliament, meaning that Quebec won’t have 75 seats. We have created a third Canadian territory from two. And Toronto is poised to beat us at becoming the 11th province, but 12 ain’t bad.

      VIVE LA PROVINCE CANADIENNE DE MONTREAL!!

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  3. If you can't beat em, join em. Become card carrying members of a political party. Influence policy decisions from inside their own framework. Become vocal and push for change from within. Sitting on the sidelines and casting a vote every 4 years hasn't worked out at all for us English speaking citizens. Anyone can join a political party.

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  4. I hate to say it but it is really the press that elects our governments. They constantly publish stories about Charest being corrupt even though nothing concrete has been found against him. Take the federal example. In 67 John Turner had to leave Trudeaus cabinet because he would not put the country in debt. As finance minister he had the books balanced. Something we haven't seen since. If he had been elected P.M. he would have cleared the 200 billion debt that Trudeau and that sidewinding snake Jean Chretien ran up. Unfortunately he was out of favour with the chairman of Southam press and so they destroyed him in both elections. The Gazette's idea of fair coverage for the election was Ian McDonald and Dalton camp. So the people voted for Mulroney because the media hammered it home that Turner was a stumblebum.(an actual word used by McDonald) After Mulroney blew another 384 billion, and left us owing 584 billion Paul Martin balanced the books and paid down 84 billion of the debt. If Martin had stayed in office Canada would be almost debt free by now. Unfortunately the deceitful underhanded beancounter Sheila Fraser for no apparent reason brought out a five year old scandal that had nothing to do with Martin's government and the tory based press jumped all over it. Not one paper questioned her reason in bringing it out two weeks before an election. They labelled the Liberal party a criminal party.
    Chretien being the snake he is never opened even one side of his mouth and let us lose the best chance we had to be the richest country in western society. The papers of course give great press to Stephen Harper who has raised our debt to over 600 billion. When elected harper had the nerve to brag he had in his hand a cheque for 20 billion dollars. It was the money that Paul Martin save on the last years debt interest. Ed

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    1. Harper's also blamed his debt on the recession when he was starting to run up deficits before the recession. The culprit is his tax breaks, the loss of revenue without accompanying decrease in spending has sent the debt spiraling up again. Now he's cutting spending in all the good places and raising it on prisons in a time of declining crime rates.

      It's all very depressing. If the liberals ever take back power, we'll never be in the position we could have been if Martin could have held power. God forbid the NDP gets in - they'll spend even more than the tories.

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    2. Mr. Sauga, again to the Anon that Editor should have culledTuesday, August 14, 2012 at 12:44:00 AM EDT

      When Turner ran in 1984, he was a stumblebum. Mulroney ate him for lunch in the debate, and in all the years since, I've never seen any other politician lay a knockout punch the way Mulroney did to Turner. Sorry, no, Anon. long-time Liberal supporters I knew well back in the day were calling Turner the Ted Baxter of Canada. For readers who don't know who Ted Baxter was, he was a fictional TV news anchorman on the Mary Tyler Moore Show (a very successful TV sitcome from 1970-77) who was an egotistical boob--a real stumblebum!

      No doubt the media can have influence on elections, usually with favours attached. Take, for instance, the CTV National News. The former news director and host of Question Period used to freely express his opinions near the end of the newscast. His name was Bruce Philips.

      During the summer of 1984, Philips brutally and mercilessly expressed one scathing anti-Liberal commentary after another, night after night, week after week, all summer long. There was no doubt the population was getting absolutely fed up with Trudeau and the Liberals, so it didn't take much to jab spears into the Liberal machine, and Turner was very weak throughout the summer election campaign.

      So came the few days after Labour Day, the election was held and the Liberals were shown the Ottawa River, for the Tory landslide put them there. Guess who was the new Press Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO)? None other than Bruce Philips! I'm confident there was some kind of back room deal where Philips was promised all this had his commentaries been effective. One hand washes the other!

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  5. Editor,

    Ir Mr. Menken said:

    There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.

    Then let me offer this saying from Military Engineers:

    There is no situation in the human condition that cannot be solved through a properly sized, shaped, packed, placed, timed, and detonated charge of high explosive.

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  6. This is all very depressing. But a proper description of the situation.

    Concerning the comments about the press in Quebec. They are really a bunch of Zombies. Both the French and English media. No ability or desire to ask the proper questions. Let alone even understand what to ask.

