Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Hatfields and the McCoys and the I Don't Give a Flying F*cks

You know, I was kind of hoping that after the leadership convention we had put this sort of bullshit behind us, but it would seem lately that perhaps at least some of us have not.

If I could make a public service announcement here, and I'm reasonably confident that my sentiments will be shared by a great deal of the rank and file grassroots members of the Liberal Party, this is what I'd say:

Move the **** on! No one cares about your long-nursed grudges, perceived slights, petty vendettas, and who pulled whose hair in gym class. I don't care what he said about your mom. I don't care what name she called you. No one cares! I don't care who started it. Nobody is right. You're all wrong. I'm sick to death of this Turner/Chretien/Martin bullshit. Nobody cares! Get on with your lives, or at least leave the rest of us the hell out of it because I assure you, nobody cares!

Move the hell on already!

That is all. Have a nice day.

P.S. On a (mainly) unrelated note. On the appointment of the former PQ minister to run the inquiry, the issue here is that he is a partisan, not that he's a separatist. I mean come on, we made Jean frickin Lapierre a cabinet minister and he founded the frickin Bloq Quebecois. Know what I'm saying?

UPDATE: Ted shares my sentiments.

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Ted Betts said...

Well said.

I had the same thoughts myself and so couldn't agree more.

Karen said...

I wholeheartedly agree.

Kinsella gets worse over time imo, dispelling the myth that time heals.

Anthony said...

sorry jeff

the psrty's gut-shot reaction of SEPARATIST yesterday was very disheartening

especially when it only took 3 minutes to find a REAL reason to discredit him...

Jeff said...

Great minds Ted...

knb, on most issues I like Warren but on certain issues personal animosities render him unreadable. I've learned to tune that stuff out, but enough is enough.

Antonio, I think we're in agreement on that. I'm saying the separatist attack line is dumb, particularly given we made Lapierre a cabmin, it's dumb. He could be a separtist, a conservative or a communist, the problem is that he's Partisan. (And lots of other things, as you say...)

The Rat said...

Yeah, 'cause infighting as to who can belly up to the trough first is just keeping both groups from diggin' in.

Honestly, when are the morons in the Liberal party going to realize that "renewal" isn't about kissing and making up, it isn't even about digging out each other's disgusting skeletons, it's about admitting that the Liberal party has been run by a bunch of frickin' thieves in both camps, and ensuring it never happens again. I might even be able to vote Liberal one day if you did (as long as you ditched the Trudeau "two-nations" crap, and shifted to an Ignatieff-type leader).

All this whining about infighting only shows that you guys haven't got a clue.

A View From The Left said...

I agree completely.

Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

Dear BCer et. al.,
while I agree about the Hatfields & McCoys comment, I disagree with those who think it's irrelevant Paillé is a separatist, just that it's wrong he's a "partisan".

You probably mean that no-one should lead any sort of investigation involving a political party or parties if that person is well-known for his bias against the party(ies). Agreed. And consequently only those with no known or expected political bias should be involved in such an investigation like officers of parliament, like, say, the ethics commissioner or AUDITOR GENERAL!!! If only she'd done an investigation into this matter already...

I say expected bias because I don't think those with past partisan ties should be disqualified from leading inquiries or other such unbiased work of public interest, as long as there is no general expectation they will be affected by previous affiliations. For example, Daniel Johnson is an ex-PQ premier and Bob Rae an ex-NDP premier, but when they did/do such work, given the time that has passed since they were partisans and their subsequent distancing from partisan positions, few people believe(d) their political history would come into play.

Paillé has been a vociferous partisan until recently, so already on those grounds he is a silly choice were this a serious investigation. But he is a doubly doubtful choice as a fierce separatist.

It is one thing to be fair-minded, it is another to be willfully blind to the difference between a political actor who believes in a united Canada and one who wishes for its dissolution asap. The first, if of good faith, would engage in such an investigation with the sole intent of exposing failings within the Government of Canada so as to punish the culpable and improve its future performance. The second, if genuinely convinced of Quebec's existential need to separate, has as his objective the deligitimisation of the Government of Canada itself.

I worked on the 1995 referendum. I worked every single day of the campaign and before, and there was not a single day of the campaign, not a single street, not a single address, where, if there the voters did not have French last names, they had not been "forgotten" from the electoral roll, and when they had gone to register themselves after this "oversight", found they still weren't on the second electoral roll, etc.etc.. Think about that. Every single time. And then, on the night itself, the YES reps, at every single poll, questioned every NO vote. I mean every vote. And far too many scrutineers seemed of like mind. Strange how there was a direct correlation between NO support and rejected ballots across the province, eh? But hiring a bus to go to a rally is much more dangerous and needs to be much more investigation than any such suppression of NO votes, doncha know (the completely unbiased (HA!) DGE says so)?

I did lots of stuff, on the ground and in the organisation. It was not my first campaign. I was no naif (I thought). A third of my longtime friends voted Yes. But I had never, ever, seen anything like the shit that went down. And it was completely organised and coordinated. I called, talked to others in the campaign across the province and everywhere there were the same eerily similar stories, and the same sickening feeling. I mean, we know these guys. We go to school with them. They can't be serious. But they were. Dead serious.

Paillé was Industry Minister. He was a major player in the coordination of the Government's activities. He tried to intimidate business into silence and acquiescence. He played as dirty as it's possible to play.

He's a separatist. It's a legitimate option. But no Paillé-type separatist is going to miss a chance to delegitimise the Federal Government: would you if you felt the very future of your nation depended on separating asap? The Federal Government polls. A lot of the questions they ask and the answers they get are crucial to understanding federalist strategies, tactics, policies, politics, etc.etc.etc.. Do you really think we should let separatists, even were they "non-partisan" as can be, going through all the Fed's polling info? I mean, I'm sure no self-respecting separatist is going to value his existential belief over his vow of confidentiality to the, ah, Gouvernement de maudit Canada...? Not like he's going to mention this info over drinks to politically connected friends, is he? And not like his report is going to reflect his deep-seated antipathy to the Government of Canada itself, not to mention the historic party of federalism in Quebec, the PLC?

It's not the same as if they'd appointed Floyd Laughren (NDP finance minister under Rae), is it? Consider this, would Quebeckers think it was legitimate for the PLQ to appoint John Manley to investigate Quebec Government polling from 1994-2003? Or would there be complete uproar in all the media?

Whether one is federalist or separatist does matter, not just whether one is a partisan.

As for Jean Lapierre, Chrétien put it well when he said he didn't know the leader could banish members for life or else that's what he would've done to Lapierre. He should NEVER have been allowed to run, become a cabinet minister, etc. etc.. Just because some Liberals were fools means we all have to be, or go along with that logic.