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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 8:47 pm
 


[QUOTE BY= gaulois] After often leading democratic reform (e.g. reform of funding for political parties by the PQ when they first got elected), I was wonderful what is the progress in Quebec on DD at provincial and/or municipal level? <br /> <br />Is it as slow as elsewhere in the ROC? Could our Quebec sovereingty (or federalist) colleagues share with us what's happening? <br /> <br />Could Quebec sovereignty (or federalism) benefit from inceased DD???[/QUOTE] <br /> <br /> <br />Hi Gaulois. I believe that the federal government must remain strong and avoid direct democracy. <br /> <br />I personally favour abolishing provincial governments, and making <b>municipal</b> governments stronger. Municipal governments are a better place for direct democracy IMO. <br />



"True nations are united by blood and soil, language, literature, history, faith, tradition and memory". -

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:10 pm
 


Would you not think that DD has a role to play at all levels? Local stuff is obvious, we all agreed on that before. I still question the role at both federal and provincial level with the hope that Quebec has looked at this before. Let's hear it from them. <br /> <br />On the feds side, I would prefer more DD initiatives to at least challenge the status quo. Not sure if the Quebec sovereignists could represent this <img align=absmiddle src='images/smilies/wink.gif' alt='Wink'> <br />I note their silence thus far (as well as the positive intervention of a new old Perturbed) <img align=absmiddle src='images/smilies/wink.gif' alt='Wink'> <img align=absmiddle src='images/smilies/wink.gif' alt='Wink'>



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:11 am
 


[QUOTE BY= Perturbed]Hi Gaulois. I believe that the federal government must remain strong and avoid direct democracy.<br /> <br /> I personally favour abolishing provincial governments, and making <b>municipal</b> governments stronger. Municipal governments are a better place for direct democracy IMO.<br /> [/QUOTE]I want the exact opposite of this! <img align=absmiddle src='images/smilies/rolleyes.gif' alt='Rolling Eyes'> <br /> <br /> I prefer the European modal. A weak central government and several sovereign states. It works out so well in Europe.<br /> <br /> However, if you want this approach for the English-provinces, it is up to you. For Québec, we definitly need to get less dependent from the central government. Ottawa always manages to do exactly the opposite of what we want. It always amazes me howe different Québec and Ottawa are different.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:32 am
 


Almost every place complains against the effects of Ottawa except Ottawa. The federal government is now incredibly powerful in Canada. Go search for a list of provincial-municipal investments that are languishing while waiting for some federal funding. 80% of coastal cities and towns dump raw sewage into the ocean, St. Johns is virtually a city on a toilet rim with 15 feet of the bottom of the bay being fecal sediment. Go do a search on just about every city or town that does this and you will see that provincial and municipal funds have already been set aside, yet the costs are so large federal aid or investment is needed (notice how easy it was to get federal aid to link PEI and NB and for the Hibernia project?) and is not forthcoming. Instead, they decided to satisfy investors by eliminating the deficit in record time and funding high risk corporate ventures. Quebec has the political will, Alberta has the financial will, and BC you could debate but these are the only places where they can go against federal policies. The maritimes are completely dependant on the feds, and know it. <br /> <br /> As far as current politics go, it's hard to defend any government that is not democratically run. In Canada you essentially have to admit that canadians are not fit to make their own decisions. These, of course, are questions of liberty and freedom although we dislike using such terms in Canada. Typically, if you are well off then you have benefitted from the status quo, just as some benefit even from despotic governments (many germans did VERY well under fascism), for those people there is little reason to support the movement of the disenfranchised. <br /> <br /> What many don't realize is that with checks and balances, namely with direct democracy, a strong federal government is easily retainable. Even in Quebec I would argue that large numbers of separatists would vote for a resolution that would enable a federal government to intercede if a provincial government 'gets out of line'. People are not stupid and vicious, complaints against federalism are perfectly justified since it operates as mere empire building, thwarting people's will on just about every issue. The same is also true provincially, and municipal politicians easily have the highest approval ratings of all three levels of government. <br /> <br /> The point of my rant is the comment about 'getting rid of provinces'. This is a complete pipe dream, there is no way to even contemplate it, the country was founded along provincial lines, you can no more get rid of them than you can say 'get rid of canada'. With people controlling the federal government you at least have a chance of salvaging the country.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:48 am
 


