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Saturday, January 21, 2006

"Don't let Calgary decide for Quebec."

That's what the Bloc is warning people about in their ad, running in Quebec papers today:


Remember when, in 1997, the Reform party was roundly denounced for running ads that showed photos of Jean Chrétien, Lucien Bouchard and Jean Charest, suggesting they were all in favour of special rights for Quebec. The TV spot demanded a "voice for all Canadians, not just Quebec politicians", but federalist leaders claimed that it was an unfair accusation.

Yes, there's a difference between that Reform ad and this one: The Bloc is unabashedly running as a Quebec Power party, whereas Preston Manning was running, ostensibly, as a federalist egalitarian. But since the Bloc cannot ever hope to win a government, isn't this advertisement essentially an exhortation to block the Tories, who presumably (by the ad's logic) would deliver less to Quebec than, say, a politician from that province?

And, um, wasn't that exactly Manning's point in the first place?

Posted by Kevin Libin on January 21, 2006 | Permalink


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Tracked on 2006-01-23 12:08:20 AM


check out the two page pull out in the Globe today (Sat) as well

the gloves are certainly off now

Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-01-21 5:16:22 PM

Imagine if the Conservatives ran an ad asking people not to let Quebec decide for Calgary with a can of pea-soup under the caption.

Posted by: Luc Schulz | 2006-01-21 5:17:43 PM

I agree with the Bloc slogan, actually. By all means, vote enough CPC candidates in Quebec so that they're not excluded from the halls of power.

I suspect this isn't what they want it to mean, though - just saying, it could backfire.

Posted by: Shane O. | 2006-01-21 5:21:51 PM

My previous comment should have linked to this address: http://lucschulz.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Luc Schulz | 2006-01-21 5:52:43 PM

...why am I not surprized.

Well actually I am, I thought it was a Liberal ad.

So nice to see them worried about us exteem red necks for a change. Funny how the shoe fits when the tables are changed.

How long have we had a PM from Le tinkerBelle Province?


Posted by: tomax | 2006-01-21 6:01:43 PM

"On ne peut pas le reste du Canada décider de ce qui est bon pour le Québec, comme ils ne nous laisseraient pas décider de ce qui est bon pour eux."

And what we decided is good for us, is lots and lots of Albertans' money.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2006-01-21 6:16:27 PM

Stephen Harper: "La politique du Bloc, c'est la chaise vide."

I think this ad could backfire too...

Posted by: Ace | 2006-01-21 6:45:56 PM

Technically it says "We won't let Alberta decide for Quebec."

Small difference but its pretty much an admission that the CPC is gonna win and an appeal to make the BQ the official opposition.

Posted by: Cool Blue | 2006-01-21 7:09:28 PM

This campaign, in 8 short weeks, has been a lifetime and finally brought the west and Que sort of together, with Toronto still in the wilderness. I believe that if TO gives martin a slim minority there will be hell to pay in the rest of the country, with all of them turning on Toronto, and getting even in a variety of ways. No conventions, boycotting manufactured products, especially cars, films and music and any other thing we can think of. If on the other hand, Harper wins a large minority, there will be no cabinet members from the center of the universe, for at least 3 yrs. No opposition party is going to want to face the electorate for a long time, for fear of being wiped out. They will also have to co-operate with Harper, and not blackmail him. As more and more comes out re ADSCAM, and all the other scandals, audits and corruption, there may not be any elected libs left to run again. They may be in jail.

Posted by: mary | 2006-01-21 7:39:11 PM

I wonder why this poster wasn't translated into English and used for the Liberals and NDP in Ontario? It would have the same meaning there.

Posted by: Scott | 2006-01-21 7:49:58 PM

I think that Duceppe is falling into the same trap as the Liberals. Promoting racism, hate, division. That doesn't sit well with the ethics this group has tried to impress upon Canadians.

The Bible says when you dig a hole with the purpose of trapping your adversary, you end up falling in the very same hole.

