By Joan Bryden, Toronto Star, February 14, 2012
(Justin) Trudeau triggered controversy during a weekend radio interview, in which he said he might support Quebec secession if he felt Canadians really shared the values espoused by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
“There is a way of viewing social responsibility, openness to others, a cultural pride here in Quebec that is necessary to Canada,” he told talk show host Franco Nuovo, a well-known Quebec nationalist writer. “And I always say that if I ever believed Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper and we were going against abortion and going against gay marriage, and we were going backward in 10,000 different ways, maybe I’d think of wanting to make Quebec a country.”
Bloc Québécois MPs welcomed “with open arms” what they described as Trudeau’s realization that Quebec’s values are not shared by the federal government or the rest of the country.
Rival federalist parties expressed incredulity that the son of late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, arch-nemesis of Quebec sovereigntists, might actually be a closet separatist. “(Trudeau) grew up hearing about a strong, united Canada, but just last week he said he would favour Quebec independence,” Tory MP Merv Tweed told the Commons.
But interim Liberal leader Bob Rae shrugged off the controversy, saying: “Mr. Trudeau is a strong believer in a united Canada. He always has been, he always will be.”
Here is just another tempest in a teapot. Mr. Trudeau, expert at waking people up from their mid-winter, months-long snooze, is attempting to get some support for his and his party's opposition to the kind of Canada that is being foisted on Canadians by the Harper gang. "Going backward in 10,000 different ways," is hardly an insult to this government of head-in-the-sand aarkvarks (to mix a metaphor!).
We are going backward; and we are doing it at considerable expense to the history and traditions and open debate that, we thought and believed, were established as markers of a Canadian cultural and political identity.
All you have to do is watch any interview with any MP from the Conservative party to hear their memorization of the talking points sent from the PMO for recitation. School teachers can recognize the recitation of memory work from years of listening to its boredom, and its disconnect with the speaker. These Conservative members "mouth the party line" like little robots, amateurishly, but rigidly and obediently.
There is not a hint of believing what they are saying; there is only the need to say what they have been told to say.
And every time, there is a "framing" for the story, the prime response, no matter what question is asked. And they repeat that framing whenever they are poked and prodded by an interviewer. And the "frame" is always some placebo like "stopping pornography" or "demonizing the accounting in Attawapiskat" or "monitoring the environmental processes in the oil sands"....to distort whatever it is the government is campaigning on that particular day. And they do a monstrous disservice to themselves, to their party and to the parliament to which they were elected. They simply manifest that unfortunate belief that parliamentarians, 100 miles from Ottawa, are "nobodies"....another Trudeau flip of the finger, in another era.
I recently read an interview with Kingston Liberal MP, Ted Hsu, in which he was asked he least favourite thing." Expecting to receive honest answers in parliament and never actually receiving any" was his answer, in words to that effect.
I'd be angry and frustrated too if I were sitting in the House of Commons daily, and listening both to the subterfuge and the distortion, as well as the underlying non-thinking that accompanies every single piece of legislation. This gang has contempt for parliament, just as the former Speaker ruled; they have contempt for the opposition, and they have contempt for the fourth estate. Their only adherents are their sycophantic donors and their 'fox-news' talking heads.
A little Trudeau salsa or even a little hot sauce will only make the boredom and the ennui and little less unpalatable. Keep it up, Justin! as only you can!.