Here is an interesting alternative view of the Quebec situation by an english marxist:<br /> <br /> Nationalism or Socialism?<br /> <br /> The recent election in Québec has once again brought to the fore the question of Québec separation. The Parti Québecois and the Liberals espouse their opinions on separation and federalism. Both clearly represent the bourgeois perspective and interests. But who talks about issues facing workers and youth? What are the socialist alternatives to the problems in Québec?<br /> <br /> The central question in Québec is the national question - should Québec separate or should Québecers vote to stay a part of Canada? The PQ (Parti Québecois) stands on one side and says that the only solution is to separate and become a sovereign state. The Liberals, on the other hand, say that the only solution is to remain a part of Canada within a federalist union. But both parties are parties of capital, representing the interests of the bourgeois class. There is essentially a struggle within the capitalist class in Québec (and Canada), with one side firmly behind the Liberals who they believe can best defend private property and profit within Canada, and one side behind the PQ who they think can best ensure bourgeois property in a separate Québec. Both parties hand down bourgeois interests to the workers as the interests of all Québecers in the abstract language and phraseology of "nation", "cultural identity", and "sovereignty".<br /> <br /> The Parti Québecois<br /> <br /> The PQ presents itself as the party of all Québecois, and maintains high electoral support under the veil of social democracy. The PQ has had the support of the two-thirds of Québec Labour organized in "National" unions, and has followed some reformist policies. From this they can boast a publicly funded unemployment insurance, welfare, health care, low cost services from "publicly" owned utilities, and low university tuition fees. All of these gains are now coming under attack. <br /> <br /> The PQ is fundamentally the party of the francophone bourgeoisie. The party was formed from splits in the Liberal and Tory parties (who are the parties of capital) to defend Québec capital who feared the francophone workers would rise up against both the English and the French bosses. Intellectuals, who were frustrated with the problems in Canada and the absence of any clear and viable class alternative, also joined in the "national" struggle. The wooing of the trade unions in Québec by the PQ has more to do with the bankruptcy of the old labour organizations then any progressiveness on behalf of the PQ. <br /> <br /> The PQ distorts the class struggle with the "national" struggle. The trade union bureaucrats, who were completely unable to offer a real class alternative to the problems facing workers, were easily convinced by the power and prestige offered by the PQ and the promise of an independent Québec. During the election a number of major unions, most notably the teachers, came out against the PQ government due to pressure from below. The firefighters have also engaged in militant industrial action. The reactionary anti-trade union laws have forced the firefighters into illegal action - this is a herald for the future.<br /> <br /> The PQ can offer nothing to workers and youth on the basis of an independent capitalist Québec. Some on the left support a "yes" vote for capitalist independence in the belief that, upon separation, the PQ would split and "normal" class politics would ensue, or that the result of independence would be an economic collapse which would incite the working class to revolution. Both of these ideas are merely variants of the discredited Stalinist two-stage theory - first capitalist independence, then socialism in the dim and distant future. Poverty does not necessarily equal revolutionary movements of the workers - if that were true, then Africa would be in a state of continuous revolution. In reality, an independent capitalist Québec would be disastrous for workers in English and French Canada. It would not help francophone workers that suffer discrimination, but it would weaken the links of working class solidarity, such as shown by the striking Abitibi paper mill workers in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes. An independent Québec would be even more dependent upon American and Canadian imperialism, which would undermine culture and push down wages and conditions. Some Bloc Québecois MP's have even proposed the adoption of the $US upon separation. An economic crisis would be taken out on workers and minorities in the name of defending the "French nation". This is not a recipe for revolution, but for increased division on sectarian lines exploited by PQ demagogues. A danger in such a situation could be that the PQ leaders, and the bosses who back them, would suspend "democracy" and rule by decree to defend the "nation". This would be disastrous for trade unions and all Québecois workers.<br /> <br /> Nationalism or Socialism?<br /> <br /> In the last analysis the national question is a question of bread. In times of hardship the ruling class always use divide and rule tactics to take the heat off themselves. The only way to dissolve the national divide and solve the problems of society is socialist policies for homes, jobs, decent wages and education for all. Neither anglophone nor francophone workers can succeed in isolation or along national lines. Canadian workers, both French and English, must struggle in unity. The different peoples are not the cause of the problem - the capitalist system of exploitation is.<br /> <br /> The labour movement lacks a voice in Québec. Unions are tied to the ruling class and the NDP is nearly non-existent. The National unions need to break with the PQ and Liberals, unite with the Canadian Labour Congress unions, and create an independent party of Labour with a socialist program. Such an event would shake society to its foundations, challenging the dominion of the bourgeois parties and their class.<br /> <br /> The present round of elections solve nothing. Québec workers have a burning passion to control their own destiny, and must be given full rights to self-determination. Separation under Capitalism would be a set-back, but in a Socialist society all nations will be free to decide their own fate, including separation. As a free participant in a socialist federation of Canada and the Americas, Québec could ensure the flowering of its culture, while ending the system that measures humanity in dollars and cents. <br /> <br /> By Rob Lyon<br /> February 1999<br /> <br />