Psalm 7:15
He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

Proverbs 10:24
The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

Posted by: Rémi Houle | 2006-01-21 9:55:02 PM

This "dog in the manger" attitude is getting tiresome. Quebec must take it's "leap of faith" now...... Au revoir, you tiresome jerks. Take control of your destiny and leave us poor "Tete Carres" alone.

Posted by: circe | 2006-01-21 10:01:27 PM

I know this expression by remi as:
When seeking revenge, dig two holes, meaning as
said above, the seeker of revenge will fall into
the pit as well.
If we want a united Canada, maybe we should stop
the revenge seeking. The west is angry and I
can only hope Mr. Harper is able to keep any
anger he has under control or the country will
break apart.
Mr. Harper is a uniter as seen by his past
behavior, and we can help by not expectiong
him to treat us differently than he treats
Quebec. That should unite us and if it does
not, we are causing the problem or at least our
anger from so many years of liberals paying off
Quebec which has been hard, but I do not think
our making it harder for the Prime Minister is
what we need to do when the conservatives are
in office.
Let's show the country Albertans want a united
country, by not expecting revenge, but a
united country we can be proud of.
Let's try it, we may like it. I know I would.

Posted by: cjg | 2006-01-21 10:21:50 PM

To be truthful, as a Torontonian, Harper really does represent the extreme right to us. We see his parallels with Bush in his attitudes (gays/women/abotion/religion/guns etc etc you the issues as well as I do). We really can't help but not vote for him. Trust me, we all know the Liberals have worn out their welcome, but in Toronto, the view is, we cannot vote for Harper.

Posted by: Jarvis | 2006-01-22 1:21:56 AM

Jarvis: well then bully to you tronna people. I hope Tronna suffers horribly under a Harper gov't by removing much federal funding for transit, infrastructure, health care etc. You people are rich enough to take care of yourselves. It all comes down to what you are prepared to give up. There is an enormous difference between what you are prepared to sacrifice, and what I think you are able to sacrifice. Tronna has more billionaires than anywhere else in Canada yet they go untaxed. If you people need transit money that badly, then go to them first. Albertans, and others are tired of seeing THEIR tax money being wasted on Toronto all for negligible gains. in fact, your city appears to be getting worse. A Harper gov't will teach you a valuable lesson in priorities.

Posted by: Scott | 2006-01-22 5:08:42 AM

Jarvis - again - don't be so arrogant. Use the pronoun 'I' rather than 'we'. You do not speak for anyone other than yourself.

I'm an Ontarian; I'm a Torontonian. I reject every simplistic statement you've made. I support Harper. And I support Bush.

You are parroting Martin and the Liberal's fallacious and juvenile views of Harper (and Bush, by the way). Bush has taken the courageous step of opening the Middle East to democracy and enabled them to dismantle tribalism.

As for Harper - his views on SSM are his views. He's not a hypocritical abuser of the right to dissent and think for oneself, as is the Liberal Party/NDP - where there is only ONE way to think..otherwise you are a heretic and unCanadian.Harper acknowledges the right of people to dissent, to debate - and to reject any policy - including SSM, abortion. Neither are simple issues - and your view (which is your own, remember)- is not necessarily either the right view, nor the majority view.
On SSM, Harper would allow democracy - and allow a free vote (many Liberals reject SSM, as I'm sure you know). Martin's SSM agenda had one goal and only one goal. Votes in the Big Cities from the Latte Crowd.

On abortion, he has said that he would not go into that area. I, personally, reject abortion as a means of contraception. That is my view. Notice how I'm not saying, despite my being a Torontonian, that it is your view, nor that I am speaking for anyone other than myself. Martin is currently using/abusing women, in his tactic of Fear Harper.

