09.03.2012 07:55 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: the separatist Trojan Horse

As of Tuesday night, Canadian politics is going to change for the worse — for Conservatives, for Liberals, for independents. But the New Democratic Party won’t give a damn.

As of Tuesday night — and if successive polls are correct – the Parti Quebecois will win power in Quebec. And, as of Tuesday night, separatism (or the threat of it) will once again start to dominate our national agenda and paralyze our politics. The NDP, however, don’t care about that. Because, among other things, the New Democrats have quietly transformed themselves into the successor to the Bloc Quebecois in the House of Commons. The NDP are the separatists’ Trojan Horse in Ottawa.

And that is a development that should concern everyone who cares about Canada.


  1. Tiger says:

    So, interesting opening move.

    We’ll see how the Dippers respond.

  2. dave says:

    ND’s haven’t transformed themselves. RememberTaliban Jack? Remember Svend wanting us to get out of a freedom loving NATO? Remember David Lewis and his Tweedledee and Tweedledum attacks on the free enterprise system.
    Good to see the Libs join the Conservatives in pointing out that, like environmentalists and such, that ND’s are the enemy of the Canadian way.

    • smelter rat says:

      Oh for god’s sake. Are you for real? Fucking troll.

      • dave says:

        I respect your Liberal right to expletives when your progressive curtain slips a bit and your Conservative meanness shows.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      An anecdote….

      Many years ago, I remember NDP leader Ed Broadbluff getting up in the House of Commons and stating that he had been in consultation with business leaders across the land on some such business topic……

      Liberal Finance Minister Allan J. MacEachen’s rejoinder was “that it appeared that the corporate welfare bums had now become the corporate welfare chums”……

      Biggest laugh Ive ever seen anyone get in the HOC….and the effect was withering on Mr. Broadbent…..

      • The Doctor says:

        Well, it goes to the two-faced game that we see the NDP play again and again — when they’re among the True Believers, they rip the living shit out of business and free enterprise, and then they’ll turn around and make some show out of breaking bread with business leaders to show the rest of us how “reasonable” and “moderate” the NDP supposedly is.

  3. Dan says:

    Romeo Saganash openly supports sovereignty? I’d like to see proof for that. It must be easy to come by too, because he’s so “open” about it.

    The Sherbrooke declaration says Quebec is a “cornerstone”, alright. A “cornerstone of a movement aiming to form government”. So that quote’s a dud.

    And Mulcair, the guy who the pequistes assaulted with lawsuits and innuendos, has converted to the separatist cause on Septmeber 3rd 2012. Because Warren Kinsella said so, and has evidence that he’s a “crypto-separatist”.

    Remember Mulcair’s four car garage?


    • Billy boy says:

      Don’t worry Warren. By next provincial election in Quebec, the NDP will have an established provincial wing in Quebec and then progressives and independents will have a federalist option. Weren’t you happy that NDP federal success wiped out the BQ influence in Ottawa?
      Anyway this isn’t really about the NDP but the same kind of fear mongering that helped Redford hold onto Alberta at the last minute. But I don’t think it will work for Charest. He’s despised by many and there’s a great appetite for change. As one PQ supporter said this morning on CBC. He wasn’t voting PQ because he wants sovereignty but because he desperately wants change.

  4. Michael Cummings says:

    Except one thing you are forgeting, should the PQ get in and should they get the go ahead to separate and should the rest of Canada let them have all of Quebec as it is now, we eliminate 59 NDP seats, 4 Bloc and what ever Liberal and Conservative seats in the HOC. In one swoop we eliminate the Bloc and NDP (separatists), turn the NDP into an irrelivant party where it should be and hopefully get rid of Thomas Mulcaire. I say let them separate.

  5. Realist says:

    If this has been NDP policy for as long as you say, why on earth would any Liberal promote any kind of rapprochement with the NDP? I mean, either we stand for something or we don’t. As Pierre Trudeau might have said.