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:22 pm
 


[QUOTE BY= Marcarc] Here is an interesting alternative view of the Quebec situation by an english marxist:<br /> <br /> Nationalism or Socialism? ...<br /> <br /> [/QUOTE]<br /> <br /> Texts with no middle ground always disturb me. This one was no exception. <br /> <br /> The date it was written on reassured me a little because things are evolving in Québec, albeit a bit slowly.<br /> As long as the Sovereignty issue is in the air and Québecers are polarized about it, other issues such as direct democracy will have little chance of getting to the forefront of political discussions. The UFP and the new Option Citoyenne though do mention greater representativity and popular referendums in their platforms. <br /> <br /> Mr Lyon's article fails to mention there is more to the PQ and the Liberals in Québec. The author doesn't mention the ADQ which was already in existence back in 1999. The ADQ (Alliance Démocratique du Québec) won 18% of the popular vote last provincial elections. Its new 'autonomist'platform for Québec is being discussed and is gaining ground among the electorate.<br /> There is also the UFP (Union des Forces Progressistes)who are now thinking of merging with a new party on the block called "Option Citoyenne", headed by Françoise David, a well-known activist in the province. Option Citoyenne has not yet decided on which side of the fence they will sit in regards to sovereignty and its members are presently reflecting upon it. The UFP is in favor of independance. All parties in Québec must take a stand on sovereignty. It's unfortunate, but allegiances by the electorate to a specific party most often depends on it. As a Québec voter, I am no exception to the rule. <br /> <br /> So what have we got:<br /> PQ = Sovereignists<br /> ADQ = Autonomists<br /> PLQ = Assymetrists ( LOL !)<br /> UFP = Independantists<br /> OP = TBD<br /> <br /> I think this should send a clear message to all those who believe in a strong centralized government within Canada ... forget about Québec. <br /> You can't force 25 % of the nation's population into a system it does not want, when no provincial party even supports the idea. <br /> <br /> Nationalism or Socialism ? I think debates and points of views within Québec are more diverse than what Mr. Lyon lets up on. Next elections in Québec could (must) be decisive in regards to the sovereignty issue. If only to allow all Québecers and Canadians to move forward, either united, apart or within a new confederation of nations.



« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d´être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron





PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:21 pm
 


The selective contributions of citizens released in the media, should not be used to base any assumptions on what the citizens want in quebec.<br /> <br /> I'm somewhat confident that the desires of the citizens has little input to the retoric.<br /> <br /> Dennis Baker


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:29 pm
 


[QUOTE BY= dbaker] The selective contributions of citizens released in the media, should not be used to base any assumptions on what the citizens want in quebec.<br /> <br /> I'm somewhat confident that the desires of the citizens has little input to the retoric.<br /> <br /> Dennis Baker[/QUOTE]<br /> <img align=absmiddle src='images/smilies/biggrin.gif' alt='Big Grin'> <br /> <br /> [QUOTE BY= michou]I think debates and points of views within Québec are more diverse than what Mr. Lyon lets up on.[/QUOTE]<br /> <br /> Discussion forums are not packets of cigarettes and there is no need for specific warnings. So thanks anyway dbaker but I think most visitors and readers can figure that out by themselves.