    When the ex-student leader, now running for the PQ stated that he would contribute a portion of his MNA salary to social causes if elected. I believe he mentioned something like 25%. Nobody asked him if this was before or after taxes. I'd like to see his face when he sees what will disappear from his gross pay.

    When Marois stated that she would tighten up Bill 101 (actually Law 101) even more, but still respect the rights of anglophones. Nobody asked her by whose interpretation of rights was she going to respect.

    When Legault stated that he would allow immigrants 2 years to learn french. Nobody asked him what he would do if they didn't. Would he ask Ottawa to throw them out of Canada. Or just Quebec. And does Quebec even have the authority to throw anybody out. Except by bullying and threatening people so that they may leave themselves.

    And if you think I'm a fan of Charest. Think again.

    I'm faced with a ballot of dumb fucks on it.

    If the PQ gets elected, see the money start to move out of Quebec again. If the CAQ gets elected, the money will probably be in a standby mode. If the LIberals get elected, the money stays. But the bullshit continues.

    If Quebecers really had any sense, this election would be between the CAQ and the Liberals. And the focus would be on corruption, the economy, and the provincial debt. But Quebecers have crazy ideas. Unrealistic ideas. Childish ideas. So, they consider the PQ, and the QS as possible solutions. And so the election is derailed by nutbars. This place is damned to hell. No future for everybody.

    This province is sick. Very sick.

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    1. "When Legault stated that he would allow immigrants 2 years to learn french."

      Now that is the first insane thing I've heard out of Legault, who has seemed to try and take a conciliatory/compromise approach to everything up to now. Do you know more about it?

      I vaguely remember something about some services being only available to immigrants in English for a limited time after arrival, but I'm not sure if that's current policy, proposed by the current government, or proposed by the CAQ or the PQ. How do they keep track?

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    2. Here you go Yannick.

      This is the English version of the CAQ platform.
      http://coalitionavenirquebec.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Platform_ENG2.pdf

      Check out page 94

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    3. I'm checking out page 94, I haven't found it.

      I found "Those who have not yet been integrated into the job market after two years could lose their selection certificate and never receive their permanent residency visa." and "To counter the lack of resources and the improvisation that characterized immigrant integration these past few years, the Coalition proposes a 2-year moratorium before more efficiently and rationally redeploying efforts to integrate immigrate."

      Neither of those say that immigrants have two years to learn French, unfortunately.

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    4. Mr. Sauga again addressing a Anon the Editor should have culledTuesday, August 14, 2012 at 1:01:00 AM EDT

      The Quebec Government is nothing but a bunch of dumb fucks. This has been the case for almost the last 25 years. There hasn't been an honourable politician in Quebec since Richard French, Clifford Lincoln and Herbert Marx quit the National Assembly en masse in late 1988. They voted against their leader. They said NO! They would not swallow themselves whole and alienate their predominantly English speaking constituents to maintain their MNA salaries. John Ciaccia was the fat fuck who alienated his constituents in Mount Royal, voting with Bill 178, a bill that exercised the "Notwithstanding Clause", i.e., Section 33 of The Constitution of 1982. John Ciaccia consciously knew what he was doing, and chose to alienate his constituents rather than admirably follow his three fellow MNAs who honoured their constituents. Fat fucking bastard, that John Ciaccia.

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    5. Here is the article from the CBC News Archives: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/politics/provincial-territorial-politics/robert-bourassa-political-survivor/bourassas-dilemma.html

      Bourassa, for the second time, asked the English and their important role in Quebec society, to concede their rights for the second time? I was already living in Ontario for four years. I inked out the French on my Ontario driver's license in protest (and one cop who gave me a speeding ticket reduced the charge for my having done that, even if it was illegal to do so). The first time he asked was the passing of Bill 22, the act that made up my then-adolescent mind to finish my education and leave Quebec. Ten years later, mission accomplished. That closet separatist fat bastard fuck!

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    6. Lincoln recently told the gazette that Charest is the best choice because he knows him and he “knows hes a federalist.“ he then went further and said that he has to do some gross things because that is the reality of Quebec.

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    7. Sorry, that's la merde du torreau! Linc quit over this in early 1989. It wasn't right when Bou-bou did it and it's not right now.