  6. Tiger says:

    The Trojan Horse bit reminds me of the Paul Gross tv-movie…

  7. Kelly Oh says:

    Thank you.

    I’ve been visiting this site for a few years now. Back when I was working on my degree in political science (I’d give you or your readers three guesses where, but after my email address was posted last week, probably only need one), I had met with an organizer working with Allan Rock. Given that he decided against challenging Paul Martin, absolutely nothing came of it. Later, I came across your site and you view of Paul Martin and his takeover of the liberal party. There was a certain solace I took in reading the shots you took at Team Martin.

    Beyond the joy I took at reading about their failings, I read your stuff because you are one of the few Canadians who writes on how to practice politics. I finished my political science degree and ended up in law school, but always thought about political life. In the last couple of months, your move from promoting a merger between the NDP and the Liberals to near daily attacks on the NDP, it has become glaringly apparent that I lack the constitution (amongst other necessary qualities) to work either publicly or behind the scenes in this world. I am certain that you cannot simultaneously believe that the NDP is a manifest threat to national unity and a suitable merger partner for the Liberals. But here, it is necessary for you to take both positions.

    Mark me down as hopelessly naive, publish my email address again with a sharp rebuke, ignore my comment entirely. I leave it up to you. But you have my thanks for showing me that my interest in politics is best left at the abstract level.

    And just to return to the humorless remark from before:

    What do you call a camel with no humps?


    • Warren says:

      I favoured working with them, to keep from splitting the progressive vote. Layton, then Mulcair, rejected the extended hand, then spat on it.

      Their choice, not mine. The NDP chose to remain enemies with Liberals. So that’s what they’ll get, now.

      You sound intelligent, so I don’t understand how you don’t understand that. Thanks for your comment, either way.

      • Corey says:

        I have to say Warren that this is one of the reasons why I didn’t like the NDP-Liberal merger talk. How could the party that was the champion of federalism (Trudeau, Chrétien, etc.) support a party that is a ‘trojan horse’ for separatism? The Sherbrooke Declaration is one of the main reasons why, as a Liberal, I could never have supported a formal merger with the NDP.

        On the bright side, I think that declaration will now come and bite them in the butt. Interesting scenario for 2015: a separatist government in Québec City, Mulcair & the Sherbooke Declaration crowd, Harper hated in Québec, and Justin Trudeau leading the Liberals. In a strange way that might be a good scenario for the federal Liberals.

  8. DannyBoy says:

    Good point, realist…….a bonafide Trudeau will say “separatist with the same loathing and disgust we normally associate with earwigs or cockroaches. Living in a democracy with the people of Quebec means coming to terms with Quebec nationalism……..It doesn`t mean giving in to every demand. The word democracy implies governing with the consent of the governed and so called separatists are people too………….I don`t believe there are as many separatist Dippers as Warren seems to think…..but it does suit his purpose (partisan Liberal hackery)to discredit the NDP

  9. Jeff Gaudry says:

    If Canada is so fragile we can’t stand up to defend it’s worth and the value of Quebec’s participation in it once every ten years, we have bigger problems to worry about than what provincial government they elect.

    What makes the prospect of a referendum so frightening is how poorly the federal government has been managed over the last decade and how lacking the advocates of federalism inside and outside of Quebec have been. Maybe this is what it takes for federalism to find it’s voice again in Quebec.

    If not, hiding from a referendum is merely delaying the inevitable.

  10. Big Daddy says:

    I think Quebec is going to overplay it’s hand this time. Unlike past years when the ROC would beg and plead for Quebec to stay and open up it’s wallet to bribe them, I think there will be a collective shrug when they rattle that old sword. Much like an in-law who’s been sleeping on your couch for too long, much of Canada won’t be too sorry to see them go.

    • Tiger says:

      Quebec isn’t leaving.

      Take that to the bank.

      • Philip says:

        A vote for the PQ today isn’t necessarily a vote for separation tomorrow. It’s throw the bums out time in Quebec and the PQ is still the devil they know, rather than the unknown CAQ. This whole NDP = separatist meme is pretty weak sauce.