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:45 pm
 


OK, this may be a repeat because my post seems to be lost in the ether. The article was merely a thought provoking discussion, the duality should be expected from a devout marxist. Your statements only lead credence to that view though where you state that political parties MUST have a position on sovereignty. You could then change the name from nationalism to separatism (to eventual nationalism). What I'd like to learn, and have a hard time finding, is specifically what form of government the PQ puts forward. Is it a 'let's get out and then deal with that' kind of thing?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:55 am
 


[QUOTE BY= Marcarc] Your statements only lead credence to that view though where you state that political parties MUST have a position on sovereignty. You could then change the name from nationalism to separatism (to eventual nationalism). What I'd like to learn, and have a hard time finding, is specifically what form of government the PQ puts forward. Is it a 'let's get out and then deal with that' kind of thing?[/QUOTE]<br /> <br /> Not at all. Through my readings on Québec independance, I have often come across lists of ‘tasks’ this new nation would have to implement, re-negotiate on trade agreements etc…It seems to me it goes without saying. <br /> <br /> <br /> As I stated in my previous post, there are different levels of self-determination. All Québec political parties seek more leverage of some kind from the federal government. <br /> Even though it may be perceived as a black and white situation to the rest of Canada (to separate or not to separate), Québecers see it more in shades of grey. <br /> How sovereign does Québec want to be ? Does it want full independance, a sovereignty-association with the ROC, to be considered as an autonomous regional province, remain in the status quo but with more powers ?<br /> Once ‘sovereign’ and to whatever degree, only the PQ as far as I know has prepared for the ‘after sovereignty’. First would be the implementation of a new Québec constitution and for the life of me, I can’t find it anymore amongst my link library. From memory, it is similar to the French republican-presidential system. But I believe you want to know how much to the right or left a new Québec nation would be.<br /> As I mentionned before, most Québécers adhere first to one party or another based on the parties’ sovereignty platform. The result is that you will find within one party as many people from the right, center and left. Once the sovereignty issue is finally resolved, you can count on a diversity of parties to arise within Québec. Too many Canadians believe that because the PQ is the main instigator of Québec sovereignty, an independant Québec would necessarily lean towards social-democracy. It is an incorrect assumption to make. Diversity of political tendencies and opinions are alive and well in Québec. The ‘after’ sovereignty will depend very much on how the new national parties review their platforms and on how Québecers decide to realign their allegiances to them. <br /> <br /> <br />



« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d´être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:36 am
 


Your comments mirror my concern, and the marxist author's. I'd really like that link. France's constitution is as autocratic as most countries. Obviously, as a direct democracy proponent if Quebec were pitching a constitution along the line of Switzerland's I would be moving there and helping with the separatist movement. What evidence is there that the writing of the constitution (and not just it's implementation) will be up to the people of Quebec and not their 'party leaders'? (seriously, this is not a rhetorical 'anti-quebec' line, I really don't know and would like some information on it)<br /> While I understand that federal-provincial relations with Canada are seen in shades of grey, just as in most places, the vote on separation certainly wasn't grey. However, I have heard (and would be interested to see it verified) that the referendum question actually said something to the effect of 'if an agreement could not be reached in a year' type of thing. That, I think, would be a powerful bargaining tool.<br /> This is all hypothetical to me, I share the disdain for current federalism, but also note that the same structures exist at the provincial level. I haven't seen anything yet which would give the impression that Quebec will be less nationalist than Canada, and the concern would be that it would be more so. Obviously, as you say, these are questions for after separation, however, we know from Canada's experience that the setup of the system can be integral to it's success or failure (the senate, the voting system, etc). Meaning that you can set up new parties to govern the new nation, but if you also begin with a 'first past the post' electoral system, you will get similar results to Canada's, which is not a good thing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:03 am
 