Guns? The vapid and ignorant response of Martin is to 'ban handguns'. Hah! What criminal gives a damn about a ban? That useless Long Gun Registry has had only ONE result; it's a make-work project of the Liberals for work in the Maritimes. It's provided LOTS of jobs. But, it hasn't done a thing to stop gun violence. It's all about votes.
Banning guns won't work; making the gang-based economy that is based around violence a less lucrative economy, by imposing severe penalties for engaging in that economy - will work.

So, Jarvis - I'd appreciate it if you'd stop the sanctimonious 'I talk for Everyone' attitude, don't patronize the West or Others - and above all - Speak For Yourself.

Posted by: ET | 2006-01-22 8:02:04 AM

Please consider this...a Harper government will me more American in one important way...he will allow his MP's to vote according to the wishes of their constituents, which returns the power to govern to the PEOPLE!!!
I wish we could go even further in this country and remove the party system all together...all it does is divide us, when what we all want is basically the same thing, safe streets, support for those that need it, etc. Unfortunately, we are forced to vote for the party that 'best fits' our ideas of how best to run the country, and hope that they don't have one or two ideas that are completely off the rails...but really, their ideas should come from us, and people need to connect more with the people who run this country, and vice versa...(I know, what colour is the sky on my planet...)

Posted by: beancounter | 2006-01-22 8:30:18 AM


As an Albertan and a rabid Harper supporter, I have to respectfully disagree with your position. I hope that Harper DOESN'T freeze Toronto out of the power structure, no matter if they vote for him or not. To me, one the main reasons that the West has felt left out in Canada has been because of the arrogant attitude that the Liberals have had of "if you don't vote for me, you don't get anything".

I would love to see a Canada that is firing on all 13 cylinders (not just one or two); that has a government that makes the right decisions for the COUNTRY, not just for those jurisdictions that voted for it, and for the cynical reason of "buying" votes; and that is inclusive so as to not consolidate its historical base at the expense of alienating all other regions, because that just leads to alienation and, eventually, rejection by the voters.

I am hoping that the Conservatives will bring this new approach to Canada if/when they form the next government. Not a petty administration that rewards only its friends and hurts/ignores those that didn't vote for it.

Posted by: Active Listener | 2006-01-22 8:33:05 AM

AL---well said!

Posted by: beancounter | 2006-01-22 8:41:00 AM

As an Alberta separatist I sympathize with the sentiment of the ad in question. I personally have resented for decades Montreal prime ministers telling Albertans they have no say in how this country is run, but have to bankroll it anyway. Although I respect Stephen Harper (I like his firewall idea), I already see signs of the Ottawashing of his mind as he attempts to placate eastern appetite for a larger, more intrusive federal government that steals Alberta's money to support eastern industries like aerospace, auto manufacturing, Bombardier, eastern farmers who are not hamstrung by the Wheat Board, fishermen who only work a few weeks or months per year, etc.. Brian Mulroney was voted in as a small c conservative, but it only took one little old lady to wag her finger in his face for him to turn into a full-fledged liberal. Joe Clark went to Ottawa to ostensively bring a western perspective to power, but soon turned into an apologist for the eastern establishment, never letting a chance go by to lecture Albertans about the virtues of the east running this country.

Even if Stephen Harper forms a majority government all of his decisions will be filtered through an eastern/liberal media, will have to be approved by an eastern dominated Liberal senate, will be at the mercy of an eastern, Liberal appointed bureaucracy, and will be vetted by the Liberal appointed, eastern mindset of the supreme court. Harper will face the same question as Mulroney and Clark faced - compromise with the east or achieve nothing. This can only mean that although Alberta gets to pay for this abomination of a country, we still won't have a say in how it is run.

(OK - this is where you eastern bloodsuckers say, "If you don't like it, why don't you just move to the US?" or some other such statement that proves my point...)

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-22 11:18:06 AM

What some forget is that two months ago, the sovereignty movement's dream scenario was a conservative government with no Quebec members. So they made a big target with the liberals and forgot about the the conservatives. Now that the conservatives have come up the middle, the bloc and all hard core sovereignists are totally panicked and will say anything.

