Skip to comments.Price Of Corruption A Separate Quebec? (Ontario Could Reassess Western Canada Phobia Alert)
Posted on 11/11/2005 10:39:54 PM PST by goldstategop
I wrote last week that it would take Canada's Liberal Party about two months to live down the disclosure by the Gomery inquiry that its Montreal members had siphoned many millions of dollars in government money into the party's coffers and into their own pockets. I was wrong. It took less than a week.
Three days after the Gomery Report documented the party's lavish looting of the funds in the government's "sponsorship program," a poll showed that the party's national support had slipped from 38 percent to 31 percent, only a single percentage point over the Conservatives, who had risen to 30 percent. A poll made six days later showed the Liberals back at 35 percent and the Tories down to 28 percent.
In other words, the mere fact that the party is corrupt in Quebec will still not be enough to defeat it in vote-rich Ontario. That's because the only other feasible option is the Conservatives whom Ontarians regard as "dangerous," and with good reason. The Conservatives are threatening changes that would imperil the traditional Ontario-Quebec domination of the national government and in various ways fulfill the rising ambitions of the increasingly prosperous West.
Hence, the three opposition parties the Conservatives, Quebec's separatist Bloc Quebecois and the socialist New Democrats spent last week trying to decide whether to force the minority Liberal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin into a Christmas election, or to force one upon him early in the New Year. By the week's end no decision had been reached, but a Christmas election seemed unlikely.
Meanwhile, something else became evident last week. The election that may really reflect the Gomery Report is not the federal one, but the next provincial election in Quebec, slated for 2007. The Gomery disclosures, as they came forth in the evidence, had the effect of reviving the Quebec separatist movement, whose polled popularity had dropped to the 40 percent level. It's now back at 50 percent, enough to defeat the Liberal government of Jean Charest and bring on another provincial referendum on Quebec's separation from Canada.
This portends a certain irony, until now lost on most English Canadians. It would mean that a federal Liberal program, designed to win Quebec's loyalty to Canada, instead became the factor that re-ignited the movement to take Quebec out of Canada. For the funds that the Quebec Liberals chose to loot were those specifically dedicated to demonstrate that private looting was not what Canada was all about, despite cynical Quebec perceptions to the contrary.
The $250 million sponsorship program was the brainchild of former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien. He set it up after the last Quebec referendum 10 years ago came within one half of 1 percent of taking the province out of Canada.
The money was supposed to offer Ottawa support for cultural, social and athletic causes, almost wholly those in Quebec, all meant to advertise profusely the benefits of being Canadian. But it was set up with so few of the customary safeguards against looting that Auditor-General Sheila Fraser first warned that the danger of looting existed. She was soon providing evidence that what it was advertising profusely was the benefits of being Liberal. By then, however, Jean Chretien was being forced unwilling into retirement by a caucus rebellion led by Paul Martin, whose first move was to appoint the Gomery inquiry.
However, such an exhibition of unbridled graft provided the separatist Parti Quebecois with a monumental showpiece. It effectively smeared the whole federalist case and vindicated their central contention that Quebec's role in Canada has the sole purpose of keeping Liberals rich. Now a younger generation is reviving separatism, and the Quebec comedian Pierre Falardeau draws shrieks of laughter with his pet monkey, Kiki the Federalist, who will only do tricks if you offer him enough cash.
All of this is significant in the West where another interesting scenario comes into view. If in the oncoming federal election the western-led Conservatives are once again rejected in Ontario this being the fifth federal election in which a western-led party has been snubbed by the Ontario voter it will greatly reinforce the sentiment known as "western alienation." Should Quebec then separate a real possibility with the separatists polling in the range of 50 percent in the chaos that follows, the West could effectively push for a radically changed Canada, something that in such a situation, even Ontario might be prepared to buy
It would be interesting to see Quebec leave. I remember the referendum 10 years ago, and like this article says, they came within one half of one percentage point of succeeding. After Canada's snotty attitude toward the U.S. as of late, it would serve them right to have to go through this (with apologies to any Canadian Freepers out there!!).
I remember reading a lot of interesting articles about "various possibilities" the last time Quebec voted on separation.
One thing I heard was that the Maritime Provinces would be essentially cut off from the rest of Canada if Quebec left. In addition, some of what I read said that in many ways, the Maritimes have more in common with the U.S. states they border, than with the rest of Canada. So, many were theorizing that if Quebec ever secedes, the Maritimes would also secede, and then apply to the U.S. for statehood.
I am not sure if I like this idea or not. If the "dominant culture" in the Maritimes is similar to that of the northeastern United States, then this would basicly mean that we would have three new "blue states" joining The Union, a possibility I do not relish. If they are liberal, then let them remain a part of Canada.
The other possibility I heard was that one of the western provinces of British Columbia or Alberta might also secede if Quebec left. Again, the theory was put forth that under this set of circumstances, the seceding Province would apply to the U.S. for statehood. Of these two provinces, I read (and was told by some Canadians) that of the two, this scenario was more likely with Alberta. I have heard that Alberta is a bit more Conservative, so if they would come into the U.S. as a "red state", that would be OK with me!! In addition, I have been to both Calgary and Edmonton, and they seem to be very nice cities.