This thread is getting most interesting. What if Quebec actually lead Canada (once again) on DD? Would People like Perturbed <img align=absmiddle src='images/smilies/wink.gif' alt='Wink'> complain again that Quebec is "running Canada"? <br /> <br /> It would be a nice competition to observe (or I might say engage in!): will the RdC move faster on DD than Quebec? Canada should be ahead right now since it does not have to deal with this matter of Sovereignty, or does it? Or don't they both?



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:20 am
 


The dissatisfaction today is equall in all provinces and territories, due to the present buearocratic, belief in sustaining the status quo as the measure of good governance.<br /> <br /> Perhaps in a streach it may be in some circles considered good managment.<br /> <br /> But unlike other locations on this planet, if an individual has a valide arguement, and is persistant, eventually they are heard.<br /> <br /> DD anywhere should reflect an aproach which expedites innovation in society.<br /> <br /> Dennis Baker


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:27 pm
 


A link which may be of interest. A commentary written by Josée Legault, le Devoir back in 2000. <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.vigile.net/00-4/jl-constitution.html">Quebec needs its own constitution</a><br /> <br /> Excerpt :<br /> Preparing a constitution means having this debate in the most democratic, forward-looking way possible, one that would give a greater voice to those who have the most at stake when it comes to Quebec's future: us. It would also give members of the younger generations a forum to express their own vision of what a sovereign Quebec could be, a vision that stands to be different from that of the older generations that have been at the helm of the sovereignty movement for decades now. <br /> ..............<br /> <br /> But most important, this blueprint for a constitution of a sovereign Quebec should not be a simplistic, unimaginative copy of the Canadian one. If we escape that temptation, we could finally review our electoral and political systems, in order to come up with the most democratic ones possible. Would a proportional-representation system be preferable to our current British parliamentary system? Would we opt for a republican system? How would we deal with the growing political power of non-elected judges? Could we find a way to give more decision-making powers to the legislative branch? And so on. <br /> <br /> ________________________<br /> <br /> <br /> I did find the link I was searching for.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.rocler.qc.ca/turp/eng/Future/Works11.htm">DRAFT CONSTITUTION OF A SOVEREIGN QUEBEC</a><br /> <br /> Daniel Turp, author<br /> Published originally in french, Les Éditions Yvon Blais, 1995<br /> <br /> PREAMBLE <br /> <br /> WHEREAS the people of Quebec are free to take charge of their own destiny, to determine their political status and to ensure their economic, social and cultural development;<br /> <br /> WHEREAS there is a need to give Quebec a Constitution in which all the people of Quebec can create a constitutional law state that is sovereign and democratic and in which the equality of men and women will be recognised;<br /> <br /> GIVEN the attachment of Quebec to individual freedom, social justice and political pluralism;<br /> <br /> GIVEN the importance of the objective of ensuring the quality and influence of the French language and of making it the common language of the people of Quebec;<br /> <br /> WHEREAS Quebec intends to continue to strive for this objective in a spirit of justice and openness while respecting the rights and the institutions of the Anglophone community in Quebec;<br /> <br /> WHEREAS Quebec recognizes the aboriginal nations of Quebec as having the right to govern themselves and to develop their identity and their own culture and to ensure the progress of their nations;<br /> <br /> WHEREAS Quebec considers the contribution of the ethnocultural communities to the development of Quebec to be essential;<br /> <br /> GIVEN the importance of co-operating in order to strengthen the friendly relations and co-operation among the states and peoples of the earth;<br /> <br /> GIVEN the solemn duty assumed by Quebec to protect and to improve the environment for the present and for future generations;<br /> <br /> THEREFORE the provisions set out hereafter are accepted as forming the Constitution of Quebec:<br /> <br /> <br />



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:16 pm
 


I notice a stall on DD via this "proportional-representation". It was written in 1995 though.



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