Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh Canada?!

Indulge me for a moment to comment of the political shenanigans transpiring in our nation's capital. I am not, as it is likely no surprise, particularly worried or bothered by the prospect of a coalition government. But that has less to do with how my ideological bent informs my political desires than it does with the dilemma presented by this form of government. I am also mystified by how media buffoonery has allowed the political rhetoric to once again reflect the contrived notion of partisanship.

That a coalition might be supported/enabled by the Bloc should not concern us in the ways it has in public discourse thus far. The Bloc is a separatist party whose intention is to see Quebec achieve the status of nation. If we are to follow the information given to us by Ipsos Reid and other polling organizations we would do well to note that voters who have sent Bloc members to Ottawa have done so for a myriad of reasons. It is true that Harper had 28% voter share in Quebec before the French debate and after the debate only 18%. The subsequent shift to the Bloc was due to Harpers position on arts funding, etc. Regardless of why they switched it is clear that the spectre of separatist rhetoric was not a direct cause of the shift but the failure of Harpers policies to convince voters to support him. Voters for the Bloc will identify most strongly with many of the more conservative values that the PC's espouse. The point I am trying to make here is that politics makes strange bedfellows. Let's remember that the PC's as it stands right now cannot pass a single piece of legislation without the complicit 'support' of one of the other parties.

Until now this complicity was not seen as a negative light on the PC's regardless if they needed the NDP's or the Bloc. PC's were not seen as compromising their values by being enabled by separatists or socialists. Rex Murphy is right to lay the blame for this crisis at the feet of Stephen Harper's feet for trying to lop off the fundraising power of his rival parties.

What everyone seems to be missing is the clear opportunity that is presented to address the presence of the Bloc as a political force. How can the Bloc truly consider itself a separatist party when it allows itself to become a central cog in the machinery of Canadian governmental system? Why isn't the media jumping all over the Bloc for it flavour of the week political pandering? I think have a feeling that many Quebecers are embarrassed by the childish isolationism and the fickle ideology of a party who would seek to govern them as a future nation. I have a feeling that there are those who are feeling much the way Albertans felt when the separatist rhetoric of the Canadian Alliance clowned its way through the parliamentary system. Alas it seems everyone is too nervous to speak to the blatant inconsistencies that would have a separatist party become part of the government but isn't that sorta what we have already? I mean regionalism is alive and well. We should not be deluded to think that Canadian provinces are or could be viable on their own.

In the end it seems to me that the things we are not talking about is often more interesting than what we are talking about…

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