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Ramdom Observations On the (not-so) Great Debate - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Ramdom Observations On the (not-so) Great Debate [Jun. 16th, 2004|09:29 pm]
Young Geoffrey
I didn't see the whole thing. My sweetie is out of purgatory and so paid me a visit around a quarter of nine; needless to say, I turned off the teevee and the radio.

But, before my political self was overwhelmed by my Inner Lover, I was most impressed my Gilles Duceppe.

Perhaps because he cannot even fantasize about becoming Prime Minister he seemed completely at ease in his role, and so knew where to point his guns - primarily at PMPM, but also, while saying, "I think we agree," at Jack Layton.

Duceppe, during one of the one-on-one sessions, made a good deal of noise talking about how he and Layton were "agreed" about foreign policy military financing.

It was brilliant. In a mere 2 or 3 minutes, he eliminated the NDP in Quebec. Everyone knows the NDP has no chance of forming the next government and, by claiming to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the NDP on the large, international issues, he made it clear to Quebecers that a vote for the NDP is a wasted vote, whereas a vote for the Bloc - which also has no chance of forming the next government - is a vote that might lead to a Parliamentary coalition.

Sadly, I got no sense that Layton even understood what Duceppe was up to.

[User Picture]From: stolen_identity
2004-06-16 09:02 pm (UTC)
heh, you know, i didn't even realize that until you posted it.
duceppe is more of a genius than i thought.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-06-17 03:50 am (UTC)
I don't know him well enough to agree to call him a "genius", but he really seemed to know his stuff. It's kind of sad that the most "prime ministerial" of the 4 is a seperatist.
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[User Picture]From: stolen_identity
2004-06-17 06:48 am (UTC)
okay, maybe genius was too strong. LOL.
but he really was far superior to any of the other candidates during the debate. he played it perfectly.
but by the same token, i also think he had the least to gain from it... he probably made the english-speaking canadians understand and respect the bloc a bit more, but won't gain any votes (and he knew that going in...)
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-06-17 08:58 pm (UTC)
he probably made the english-speaking canadians understand and respect the bloc a bit more, but won't gain any votes (and he knew that going in...)

Which reminds me of something I've taken from John Raulston Saul: the realization that Canada's way of dealing with the prospect that a major piece might vote itself out of the country is quite possible unique in human history.

Instead of lining Duceppe up against the wall and shooting him, we give him a place in Parliament and let him do his worst.

I feel blessed to have been born into such a civilized society.

And no, for any of you who might be wondering, I am not being sarcastic here. I think all of us - in and outside of Quebec - are much better off having to deal with an (apparently) never-ending debate about separation than we would be with martial law, terrorism and cetera. This country is one of the best places to live in the world in large part because of the creative tension it encompasses.
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[User Picture]From: fromaway
2004-06-16 10:02 pm (UTC)
Damn. I mean, I should be shaking my fist, but that was smart.

I didn't think the NDP had much chance in Quebec anyway...
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-06-17 03:58 am (UTC)
No. Sadly, they don't; the block has been very good at using Quebec's uniqueness to build a coalition of disaffected Liberals, hard-core separatists and social democrats into a "tribal" voice in Parliament.

And Layton's ill-considered musings about doing away with the Clarity Act only help (if in a small way) to perpetuate the situation.

Chretien may not leave a huge historical mark, but - along with keeping us out of the invasion of Iraq - the Clarity Act was an important piece of legislation.

When will people learn that you can't mollify separatists? They don't want a "better deal" within Confederation; they want an independent Quebec. Period. Any deal they strike with federalists is only a step along the way.
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