08.03.2011 01:17 PM

The Newly Separatist Party

Turmel’s separatist leanings have been columnized ad nauseum. My question is different: who found it? Was it the media, an enemy in the NDP, or the Reformatory research bureau? Whoever did it, my sincere congratulations. This was quite the take-out. The NDP has been damaged, big time.


  1. WDM says:

    My question is this: If you’re in the NDP rapid response room, and you have it under your hat that there are more MPs with former memberships/associations with the BQ, what do you do? Is releasing the names and trying to spin it as having brought them back from the dark side the best way forward, or do you keep quiet and pray the names don’t slowly leak out and have you scrambling for the next several weeks heading into the fall session?

    • Sean says:

      I think the really core NDP guys honestly believe that it doesn’t matter and assume that Canadians will turn the other way.

      • Cath says:

        all the fizz is out of the Orange Crush. Ripple effect in Ontario perhaps?

        • David Bronaugh says:

          It’s all irrelevant. All of this will be well and truly forgotten by the time the next election rolls around. Canadian voters have proved time and again that they have the attention span of a fruit fly.

  2. Bubba says:

    To quote Jimmy Pursey of those Philosopher Kings Sham 69 – “Who’s Got A Dirty Face Then?”
    It’s a Sunday Morning Nightmare, Jack

  3. Attack! says:

    It’s probably the (scorned by the electorate and so vindictive) BQ, no?

    They were the ones out there johnny-on-the-spot disclosing the date of her resignation latter and it’s “just for personal reasons” content, as well as her net total donations to them… which sure seems like a betrayal of confidence.

    If so, then why anyone would want to join — or even donate — to a political party now, after that, is the big q…. and they’d deserve censure, not kudos, as far as the bigger picture / longevity of their own party, included

  4. Craig D says:

    Enemy in NDP or CPC dirt diggers are both quite plausible but I was thinking this might have just been a case of old fashioned follow a hunch journalism. After all it would be very unusual for a union executive from Quebec not to have separatist leanings and background. Certainly worth checking out for an enterprising reporter. If that is what this was, it suggests the CPC dirt digging team is not as sharp as they might think they are.

    • Jan says:

      We;re talking about he G&M here. What are the chances they found it?

      • Attack! says:

        And how do you “find” someone’s dates of, and get a photocopy of a hard-copy resignation letter to a political party, and divine the fact that she,

        “made four donations totalling $235 to the party between 2006 and 2011, according to party records. The donations, which ranged from $35 to $100, were not made public because they are under the $200 threshold for disclosure by political parties”

        … without the complicity of someone in that party? (Barring a Watergate style break-in, that is).

        Which makes M. LeBlanc far more of the Jane Taber- than of the Wooodward/Bernstein- school of journo.


  5. Iris Mclean says:

    Wasn’t Denis Lebel a BQ member at one time?

  6. Adrian ZB says:

    Warren, do you really think this has caused big damage for the NDP?

    We need a poll to come out and verify that. As a Liberal, obviously we need to pass the NDP first before even remotely considering governing this country again, so if we can close the gap with the New Democrats I’m good.

  7. Sean says:

    This is exactly the kind of thing that will sink them in the next election. It may even sink them as O.O.. The old school N.D.P., IE: “the state isn’t real, its a social construct” folks will tell you that it doesn’t matter. The newer folks who actually think it may be plausible to form a government one day, ought to be shitting their pants.

  8. Greg says:

    It doesn’t matter. After the stock market crash, no one will care. But have fun y’all.

    • Good point, based on today’s news from Europe and the dismal US debt ceiling deal.

      But let’s assume that Mme. Turmel’s past has some bearing on NDP support, where are the disaffected voters to go?

      Will her past be enough of a catalyst for voters to start returning to the LPC after they left it in droves in May?

  9. W.B. says:

    I thought the idea was to win separatists over to Canada. Some message we’re sending with this pile-on.

  10. Dave M says:

    You’re way off on this. It may hurt the NDP in the rest of Canada where Harper so successfully does his “oooh, evil separatist (not the Alberta kind)! Scary!” schtick, and the media laps it up.. but that’s not where most of the NDP seats are to begin with. Half of Quebeckers are sovereignists. The other half either accepts that, or leaves Québec. Even the people who aren’t sovereignists sometimes vote for the Bloc/PQ/whatever. Why? Because (other than separation) they agree with their policies more than the other parties. Do you agree with every single thing in every Liberal platform?