      The best thing I can quote from is the film Justice at Nuremburg, a 1961 star-studded film about five judges who were tried for sentancing individuals to prison, death and involuntary sterilization because this is what the Nazis ordered. Some of the judges were happy to sterilize and exterminate their victims, but one judge did express his guilt in the tribunal. All were sentanced to life in prison, but as the movie discloses at the end, all 99 convicted by the end of the tribunal process in 1949 were subsequently released at the time the movie was filmed.

      In the final scene of the movie, the imprisoned German judge, tried to convince the American judge his actions were by force. The American judge responded the German judge knew he was guilty of a crime the first time he sent a man to death whom he knew was innocent, and that was the last line recited in the movie.

      As Linc recited in what I consider to be one of the best-ever speeches recited by any politician anywhere at anytime, RIGHTS ARE RIGHTS ARE RIGHTS.

      It is far more valid to argue the German courts during the Nazi era were kangaroo courts because the judges may have faced horrible retribution for disobeying the crazy Nazi laws of the era. What the hell is Premier John James Charest's excuse? Is someone threatening him with the retribution the Nazis would have inflicted on their dissidents, or does he value being premier more than the rights of his constituents? Or is it he can't fight Quebec nationalism and the vast majority of French-speaking Quebeckers, including himself, are really separatists? They want their French-only country--all, or almost all of them. Fine, let them have it, but they'll have to separate, compensate Canada for the damages (else be kept out of NAFTA until they do) separation will cause, or they can start a war on America's northern border. Yeah, right, Quebec start a war. They'll stand under the umbrella of conscription--AGAIN!

      Finally, JJ, please define your definition of, to copy and paste your exact words, "the reality of Quebec"?

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    8. (Off-topic - nothing regarding the Quebec election or Quebec in general should be inferred)

      I've been reading the history of the third reich, it's unfortunate that the recalcitrant judge would have been killed or sent over to the death camps like the other recalcitrants, another judge would have been brought in and the killings would have continued. It's hard to argue that the judge should have acted differently in this situation.

      We don't condemn people for failing to put themselves in mortal danger for the sake of saving others, we don't condemn for acting under duress; when a cashier is held up at gunpoint we do not send him or her to prison as accessory to theft. But for some reason we won't accept that many under Nazi rule literally had no choice but to act the way they did.

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    9. Yannick, I was looking for an answer from JJ. Maybe you should consult a dictionary on the definition of recalcitrant. The problem was the judge WASN'T recalcitrant. He could have done what I did vis-à-vis Bills 22 and 101 in Quebec and what Georg Von Trapp and his family did vis-à-vis the Anschluss in Austria - LEAVE! He certainly had the resources to do so.

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  7. On campaigning:

    This is such a simple, but very high-impact publicity-op...I'm sure you guys can see why given recent news:

    http://www.journaldemontreal.com/videos?videoId=1782517536001

    In regards to Pauline Marois, I have to say that I'm really surprised for her about-face. Yes, I know the CAQ clinched the anti-corruption angle, but the polls continuously show us that the majority of Québec's population is ardently opposed to a referendum. Yet...

    http://www.radio-canada.ca/sujet/elections-quebec-2012/2012/08/12/007-referendum-comite-souv.shtml

    Guess it's just a simple case of the PQ smoking their own dope - the reason they're picking up on this direction is because they've spent much of the campaign holding love-ins with card-carrying members of their party.

    The last PQ reunion in Laval saw 1000+ ---> Péquistes <--- all barking "On veut un pays!" Marois, of course, soaked it all in with glee, and appeared to forget that the party faithful in attendance only make up a 30 to 36% swath of the electorate.

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    1. @Harvey Dent

      Charest a visiblement besoin de toi sur le terrain,peut-être comme animateur de...foule.
      Ça manque d'enthousiasme.Le monde ont l'air à s'en crisser pas mal qu'il ait déjà travaillé dans un snack à magog.Il oublie de parler de l'île à papa Charest à proximité...

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  8. Nice article... invigorating!

    http://bit.ly/Qu6ZsX

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  9. Les choses changent tellement vite au Québec...Parfois il ne suffit que d'un léger dérapage de l'ennemi et...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...ce qui ne fait que donner des munitions à l'intervention selon laquelle...
      "If Quebecers really had any sense, this election would be between the CAQ and the Liberals. And the focus would be on corruption, the economy, and the provincial debt. But Quebecers have crazy ideas. Unrealistic ideas. Childish ideas. So, they consider the PQ, and the QS as possible solutions. And so the election is derailed by nutbars. This place is damned to hell. No future for everybody.

