Archive for the ‘QUEBEC POLITICS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FURTHER WORD ON QUEBEC’S PROPOSED “SECULARISM” LEGISLATION – WHAT SECULAR GOVERNMENT TRULY MEANS – THE SOVIET MODEL OF THE STATE AND RELIGION – DEMOCRACIES ARE CAPABLE OF TYRANNY OVER MINORITIES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Premier François Legault has said the secularism legislation is moderate and represents the desires of a majority in the province.”

 

First, I do not regard the legislation as “moderate.”

Is there such a thing as “moderate” petty tyranny from government?

Second, I doubt his claims about a majority. I observe absolutely no tension in Montreal around the many women on the streets and in stores who chose to exercise their freedom to wear the hijab.

Third, even if the bill were somehow demonstrated to be the will of the majority, since when is it the job of government – secular government, mind you – to accommodate prejudice or anti-religious feelings of any nature?

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Response to a comment which called the proposed legislation, “pro-human rights”:

Nothing can be called “pro-human rights” which forbids people to wear the things they freely choose to wear, especially if what they wear is a matter of conscience for them.

Secular government means not just a government with no religious affiliation – something we already have – it also means government which in no way interferes in the religious beliefs and practices of citizens, of any of its citizens, even a single one.

That’s what the old Soviet government practiced. It had no religious affiliation, but it interfered actively in citizens’ personal religious lives.

Further, what this legislation is truly doing is flirting with Islamophobia, something for sure no government has any business doing.

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Response to a comment:

That is correct, but a good many people seem to miss the point.

It is a simple fact that a bad-intentioned majority can keep any minority in perpetual tyranny of one form or another.

There is nothing sacred or automatic in a democracy which protects minorities. Democracies are perfectly capable of tyranny.

Power, once granted by any political mechanism, is power. It includes the power to abuse minorities, and we’ve seen that done many times, as in Nationalist South Africa or the American Confederacy – both of whose governments were democratic in form.

Only Charters or Bills of Rights, enforced by courts, can prevent, or at least ameliorate, that.

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MARGARET WENTE AGAIN DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE – THIS TIME MICHAEL IGNATIEFF ON QUEBEC – TWO PEOPLE WITH PUBLIC POSITIONS DEMONSRATE REMARKABLE IGNORANCE   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY MARGARET WENTE IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Quebec is not leaving Confederation.

There is not the tiniest bit of evidence for saying that.

So why do people keep saying it?

Because it’s such an emotionally charged statement it gets people’s attention, quickly.

Ergo, Ignatieff pathetic comments: words from a man who has proven, over and over, he is not all that perceptive, and a man who sure wants attention.

The man spent most of his life writing books – and as any good professional writer will tell you – that is a lonely business. Indeed Graham Greene wrote of the writer having a splinter of ice in his heart.

Further still, writing books is not necessarily the same thing as either having genuine new ideas or of being a perceptive analyst of current affairs.

The Toronto Liberal Party insiders who lured Ignatieff back to Canada with the promise of his leading the Party never understood these facts.

And, clearly, Ignatieff did not understand them either. He does not truly know even himself.

He has proved a remarkably unperceptive and narrow academic with little ability to relate to society.

It is only natural that Margaret Wente would choose to defend his empty observations. That’s the kind of thing she specializes in.

After all, they are pretty well cut from the same cloth, only Wente has no academic standing.

Two streams of humid air blowing against the realities and subtleties of their time.
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“Get off it Cons, Iggy is not really anti-Canadian in any sense. It is only your stupidity (based on Harper’s 15 sec. talking points) that makes it seem so in your own minds only.”

That would be a laughable comment were it not so sad.

You totally confuse the Right Wing with critics of Ignatieff.

Sorry, but there are many, many genuinely liberal-minded people in this world who do not think well of Ignatieff.

Indeed, there is a strong argument for consigning Ignatieff to the softer wing of the neo-conservatives.

His record during his time at Harvard is quite unpleasant, including, of course, writing in support of our generation’s biggest war crime, the invasion of Iraq, which killed about a million people, destroyed a promising society for a generation, and left about 2 million refugees. He also supported “torture-lite.”

Ignatieff has never qualified as a genuine liberal. He is a special interest man, and his aura of being a significant voice in human rights is just that an aura. His record is a poor one if you scrutinize the details.

Ms Wente’s entire background in writing of world affairs reflects the neo-con position, from endless apologies for Israel’s savagery to her almost putrid embrace of the same invasion of Iraq.

Again, here is a near-demented Ms Wente some years ago on all that death and destruction in Iraq:

http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/the-iraq-wars-trashiest-piece-of-propaganda/
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“He is entitled to his opinion, but its clear he was never a great choice for Liberal leader.”

But he never was a choice, was he, in the sense of the word choice we assume in a democracy?

He was parachuted into the role by a group of Party bosses.

Just as he was parachuted into his West End riding when he first showed up on stage playing his return-of-the-native act.

Now, what kind of a principled politician, or would-be politician in this case – principled in democratic and human values – accepts such gifts from a group of insiders?

To answer the question is to summarize Ignatieff’s credentials as a principled politician.
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“To be honest, in travelling across Canada, I have found far more of a sense of separation and even hostility in Western Canada. I have rarely heard from a Quebecker the kind of vitriol towards other Canadians as some of the comments/attitudes I’ ve encountered In B.C. & Alberta in recent years.”

Well said.

Your observation confirms my own over some years.

I’ve never heard such genuine low-life comments as I’ve heard in Alberta.

Stephen Harper serves as a kind of bellows blowing on hot coals in this matter.

Wente’s ignorance here is little short of phenomenal, exceeded only by the man of proven poor judgment she’s defending.

Again, here’s what a woman of genuine perceptive intelligence – one of Canada’s best political columnists – has to say:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1167952–michael-ignatieff-s-bbc-comments-on-shaky-ground?bn=1
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The following two postings are mine from the original column by Michael Ignatieff:

Please, go away, boring man.

You were a complete flop as a political leader.

And in your previous efforts to get some attention in the Globe, you’ve demonstrated less-than-Sterling abilities as an idea man.

Indeed, it was your poor judgment and blind ambition which are responsible for the Harper’s licence to act against much of what Canada has represented in my adult lifetime.

Now, you play the old “look out for Quebec” card.

Tiresome and inaccurate.
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“This is what this guy does best. Babble. Of course in their little world he is known as a deep thinker.”

His reputation as a thinker is immensely overblown, as all thoughtful people came to understand from most of what has come out of his mouth since accepting as an inheritance, as it were, the promise of leadership of the Liberal Party.

I cannot believe how trivial and unperceptive he has proven himself.

But, then, he did support criminal invasion and torture when still doing his blubbering in the United States, didn’t he?

Globe, you do readers no service giving this guy free space for advertising himself.

Indeed, there is almost a touch of black comedy here with a man proven to be so out of touch, and not just concerning Canada, still coming back repeatedly to offer views and advice.

The term “idiot-savant” comes to mind here, but I’m not so sure about the “savant’ half of the phrase.

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.