  11. pcase says:

    Would love to see you wax on about your theory across the table for Mr. Mulcair. Not sure you be able to muster it with quite the same gumption.

    The true story is, the NDP have been able to bring many folks who supported or were comfortable with separatism in to the Federal fold.
    Something the Federal Liberals haven’t been able to do. So instead of celebrating the fact, that we are more unified then we have been for decades, Liberals are stamping their feet and screaming that this is not legit.

    Why? Because it wasn’t the Libs who made the breakthrough. And, we all know that Liberal apparatchiks believe god intended this victory for the Liberals.

    Not sure if Justin has signed off on this narrative, but is an old recycled narrative that Senor Rae and his crew were trying to spin over the last 24 months. I suspect this is what they will be hanging there hat on for the next 24 months…… snore.

    • Michael says:

      The true story is, the NDP have been able to bring many folks who supported or were comfortable with separatism in to the Federal fold.

      The NDP have done nothing of the sort. People in Quebec voting for the NDP did not suddenly come into the federalist fold. It was the NDP that, wink wink, nudge nudge, say one thing in Quebec and another in the ROC, that moved into the separatist fold.

      A party that adopts a resolution that contravenes the Clarity Act, a party whose leader supports the extension of Bill 101 into areas of federal jurisdiction, is not one that brings separatists into the federal fold.

  12. Bruce A says:

    Been there, done that.

    I think the situation in Quebec is predictably, unpredictable. As always.

    So is the reaction.

    One thing is for certain, the NDP have gotten the old, ‘traditional parties’ worried.

  13. Michael Behiels says:

    The CCF and the NDP have always had problems putting down roots in Quebec since its inception in the early 1930s in Western Canada.

    First Jack Layton and now Mulcair were able to exploit the growing angst among young and old québécois et québécoises about their increasingly bleak socio-economic futures and the future of the Francophone majority society of Quebec, which is a minority within Canada.

    Both leaders did this by playing up their social democratic credentials, which is to be expected, since they wanted to poach social democratic voters away from the Bloc Québécois.

    But more alarmingly, since many of these Québécois voters were also strong nationalistes Layton and Mulcair also portrayed the NDP, via the Sherbrooke Declaration, as a haven for Quebec Francophones who rightly or wrongly fear for the survival of their cultural community.

    The NDP, which has always supported the deux nations/two nations thesis of Canada since the 1960s, decided to become more explicit about what this deux nations thesis would mean in reality for Quebec Francophones. They set out to put some real meat on the bones of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ill-considered les Québécois et Québecoises nation legislation.

    The NDP are now strong proponents of implementing all of the provisions of the Meech Lake Constitutional Accord, provisions that would grant special constitutional status to the nationalist state of Quebec so that it can continue to fashion a comprehensive separate state within the Canadian state.

    This is in fact the Belgian binational two state model. And what has this model done to Belgium? No national government for the past couple of years and more deadlock ahead.

    What should scare Canadians more that the NDP’s French Kiss with Quebec is the fact the Prime Minister Harper has also mused about the Belgian model as the solution to Canada’s ongoing crisis over Quebec secessionism. In short, give Quebec independence within a fractured Canada: a Quebec/Canada constitutional arrangement to vie with the disastrous binational Flemish/Walloon Belgian constitutional arrangement.

    What Harper might do in order to get his Reform constituency to swallow this disastrous Belgian model is to offer the other provinces like Alberta, BC, NFLD, and Saskatchewan the same powers as he will offer the Quebec state!

    Tighten your seat belts! If Marois’s PQ wins a majority government this evening we are all in for a great deal of turbulence, political and economic.

    PM Harper will be the first Conservative Prime Minister to face the prospect of a third referendum on the secession of Quebec. How he handles the crisis will determine his legacy in Canadian History.

