Harper is rolling the dice. Plain and simple. He is hoping to convince Canadians that this is merely a symbolic gesture - not a constitutional amendment, and as such it will give Quebec little or no power beyond what already exists.
At the same time he is trying to convince Quebec that the resolution is so potent that it virtually undermines the Bloq's reason d'etre, when he states that "...and it’s now up to the Bloc to explain their position and their reason for being in Ottawa." He is taunting them; trying to make them look foolish. My God this man is brilliant. We have underestimated the depth of his reasoning.
He taunts them further with "...In a way I have to give the credit to the Bloc Québécois, which asked Canada’s Parliament to take a position on les Québécois. They asked for recognition, and now there will be recognition. It’s simple."
It's simple? Mr. Harper actually believes that this is simple.
Actually Mr. Harper you had another option. Ignore the Bloq's request, or vote down their motion when tabled. Was your "simple" plan to restore support in Quebec for Mr. Muroney's party worth selling Canada down the river?
From John Ivison, National Post, November 23, 2006:
"...Harper needs to maintain his 10 seats in Quebec to remain in government and this motion may offer the same stimulus to Tory polling numbers that his open federalism speech in Quebec City gave during the last election. Quebec Cabinet ministers remain very confident that the party's position in the province will improve dramatically before an election, particularly if a major fiscal balance package is included in the next budget."
Mr. Chretien where are you? Mr. Dryden can we have a few words? Mr. Rae? Mr. Dion?...Hello?
If there is no leader among us who will stand up to take this on for us, then the PMO needs to hear from all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. He needs to hear that he is not our voice on this subject and that he has dreadfully underestimated all peoples of Canada and their interests with this motion.
Canadians and the Québécois are not that stupid and this is not that simple.