They won't get their 50%+ of the popular vote, the CPC will get seats and the whole sovereignty movement is going backwards, thats what behind the attack ads.

Their big problem is that they were hoisted by their own petard as it were. They voted to bring down the liberals and now are scrambling to keep the CPC out? Hello, did they think the NDP were going to replace the liberals ?

Posted by: David | 2006-01-22 4:16:43 PM


You may be 100% right but it sounds like complaining on a full stomach. Albertan's have no debt and great infrastucture, bravo to you , you deserve it , its certainly not ours to take away from you.

Question, how did you manage to amass all that wealth while pouring such vast sums into Eastern Canada 's moribund industries and fisheries etc.?

Oh and where did you get all your skilled manpower to fuel your demographic growth? Are there any Newfies in Fort MacMurray?

Posted by: David | 2006-01-22 4:53:06 PM


Well we complained on an empty stomach during the eighties with the NEP and there was no different result then either. And by the way, we got rid of our debt by tightening our belt when Ralph drastically slashed government spending when oil prices barely covered the cost of producing oil from the tar sands - perhaps you guys could try that some time...

A little education for you, seeing as you seem to doubt that Alberta has been taken advantage of by the rest of this country; since the sixties $300 billion more has gone to Ottawa than Alberta has received back in services. What do you think? I think we've shared more than enough. We keep being told that we must help the poorer provinces up. Well - when the hell are they going to get up?!? Albertans go without so that the federal government can give Alberta money to Bombardier and the Irving empire! The NDP calls it corporate welfare - I call it socialist theft!

And I am sure those Newfoundlanders are grateful for those jobs just as we are welcoming to their contributing to Alberta's economy. Not sure what your point is - do you think they work for nothing? They benefit and we benefit - that's the way it is supposed to work. But for the life of me, I cannot see how Alberta benefits from being fleeced by the rest of this country...

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-22 8:55:49 PM


While I don't disagree with what you are saying, there are some things that can be exagerated.

For instance, Alberta surely paid more into Canada than it got back, but I personaly am fortunate to have good earnings, I also pay more into Canada than I get back in services, and believe it or not, I don't live in Alberta. I don't think it is possible to get back in services what you pay in. How does a province benefit from the Armed Forces for instance? Or from foreign affairs? Have we been reduced to a country of bean counters?

My point about Newfoundlanders is this: Alberta's population has grown by leaps and bounds, most of the influx is from the rest of Canada. All these new arrivals have been trained in schools and universities outside Alberta for the most part, at great expense to the taxpayers of their home provinces. This is probably a huge amount of expense that is never accounted for by the bean counters who use ''official numbers'' to justify separation.

Here in Quebec we have a separatist movement that abuses the money transfer numbers all the time, so we are a bit jaded when it comes to statistics.

The lesson here is nobody is going to send their kids off to fight for the fiscal imbalance, so if you want your own country you better be prepared to make a case for it with more than numbers.

Posted by: David | 2006-01-23 4:47:42 AM

Any fiscal imbalance discussion about what’s fair and what isn’t should start with the data. After setting up the Auditor General to look at all the books before they are shredded, then Harper needs to get the data on the table that explains to Canadians:

Who’s been paying, how much for how long? What are their accountabilities to keep forking it over?

Who’s been receiving, how much for how long? What are their accountabilities to take responsibility for themselves and get their act together at some point in time?

We’re finally about to get a government in Ottawa that will bring some common sense to working with Premiers and to end the Ponzi Game of vote buying that keeps poor regions poor with handouts from Ottawa that buy votes. This has been a despicable act of desperation by Liberals for decades and now it is ending.