    Will Harper become Canada’s last Prime Minister and the first Prime Minister of the Rest of Canada? Will this new Rest of Canada state survive its excessive decentralization?

    • Vonn says:

      You know what Micheal I think your dead on with this prediction. But I have something even bolder to suggest, I think that after this provincial election, Quebec is going to become the current Con’s Waterloo and the slow knife that will do in that party. If anything, the weird deafening silence we’ve had from Harper, on the flailing Quebec Liberal Party and its work on trying to clean up the corruption there, the student riots and their negligible presence and incompetence in building any relations with the entrepreneurial/private businesses classes within Quebec to build a Con coalition there would seem odd to any of our previous PM’s we’ve had in this country.

      Warren, I know you tend not to always agree with Paul Wells on many things, but you’ve got to admit this odd behavior meshes well with Paul’s proclamation that Harper is currently running the country via erosion (along with his party’s continuing inability to to seemingly not be able to close off trade agreements at amateur hour with stunts like this happening : http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/07/12/ceta-matthew-kronby-ex-negotiator/#more-273964 )

      But getting back to you Micheal, I think there’s another rub you’re missing on all of this. I know you mentioned that that the whole Belgium idea would infuriate Harper’s base alone being that it would not set out a clear set of terms of lump it or leave it for the secession of the country (Not to mention that it’s an idea that would come from them fancy dancy’ Euros, instead of the Con’s darling USA and its conservative think tanks). Also think about how the eastern diaspora and young population boom is slowly changing the nature of the western provinces. The wealth being built up and the population dynamic is going to tilt the provinces into a more progressive / Red Tory direction, and that may mean that Canadian’s out west might want something of a more, hmm, what you call, a national identity again? Rather than the Conservative’s and their dividing standards of selfishness, provincialism and pseudo historic-ism of restoring old Blighty’ everywhere in our country as a sop for so called blue nationalism.

      :sarcastro mode on: I mean if another disastrous referendum were to happen again, Many Canadians might want to turn to a party that would, I dunno reunite the country again, what long term historical party could we possibly turn to that could do that? What party might we turn to fight the separatist beast once again ? :sarcastro mode off:

      • Michael Behiels says:

        It is really hard to predict what might happen between Harper and a majority PQ government headed toward a third referendum.

        See my short comment below.

        I agree the the demographic changes throughout Canada, including a population decline in Quebec, is altering, and will continue to alter the political dynamic. I do not agree that Progressive conservatism, Red Toryism, is on a comeback.

        The Canadian population is now two divided between right and left thanks to the slow erosion of the middle class that was the backbone of centrist politics, conservative and liberal, since World War II.

  14. Steven says:

    Please explain again why Layton got a Canadian State funeral.

    Along with his buddy Haprer, Layton spent more time and resources slagging the only true federalist party ( i.e. not “firewalls around ALberta” Harper and his Neocons) in Quebec and in the rest of Canada than he did the supposedly ideologically polar opposite Cons.

    It still rankles me that Layton and the NDP got a pass from the media on separation and Sherbrooke in the last two elections.

    P.S. without Quebec, it will be a perpetual COn majority unless the Liberals are able to find resonance again with the Canadian people.

  15. Ottawacon says:

    I don’t think it is really accurate to say that the NDP have transformed themselves into the successor to the Bloc Quebecois. What they have really transformed themselves into, in terms of Quebec politics, are the successors to Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives right up to the day that Bouchard walked out. A coalition of regional interests that contains one enormous unspoken division that renders them completely mute and ineffective on a particular issue, effective and in the ascendance as long as that issue does not come to prominence. I expect the NDP will be no more successful than the PCs were at holding that coalition together in the face of events.

  16. Raymond says:

    Fed ND’s supporting the ‘separatist’ PQ & their pro-union/pro-labour stance.

    Wow. Just wow.