      This province is sick. Very sick."

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  10. Is it just me or Marois' campaign is one of the most disorganized campaigns ever? I am no political expert, but I have never seen something as sloppy as what I have seen so far from the PQ camp.

    Is Pauline bi-polar? I mean one day she tries to woo the Anglophones to her side and the next she restricts access to English CEGEPS. And this is not done for the betterment of the Anglo community, but to prevent mostly Allos (and a small number of Francos) from becoming fluent in English. I have a better idea - how about we put to better use a referendum and actually ask the population to decide the CEGEP eligibility?

    And what's with using the pension funds to fight take-overs? I am usually polite but... wtF? Shouldn't those money be used to create a profit, so the people that ACTUALLY work in Qc to have a chance to have at least a symbolic pension... especially if she envisions separation from Canada? Does she even know the word "profit"?

    OK, what else... the Barrette thing? If she talks about being exemplary, shouldn't she be the one starting to set an example? I mean, seriously, the whole thing painted her being really infantile!

    About bill 101... I won't even go there, but I'll keep in mind the number 10 when hiring. Just saying'.

    Seeing the poll numbers, I am starting to think that I have over-estimated the intellect of the Quebec electorate, and actually S.R. is a fine specimen. If so, then I will refer to Apparatchik's first comment...







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    1. From the Globe and Mail today:

      Much the same thing happens in Canada. It’s called equalization. The federal government sends transfers to poorer provincial governments, which spend the money on social programs that would otherwise be beyond their means. Some of those programs – such as Quebec’s daycare and tuition subsidies – are more generous than programs in provinces that don’t qualify for transfers. This is exactly what German taxpayers are warning Ms. Merkel they won’t put up with.

      And once debt is pooled, entitlements become pooled as well. Everyone in the euro zone would come to expect certain basic levels of heath care, education and other social services, whether or not they could pay for them, just as Canada’s Constitution guarantees a similar basic level of services across the country.

      The Economist warns of exactly such a danger in this week’s issue. “A transfer union across the existing single currency zone based on the Canadian model would seek to make governments’ revenues more equal,” its writers predict. They estimate such a system would cost Germany the equivalent of 3 per cent of GDP annually.

      Sounds about right. Ontario loses an estimated 2 per cent of its GDP each year in transfers to other provinces, according to a recent Ontario government report, while Alberta pays considerably more.

      But no one has the power to compel have-not provinces to balance their budgets and trim their spending or face a cut-off in transfers. Only the governments themselves and the bond-rating agencies that assess their lending risk have any real say.

      Quebec’s debt currently sits at about 55 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product. If Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois had her way and Quebec became an independent nation, assuming along the way its share of the national debt, the new country would start life with a debt-to-GDP ratio of just under 100 per cent, instantly making it one of the world’s most indebted countries.

      No wonder Ms. Merkel shuns the notion of mutualization of debt. It’s too reminiscent of one Canadian example other countries might wish to avoid.

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    2. One cannot in all honesty equate the better social programs in Quebec to equalization alone ; equalization is just meant to equalize taxing power across Canada. The reason that Quebec can afford those programs is not just equalization, but also its much higher taxation and willingness to run a deficit. If Alberta was willing to tax at the rate that Quebec taxes and/or was willing to run high deficits, the sky would be the limit as to the quality of social programs that they could run.

      I would also point out that depending on what is criticized, the 8 billions Quebec gets in equalization are supposed to pay for 7 dollar-a-day daycare, bloated unionized building contracts, cheap universities, and just about everything else under the sun that is deemed excessive by the rest of Canada - a tall order for something that only represents about 13% of their total revenues. For comparison purposes, New Brunswick obtains around 22% of their total revenues from equalization payments - not to mention other federal transfers.

      You're entirely correct in saying that equalization does not induce provinces to exercise fiscal conservatism - their reward for messing up their economy is after all higher equalization payments. However, that is the entire point of equalization, to equalize revenue across all provinces and then let these provinces use these as best they can. The alternative is to operate like the IMF, which forces poor countries to reduce their import duties and privatize public services in order to receive loans/investments, often to the detriment of the people of those countries.

