11 April 2007

QC or NL? Another one

In all important aspects of national politics, guile, compromise and a subtle kind of blackmail decided their course and determined their alliances. They appeared to discount all political or social ideologies, save nationalism. For the mass of the people the words Tory and Grit, Conservative and Liberal, referred neither to political ideologies nor to administrative techniques. They were regarded only as meaningless labels, affixed to alternatives whicb permitted the auctioneering of one's support; they had no more meaning than bleu or rouge, which eventually replaced them in popular speech. [They] on the whole never voted for political or economic ideologies, but only for the man or group which stood for their ethnic rights...

In such a mental climate, sound democratic politics could hardly be expected to prevail, even in strictly provincial or local affairs where racial issues were not involved....
Pierre Eliot Trudeau, "Some obstacles to democracy in Quebec",
Federalism and the French Canadians, Toronto: Macmillan, 1968, p. 107.

Consider that description of Quebec politics not so very long ago in comparison to this and this.

The entire premise of the famous letters to the federal leaders through two successive federal elections was to determine which of the federal parties was prepared to promise the best deal for this province in exchange for local votes.

Leave aside for a moment that Danny Williams characterization of Stephen Harper's letter in 2006 was not consistent with the letter itself. Just consider that the entire premise of letter - just as with the Premier's comment's on the FPI income trust - was based on the "auctioneering of one's support."

In such a climate, sound democratic politics can hardly be expected to prevail.