  17. Marc L says:

    If the PQ is elected with a majority government tonight, it will be a disaster for this province, and a disaster for Canada. This is NOT René Lévesque`s PQ. This is not even Lucien Bouchard’s PQ. Marois is not running the show — the radicals in the party are, led by former Radio-Canada journalists Jean-François Lisée and Bernard Drainville. These are people who are going to govern for white old-stock francophone non-practising catholic quebecers and no one else. That is who the “nous” they cherish so fondly refers to. Their social policies border on outright xenophobia and their economic policies are horrendous. They will litteraly drive business people out of this province. If Mulcair caters to this, it will really say something about the depths to which he is willing to go to gather support in Quebec.

  18. Kelly says:

    Quebec wants to do its own thing because it sees the disastrous effects of right wing policies in the rest of the country — youth crime, child poverty, poisoned water, belligerence abroad and a ruining of our reputation. The NDP is the only federal party that supports social democracy and the positive outcomes it produces (see Scandinavia and Germany.)

    Why is anyone surprised Quebec went NDP? An NDP government in Ottawa would finally deliver the policies Quebeccers have only been able to count on their provincial governments to deliver. They’d balance the budget as they have in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, get serious about diversifying the economy, get us out of American wars, and break the back of child poverty and rising infant mortality once and for all. In other words they would make Canada a real country again — one worth caring about. One where citizenship means something and the accident of where one was born in Canada has no bearing on your quality of life. Trudeau worked for a Canada like that. Most Canadians want a Canada that matters. Many PQ voters don’t thing Canada is worth anything. Quebec doesn’t need to change, the government of Canada does.

    • Marc L says:

      Quebec doesn’t need to change??? You have to be kidding!!!! The highest taxes in the country, unsustainable and rising public debt levels, an economy that is unproductive and uncompetitive (wealth creation — you can’t redistribute what doesn’t get created in the first place), a chronic inability to attract foreign investment, crumbling infrastructure, a distressed health care system (average wait times in emergency rooms are 17 hours!), rolls and rolls of bureaucratic red tape and a culture of corruption at all levels of public administration. What on earth are you talking about? This may be a great place to live beacause of the culture and the people but my god, if we keep on going down this road, we are going to hit the wall. As for hard-line PQ voters, no they don’t think Canada is worth anything but they also think you are the devil incarnate because you’re an evil anglo.

      • Skeeter says:

        Sounds like you wouldn’t miss Quebec if it separated, non?

      • Kelly says:

        You obviously don’t know anything about economics. Taxes in Norway, Sweden and Denmark are far higher than even Quebec. they balance their budgets, just fine. They have lower unemployment, better productivity and support entrepreneurs. Their governments provide services that are worth paying for. Quebec has one of the most diverse economies in Canada, it’s deficit is lower than Ontario’s (Heck, Alberta’s is almost as bad now). The problem is you get right wing governments like the Charet Liberals who cut taxes and increase spending. Guess what happens? That same thing that happened to Canada under Harper, the US under Bush and Reagan, etc. Either you have an economy where you get good services or you don’t — but the only way you get them is to pay for them. The fairest way to pay for them is through a progressive tax system.

        • Marc L says:

          “You obviously don’t know anything about economics”. Yeah right. I’m a professional economist — it`s my job — and I have a Ph.D. How about you?
          There is much more to the Nordic countries than taxes, and they are very very far from Quebec believe me.

    • Ottawacon says:

      Good grief, that is some impressive hyperventilation. Like much NDP thinking, not particularly related to the real world. Just to take one example, infant mortality in Canada is not rising. It was 6.4 per 1000 in 1990, 5.5 in 2005, and in 2009 it was 4.9 – which does not make much of a case for suggesting that ‘right wing policies’ are responsible. In fact, the only 5 year period year to show such a dramatic decline in the rate is ironically 1992-1996 as Chretien was taking an axe to spending. You can lament that it is not falling as fast as some other countries, you can rightfully blast the simple fact that the rate among First Nations is stunningly high in comparison…but it isn’t rising. it is falling.

      You want to talk about youth crime rates now?