      For instance, New-Brunswick has been accruing a deficit for the last few years and, despite the fact that they don't offer 7$/day daycare, are not being particularly better than Quebec at digging themselves out of the hole. Would you hold 22% of their budget ransom on, say, cutting into health services so that people living there would have access to fewer services? Or is this something to be used only in Quebec? What if the province wants to invest heavily in a new Nuclear Power plant - do they get to scrap it because receiving equalization depends on running a zero deficit? Do you just put a moratium on "socialist" policies even if the province taxes its constituants more? How do you decide that the equalization pays for 7$/day daycare and the taxes pay for healthcare and not vice-versa?

      I don't think there are really any ways to run equalization differently than we do now and still have provinces able to make their own decisions relevant to their own constituents.

      I'll also point out that the main accomplishment of the three provinces who do not receive equalization payments are living on top of oil - unless you want to try and say with a straight face that Newfoundland went from being on the bottom of every economic indicator to having the third GDP/capita in this country on virtue of their indomitable spirit, can-do attitude and protestant work ethic like people like to pretend about Alberta.

      As for Europe, I think the states there are much more independent from each other and there is no real reason to expect uniformity of services from one part of the union to another. I think Germany is quite right in refusing to start a mutualization of debt over there, at least until states lose more of their autonomy.

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    3. Ye gad, Yannick! The Editor of this blog has clearly pointed out that Quebec IS capable of pulling itself up by its own bootstraps if they take their mining seriously, but the detractors fight this every step of the way. Is it a plot of Quebec governments to wait until the prices of natural resource commodities go higher in hopes of fetching higher market prices for these commodities? Quebec, as of right now, is the 6th most indebted jurisdiction in the world, according to its own Department of Finance numbers!

      I think Harper should take into account Quebec has the potential to pull itself up by its own bootstraps and force its hand to do exactly that. Take away the equalization and see if Quebec decides to sink or swim.

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    4. What about Charest's plan nord? Lightshow to distract the masses, as the cynics predicted?

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  11. Great post, Editor, but you could have included my favourite Mencken quote: "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods."

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  12. @john Krug

    While Germany loves to look down at the PIGS Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece as having populations with a sense of entitlement. What they fail to ever bring up, is that Germany has a captive market for its Euro priced manufactured goods. Why do you think Germany is so desperate to keep countries like Greece from abandoning the EURO. There is quite a bit of self interest. IF Greece had abandoned the EURO, it could have reestablished its own devalued currency. Which would stimulate Greek tourism and local manufacturing.

    Similar to how a low Canadian dollar made manufactured goods and tourism in Canada booming. Unlike Greece, Canada will have a devalued dollar in the near future. With a real estate collapse and commodities bust that is coming.

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  13. FROM ED BROWN
    Perhaps I'm thick but I never understood how free trade could benefit Canada. When we charged orher countries import duties it was done to be fair, mostly to our own manufacturers. It was Capitalism yes, but that's part of Democracy. How can we trade evenly with people who pay starvation wages to children and be fair to our own people. The whole picture changed with Mulroney (the Canadian version of Nixon.) and Reagan and we've been losers ever since.

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    1. Ed Brown,

      In international tradings, one needs to also think about export as much as about import. Imagine a condition without free trade where each country is being protective. What would happen to Canadian exports? Bombardier airplanes, Saskatchewan grains, Alberta oils? Also, what would happen to Canadian businesses having operations abroad?

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    2. Troy,

      Before the free trade agreements of the 1980s, GATT and WTO deals there were functioning economies all over the world. Commodities like Grain and Oil will always have a market. Instead of a Canadian company having one plant in China and producing everything over there and sending it back to Canada, you'll have 1 plant in Canada assembling and manufacturing a large percentage or even all the goods within Canada. In China you will still have a plant producing very low margin parts, which need alot more human labour and despite duties would still be cheaper to manufacture there. At least this way your preserving manufacturing infrastructure and allowing the general masses a chance to evolve up the labour market in Canada. Its also in the interests of countries like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh to have a prosperous Canadian working and middle class to have a stable market for a percentage of their products.

      Second, what has happened to Quality and Safety standards since manufacturing has been off shored? Compare some of the durable Canadian products of the past to what your getting now. Prices haven't decreased for most products either since the offshoring.

