Thursday, August 25, 2011
Chantal Hebert, who has long been in favor of dipper grit merger, pushes it some more. I have already speculated about a are led liberal democratic party. The remaining blue grits should be driven out of such an entity. I am not afraid of such a merger. It would give a clear choice to Canadians. I suspect that the extreme left of the dippers might also leave such a grouping, but they may not have any place left to go. HM PM Harper has long sought a more left right split, to give Canadians a true choice. The next year should be very interesting
No amount of French-as-a-second-language training will give the future candidates to Jack Layton’s succession the rare asset that allowed him to so spectacularly connect to Quebec.
Although it helped him score points against the more patrician Michael Ignatieff in the last campaign, his down-to-earth French was not his main forte.
When it comes to federal politics and Quebec, language skills will only go so far.
In the past, some of the country’s most bilingual politicians have turned out to be the most tone-deaf to the nuances of the Quebec debate.
On that score, Layton probably had the most attuned ears of his generation of out-of-province politicians.
He intuitively knew that one often only needs to scratch the sovereignist surface of many Quebecers to find a disappointed federalist — and vice-versa.
He understood that a self-confident Quebec — secure in its identity — is the opposite of a threat to a strong Canada.
He had enough Quebec instincts to distinguish between a political minefield and a media brush fire.
Those instincts can be acquired but usually only over a significant amount of time. In Layton’s case, they were bred in the bone.
Among the prospective aspirants for his succession, there is little doubt that deputy leader Thomas Mulcair shares that quality.