This 'Nation' debate is killing us. In so many ways it has sent us into a tailspin. It has blindsided us beyond belief. Never in a million years would we have thought that :
a. A Liberal leadership candidate would have entered into this debate during a leadership drive, let alone one that has been absent from the country for 30 years.
b. A minority government whose grasp of power is tenuous at best would have introduced such a motion in the House.
c. That that same 'temporary' minority government - who is all but sure to call an election in the spring - would have received unanimous support in that same House from the 'temporary' leader of the Liberal party and everyone else in attendance.
d. That Mr. Mulroney would once again be involved in what is now his third attempt at writing himself into the history books as it relates to the Quebec issue.
Mr. Mulroney? What does he have to do with this you say? C'mon. Surely you don't think that this whole initiative is the brainchild of Mr. Stephen Harper? The same Stephen Harper who just 16 years ago was a parliamentary aide for the Reform Party's star (and only) member of parliament, one Ms. Deborah Grey?
No no no my friends, this is June 12 1990 all over again. Some of you were too young to remember that fateful First Minister's conference; the words quoted to Mr. Mulroney in the Globe and Mail that day, referring to the conference as, "...the day I'm going to roll all the dice."
Proof? you need proof? Well let us look at the time spent by the 'temporary' government on this issue before tabling it in the House this week? Have you seen the releases prior to? Have you seen the coverage on the matter on their official web site? Have you seen Mr. Harper call a press conference on the subject? Has the 'temporary' leader consulted the Premiers of Canada on the issue?
Where is the planning? Where is the preparation? Where is the spin?
There is nothing. Nothing to speak of.
The 'temporary' government led by the former aide to the Reform Party's star (and only) member of parliament, one Ms. Deborah Grey, has done nothing on this issue except...wait for it...roll the dice.
Mr. Harper is sitting at his table in Casino Canada. He is sitting right next to his mentor who is teaching the former aide to the Reform Party's star (and only) member of parliament, one Ms. Deborah Grey how to roll the dice and gamble in a high stakes game of chance.
Why? Because of a dream. Yes, Mr. Mulroney woke from a dream with a grin from chin to chin last January. A dream so profound and so beautiful that he could barely contain himself. In that dream Mr. Mulroney was standing on a stage in Quebec City behind and between Mr. Harper and Mr. Charest who were seated in a very formal setting. It was the spring of 2007. There he stood, flashes clicking and television lights hot and bright as he bore witness to the 10th signature being added to that glorious document that was the brainchild of his foe and nemesis, Pierre Trudeau.
Finally he would broker the deal that eluded him, and write his place in Canadian history. Finally he could erase his memory of Clyde Kirby Wells and bury Elijah Harper's feather six feet in the ground.
Only one man can wake us from this nightmare. Only one man can speak to the slippery slope that we are soon to slide down. Only one man has been conspicuous in his silence. Where is he? It is time that he come out of his self imposed exile and speak to the people of Canada.
It is time to hear from Prime Minister Jean Chretien.