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  14. @ Ed Brown,

    Canada was benefited from a low Canadian dollar through out the 1990s and was able to sell manufactured goods in the United States market. Now that the Canadian dollar is high, Canadian manufacturing is barely surviving. Though technically Canada does not have Free trade with China the low import duties have not benefited Canada. Canada sells raw materials to China, which gets transformed into value added goods and sent back to Canada. Quality of the products keep declining and the trade defecit with China keeps growing.

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    1. The so-called "Dutch Disease" that has Mulcair branded as a easterner populist and Alberta-hater here in Calgary, incidently.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Je trouve ça plate, pour la plupart.

      En passant, je suis dans les démarches pour obtenir une job dans la rive sud de Montréal. Ils ont passé mes références, je devrais bientôt avoir une offre.

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    4. Bonne chances dans tes démarches alors et bon retour dans la civilisation...Attention au décalage culturel :)

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    5. Imagines - pouvoir aller au centre-ville et trouver un café ouvert après 17h!!! Excluant le Tim Hortons, bien sûr.

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    6. Yannick, I'm not sure if that's true. One of the first things I found on moving to Montreal was a lack of decent cafés, unless you only feel like piling in with the hipsters in Mile End. Here's my shortlist for decent cafés in Calgary that aren't Tim Hortons or Starbucks. On 17th Avenue, there are at least three really good ones: Café Beano, Waves, or Chiasso. Beano has great coffee and good snacks, but it's bloody full and there's always a gang of sketchy Serbians forming a cloud of cigarette smoke around the door. Just off 17th Avenue, on 11th Street, there's a very cosy Good Earth. There's also a Good Earth on 8th and a few blocks south of it is Kawa Espresso, which has amazing coffee and a really interesting crowd. On 4th Street, there's the Purple Perk, which not only does great espresso but their food is terrific. The only problem is that it's always packed. Incidentally, these places are all open until at least 10:00 on weeknights, and later on weekends. Just like the cafés here. Should you prefer to go a stone's throw north, there's Higher Ground in Kensington. I'm also told that Phil and Sebastian's in Marda Loop has excellent coffee, and they're about 15 minutes south of downtown. Although Calgary has its down sides, it's not all aluminum-siding suburbs and Mallzac!

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    7. Although I'm aware of the decent cafes on 17th avenue and kensington, I'm afraid they don't really fit my definiton of "downtown" - which I delineate roughly as bounded by the bow river in the north and 10th avenue in the south. It seems ridiculous to me that there isn't a decent coffee shop open on stephen avenue or the surroundings, for instance.

      Are you telling me it's the same in Montreal? Dammit...

      (Yes, the higher grounds in Kensington is awesome)

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  15. Unbelievable:

    “I am asking SNC-Lavalin that it make sure that he follow courses in French so that he could at least become bilingual,” Ms. Marois said during a campaign stop in Terrebonne, north of Montreal.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/elections/american-pick-for-snc-ceo-doesnt-sit-well-with-pq/article4479242/

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  16. From "the Dread"

    It's very scary to know that if the PQ becomes the next provincial government, there might be a huge load of companies that will vacate from this province and head their head way out to relocate themselves in TO and other places in the ROC. That women is a "sociopathic" nutcase as she will run this province with an IRON FIST the same way as Stalin and Hitler did in each of their respective country, (to a lesser degree though).And the worst part of it is that, she even has the audacity to invite Allos and Anglos to vote for nazi-wannabee party while the next day, she totally switches gear mode by wanting to remove access for french students and allos to go the english cegep after they graduate from high school, as well as re-enforcing Bill 101 in workplaces to a stricter degree.
    Now, having said that, It boils down to a point where I am wondering if it would be in Montreal’s best interest to remain under the rule of a vile dictatorship like the PQ when in fact, I believe it would deserve a much better fate than that. So, for as long as the city will remain shackled in this province, there is no way it’s going to thrive again whatsoever and assumingly, if this trend continues, I am afraid it might become another Halifax in the long run! Therefore, there is an urge for a partition to be considered and made as a result of this ongoing crap…

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    1. Re: businesses leaving, one of my friends told me not long ago about some internal memos going in the comp he works for about willingness to relocate; apparently it's hush-hush, but he not surprised if they will announce moving the offices.

      One of my clients also (big pharma) seems to be relocating (the work I have to do will have the 'go ahead' or scrap it on Sept 7) so... it make think that there is a big possibility a lot of businesses will leave.