Not sure how likely any of the above scenarios would be. Even if no other provinces besides Quebec seceded, it would be interesting to watch Canada come to grips with the situation. Quebec is such an odd Province anyway. But what do you expect from a place where the dominant language is French?!?!
Are you talking about the term "RINO"??
RINO = Republican In Name Only
Too true of an otherwise seemingly rational resolution.
Admittance of new states into the Union has always been frought with political considerations like that. Most recently, Alaska (R) and Hawaii (D) were simultaneously admitted into the union so to minimize the effect on national politics. But the same thing went on before the Civil War, when slave and free states were admitted simultaneously.
I don't suppose we could trade a couple of New England states for a couple of the western provinces? LOL!
Annex Canada??, hmm, Alberta, BC, Sasketchewan, Manitoba would provide R-Senators, the Yukon, NW Territories, and Nunavut would be territories (not enough pop), New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland-Labrador would be competitive, PEI would provide D-Senators, and I dont want Ontario, let them be Canada.
Thanks for clearing that up for me!
Three new "blue states" maybe, but marginal blue states at that...most polls suggest Atlantic Canada is the most favorable for Bush (although I don't think it is true, it just comes to show you some surprises that the GOP may be able to come up with)...
If all of the rest of Canada joined the US, Ontario's 20 electoral votes would become one gigantic prize for both parties...
I think British Columbia would elect more D-Senators or at least be split; same with Ontario. They'd both almost certainly have a Democratic majority in their delegations (Toronto would likely be at least 80-85% Democratic), but they'd likely have some Republicans in their House seats in the rural and some suburban districts.
So fun to speculate on the Annexation of Canada, but lets face it, its never going to happen.
I thought goldstategop was a Canadian (born in Montreal) but immigrated south of the border. Could you confirm it?
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie.Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
LOL sounds a lot like many Kiwis who have moved across the Tasman. So many New Zealanders have moved to Australia because of the socialist idiocy of successive NZ governments, such that a joke circulates around Sydney is the fifth largest city of NZ.
How about cedeing Massachuttes to Canada?
Nah, I dont want to live in Canada, Can we deport my Liberal Neighbors instaed?
When will members of the Montreal media begin to publish facts that every Quebecker can access and digest before even contemplating Quebec Separation. According to the Fraser Institute (1994 study):
Should Quebeckers decide to separate from Canada, Quebec's Separation Obligation to Canada would be $150.6 billion as of March 31, 1994 (today this amount would be about 30% higher). This amounts to $20,888 for every man, woman, and child in Quebec, or $83,552 per family of four. The study contains a seven step methodology for measuring Quebec's share of government of Canada assets and liabilities.
Quebeckers would face a difficult fiscal choice after separation. Should they wish to continue to enjoy the same level of services and benefits from their new national government in Quebec City as previously received from Ottawa, their federal taxes that would be going to Quebec City, which presently go to Ottawa, would have to be sharply increased, perhaps by as much as 53.5 percent.
If there is opposition to higher taxes and Quebeckers continue to pay the same amount of tax to their new national government in Quebec City that they presently send to Ottawa, the services they would receive for programs after the annual payment of their Separation Obligation to Canada would be 46.5 percent of the level of program expenditures received prior to separation.
An independent Quebec would have an all-government net debt-to-GDP ratio of 149.4 percent, compared with a Quebec as a Canadian province net debt-to-GDP ratio of 127.1 percent as of March 31, 1994. This measure of debt includes all levels of government in Quebec.
The debt burden of an independent Quebec would be more severe than that of any Canadian province, except Newfoundland, and more severe than that of any OECD country, including Belgium, Ireland, and Italy.
Based on the "Fraser Institute SIC List 1994" of the world's most severely indebted economies, an independent Quebec would be the 28th most severely indebted country in the world, with a government debt burden just behind Madagascar and just ahead of Jamaica. An independent Quebec would join the Third World in terms of its all-government indebtedness.
Taking all levels of government into account, total debt charges would be an estimated $23.7 billion as of March 31, 1994 for an independent Quebec, compared with $15.3 billion for Quebec within Confederation. This 54.9 percent increase in debt charges would pose a significant financing challenge for an independent Quebec.
A final potential consequence of Quebec leaving the Canadian Confederation may be an unwillingness of foreign and domestic investors to lend money, not only to Quebec, but also to the Rest of Canada. The negotiations leading to separation would dispel whatever government debt illusion that may have existed on the part of investors in Canadian and Quebec government bonds as to the severity of the debt burden facing Canadians and Quebeckers and the impossibility of servicing this debt while maintaining government services without unprecedented tax increases and/or further borrowing.
Makes you stop and think twice before supporting any form of Separation...Can the PQ wish this type of scenario on its people just for "identity" purposes? This is very serious stuff and should not be left to the devices of the PQ camp - ever!