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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:43 pm
 


Sovereignty, schmovereignty
The separatist movement in Québec is in serious trouble.

Beating a dead horse, failing to walk the talk - just two descriptive ways of describing the situation of separatists and sovereigntists in Québec. The last provincial election in the province provided sufficient proof that Quebeckers have grown tired of the same old rhetoric, which is why they pushed the Parti Québécois to the far corners of the National Assembly. Within a bit over a month after the election, the leader of the PQ, André Boisclair, has now resigned in the face of harsh opposition within his own party.

The last few days before his resignation were marred by incriminations and personal attacks. That Boisclair had painted himself in an extremely tight corner was illustrated by his venomous and outright infantile tirades directed at his federal counterpart, Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe, who is rumoured to be a frontrunner for Boisclair’s job. But will a leadership change make any real difference?

The cause of separating Québec from the rest of Canada seems to be a dead issue for now. Quebeckers cannot be bothered to get overly upset over real or perceived “abuse” by English Canada; they have much bigger fish to fry, such as setting their own affairs in order. As it happens, Mario Dumont, the leader of the official opposition party ADQ, represents the current mood quite well. He is calling for an autonomous, rather than independent, Québec that can stand on its own feet, without having to rely on the perpetual handouts from Ottawa.

Québec has always lived beyond its means. The province has some excellent programs in place, such as low university tuition fees, daycare, etc., but all of it is financed by hardworking taxpayers in other provinces that cannot afford such government largesse themselves. In an ultimate affront to Canadians, premier Jean Charest has recently announced that he will go ahead with tax cuts for the middle class in Québec, using funds received from the equalization program, i.e., money from taxpayers across the country.

This particular mindset, living large at somebody else’s expense, has become a hallmark characteristic of Québec and its various governments throughout recent history. It is also, clearly, the reason why Quebeckers have given up on achieving independence because with independence, the province would have to shoulder all of its own responsibilities, and the handouts from the rest of Canada would stop flowing.

For decades, Quebeckers were led to believe by separatists that their province could be self-sufficient, but with an ever more bloated government apparatus, people are finally realizing that they will be able to hang on to their benefits and perks only for as long as they continue to be a province, rather than an independent nation. In other words, the separatist movement has devoured its own children.

By sharp contrast, Alberta could go it alone quite easily. It does not rely on alms and, without the requirement of sending $14 billion a year or so to Ottawa - money that mostly ends up in Québec to finance gargantuan government programs there - the province would indeed become the most prosperous country on this planet. But these are pipe dreams because Albertans are not sufficiently exasperated and outraged yet to launch their own separatist movement. However, if (or when) that day comes, Albertans will certainly not just be all talk, like those separatists in Québec, and actually put their money where their mouths are.

As a matter of fact, if there is one province with legitimate grievances over its position within the confederation, it is Alberta, not Québec. Québec is actually benefiting from its provincial status quite handsomely - mostly at the expense of Alberta. Surely, only the most foolish and most short-sighted Quebecker is still fighting for independence, or one who does not care about shooting himself in the foot just so that he can prove a point.

Boisclair, ironically, has awakened to the new reality and was fully prepared to turn his back on outright and full independence for his province. But the party base kept slogging him over what they see as a betrayal of their most prominent cause. With so much animosity and opposition, he had to do what any leader would have done under such inclement circumstances.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:24 pm
 


Quote:
by Werner Patels is a freelance translator, interpreter and writer in Calgary, Alberta. He holds degrees in translation/languages and political science.




Well....there's a surprise....the writer is from Calgary.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:50 am
 


Of course Alberta doesn't need equalization payments. Alberta has oil. Give as much oil to any other province, including Quebec, and equalization payments will become a non-issue.

And note I don't necessarilly disagree with the guy, I would appreciate if Quebec could live on its own and not rely on the Fed as often as it does right now (and I do think it's possible). I however don't like how he boasts about Alberta, because Alberta has a damn huge headstart.

Oh and... Dumont's autonomist stance is not far from the PQ's separatism. It's basically the same thing, except that it's about certain there won't be any referendum. There'd be as many, if not more, demands this author would probably deem mindless and/or unfair if the ADQ came into power.

Seriously, right now it's like everybody all across Canada has a very positive view of the ADQ and thinks nearly all the problems plaguing Quebec and its relations with the rest of Canada will be solved if that party is elected... no matter how good they might do if they're elected, expectations are so high they're bound to disappoint.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:05 am
 


grainfedprairieboy wrote:
This particular mindset, living large at somebody else’s expense, has become a hallmark characteristic of Québec and its various governments throughout recent history. It is also, clearly, the reason why Quebeckers have given up on achieving independence because with independence, the province would have to shoulder all of its own responsibilities, and the handouts from the rest of Canada would stop flowing.


Absolutely.

Contrary to what many Canadians do or want to believe, Quebec is viable as an independent nation.

But contrary to what many Quebeckers do or want to believe, Quebec would be poorer as an independent nation.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:39 am
 


Were Canada a ship then Quebec would be the anchor holding it back.

Cut 'em loose.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:58 am
 


What the writer of this article forgets, is that Albertans used to have a lot of those same programs that Quebec has.

