Friday, November 24, 2006

Rolling The Dice. Again.

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.


Anonymous said...

It'd be about time

James Curran said...

Well. Dion is still around. I remember him helping win 37 seats in Quebec. he can speak, but will he? Dryden has spoken. But was he heard? Jimmy the K. has spoken and everyone is laughing at him.

I guess it's left to you and me and Murphy's Point and Paper Dynamite, along with Kinsella, Wells and Coyne to save the country.

tobias said...

...and save it we will James, but this will be a two election strategy whether the Liberals want to believe it or not.

As much as it pains me to say, Harper is running a brilliant strategy and will win the next election.

He has caught Dion, Rae and Kennedy flat footed and on the Nation issue. The three of them are compeltely messed up. How can they not support the initiative now after their entire party stood up in the House and applauded the motion?

CuriosityCat said...

Bob Rae has said he will not oppose the motion in Parliament.
If a similar motion was tabled at the Liberal convention, Rae could in all good conscience abstain from voting on it, because this is a path to foolishness which Ignatieff has launched the county on.

To say everyone must vote for the Harper motion (now blessed by the Bloc) is to fall into the false either-or trap set by the Bloc. The Bloc was resorting to blackmail, and the MPs have fallen for it.

Let us not for a moment think that Trudeau, one of our great prime ministers and a man who stood for Canada, would have acted the way Harper acted in this case.

He would have stared the separatists in the eye and called their bluff by voting against the Bloc motion because it is a blackmail move.

Anonymous said...

Here here CC.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if people listened to Dryden from the get go we'd have a chance to fight this nonsense.

As for Bob Rae not opposing it in Parliament, that's a joke right? he doesn't have a seat in Parliament!

I'm not sure that your prescription to cure this problem would get us anything more than a return of Gagliano, Corrievau and his sponsorship cronies. JC is a great guy and all, but he lost all credibility on this file when he let people like those run the Quebec strategy into a corruption-filled rotting morass for a decade.

Not really his fault, but he could have chosen better people to mind the shop in Quebec. I doubt there's much he could do now.

AP said...

NextFace you are correct. There is another prime minister who haunts us still and his name is Martin Brian Mulroney.

Keeping the gambling example, if I were a betting man I would hop down to Vegas and bet all the doubloons I had that BM and Harper have been burning up the telephone lines between Montreal and Ottawa. Quite simply Harper's antics were the sort of tactics-based approach that the velvet baritone was renowned for.

Harper, as Paul Wells' book wonderfully illustrates is a tactician first and foremost.

Curiosity is right; do you think PET would have broken a sweat in dealing with the Bloc motion? I don't think so.

Harper claims he was forced into this motion. Bullshit, we all have option. Its just that Harper chose unwisely.

How about this for a counter motion: Be it resolved that Canada is a nation.

I agree with NextFace. The time to hear from Chretien is now. I for one can't wait to hear what he says.

gritredordead said...

This is why I read this blog.

Everyone else on Liblogs is busy propping up their own candidate and it makes for a predicatble day.

dude rules ford in Oakville said...

Another fine piece of writing & analysis. It's a shame NextFace is going away.

Hate to say it but the Harper dude is going to bulldoze to victory next spring based on bold, headline-grabbing initiatives that check-the-box on each election promise, while positioning his government as one of action and resolve. There's no farting around with these guys and no scandals either!

The dude is setting out a piecemeal conservative agenda that sits well with common folk. And he'll bring home the troops from Afghanistan just in time for the vote...just watch.

I sure hope the next face will have the brain trust to map out a strategy to counter the impact the Tories are making on the electorate.

AP said...


Of course, he still hasn't checked off that pesky wait times guarantee but I'm sure there is still time to do that after he's finished with the Quebec file.

jmnlman said...

So where are the Quebecois? In northern Alberta? No in Quebec and possibly part of Ontario near the border. So they do have a general territory. And if there a nation then shouldn't they get some powers unless Steve was just blowing smoke. And since most are inside Quebec the provincial government can control these powers. QED. If Steve was really the second coming of Napoleon what he should have changed the resolution to was "that francophones are one of the nations inside Canada."