Thursday, September 17, 2009

C'est fini, penses-tu?

Lately I've been noticing these Tory attack ads that go after Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. There are some things they say that hit the mark. It still doesn't sit well with me that this man could live pretty much my entire life in the United States, have referred to it as "my country", and then presume to parachute back here after decades, scoop the Grit leadership, and presume to run the country. Fair enough.

But the foul against him is the complaint he was ready to form a coalition with other parties (namely, the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois). It's disturbing because it assumes -- or worse, actually speaks to -- a profound ignorance on the part of average Canadians of our own system of government. Coalition governments are typical in parliamentary democracies; in other less staid and boring than our own, they're often the norm.

The crux of the matter is the suggestion that Ignatieff was ready to form a coalition with the Bloc, a party whose platform technically includes seeking the eventual separation of Quebec from Canada by peaceful, democratic means. This is especially galling given that the Bloc flowered directly from the deal with the devil the Tories made in the 1980s to get Mulroney elected twice. They wrangled these people into the Progressive Conservatives by issuing a flurry of constitutional cheques their right-wing asses couldn't cash, and when those formerly soft separatist in particular and Quebeckers in general realized it, the blowback was fearsome. Anyone over 10 in 1995 remembers what I'm talking about.

And so this morning, the sweetest tidbit of all. Facing a non-confidence vote in the Commons that would have defeated their government and forced an election (yet another), the Tories have had their bacon pulled from the fire by...? Guess who. You guessed right! The Bloc Quebecois, who have agreed to support the government in the upcoming confidence vote.

I'm counting the seconds until those "Ignatieff wanted to form a coalition with the Bloc" ads evaporate from the airwaves. How about you?

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