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Friday, March 24, 2006

What's up with Hervieux-Payette?

This has been a weird last week for Senator Céline Hervieux Payette. Is it just me or is she kind of inconsistent? First she makes headlines and embarasses the country by writing a shrill anti-American letter, and days later on she's like the world's biggest defender of the seal hunt, taking dead aim at the claims of the McCartney/Bardot propaganda machine and defending Newfoundland seal hunters, who barely make any money as it is from the hunt. (This is unusual for a Quebec politician.) The letter was related to the hunt too, of course, but she's pretty much alienated everyone from all over the political spectrum now.


Posted by Adam Daifallah on March 24, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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I think her original letter, which was awash in hysterical anti-Americanism, had its weak origin as a 'defense for the seal hunt'.

And although the anti-Americanism is a typical Quebecois attitude, you are right - her defense of the Newfoundlanders is atypical. After all, they aren't francophone. And- Especially since Nfld claims Labrador and Quebec, of course, considers that Labrador ought to be 'theirs'.

Is she after something and wants the PR??

Posted by: ET | 2006-03-24 5:03:46 PM

The brutal and illegal Newfoundland occupation of Labrador must end now!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: quebecois separatiste | 2006-03-24 5:12:58 PM

Hah. Yes, yes, illegal and brutal.

Quebec tried for years to get Labrador as part of 'theirs'...including when Nfld/Labrador wasn't even part of Canada. To my knowledge, it was finally 'settled' in 1991 - that Quebec, at least legally, can't do much about it. Quebec had tried to have the boundary understood as 'fuzzy' or unsettled. Then, they could change it and grab Labrador!!! Quebec wanted the entire land base of Labrador, except for a one mile strip of land.


In fact, Quebec wasn't too pleased about Nfld joining confederation, because, they felt that this would reduce the proportion of francophones in Canada. [However, Trudeau dealt readily with that problem, didn't he, by his Charter of Rights, which is primarily about bilingualism and not much else.]

Posted by: ET | 2006-03-24 5:42:06 PM


She consistently defends the atrocious puppy seal hunt. What's inconsistent?

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2006-03-24 5:44:56 PM

It is part of Newfoundland, Labrador that is.What part of that statment does Quebec not understand.They have bean pampered for years by the FEDS it's hard not to have there way.As they expect to have there way. Self centred French.Only there concerns are right to the French language and so called heritige.French was once a world power/language but no more.Has been wants to be again but never will.

Posted by: K. Roberts | 2006-03-24 7:16:13 PM

Only after she has stood in front of the people and won election to the Senate will she be worth listening to. (Forgive me for ending a sentence with a preposition). Ignore her and her ilk.

40 below tory

Posted by: Gussie | 2006-03-24 8:35:59 PM

The problem isn't Hervieux-Payette. The problem is the political spectrum.

Hervieux-Payette (minus her handgun opinion) stood up for individual liberty in domestic policy and foreign policy and both sides of the spectrum were "offended" because both sides have intrenched interests in the state.

It's why conservatives and leftists find libertarians offensive. Conservative love big government in foreign policy, leftists love it in the economy. So if you oppose the state consistently, you're bound to upset both sides.

This is what Hervieux-Payette did. Good on her.

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2006-03-24 8:38:58 PM

While her letter might have been shrill and reactionary, there is nothing inconsistent about her position. It has nothing to do with being anti-American and more to do with defending Canada's freedom of policy. What is so embarrassing about that?

I'd be more embarrassed if a senator wrote an apologetic pandering letter to some mid-west yankee family. Geez. WHo cares what they think?

Posted by: Lara | 2006-03-24 8:40:04 PM

Adam, as you pointed out, the seal hunters 'barely make any money from the hunt'. They are basically siphoning off the EI system for 8 months at the expense of the taxpayers and 'work' for however long it takes to kill small animals. Then they go back on social assistance.

As a fiscal conservative, isn't it time they were encouraged to choose more profitable means of living? This hunt is more than a PR disaster for Canada, its a financial one as well.

Posted by: Lara | 2006-03-24 8:43:45 PM

It's the "baby" seal hunt, not "puppy" seal hunt. The object of the game is to associate the animal with human characteristics (personification) not associate it with another oh so cute animal. If you are going to comment on something that you don't fully understand, at least keep to the talking points.

Maybe the Quebec senator is greasing the NL populace in preparation of Quebec and Ontario going ahead and developing the Lower Churchill. Enough energy to power 1.5 million homes goes to the ocean every day and we talk about ACOA.

Posted by: Lemmytowner | 2006-03-24 9:19:51 PM

The Charter is "primarily about bilingualism and not much else." I have to ask: do you stay up late thinking of stupid things to post here or does this come naturally to you?

Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-24 9:50:29 PM

It's in Quebec's interest to keep the seal hunt too because it probably makes more money off it than Nfld.