Tuition used to be incredibly cheap. In 1990, it was $1600 to go to the University of Alberta. By 1996, it had jumped to more than double that (about $3500). Getty had promised to pave every secondary highway in Alberta. We also had top heavy management in a lot of the government departments and so on.

The difference is Klein came to power and cut a lot of that spending. If the ADQ ever get to power in Quebec, they may do the same thing as Klein did.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:24 am
 


Toro : That is quite an accurate depiction of the current situation, yes.

Bart : Honestly, I doubt Quebec costs Canada more money than it brings. Highly doubt it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 11:26 am
 


Bart drew an analog between Canada and a boat. I would draw an analogy between Canada and the human body.

Quebec's culture is Canada's heart and soul. Alberta and Ontario are her strong working arms and legs. BC's beauty is her beautiful face, the Maritimes her delicate fingers. Sakatchewan and Manitoba's farms are her chest, and the wild, remote Territories her mysterious, dangerous charm.

You simply cannot amputate one part without destroying what Canada is as a whole.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 11:40 am
 


hurley_108 wrote:
Bart drew an analog between Canada and a boat. I would draw an analogy between Canada and the human body.

Quebec's culture is Canada's heart and soul. Alberta and Ontario are her strong working arms and legs. BC's beauty is her beautiful face, the Maritimes her delicate fingers. Sakatchewan and Manitoba's farms are her chest, and the wild, remote Territories her mysterious, dangerous charm.

You simply cannot amputate one part without destroying what Canada is as a whole.



Excellently worded.

PDT_Armataz_01_37


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:01 pm
 


hurley_108 wrote:
Bart drew an analog between Canada and a boat. I would draw an analogy between Canada and the human body.

Quebec's culture is Canada's heart and soul. Alberta and Ontario are her strong working arms and legs. BC's beauty is her beautiful face, the Maritimes her delicate fingers. Sakatchewan and Manitoba's farms are her chest, and the wild, remote Territories her mysterious, dangerous charm.

You simply cannot amputate one part without destroying what Canada is as a whole.


Okay, with Canada as a body I see Quebec as a benign rectal tumor. It's a pain in the rear, it does nothing, it contributes nothing to the rest of the body, it sucks up resources from the rest of the body, and should it become malignant it should be excised immediately.

When the Quebecers act like they are part of Canada, contribute to Canada instead of having Canada contribute to them, and just generally start acting nice then I'll change my mind.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:18 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
hurley_108 wrote:
Bart drew an analog between Canada and a boat. I would draw an analogy between Canada and the human body.

Quebec's culture is Canada's heart and soul. Alberta and Ontario are her strong working arms and legs. BC's beauty is her beautiful face, the Maritimes her delicate fingers. Sakatchewan and Manitoba's farms are her chest, and the wild, remote Territories her mysterious, dangerous charm.

You simply cannot amputate one part without destroying what Canada is as a whole.


Okay, with Canada as a body I see Quebec as a benign rectal tumor. It's a pain in the rear, it does nothing, it contributes nothing to the rest of the body, it sucks up resources from the rest of the body, and should it become malignant it should be excised immediately.

When the Quebecers act like they are part of Canada, contribute to Canada instead of having Canada contribute to them, and just generally start acting nice then I'll change my mind.


You were right about one thing in your "Bart for PM" thread; you're more of a thug than a statesman.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:30 pm
 


hurley_108 wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
hurley_108 wrote:
Bart drew an analog between Canada and a boat. I would draw an analogy between Canada and the human body.

Quebec's culture is Canada's heart and soul. Alberta and Ontario are her strong working arms and legs. BC's beauty is her beautiful face, the Maritimes her delicate fingers. Sakatchewan and Manitoba's farms are her chest, and the wild, remote Territories her mysterious, dangerous charm.

You simply cannot amputate one part without destroying what Canada is as a whole.


Okay, with Canada as a body I see Quebec as a benign rectal tumor. It's a pain in the rear, it does nothing, it contributes nothing to the rest of the body, it sucks up resources from the rest of the body, and should it become malignant it should be excised immediately.

When the Quebecers act like they are part of Canada, contribute to Canada instead of having Canada contribute to them, and just generally start acting nice then I'll change my mind.


You were right about one thing in your "Bart for PM" thread; you're more of a thug than a statesman.


I guess that further disqualifies me as a potential politician because I'm honest. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 5:05 pm
 


How lovely, Bart. But I'll give you credit for being honest.

But I'm forced to ask. What do you mean by "Quebec should be cut loose"? That it should be left independant, or that Canada should stop sending any kind of equalization payment?

If the former, then God knows what will happen to Canada if your opinion becomes mainstream.

If the latter, then it would only be logical to cut ALL equalization payments, effectively alienating a handful of provinces. Unless you make Quebec a "special exception", which would be ridiculously unfair in itself.

I'll state it again, I doubt that Quebec costs more to Canada than it brings if you consider anything beyond the most basic and straightforward numbers (namely, transfer payments VS taxes).


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:26 am
 


J'adore ce que Hurley_108 a écrit :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:36 am
 


pourquoi?


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