Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blocmailing Stephen Harper

Scant days ago I blogged "More Quebec, Less Ottawa" with regard to la belle province's policies designed to contain the islamization of Quebec, something the rest of Canada is too gutless to do.  I have long predicted that sooner or later Quebec will separate from Canada - the result of being incompletely conquered in the first place and spoiled rotten ever since.  Now Jonathan Kay puts in print in the National Post what we all knew but have been too polite to say, "Quebec politicians often seek de facto bribes from Ottawa - whether in the form of cold cash or more symbolic gestures.  And usually, Ottawa gives in.  This explains why our equalization system is skewed so as to deliver a multi-billion dollar jackpot to Quebec every year; not to mention Paul Martin’s “asymmetric federalism,” and Stephen Harper’s declaration that Quebec constitutes a “nation”.  These shakedowns have come to define the Canadian political condition.  On Wednesday, Mr. Duceppe took things to a crassly chutzpadik new level, demanding that Quebec receive a cool $5 billion from Ottawa as his price for supporting the upcoming budget.  How did he arrive at this figure?  By adding together a bunch of stale demands from yesteryear - including $421 million for dealing with the great ice storm of 1998.  Mr. Duceppe seems to have set his minions free to roam through the yellowing sovereigntist righteous-indignation files, looking for every old chestnut they could find."  So, what to do, Stephen?  It's a given that Harper doesn't want to be known as the Prime Minister who broke up Canada at the most, or the one who threw away a chance at governing for another four years at the least.   On the other hand, Stevie can be downright ornery they say, and he could go to the polls on a matter of principle - hoping that there are enough people in the rest of Canada that are sick of Quebec's whining that he could get re-elected.  While I'd love to see him stand up to Quebec (that's the reactionary westerner in me) my prediction is that Duceppe and Harper will come up with some back-room deal on this.  Too bad, but that's how politicians work - unless you're another of Harper's arch enemies, Newfoundland's Danny Williams.  (Danny is like John Wayne and cheap toilet paper - he's rough and he's tough and he don't take no shit from nobody.)  Has Harper learned anything from Williams success?  We'll see.