Blog Quebecois

In a fit of patriotic fervour arising out of the recent constitutional crisis, unnamed sources are saying, Stephen Harper has had a map of Canada tattooed on his derriere. Unfortunately, the tattoo is apparently configured in such a way that every time he bends over Quebec separates.

Okay, it’s an old joke, more befitting the Royal Canadian Air Farce than the cutting edge hipsters who contribute to this blog. But I couldn’t resist, especially considering the ass Harper has made of himself in the last few days.

If you think you’re sick of electoral politics after the Canadian and U.S. elections, just remember, Quebeckers go to the polls on Dec. 8. And it will be interesting to see what sort of bump the Parti Quebecois, who had been poised to lose to Charest’s Liberals, will receive from Harper’s demonization of the Bloc Quebecois as part of his propaganda war to discredit the Liberal-NDP coalition.

The Bloc were formed in 1991. In six federal elections since then, they have consistently won between 40 and 50 seats. In the process, they have morphed from a sovereignist or separatist party into one that advocates on behalf of the province’s interests. No harm in that. MPs from other parties who are elected to Parliament do it regularly for the ridings/regions they represent.

By slagging the Bloc, noted Antonia Maioni of McGill University in a Dec. 3 CTV interview, Harper has "burned a lot of bridges in Quebec".

If it was just a matter of Harper torching his party’s electoral chances in Quebec for the foreseeable future, that would be his cross to bear. But the heated rhetoric that he, his MPs, and Conservative supporters across Canada have used to attack the Bloc will surely cause many soft nationalists in Quebec to question their province’s place in Confederation. Can't say as I blame them.

Kicking More Sand In Quebec's Eye

This piece by Naomi Klein is still worth reading even if it's a day old and already a tad dated. I bring it up because I'd have to disagree with one of her central arguments: that what we'll see in January is a deeply chastened Harper.

"Chastened" is not the way I'd describe the man I listened to on the radio a couple hours ago. More like: "somewhat contrite for the time being." What was all that stuff about there being four parties in the House but only the three national parties have to work together through this time of economic instability? Way to distance yourself from all the "deal with the devil" rhetoric there, Stevie. Way to cool the fires of separatism in Quebec and quench the flames of franco-hating in the West.

That he said it the same in French and English will, I suppose, be read as "honourable" in Alberta (though I think they spell it "honorable" there). But in Quebec it'll sound like a big ol' eff you. Duceppe has a right to be pissed.

I expect to see more of the smug Harper in the months to come. He's just pulled off the biggest coup of his career -- figuratively and, one could argue, literally.

Political Violence In Canada

A sign advertising the constituency office of NDP Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) has been apparently firebombed. Coming just after an election where there was a lot more vandalism – directed against federal Liberals – than I can ever remember – and I sincerely wonder: if the Cons do lose the next election, will they resort to violence?

After reading this post courtesy Macleans’ blog, I really have to wonder. And I also sincerely wonder about the ability -- or the effort -- of the RCMP to protect people who aren't Harper supporters in the event cretins like these turn it up a notch.

The Pit Of Despair

I just got an e-mail from one coalition supporter who's bummed out by the news . For her, and for any other coalition supporters trying to get through the day in Tory Blue Saskatchewan, I offer this pleasing distraction.

So It's A Prorogue?

This is the last time a coward faced a three-headed monster ...

Stephen Harper ran away,
bravely ran away, away,
When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled,
Stephen Harper turned about
And gallantly he chickened out ...

Blog On

As I'm writing this, Canada's governor general has announced she has decided to prorogue (suspend) Parliament. Conservative supporters will no doubt hail this as a decisive victory for democracy. The democracy of the majority of Canadians who did not vote for Stephen Harper is apparently less important.

Welcome To Dog Blog

Thanks for visiting Dog Blog, prairie dog magazine's new blog. This page was launched in response to the December 2008 showdown between the governing minority Conservatives and a coalition of the Liberals and NDP supported by the Bloc Quebecois. Initially that will be the focus though I expect it to evolve over time. Expect three to four posts from us daily over the next few months. And please don't be shy about leaving comments.

We want this blog to be informative and insightful, and fun. If (when) we stray from that, please let us know.

We're looking forward to the conversation. Talk to you soon!

Stephen Whitworth
prairie dog magazine
Regina's Independent Voice