Gotta go and help get the vote out today.
Hopefully we’ll at least get one or 2 Conservatives elected here in Toronto where we’ve handed out too many BA’s in Gender Studies to people who are now mad at us free-marketers because they don’t have the skill set to get a high paying job like the self-employed plumbers who are becoming wealthy.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-23 6:48:50 AM

You just figured out what Canadian Politics is all about!

Posted by: PGP | 2006-01-23 6:55:48 AM


What don't you agree with? Are you disputing my facts or just putting your head in the sand? Your dodge about a "country of bean counters" is cute coming from someone who pays less taxes because the federal government steals from others to subsidize your province. So tell me, how exactly are Quebec or the maritime provinces better off with equalization? Has it worked? Are they any closer to being successful economies that can compete on their own than they were forty years ago? No - they are perpetually needy, demanding ever more with their entitlement attitude that keeps them from ever attaining any success. Equalization has been a monumental failure for the country even as it has been a boon for the Liberal party to purchase votes from the eastern provinces.

Your point about Newfoundlanders trained with Newfoundland money doesn't wash either. The argument can easily be made that Alberta has contributed more than enough money to Newfoundland to cover that training and much, much more. In effect Newfoundland owes us. But I don't see it that way - I only bring it up to make my point that you don't have one.

Just because you have corrupt socialistic government does not justify painting others with your broad brush. Because I agree with separation for Alberta does not mean you have the right to associate me with corruption in Quebec.

Your last statement illustrates that you have little understanding of Alberta's grievances with the way this country is run. Just one little example - Alberta elects its senators that it wishes to be represented by in the federal senate, but Liberal prime ministers have ignored the wishes of Albertans for years.

I don't pretend to know about Quebec separation problems so I won't lecture you on the topic. Please don't pretend to know about Alberta's problems with this country. I am not here to educate you so perhaps when you've done some learnin' on the subject we can have decent discussion about it.

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-23 8:39:11 AM


Not sure why you think things will get better under Harper. Didn't he just promise Quebec a better deal for their votes. He sure as hell didn't promise Alberta a better deal for their votes...

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-23 9:18:45 AM


Have I struck some kind of a wrong chord here? Why the aggressiveness, I told you I agree with your read on transfer payments.

All I said is that not eveything is measured when people go on about large sums. Substitute Ontario for Newfoundland in my last post and tell me Alberta pays enough to Ontario to fund her universities.

How on earth did you jump to the conclusion that I lumped you in with anything? All I said is that you can't win people's hearts and minds for a new country based solely on numbers, I hope you don't disagree with that.

Besides, letting in so many people from other provinces, people with close relatives outside Alberta, won't help your cause, they will be a large fifth column. How are you going to convince them?

Posted by: David | 2006-01-23 10:12:45 AM


Yeah you said, "While I don't disagree...", you then went on to associate "abuses [of] transfer numbers" with the separatist movement in Quebec. Why is that relevant to our discussion unless you were attempting to link my position with their's?

Ontario benefits from the transfer of Alberta's money just as other provinces do. What our money funds their's does not have to. Not to mention the huge sums given to the auto industry, aerospace, etc. either in direct cash payments or tax shifts.

Without doubt it will be a large task to convince Albertans to separate from Canada. Many however have put their faith in Stephen Harper to finally put Alberta on the map of political influence. They will be deeply disappointed. The deck is stacked against Harper as I outlined in posts above. When the Liberals regain control in an election or two Albertans will have seen that even having an Albertan as prime minister cannot fix this country. We will still be on the outside looking in - and will continue being penalized for our prosperity and paying to prop up eastern Canada.

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-23 11:02:52 AM


There is an old saying that says: there are three kinds of untruths: lies, damn lies and statistics. so you have to be careful with numbers.

Our separatists try to make a big deal with numbers, their so called finance honcho, Richard Legault, even came up with a study that shows Quebec would be better off by $17 B in the first 5 years following independence. Thats what I was referring to when I said abuse of transfer numbers. I then said that's why we are jaded when it comes to big numbers.

