JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FALSE ARGUMENT ABOUT SUPPORTING SEPARATISM USED TO DEFEND ENDING CANADA’S PUBLIC SUPPORT OF POLITICAL PARTIES   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Jeffrey Simpson, you just could not be more wrong on this matter.

Yes, there is an unintended consequence, but there are unintended consequences in every conceivable way of financing parties.

Private financing, in palate-loads delivered to loading docks, is the American system that has given them, quite simply, the best government that money can buy.

Did you know that the average American Senator spends literally two-thirds of his or her time trying to raise money?

Mrs Clinton, in her race for the New York Senate, spent $45 million, an amount which brought a gasp even from her easy-virtue hubby.

If you remember, Bill Clinton, when President, was selling nights in the Lincoln bedroom for gigantic campaign contributions.

Those giving large amounts of money always get something back, if only privileged entrance to the Senator or Representative.

We must weigh the unintended consequences of one method versus another for their pernicious qualities.

Public financing is important, and it is very much a measure of our devotion to democracy.

The BQ is a legitimate party, representing the views and interests of a fair number of people in Quebec, and it deserves the same treatment as any legitimate party.

Tilting the finance system is a cheap idea from someone desperate for a quick fix to our current political impasse. It is worse in my view than the suggestions you recently pooh-poohed of the Liberals and NDP merging or the Liberals getting rid of that sea-anchor of a leader, Ignatieff.

Separatism is fading, as anyone may observe, slowly but surely.

Why? Because people in Quebec now see that they are treated as an important part of the country and because young people have careers to get on with and because in-migrants to Quebec do not see separatism as a reason for coming to Canada and because native Quebecois, like all the world’s advanced people, have low birth rates.

Besides all of that, the BQ has acted mostly the part of a responsible party, albeit one with geographically-limited interests. That is more than can be said of Harper’s Conservatives on many issues of importance.

I sometimes find it slightly amusing to call the BQ a separatist party, given the nature of its day-in, day-out activity.

And, last but not least, doing what you recommend would only be viewed in Quebec as a targeted policy against Quebec’s interests, and indeed that view would be completely right.

Foolish column, Jeffrey Simpson, very foolish.

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