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    2. Encore un Anonymous?Je ne comprendrai jamais les règles de ce blogue...

      Vous pouvez effacer mon commentaire Editor

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    3. The problem with Marois, as with the body of PQ candidates is that they are not entrepreneurs. They have no understanding of global markets and are completely lost on the concept of being able to lend money and maintaining a credit rating.

      Further still, they also don't understand what it takes to become the CEO of a large corporation. Marois is a career politician with a background in social sciences. Also, what experience she does have to the business world is her husband, who is a total failure. Nice.

      Do I believe that SNC's new leader should learn French, yes - but only as a show of respect to his new host society. For right now however, his main priority is to fish SNC out of its present woes and protect jobs and establish profitability.

      This is why I see Legault as one of the best fits for the job - he used to run a very large, international corporation and understands the concept of checks and balances.

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    4. What is so wrong with Halifax?

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    5. "Do I believe that SNC's new leader should learn French, yes"

      Nous progressons Harvey,nous progressons...Bravo,on lâche pas...:)

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    6. @ S.R:

      Au sujet de la progression:

      http://www.amazon.com/48-Laws-Power-Robert-Greene/dp/0140280197/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344955268&sr=1-1&keywords=48+laws+of+power

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    7. Marois and the rest of the PQ don't really care about companies relocating. The way they figure it is they can always get more in equalization if the Quebec economy goes down the crapper. With a PQ government the real estate collapse will be more severe then it was going to be. There will be a human face to the economic catastrophe that the PQ government will bring to Quebec. While alot of the job losses will centre around Montreal and will effect anglos and allos, there spin off jobs will effect the rest of Quebec and francophones as well, maybe even more severely.

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    8. On that note, when will one of the parties finally address the looming housing bubble that is on the verge of bursting?

      Everyone (including the separatists) knows that there will be an exodus in the event of a PQ government, now why not hear their take on the impending real estate crash that will be made so much worse by the exodus.

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  17. Some one made the comment about Quebec GDP/debt ratio being 55%, In fact it is close to 94% admitted by Bachand , the current Quebec finance minister.

    With a total debt of 248 billion according to the Montreal Economic Institute, Quebec is in fact broke. With Separation you would have to add abouut 22% of the current Canadian Debt into the picture (600 Billion). This would propel Quebec's debt to over 350 Billion which is clearly unsustainable with the their current economic output.

    In short, separation would be the financial ruin of Quebec. They will never separate for the simple reason that they can't afford to. Currently close to 15% of the Quebec provincial revenue is obtained through equalization payments. Imagine if taxes went up 15% overnight in Quebec. How many successfuly people or companies would hang around...not many I would suspect. This would accelerate the economic death spiral.

    Quebec, through poor fiscal policy and excessive social programs is now near the debt levels of Greece and other near bankrupt countries.

    What is so amusing is to hear Pauline Marois on the language/culture issue while she totally ignores the real issues that will face Quebec in the short and long term. Keep in mind that the equalization formulaes are being renegotiated in 2014.

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  18. @ S.R

    "Encore un Anonymous?Je ne comprendrai jamais les règles de ce blogue..."

    He signed his name (the dread) at the beginning of his comment.

    It's ironic that you are trying to act as a watchdog of the comments section, considering how much you have abused it, posting under many different names and even responding to your own comments.

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  19. On an interesting note...

    Apparently in the 1976 Quebec election, there was a vote split between the Liberals and the Union Nationale. It was this split that allowed the Parti Quebecois to get into power. Are we seeing history repeat itself with the CAQ and Liberals?

    It's also worth noting it's very, very rare for any party to win a 4th mandate, and the voting pattern in Quebec (at least since 1976) has ALWAYS been a back and forth swap between the PQ and Liberals, each getting a 9 year turn at bat.

    Okay -- there was change of winds with the ADQ and NDP in the provincial and federal elections not-so-long-ago, but are Quebecers ready to break their voting trend? Considering how unpopular Charest is, I'd be surprised if he does make it back in, even with a minority government. I predict PQ gets back in. Not that it bothers me at this point, may as well put this province out of its misery once and for all, and the PQ is Quebec's own doctor Kevorkian!

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    1. Most likely CAQ is splitting the Liberal vote. It is taking away from the PQ, as feel, but not enough. I do fear a PQ majority.