Also the Senator's letter pointed to:
* The daily massacre of innocent people in Iraq.
- Was it liberation or an unnecessary war? it's at least a debatable conflict on both the right and left of the U.S. political spectrum these days, and it's certainly more important than the seal hunt.

* The execution of prisoners in the U-S itself, most of whom are black.

- Death penalty for humans vs. killing seals. Arguably the seals have committed no crimes and so should not be punished like humans should be. The UN is officially against the death penalty and not against the seal hunt. Strictly speaking in legal terms, the senator is correct in arguing that the death penalty is more of an infringement of rights than the seal hunt. Philosophically, the Senator may be wrong depending on your POV.

* The destabilization of the entire world with American foreign policy.

- What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Americans have less right to criticize Canadian domestic policies than Canadians do as regards U.S. foreign policy. U.S. foreign policies in Iraq do have some effect on Canada(as regards boosting troops that go to Afghanistan).

Posted by: Ace | 2006-03-25 10:13:33 AM

What's up with Hervieux-Payette?

Since this woman has opened her mouth on a number of matters and each time displayed a lack of good judgement the only thing we can take from her behaviour is that she is:
a) Stupid
b) Irrational
c) Both
In any case why bother?

Posted by: PGP | 2006-03-25 10:30:36 AM

Ace - I presume you are referring to the 'daily massacre of innocent people in Iraq' by the Muslims - who are indeed engaged in such actions, in their attempt to prevent the Iraqi people's democracy. Remember, the Iraqi people VOTED for a democratic government; these massacres are an attempt to prevent such a gov't.

On the other hand, the esteemed Senator's reference to this was not to Muslims blowing up Muslims, but was a slanderous accusation against Americans - who are not 'massacring innocents in Iraq'. This accusation had absolutely no place in her letter. She was using a fallacious tactic, in her hostility to the American family's criticism of the Canadian seal-hunt.

That tactic was an ad hominem 'tu quoque' false argument - where you say to another person: 'You can't criticize me because you aren't pure; you've done bad things in your life too'.

Equally, she has no business saying that 'you can't criticize the Canadian seal hunt because your country has the death penalty'. So what? That's none of her business -andn so what that the UN, that hive of corruption, is against the death penalty. I haven't noticed them doing anything about the massacres in the Sudan. Just as they did nothing in Bosnia or Rwanda. They allowed lots of deaths there.

The destabilization of the entire world with the American foreign policy. Hmmm? Do you mean the introduction of democracy into dysfunctional totalitarian states, to prevent those states from massacring westerners - in New York, in London, in Madrid and so on? To prevent a totalitarian perspective from dominating the west? Would you prefer life under the Taliban and Sharia Law or democracy? Which 'destabilization' do you prefer - terrorist bombs or the destabilization of Islamic fundamentalism?

Posted by: ET | 2006-03-25 10:44:22 AM

I too could not notice how you guys pretend to be so sophisticated, in the topics you now love to discuss, the diversionary topics, especially how bad the liberals or the Easterners are.

But mostly you all Albertan rednecks do tend to put your head int the sand when it comes to talking about or facing Alberta's real sins, perverse Klein, his skeletons, bad acts and your own.

How hypocritical of the Western Standard to do so for all Canada to see as well now.

Posted by: Gill | 2006-03-25 10:49:45 AM

It's in Quebec's interest to keep the seal hunt too because it probably makes more money off it than Nfld.

How is it that Albertan rednecks, and any of their supposed Christians pals too, even immensely like Preston Manning do so much love to talk about having and getting more money, the root of all evil,as the Bible says, and here they hypocritically complain that others are trying to do the same thing. Real Hypocrites you are.

Posted by: San | 2006-03-25 10:54:24 AM

"But mostly you all Albertan rednecks do tend to put your head int the sand when it comes to talking about or facing Alberta's real sins, perverse Klein, his skeletons, bad acts and your own."

Nonsense: the sins of Ralph Klein (a Trudeau Liberal) have been much discussed in this forum. Likewise the unscientific politiking of the Alberta-based Parkland Institute, Red Tories such as Gary Mar, and the disgusting nature of westerner Svend Robinson.

You must have missed that year Gill...

Posted by: Feynman and Coulter's Love Child | 2006-03-25 12:51:28 PM


American family criticizes seal hunt... Payette bashes them... ex-sex kitten criticizes seal hunt... Payette bashes her too. Seems pretty consistent to me.

Or do you mean that she doesn't neatly fit into your 'us and them' world view and you find yourselves agreeing (god forbid) with some of what a liberal has to say. Therefore it's _she_ that is inconsistent, since she's not consistantly 'us' or 'them'.

For the record, I'm pro-American, anti-seal hunt.

