So far, this has been one of the most bizarre Parliament’s that I can recall ever watching. The drama and posturing has been right up there with some of the classics on film. I am not complaining mind you, as it keeps one sharp in trying to guess the next move. I have been as successful in that as I would be were I to be playing chess against a Russian master. It’s not because the players in our game are so adept, but because so many of the moves have made so little sense.
Prime Minister Martin sent a chuckle my way yesterday as he declared that the new Parti Quebecois leader, Andre Boisclair, lacked the moral authority to govern. I can’t imagine anything more twisted than for the leader of Canada’s current federal government to stand up and attempt to pass judgment on another; how utterly farcical.
The Liberal premier of Quebec, Jean Charest, has offered to let Mr. Boisclair have a vacant downtown riding unopposed, thus allowing him to sit in the National Assembly, Quebec’s provincial legislature. Mr. Boisclair has stated that he wishes to re-organize the party before seeking a seat, similar to what Mr. Charest did when he took over the helm of the Quebec Liberals.
The move to destroy Mr. Boisclair’s reputation and to assassinate his character began in earnest this week, and comes on the heel of his first ballot victory to run the separatist Quebec party. Indeed, the Liberals hope to neutralize their provincial rival quickly, as he has already stated that he intends to hold a quick vote on sovereignty, one which the corruption wrought by Paul Martin’s party has lent weight to.
The Prime Minister opened the door to separation himself by suggesting a referendum that was held properly would be binding. Mr. Martin said, ” You can not have a secession if it’s not based on legality and clarity.” In a further attack on Mr. Boisclair’s character, the Prime Minister added, “this party has shown once again that the PQ is unable to choose somebody that is able to be clear and responsible.” He was referring, of course, to Andre’s admission that he once used cocaine as a cabinet minister. While that act is abhorrent and has no place in the halls of power in our country, how could a government that governs with as little integrity as the present one judge another. It is unfortunate that we no longer have a federal voice in the Province of Quebec.
To his credit, Mr. Boisclair has openly admitted his mistakes. That is something that I wish we saw more politicians do. The Liberals went on to call Mr. Boisclair a radical. Most Quebecers hold the ruling party in Ottawa with such disdain, they may be feeling radical themselves.
Stephane Dion, the federal Environment Minister, has claimed that Andre’s past indiscretions limit the posts that he could hold. As a self-admitted former drug user, Mr. Dion claims that Mr. Boisclair would have no moral authority to hold certain positions, such as the justice minister or the minister of security, never mind be premier. Now if I recall, our last federal finance minister, the one who signed all of the sponsorship cheques without knowledge of where all of those hundreds of millions were going, was found worthy of leading his party and to eventually become our national leader.
Why is it that the bunch we have in power right now seem to only have a vague understanding of the concept of integrity when evaluating themselves, but a clear and concise picture of everyone else’s shortcomings? It’s amazing how perspectives can change so quickly in Ottawa.