hhmmmm. The article below sounds vaguely similar to what my friend, Howard, and I had written in our op-ed peice in the Hill Times a couple of weeks ago…
so, I agree. Good work for calling it how it is, Justin.
Quebec separation close, Trudeau warns, Criticizes Liberals
CanWest News Service
May 12, 2005
CREDIT: Marie-France Coallier, CanWest News Service
OTTAWA – Federal political life has become so concerned with mundane affairs
that it has blinded both voters and politicians to issues of real
importance, such as the growing appetite for separatism in Quebec, the
eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau said yesterday.
“I think we are far closer to the separation of Quebec than we have been in
a very, very long time, and I don’t think anyone in Ottawa particularly, but
in the rest of Canada [as well], are either enough aware of it or ready to
properly deal with it,” Justin Trudeau said at a Parliament Hill reception.
Mr. Trudeau, 33, did not say the rise of Quebec nationalism is due to the
alleged mismanagement in the former government’s sponsorship program.
Instead, he suggested Canadians and their politicians have simply forgotten
what matters in political life. “We live in a very fast-paced, easy world,
where we’re looking for immediate gratification, immediate satisfaction,” he
said. “And the kind of politicians we have now are all about satisfying
those immediate responses. And that, while it satisfies you, allows for sort
of long-term hunger.”
He did, however, criticize the Liberal government over the sponsorship
program, which was set up to promote the federal government in Quebec after
the 1995 sovereignty referendum.
Mr. Trudeau said the Liberals failed to renew their party since taking over
almost 12 years ago. By acting complacently through the 1990s, a time when
their opposition was also relatively weak and could not check government
authority, he said the Liberals gave rise to conditions that allowed the
sponsorship scandal to happen.
“[The sponsorship scandal] is a symptom of having had no real opposition for
a long time to be able to counterbalance what’s going on in Ottawa and to
keep an eye on it,” Mr. Trudeau said.
“People in power for too long tend to get a little bit sloppy. There’s a
lack of rigour perhaps and a little looseness that happens around the edges
— not at the centre, but around the edges — that allows for things like
this to happen. It’s unfortunate. It links back to the fact that
Confederation or Canadian democracy isn’t set up to represent regional
He said the Liberal party should be included among the many aspects of the
federal political scene in need of renewal.
“I think there was an opportunity for renewal when [Jean] Chretien stepped
down [in 2003], and that was attempted but wasn’t really taken on.”
Asked about his own political future, Mr. Trudeau, a former teacher who has
pursued an engineering degree in recent years, demurred, saying he is happy
as chairman of the board of directors of Katimavik, the federally funded
organization that sends youth across Canada to do year-long volunteer work.
He declined to comment on the hostile climate that has enveloped Parliament,
as the Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois try to bring down the Liberals.
He maintained that if Canadians are unhappy with the partisanship in the
Commons, they should consider themselves responsible. “It’s vicious because
we’ve allowed it to become so; we as voters, we as citizens,” he said,
adding he is not in favour of a spring election.