I haven’t posted much lately. That isn’t to say things haven’t been happening.
We have a new premier in Ontario. She may even recall the legislature. We’ll see. Maybe Horwath will cut a deal, maybe we’ll have a spring election. May depend on whether or not Horwath calculates that Hudak can win a spring election.
Toronto still has a mayor.
Federally, it’s still Stephen Harper’s government. (I’d say Stephen Harper’s country, but the country is most emphatically not the government — that’s as true when I like the governing party as it is when I dislike the governing party.) Justin Trudeau still leads the Liberal race. Tom Mulcair bides his time and avoids pitfalls. (For what it’s worth, Harper is probably the best political analyst out there. He just uses his stuff for his own benefit, these days…)
All in all, we’re waiting.
Stateside, the gridlock of 2010-2012 persists into the 2012-2014 period.
Not much is changing there till the 2014 midterms, or possibly the 2016 presidential election…
So yeah, Justin Trudeau is running.
I think it’s great. Why? The media attention is hilarious.
Paul Wells had some fun:
Colleagues at the sprawling Maclean’s nerve centre in downtown Ottawa note that we are sometimes asked why Maclean’s carries such a torch for Justin Trudeau. I hotly dispute the claim: that’s no torch, it’s more like a lighter, of the kind fans hold aloft whenever REO Speedwagon breaks into Can’t Fight This Feeling. Herewith, the greatest hits of our decade-long thing for Justin.
We can’t fight this feeling any more. We’ve forgotten what we started fighting for. It’s time to bring this ship into the shore.
And throw away the oars.
It’s going to be so much fun.
That being said, I wouldn’t dismiss him out of hand. He thrives on being underestimated. Misunderestimated, you might even say…
Of course, there’s this.
We’ll see how he is on the trail.
Remember when we actually took Quebec separatism seriously? When it looked like there was a serious prospect of a coalition of opposition parties taking over government, in the age of the Bloc Quebecois?
Canadian politics makes so much more sense now — a strong centre-left opposition, a centre-right slim majority government, a third party in between…
So yeah, 28%?
Le Parti québécois est aux portes du pouvoir, mais le courant souverainiste est clairement en perte de vitesse. Seulement 28% des gens voteraient Oui à un référendum proposant que le Québec devienne un pays souverain, un recul de huit points depuis le début de la campagne électorale. …
Dans son coup de sonde, CROP constate que le camp du Non ne gagne pas autant de terrain toutefois. On est passé de 60 à 62% depuis le début août, révèlent les données brutes. Ce sont les indécis qui ont pris du poids – ils étaient 4% au début du mois d’août, on en retrouve désormais 10% sur la question référendaire.
I hesitate to post something from Frum, but here’s why:
If Quebec breaks the fiscal union with Canada, it must for its own sake exit the currency union too. Which means that Quebeckers will awake the next day to huge depreciations of their salaries, benefits, and savings.
Quebecers know that, or anyway intuit it. The old promises of an easy separatism have been discredited. Separatism is now a hard path, involving great sacrifices, reduced standards of living, more work, and fewer social benefits — all at a time when PQ supporters yearn to hear a message of no sacrifices, improved standards of living, less work, and more social benefits. Which is precisely why Quebec separatism is effectively dead.
So what is offered instead is an elaborate pretense. PQ leader Pauline Marois has promised to form of committee to work on a project to develop a plan for a new strategy for independence. The committee will begin by studying past studies of Quebec independence, and then — once the studies are complete — proceed to propose action plans. A new diplomatic initiative will seek to gain international approval of the independence that Quebecers themselves do not want.
In tough economic times, these studies at least offer make-work jobs for under-utilized economists, sociologists, and party functionaries. But they impose a tough challenge on the rest of Canada: how to keep a straight face through the prolonged hemming and hawing. “Okay, you just let us know when you finish talking to yourselves. Take your time. We’ll wait. Four years? Eight? Twenty-seven? Fine. No rush.”
If the sovereigntist movement is ever to die, this is how it will die:
One thing is clear: I don’t want to define myself as a federalist. I want to define myself as a Quebecker first, but also as a Canadian. … I am a Canadian. We accept that we are in Canada. I think we’ll have a good relationship with Stephen Harper. I think that we agree on many issues, including the economy and public finances. Of course, we have some disagreements on social issues. … I am back in politics for ten years, and I will never promote the sovereignty of Quebec.
That’s the best case scenario for these ex-separatists, and it’s not a terrible one.
The proposed Ontario redistricting appears to go after Rae and Bennett’s ridings. The last two midtown Liberal MPs.
“This is our most desperate time. Help us, Justin-wan Trudeau-bi. You’re our only hope!“
The Quebec provincial election. More than any other provincial issue, that is the one — comme toujours — with the greatest implications for Canada and Canadian politicians. No other provincial concern comes remotely close to the high-stakes contest now underway in the province of Quebec. The outcome will define our national politics for years to come.
Here’s a possible scenario, in 10 problematic steps. It ends with a solution.
One: The remarkable political career of Jean Charest comes to an end, with a loss on Sept. 4 to the separatist Parti Quebecois leader, Pauline Marois. For months, polls have shown Charest is either behind or tied with his PQ rival. If Marois wins a majority in the first week of September, it is difficult to see how Charest can remain at the helm of his party. Federalism will have lost its most effective francophone advocate since Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien. …
Ten: Justin Trudeau, future Liberal leader, future prime minister.
The national question is the only thing the Liberals have left to pry back the votes of the old left-Liberals who’ve fled to the NDP.
Justin makes the most sense for this Hail Mary play.
Meanwhile, let’s watch the Quebec election.
Now that Ted Cruz has trounced his opponents in the Republican Senate Primary in Texas, join me in laughing at this anti-Canadian anti-Cruz site.
Ted’s probably going to be a rock star, and we may yet see him as a justice at SCOTUS or in the White House. (Clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist.)
If he does run for the presidency someday, expect to see a rather vicious debate on whether citizens “by birth abroad” are “natural-born”. There’s enough contemporaneous evidence to satisfy the originalists that they probably are.