Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ouellet Chips Off the Old Bloc Québécois

Martine Ouellet should have learned well from former leaders Lucien Bouchard, Gilles Duceppe, the late Jean Lapierre, the 25 year ten term Dean of the House Louis Plamondon, or even recently departed Rhéal Fortin, who is one of the seven Bloc Québécois members splitting from the current party of three to form Groupe Parlementaire Québécois to solely advancing the cause being to defend the provincial interests of Québec in Ottawa. Both Duceppe and Bouchard understood the heart of the Québécois was never to leave Canada, but to make Ottawa understand Québec was a founding partner of a balanced Confederation that needed to be restored again, foundationally key for a rainbow coalition movement that merged Conservatives and Liberals in June of 1991 over the failed Beau Risque based Meech Lake constitutional accord of former Tory Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, which would have recognized Québec as a distinct society. Ouellet seems to be more from the side of thinking of the radical Jacques Parizeau over a pragmatic René Lévesque, apparently one top of these sins Ouellet is also intransigent, authoritarian, and has a poor leadership style, that and she refuses to run political business in Ottawa from Ottawa rather than currently in Québec City and Montréal without the help of the grassroots, which usually ends out bad for any populist or regionalist party representing its people!

If this all sounds familiar, it should as Ouellet chips off the old Bloc Québécois while the new Parti Québécois does the same under Jean-François Lisée, all of this was covered by us mere few months ago with a similar light suggestion that Québec will continue to move towards a more palatable alternative like the Liberals federally and Coalition Avenir Québec provincially if both indépendantistes and séparatistes refuse to lower the bar to being autonomistes and souverainistes within Confederation.

This weakened Bloc is not that strong party that was formed as a conterrevolutionary to the corruption of the Mulroney Tories in May of 1990 when it split from the federal Progressive Conservatives, that became Her Majesty’s Official Loyal Opposition in 1993, which held the majority of seats in the province from 1993 to 2008 for six elections, and the balance of power in minority parliaments between 2004 and 2011 for seven elections, focussed on their first responsibility in promoting Québec, showing the harmful effects of federalism on the lives of Québécois, and fighting without compromise against corruption in Ottawa as it showed in 2004 with the Martin Liberal Adscamsponsorshipgate. No, after an Orange Crush in 2011 where it lost official party status and a Red Scare in 2015 where Québécois voted en masse for the familial enemy of their state, a Bloc led by an Ouellet so afraid of the risk in running and possible losing a byelection in Lac-Saint-Jean being the old riding of Bloc cofounder Lucien Bouchard, this Bloc so fearful of another backlash from its own Québécois, when they look to who the Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance treated Joe Clark and Stockwell Day after leadership challenges, they see how they have treated their last six ad hoc leaders with even more contempt and less respect. Just as the Bloc fractions its factions in half, so goes the Parti Québécois which only now loses its raison dêtre on the eve of its provincial general election, the grander question as Québécois allow its electorate to vote centre left federally and centre right provincially by way of current trend, do either of these political options have the best interests of its constituents at the vital beat of its active heart, or shall we see another plus ça change plus c'est la même chose moment that bring us back sooner than later to Meech Lake?