    As an anglo Quebecker with no strong feelings about separation one way or the other (an independent Québec would probably have a hell of a lot more in common with the Canadian values I grew up with than the current version of Canada does.. other than the racism, I mean), every time someone pulls the “oh noes! Separatists!!” BS, I consider giving the Bloc a donation.

    If Turmel is hurt by this, it’s not because she was a member of a separatist party. It’s because if Harper accuses you of being an evil separatist the response of “No I’m not!!” just gets you headlines saying “Turmel denied being separatist.” The proper response is “Yeah, I was. Because you’re trying to tear the country apart at the seams, asshole.”

  11. Liz J says:

    I think this is the best thing to happen for the LPC for a very long time. Who outed this? Who knows? It may have been enemies within the NDP. There have to be some hurt egos in the ranks at a newbie with zero political experience taking over as their “Boss”.

    Can anyone tell us that Mulcair, Jack’s main operative in Quebec wasn’t aware of Turmel’s political history or couldn’t find out about it?

    Jack has more than a health fight on his hands if his party is to even survive after gaining support from former Bloc supporters. He owes, he owes more than his party can pay and survive in the ROC.

    I predict an implosion within the NDP very soon.

  12. Tiger says:

    I tend to think it won’t matter that much — people still listen to Margaret Atwood, even though she enthusiastically endorsed the Bloc in 2008…

    Hard to see them forming government in 2015, yes, but I thought that was a very long shot anyway…

  13. Tim says:

    Who leaked the letter… obviously hardline remnants of the Bloc. That is, real separatists.

    And the Tory/Liberal coalition is playing right into their hands.

    Enjoy Premier Hudak, fools.

  14. Northbaytrapper says:

    How did the NDP not know this? If they did, what the he’ll were they thinking?

  15. Buck says:

    I don’t see why anyone cares. Left leaning Quebecers, federalist or not, had to vote Bloc before the last election if the wanted any hope of representation. Being a separatist isn’t a black and white thing for a lot in Quebec. Most are willing to vote to keep the country together if they think it can work and part of that is seeing some representation of the social democratic values that many have.

  16. Tim says:

    The last federalist prime minister was Jean Chretien. I don’t think Paul Martin was although I’m sure he’d argue that point despite his despicable stunt at the 1990 leadership convention, and then there’s Mr. S. “Firewall” Harper. Damaged big time? Not so much I’m thinking. “The Land is Strong” said Pierre Trudeau in one of his less notable campaigns, but I believe he was right because he almost always was.

    Daniel LeBlanc is getting credited with breaking the news if that’s what you want to call it. It was certainly public knowledge a long time before that.

  17. Cath says:

    seems like a perfect opportunity for a fledgling new Liberal party to scoop up those dis-associated NDPers and leave the new NDP Bloc party to it’s own end.

    • Ford says:

      Problem is the Liberal party is still messed up with the jokers who lost the last election. They need to realize that the “grassroots” (makes us sound like worms eh) need to be re-energized and not just in hatred of the alternatives.

  18. Ford says:

    Thing is she comes off as a political idiot.
    She joined the Bloc as a favour for a friend? I take my membership seriously.
    She ‘accidently” belonged to two parties at the same time? Come on application it says you can’t do that?
    Changing stripes? Oh yea. No other way about it Bloc is a Quebec only party. NDP are supposed to be a National party… problem is they seem to be buying up all the stuff that Gilles Duceppe has on his front lawn.

  19. Anne Peterson says:

    Oh, come on everybody. Is it worse to have been a separatist than to be someonew whose religious belief is that the rapture is imminent so it is useless to do anything about all the flooding and fires around the world because that is pre-ordained and besides the world is only 6000 years old so scientists are deluded people to be ignored. Which set of beliefs do you think is more damaging to this country and which set of beliefs seems never touched on by the media. It isn’t polite or right to trash people’s religious beliefs but it is certainly extremely important o know what they are and how they affect public decisions. Give me an ex-separatist any day. I know their beliefs are not going to damage the whole globe.