Of course they can't convince people to vote for them with numbers alone, nor can you, that's the only link I am making. You have to be careful when using statistics, just ask the Quebec separatists. Somebody's numbers are always contradicted by somebody else's.

The deck has always been stacked against people who advocate change, it has been like that since the dawn of time, that's why incremental change is usually more succesful.

Posted by: David | 2006-01-23 11:45:52 AM


So your point is that some people are corrupt with numbers - fine. What else is new?

My point is that Canada is a millstone around Alberta's neck. As a country unto itself Alberta would quickly become the Switzerland/Saudi Arabia of North America. I look forward to that day of separation, however long it takes...

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-23 12:26:11 PM

Arnold, Alberta will benefit from Quebec and the Maritimes gradually getting the mis and dis- information pushed aside by the truth. Then we’ll find a cure versus carrying on with the culture of dependency. As David alludes to, many separatists actually believe that Quebec contributes more than it gets. It will take time but the truth always wins and I agree with David here on incrementalism. Gradually political patronage policies, in depressed regions, such as ACOA, can be replaced by more appropriate tax cuts that even Scott Brison once advocated.

Canada needs investment to help our labour force be more productive so that we can counter the forces of India and China. Even Martin mentions time and again the threat of Asia. Ontario is far too dependant on Autos and the Ford announcements today are a precursor of what’s happening.

Finally as I’ve kept telling David, the Bouchard Manifesto applies to all of Canada; we should all read that 10-page pdf. Ironically Bouchard I’m told has been greatly influence by Desmarais on this. We need to get corporate taxes down and the crazy unions out of the way. Then each of the 5 regions in Canada can become self-sufficient and get to keep their hard earned income and bring an end to the corruption of transfer payments.

Gotta run again, trying to get the CPC vote out in Toronto, the last holdout of the Liberals.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-23 12:43:24 PM


History is not on your side. There is just too much self-interest in preserving the status quo in this country. Ontario and Quebec will never agree to giving up any power to a triple E senate or any other constitutional changes that challenge their position (not that a triple E senate would solve that much anyway). And the constitution doesn't stand for much either. The supreme court reads in whatever is their fancy of the day. The federal government ignores it and takes over provincial jurisdictions like health care, environment, energy, education, and on and on. And dumb-ass Caknuckleheads think this is progress, thinking that the supreme court is protecting us from the evils of democracy, and the federal government is protecting us from the evil provinces that might allow private health care. And you think things will get better? Ha! Dream on...

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-23 1:59:29 PM


Maybe you are right. But in life being right doesn't always get you very far. Its more what you can do to make things better.

You are perfectly entitled to believe that Alberta would be better off as an independent country, but the question is more: how are you going to achieve your goal?

Ranting on about how much you are losing is ok up to a point then action speaks more than words. Its only been 100 years since Alberta became a province, and you are the richest one by far, despite your legitemate grievances, success is hard to argue against. Nomdenet is right.

And please don't tell me Alberta is worse off than it was 20 years ago.

Posted by: David | 2006-01-23 2:13:14 PM


I didn't become a separatist yesterday. I have been one for many years. I am nothing if not patient - and optimistic. The nationalist movement is only now germinating into an organized movement. Unless something catastrophic happens like another NEP disguised as a carbon tax to prevent global warming or some such thing, it will be a slow climb to the goal. Nevertheless it will not deter me.

Hey, if the Liberals end up with enough seats to combine with the ND's to overcome the Conservatives tonight, Martin may go to the Governor General to propose that he be made prime minister over Harper. With a wink and a nod she would probably agree to it. That alone might be enough to enrage Albertans to provide a giant step forward for our nationalist movement. But like I said above, even if Harper achieves a majority it will still end up as a massive disappointment to Albertans who have put their hopes in him - he will never be able to live up to their expectations. He is hamstrung by the system he wishes to reform...

Posted by: Arnold | 2006-01-23 3:54:24 PM

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