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    2. Actually it seems to be taking from both of them rather equally, else you'd see the PQ winning by more than 1-2% in the polls.

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  20. I agree with Yannick. From what I've been reading and watching in the French media, many voters in ridings held by the PQ stated that they are looking to the CAQ this election.

    Took him a while to get his footing, but Legault is starting to catch on and let`s not forget that those voters who identified with ADQ values will likely wish to come back to the right.

    I predict a 2007 replay.

    Oh and Apple, let`s not forget about Bellemare seeking revenge against Charest by running against him in his riding.

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    1. Bellmare is apparently considering not running since according to a recent riding poll, Charest is running 15% behind the PQ candidate.

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    2. Yes, but Charest is in Sherbrooke today kissing babies. What if between now and the Saturday deadline, a poll shows us that Charest is only 4% behind Cardin - it would likely set Bellemare off, considering the man's ego.

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  21. One thing I've been thinking about, and I'd love to hear what you guys think...Jean Charest will fight tooth and nail to win, but once he does, he'll step down as leader.

    1. How long into his new reign do you think it will happen?

    2. Who will be his heir?

    Also, a part of me believes Charest will fight his hardest to give the Liberals power, but secretly wishes he won't win his seat, so he can have the satisfaction of keeping his team in power, but being able to step away from his job.

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    1. Isn't the tradition that a leader who loses his own seats bumps off a junior MP and wins the by-election?

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    2. Not sure if it's any kind of formal tradition, but perhaps Charest will use a "the people have spoken" approach to let himself off the hook and pass the torch.

      One has to wonder how many ulcers that man has.

      Doesn't matter if you're a federalist or separatist politician in this province...this is an incredibly stressful job and Québec's electorate is one of the most demanding and fickle there is.

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    3. Fair enough Harvey; it all depends I guess.

      I think it'd be a first of someone who won an election but declined to take the spot of prime minister.

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    4. No, that's not what I mean. If Charest is elected, he will take office, but I can see him staying for only one of his four years and using that one year to groom his successor.

      I'm only predicting he'll step down right away he if fails to get re-elected.

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    5. What if his party wins but he loses his seat? Think he'll run in a by-election? It would be a first otherwise.

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  22. Is it still possible for the Liberals to win a majority through a squeeker through 3 way split vote.

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    1. Check out threehundredeight.com. It has the best projection model out there, tested and improved against elections ever since 2009. Based on today's poll variation, the PQ could win anything between 34-81 seats, the PLQ anything between 26-69, and the CAQ anything between 7-42. The most likely result is 58/47/18 for the PQ, which is a minority result.

      But the election campaign is still young, and Marois seems to be going left and right saying insane things. I expect the CAQ to keep rising and the PQ/PLQ to keep losing.

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    2. Did anyone ever stop and think, the Parti Quebecois came up with the idea of the CAQ, simply as a Trojan horse for this up coming election?

      1) Split the party into two: PQ and CAQ
      2) Trick people into voting for this new third party, with a focus of change
      3) A few months after the election, merge the CAQ back into the PQ
      4) Viola. Parti Quebecois majority, whether we voted for it or not

      Sounds ridiculous? Well remember, this is the same party that committed MASSIVE voting fraud during the 1995 referendum, refused a recount (despite losing by a literal hair) and then had the only piece of physical evidence, the ballots themselves, destroyed!

      Am I the only one who sees this?

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    3. Apple, I think it's ludicrous because a lot of the CAQ base is old ADQ - people who would hardly trust Marois as far as they could throw them.

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    4. And sure enough there were ADQ members who did not want to merge with the CAQ, and yet merge they did. They all want the same damn thing: eradication of English, racial superiority of the French Quebecois, and an independent country where they can go full-swing with ethnic cleansing (genital or regular, what ever is required to have their purified nation).

      Come on, with that in mind, if a merge allows them to tip the scales and form the next government and have TOTAL CONTROL TO ACCOMPLISH THESE GOALS, you don't think they will?

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  23. FROM ED BROWN
    Be careful about voting for the CAQ. Paul Martin was still popular at the end but the columnists and pundits floated the idea that voting for the Tories (Who were not expected to win) would teach the Liberals a lesson. We all lost. Ed

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  24. FRANCOISES DAVID

    Hey editor, weren't you recently blaming a journalist because he didn't spelled Lutfi correctly? How ironic!

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