04.08.2012 01:06 AM

In today’s Sun: the Glib is Frail

It’s always dangerous to regard “the national newspaper” as having any insight whatsoever into the nation. But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, they do.

The grey old Globe and Mail has recently pronounced that, generally, West beats the East. And, specifically, Quebec is Loserville.

Exhibit One: Here’s Prof. Jeffrey Simpson, under the headline “Canada’s political reversal is complete,” declaring that Calgary is now the political centre of Canada, and Montreal is within the Ninth Circle of Hell.

“Since the late 1980s, Canadian politics has been shaped, more than anything else, by the dialectics between Montreal and Calgary (which is the West’s) political centre,” declared Simpson, possibly wearing a Stetson as he did so. “After being in opposition for so long, Calgary is now in power — and after having been in power for so long, Montreal is now in opposition.”

Exhibit Two: Margaret Wente, another charter member of the Globe punditocracy, has decided that the West is Boffo, and Quebec is stink-o. Writing about the pugilistic Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, Wente — who has lived for decades in the shadow of the CN Tower, and wouldn’t know what a Richardson ground squirrel was if it alighted on her plate at a Bay Street bistro — proclaimed thusly: “(Justin Trudeau is) from Quebec, which is a fatal liability. The economic and political power of the country have all gone West.”

Exhibit Three: Gordon Pitts, an actual Westerner, wrote a lengthy exegesis in the Globe, declaring that there has been a “a critical exodus” from Quebec, and that “corporate Canada’s heart now beats in the West.”

Got all that? Calgary good, Montreal bad. West the summit of all wisdom and power, East wants in, etc.

Now, it’s boring when columnists write about other columnists. And it’s particularly boring when columnists pick on the Glib and Frail. That’s something Maclean’s head whiner, Paul Wells, does all the time, and it’s hard to get more tedious than him.

38 Comments

  1. Bill says:

    Ontario is the critical mass on this topic. 106 seats is very powerful. I think a large number of Ontarian’s have grown tired of some of the manipulation that Quebec has performed in the past, and therefore are experimenting with allowing the power to reside in the West.

  2. William says:

    As a Montrealer, I can accept the points the authors in the G&M have made, certainly from a political power perspective. With the addition of new seats in 2015, I don’t see Quebec’s political power increasing.

    That’s why it’s important that the progressives unite or make strategic pacts in an election to beat the CPC.

  3. Skinny Dipper says:

    While Eastern Canada still has a greater population than Western Canada, BC and Alberta now has a combined population greater than Quebec. What really matters is that the West has more power than before; Quebec has less political power within Harper’s Canada. Quebec is becoming an anomaly.

    I think that the Harper government and Parliament’s decision to recognize the Quebecois as a nation is significant. The message I get is that we’ll recognize the Quebecois as a nation, but we’ll also ignore them.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      Jeff, Do you read that crap? I stopped reading such racist tomes when..actually, I never started reading racist crap like that. I guess I was raised by decent folks who didn’t abide racism, whether veiled or blatant.

  4. Dan says:

    People are right: Ontario is the wild card.

    No single province or region is paramount. You can’t succeed unless you create some kind of coalition. And that coalition usually involves Ontario.

    Right now, the scary fact is this: there’s enough people in Ontario who relate to the Western-style politics of Stephen Harper. That’s the decisive fact that makes Quebec “loserville”.

    What issues and principles hold together Harper’s majority? Namely, the idea that the government doles out patronage and privilege to the provinces, and Quebec is supposedly the biggest moocher and whiner in the country. Combine an unhealthy anti-Francophone attitude with the conventional wisdom that Ontario could de-regulate their way to Albertan prosperity… and you have your Harper coalition.

    But in reality, there’s a little problem called the “dutch disease”. We earn a quick cash grab from selling off our resources to foreign investors. But before we’ve handed everything on the ground to the U.S. and China, the Canadian dollar has skyrocketed, our value-added exports have become uncompetitive, and the manufacturing companies close down.

    We don’t talk about it, because most peoples’ eyes glaze over when they have to talk about ACTUAL economics. Much easier to masquerade slogans as economics. (Like “tax relief”, as if we need to be relieved of social security, health care, and education.) But the defining issue in this country is becoming how we manage our resource wealth. And resource management necessarily plays poorly in Alberta and Saskatchewan (and to some extent Newfoundland). But it plays pretty well in Quebec.

    It would be nice if the federation just understood that we need to be able to still build things when the oil festival is over. It wouldn’t be impossible for a pan-Canadian coalition of voters to agree that we should develop the oil sands responsibly, so that we don’t find ourselves in a short-sighted trap like Holland once did.

    But in earnest, it only matters that Ontario figures it out, before it’s too late.

  5. Jim Wright says:

    What you fail to realize, Warren, is that “Western” Canada now starts at the Ottawa River, and “Eastern Canada” is Quebec and the Maritimes both of whom are “have-not” provinces. Western Canada can easily form a majority government without them whatsoever. That’s the new political reality in Canada that you just don’t seem to comprehend hiding somewhere in your “Ford” Toronto.

  6. Jeff says:

    http://www.takethatproductionsusa.com/podcasting/bbr/BBR130.mp3

    No I don’t read that crap. Pointing out to Mr. Kinsella that Wendy Sullivan is still around and likely in Toronto.

  7. Jeff says:

    https://twitter.com/#!/SalaciousSully Sullivan’s new twitter account.

  8. Mulletaur says:

    Conservatives know they can never win in Quebec, so they want to make everybody believe that it is no longer important on the path to power. A truly Canadian political party would try to unite the country from coast to coast to coast. Harper isn’t even trying any more. He has his majority without Quebec buying in – why should he care ? The fact that this attitude will encourage the return of separatist parties in Quebec doesn’t matter to him – it might even help him.

    • The Doctor says:

      “A truly Canadian political party would try to unite the country from coast to coast to coast. Harper isn’t even trying any more.”

      Gee, he sounds an awful lot like Pierre Trudeau. 🙂

  9. james Smith says:

    Our house Parkdale had a Manitoba Maple I planted. Last summer we drove by the old house & the Maple still stands. Most maple trees do get killed by winter kill in Calgary, but the hardy little Manitoba Maple does rather well, so some Calgarians do have maple leaves on their lawn not just on our flag.

  10. JH says:

    Jeez I hope you guys aren’t serious about wanting Gord to leave? He’s one of the most entertaining posters on this site. Besides without him you’d all be just sitting around navel gazing and agreeing with each other, no outsiders allowed. That kind of thinking helped put the LPC where it is now.
    Rock on Mr. Tulk!

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      Totally agree. It seems if you disagree with most of the posters here, they deem you as evil. If you had nobody to play off of wouldn`t you be bored to death?

  11. Justin says:

    I’ve always been partial to vancouvers climate, there’s something about Alberta’s seven month winters that doesn’t seem normal.

  12. Acer says:

    “A strong Canada requires a strong Ontario, and our government will keep our economic heartland moving forward”. – Harper – Jan 24,2006
    Were we to assume that this statement meant anything more than to thank you for the added seats and so long its been nice?

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