  20. Unfortunately, I have to agree that Nycole Turmel’s recent ties with the BQ have damaged her credibility. She has been defined as a quasi-separatist by opponents of the NDP before she had a chance to define herself as a social democrat. Mme. Turmel has been Stephane Dioned and Michael Ignatieffed.

  21. Tiger says:

    She _was_ a longtime NDP activist — she even chaired the convention that elected Layton leader in 2003.

    It’s just that she apparently gave up on their chances at success and took out a Bloc membership as well — that’s all. Which is problematic for her, yes. :p

    Maybe this helps revive the Grits in Ontario? It’s possible. Tho’ I tend to think Team Blue has Ontario locked down for the 2015 election.

  22. Bob says:

    One makes it sound like that the only thing better than being a federalist leader who was once a member of one or two separatist parties is being a “former” pedophile and interim leader of a relatively popular political party.

  23. ben burd says:

    Bollocks this will not hurt the NDP as all MPs change their mind from time to time – look at the Liberal Saviour Bobby Rae, what it means is that in the minds of the punditry changing one’s party is obviously not tolerated – let’s stamp all babies with a party logo fresh from the womb and we’ll be OK?

    It’s a slow news day when this is the headline but still it gives the fanatics something to bray about. Ask the average Quebecer what they think, you will be surprised at the indifference after all 40% of them did the same thing. As to ROC what do they know about Quebec politics?

  24. frmr disgruntled Con, now Happy Lib says:

    For once I am in full agreement with you, Mr. Tulk….Where was Jack or his staff’s due diligence?……I am sure that if he or his staff had known her full history, they wouldnt have touched Ms. Turmel with a ten foot barge pole…..

  25. Wes says:

    According to Brian Topp, it was the Bloc who leaked it. I have to say, Turmel is pretty good news for the federal Liberals. It won’t help them in Quebec, but it might help them in the other provinces.

  26. Mulletaur says:


  27. DJ says:

    If Layton comes back as planned, the whole issue with Turmel will be forgotten. The issue could actually play well for the NDP in Quebec. There are many Quebecers who have flirted with sovereignty. Let’s bring them in the fold and get them to support a united Canada.

  28. Phil in London says:

    During the campaign I kept questionning what the DIPs had beyond Jack and 10 other MPs. Quebeckers were not alone in not caring. We just didn’t elect as many suspect candidates as in Quebec. It sure adds to a list of weaknesses built on a coalition of people who promoted a nobody else has done a damn thing for you line of attack. Sort of a vote against everyone just like when Bob Rae and Co won in Ontario. She will have a tough time for sure but it’s not as big a deal if Jack pulls through quickly.
    The bigger story for me is her union ties. This is the socilist wing of the party in charge and there is nothing progressive about this. It should be what makes the Liberals a much better second choice for swing voters.

  29. Simolainen says:

    English Canada’s political elites in full shrieking mode. An imagined gotcha moment sorta like their glee over Jack at the Rub n Tug.

    Further evidence of the coming merger of the Liberals and the Conservatives. For all the talk 10 years ago about “uniting the right” and these days about “uniting progressives,” the fact is that wherever Endippers are a constant threat to form governments, the Libs and Tories get together pronto, their supposed enmity buried. Liberatories I think Dr. Dawg calls them. Think Saskatchewan Party, clearly a Liberal-Conservative alliance that came together to fight the red horde. Think first the Socreds and now the Liberals in BC. Think today’s Conservative Party in Manitoba. Nothing like the prospect of social democrats nibbling their organic rutabaga shoots in the premier’s office to get the righties huddling.

  30. Gord. Turmel’s past BLOC membership is a 100% non-issue. It just does not matter. Why? On May 2nd something remarkable happened, and I am not referring to your Conservative victory. A majority of Quebec voters cast their ballots for a federalist party. Lots and lots of smart Quebecois have voted BLOC in the past. On May 2 they changed their minds. Turmel is part of this sea change. Get over it. The government of Canada supports business ties with Russia. Many of the Russian decision makers used to be Communist. The government of Canada supports business ties with the Peoples Republic of China. They ARE Communists. A bit of perspective please….

  31. Buck says:

    MIght I add that the next election is just under four years away…As if anyone is goin to be remembering this then.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      I think you’d be right. Canadians will remember this about as well as they remember that 67 Con MPs used taxpayer money fraudulently to aid in their election campaigns.

      Canada is becoming one dumbed-down country.

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