Thursday, February 09, 2006

History lessons for separatists, part deux

Just getting around to watching today’s Politics broadcast and they had their weekly panel of party communications directors discussing, what else, L’Affraire Emerson.

No surprises (other than that William Stairs needs to do something about that 5 O’clock mustache shadow*), but my ears did perk-up and my lips curl into a smile when I heard this comment from the Bloc Quebecois representative, Claude St. Hilaire.

I think Mr. Emerson should do what Mrs. Copps (did). He should resign, and have the courage to run again and ask his people (if) they want him as a Tory or as a Liberal.

Hey, I don’t disagree with you Claude. However, you may want to educate to educate yourself on the history of the party you speak for…

The Bloc Québécois was started in 1990 as an informal coalition of Progressive Conservative and Liberal MPs from Quebec, who left their original parties around the time of the defeat of the Meech Lake Accord. The party was initially intended to be temporary and was given the goal of the promotion of sovereignty at the federal level. The party aimed to disband following a successful referendum on sovereignty. The term "temporary ad hoc rainbow coalition" is now used by the Liberal Party of Canada to refer to the group of MPs who founded the Bloc Québécois, primarily in reference to Jean Lapierre, who was once part of that group but has since renounced separatism and rejoined the Liberals under Paul Martin.

The initial coalition that led to the Bloc was led by Lucien Bouchard, who had been federal Minister of the Environment until he was fired by then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (as pointed out in The Secret Mulroney Tapes). He was joined by several of his fellow Tories, such as Nic Leblanc, Louis Plamondon, Benoît Tremblay, Gilbert Chartrand and François Gérin, along with several Liberals, notably Gilles Rocheleau and Lapierre. The first Bloquiste candidate to be elected was Gilles Duceppe, then a union organizer, in a by-election for the Montreal riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie on August 13, 1990. He ran as an independent, since the Bloc had not been registered as a federal party yet.

History lessons for separtists, part un

* In fairness to William, I laughed hard at this line:

"The Liberals have been cherrypicking people for years and nobody is ever going to go to the NDP so they don't have to worry about this..."

Ouch, that's a wicked burn. Sweet!

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