August 4, 2000
A lot of us were surprised when Canadian Alliance
leader Stockwell Day refused to rule out a coalition with the
separatist Bloc Quebecois. Since then there has been a lot of
backpedalling and explanation.
There's a rule in politics if you have
to explain what you meant more than once, you might as well forget
it. Either you were wrong in the first place, or you're right
but you'll never be able to convince anyone else that you were.
Either way, the result is the same.
To be fair, Day wasn't talking about bringing
the Bloc-Heads home to meet the family. It was more of an offer
to see if they would be interested in letting him carry their
books home from school.
This "ditch the Liberals at any cost"
approach to federal politics has typically carried a heavy price
for Canada. In the 1980s when the Conservatives offered the opportunistic
separatists the chance to come to Ottawa as wolves in Tory clothing,
Bouchard was there as fast as he could take the oath of allegiance.
That gave the separatists legitimacy and a place on the national
stage to help them launch their attack on Canada. We're still
paying for it today.
Myron Thompson said that "most separatists
want a divorce from Ottawa they don't want a divorce from
Canada." Unless Myron has been taking advantage of the new
pot laws, I don't know where he came up with this idea. He couldn't
be more wrong. Quebec separatism and Western alienation are two
completely different things. Sure, how much everyone hates Ottawa
and the Liberals might make good cocktail party conversation,
but the Alliance would quickly find out they have little else
in common with the BQ.
The BQ doesn't want to fix Confederation,
unless it's the same way you "fix" your dog. They want
out. Full stop. Bouchard would rather reign in hell than serve
in heaven. If they can't find a way out, the separatists have
their own Plan B - continue to take Canada for all they can.
They've been very successful in grabbing more provincial powers,
more money, more appointments by threatening to leave and acting
outraged whenever we say "no".
And they're always looking for gullible dupes
who'll help them reach that goal by offering to share power with
them. The separatists will shake on it, announce their good intentions,
and then stab their partner in the back as soon as they get what
they want, as they did with Mulroney. That's because they believe
any means justifies their end.
In reply to the predictable flurry of criticism
that followed the Alliance announcement, Stockwell Day has said
he would only welcome those separatists who no longer support
separation. I suppose the Alliance would also welcome pro-Choicers
who no longer support abortion or homosexuals who no longer support
extending gay rights.
When it comes right down to it, the separatists
are counting on Stockwell Day to be hungry enough for power to
turn a blind eye to their real goals.
Let's hope Stock acts more like a statesman
than a politician and refuses to have anything to do with courting
a party dedicated to destroying Canada.
Unless he's looking for an easy way to get
out of those French lessons he's been taking.