Posted by: The Crawling Chaos | 2006-03-25 1:44:36 PM


Are you implying that if Iraq had not been invaded - we would facing daily terrorist bombs and the destruction of democracy via Islamic fundamentalism? All of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and the UAE (ostensible American allies). There is no evidence to suggest that Iraq was a base for terrorists like Afghanistan was.

The Senator's remarks about the massacres were not slanderous as they did not refer specifically to Americans as the ones committing them - merely as a side-effect of the war going on there.

If you honestly think that the crazy social engineering project going on Iraq will work and that the place will become a dope-filled democracy, you're out of your b---dy mind. This is not Germany or Japan, you have a live cocktail of mutually antagonistic ethnic and religious rivalries brewing as well as regional powers (Iran, Syria, Saudis, Kurds, Turks) all jockeying for control. It is not a region in which the US holds a lot of power and the attempts the US has made to enforce 'democracy' are more likely to be ineffective.

You can hold all the votes you want, but this still makes very unlikely that a democracy will take root there.

You may take a dim view of the UN, but this is an institution whose principles were written by Americans citing it certainly does not constitute anti-American slander.

Apparently, you think it is better to preserve the 'cockroaches of the sea' rather than human beings. I respectfully disagree.

Posted by: Ace | 2006-03-25 1:46:29 PM

Ace - Yes, without the introduction of democracy to the tribal dictatorships of the ME, the terrorism that is a direct result of these tribal dictatorships, would continue. The introduction of democracy in the ME is moving, by the domino effect, into the other states. And, the moderate Muslims are starting to speak out against the extremists.

You cannot have tribalism as a mode of governance in a society with a population in the millions; it is disastrous. Equally, you cannot have tribalism as a mode of governance in an industrial economy; tribalism is only suitable for a peasant agricultural economy. The fact that tribalism in the ME was being maintained by the use of military force and religious fundamentalism, meant that the 'implosion' went external - and the attacks were against the west - rather than an internal civil war.

You referenced the 'daily massacre of innocent people in Iraq' without commenting that such massacres are being carried out by Muslims against Muslims. Not by Americans. The Senator's remarks most certainly did refer to the Americans as committing those actions. Your attempt to evade my critique by suggesting that possibly these massacres were indeed referenced to Muslims-Muslims..as a reaction to the war, is spurious. The Senator meant Americans. And, these attacks are not a result of war; they are a result of the introduction of democracy.

No, what is going on in Iraqi is not a 'social engineering project'. After all, any change in political mode could be, using your terms, construed as a 'crazy social engineering project'. Would you consider the American Revolution a 'social engineering project'? The British transition from a supreme monarchy to a constitutional monarchy? To having an elected parliament - is that 'social engineering'? How about Canada's dev't of its parliament? Social engineering?

What do you mean by a 'dope-filled democracy'??? Are you suggesting that all the Iraqis will be on drugs? Or that they are all stupid????

Yes - I do think that Iraq will strengthen and solidify its democracy. The fact that it, as a nation, is made up of different ethnic/tribal groups is not relevant. You don't need population homogeneity to be a functioning democracy. The notion of homogeneity is a tribal notion; the modern state is not homogeneous and is not run by kinship ties but is run by CIVIC ties.
The UK is made up of multiple groups - who were indeed at one time, at war with each other. Same in the US. And in Canada.

Do you denigrate the Iraqi people and think that all they are suited for is -warring tribes? I don't agree. Democracy is not a choice. It is a requirement if your population is in the millions, and your economy is industrial. There is no choice.

Please explain why you reject the future of democracy in Iraq. A democracy is not based on votes/elections. It requires a constitution, a rule of law, and free elections (for a limited term gov't)..The Iraqi people are developing all of this. So?

The UN is not an American construct; and its principles have been long abandoned within bureaucratic corruption and incompetence.

What do you mean by 'cockroaches of the sea'?

Again, Ms Hervieux-Payette's letter was outrageous. She was using a fallacious ad hominem tu quoque tactic of argumentation - asserting that the American family had no right to criticize the Canadian seal hunt, because the nation of which they were citizens was 'evil'- and she cited several examples of the 'evil USA'.

And- apart from the fallacy of using a tu quoque mode of argumentation, she is also using a 'faulty classification' in asserting that the American family are clones of the USA gov't. They could well be against every single item of her 'tu quoque' argument.
She's a lawyer - and uses fallacious tactics that would be deemed inadmissable in any first year class on critical thinking.

Posted by: ET | 2006-03-25 2:28:21 PM

Hey be quite or the red neck perverts here will kill you, delete the posts just like King Rakply tries to do.. like father like bad sons.

Posted by: Yom | 2006-03-26 1:49:12 AM


Posted by: do something | 2006-03-26 3:55:53 PM

How is she "kind of inconsistent", exactly? I don't see it.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-03-27 4:02:33 PM

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