      • Kelly says:

        Your baby has a better chance of surviving in Cuba and Andorra than it does in Canada. Really. We rank 40th in the world now, according to the CIA Fact Book and 24th according to the UN. Pathetic. More people die under right wing governments.

        As for youth crime, Quebec’s youth crime is far, far lower of the rest of Canada. That is why they are ignoring Harper’s 1950s know-nothing approach.

        Right wing governments cut taxes so more money is spent on private consumption of stuff like porn, Adam Sandler movies, jumbo TV’s and Slap Chops. Countries with sense spend more on things like education, infrastructure, water treatment … you know, stuff that actually improves the place. But if you agree with Flaherty that it’s more important to cut taxes so rich seniors can afford to buy a new RV (as he suggested) then feel free to cheer on our great nation. I prefer to help fire the phonies, myself.

        • ottawacon says:

          Cuba, 4.83 per 1000. Canada, 4.85 per 1000. Kudos to Cuba for making it a priority, the mortality after the age of 1 is higher. Of course, Monaco is #1, maybe we need to implement their tax policy for the wealthy? Singapore is #4, maybe their social policies are the model we should look to? The simple fact of the matter that your irrelevant points ignore is that infant mortality is trending downward and has been for a long time, regardless of government. As a result, it has never been lower than it is in ‘Stephen Harper’s Canada’, do with that what you will.

          Youth crime, as with all crime, has also been trending downward, despite what rightwing scaremongers (and now apparently leftwing) would like us all to believe.

          I thought we were all going to spend those tax cuts on beer and popcorn…

          • MoeL says:

            If Cuba’s mortality rate for ages less than one (4.83 per 1000) is less than ours, wouldn’t it naturally be higher for ages greater than one. I’m making the assumption that their/our total mortality rate is 1000 per 1000? Just wondering!

          • ottawacon says:

            A society with an annual mortality rate of 1000 per 1000 doesn’t last very long. Don’t hurt yourself.

            Cuba does deserve praise for demonstrating what a relatively poor country can achieve by focusing on infant mortality rate. They have basically the same rate for under one year olds as Canada. Their health care results don’t quite keep pace thereafter, though overall I think they are impressive.

          • MoeL says:

            “the mortality after the age of 1 is higher”… no mention of the annual rate in your statement. I apologize for making the incorrect assumption that 2, 3, 4, 5…. 110 were all after 1!

  19. Marc L says:

    Quebec doesn’t need to change??? You have to be kidding!!!! The highest taxes in the country, unsustainable and rising public debt levels, an economy that is unproductive and uncompetitive (wealth creation — you can’t redistribute what doesn’t get created in the first place), a chronic inability to attract foreign investment, crumbling infrastructure, a distressed health care system (average wait times in emergency rooms are 17 hours!), rolls and rolls of bureaucratic red tape and a culture of corruption at all levels of public administration. What on earth are you talking about? This may be a great place to live beacause of the culture and the people but my god, if we keep on going down this road, we are going to hit the wall. As for hard-line PQ voters, no they don’t think Canada is worth anything but they also think you are the devil incarnate because you’re an evil anglo.

  20. !o! says:

    I understand that there is some partisan undertones here, which I respect and appreciate, but I don’t quite agree with the logic.

    The resurgence of sovereigntist rhetoric is a direct outcome of CPC policy, which is abhorred in Quebec much more so than the rest of the country, statistically speaking. Anything but a CPC majority and the sovereigntist drums would not be a-beating so loudly. An NDP government is good for federalism– the ‘divisive politics’ angle and argument against the NDP, very very transparently, does not work in the context of Quebec.

    • !o! says:

      That said if the argument turns some CPC-leaning Sun readers to vote liberal, who can say it’s a bad argument? I don’t buy it, others might?

  21. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    At least I wasn’t stupid enough to actually believe that the PQ was finished in Quebec politics. It seems some others, particularly in English Canada, were not as prescient.

    All I can say to those bright lights is tell me another one.

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