BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
Liberal MPs: Beware of Orange Crush 2.0
George Santayana wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” in his The Life of Reason published in 1906 following his observations regarding the South African Boer War.
We need not turn back the clock of history that far. Just a decade to the 41st federal general election of Monday, May 2, 2011, when the Honourable Nycole Turmel in Hull-Aylmer, Mathieu Ravignat in Pontiac, Françoise Boivin in Gatineau, and Mylène Freeman in Argenteuil-La Petite-Nation surprised everyone as the Honourable Jack Layton’s New Democratic Party swept all four seats in this region as part of the Orange Crush phenomenon.
The 44th federal general election need not be held until Monday, October 16, 2023, as determined by the fixed-date provisions of the Canada Elections Act which requires federal general elections to be held on the third Monday in October in the fourth calendar year after the polling day of the previous election.
As we are finally exiting the third wave of the pandemic and hoping that any fourth wave will have minor effects, there is no reason to call an election until 2023. Mr Prime Minister, political expediency is not a valid reason to demand an election writ from the Governor General. Especially, when the various polls do not guarantee that you will achieve the “Holy Grail” of a parliamentary majority. Recent polls reveal that the most popular party leader is Jagmeet Singh, and that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Official Opposition both seem to be spinning their wheels.
Complicating measures are not only the government introduction of Bill C-32 in the House of Commons promoting asymmetrical federalism, but also the actions of the Prime Minister, his cabinet, and MPs including those of Hull-Aylmer, Gatineau, and Argenteuil-La Petite-Nation voting in favour of the Bloc Québécois motion introduced by BQ Leader Yves-François Blanchet in support of the constitutional amendments 90Q.1. and 90Q.2. in Bill 96 which was introduced in the National Assembly of Québec by the Coalition avenir Québec government:
“CONSTITUTION ACT, 1867 159. The Constitution Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Victoria, c. 3 (U.K.); 1982, c. 11 (U.K.)) is amended by inserting the following after section 90: FUNDAMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS OF QUEBEC 90Q.1. Quebecers form a nation. 90Q.2. French shall be the only official language of Quebec. It is also the common language of the Quebec nation.”
So how are Anglophones, Allophones, federalist Francophones, and libertarians – quite a coalition of electors – supposed to vote in the next federal election? This significant population of dissatisfied citizens has a plethora of options before them: just decide to stay home; spoil their ballot; hold their noses and vote Liberal; or vote for one of the other “federalist” options: Conservative, NDP, Green, or one of the Independent candidates, especially if one openly campaigns again Bill C-32 and Bill 96.
What else can you do? You can volunteer and get involved with one of the groups opposing Bill 96 and Bill C-32: the Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ) is a member organization of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), and a new group, the Task Force on Linguistic Policy, has been established to rally support to eventually legally challenge both Bill 96 and Bill C-32 if and when those pieces of legislation pass third reading and receive assent in the National Assembly of Québec (Law 96) and the House of Commons and the Senate (Law 32).
Furthermore, you can also call the offices, email, and/or write and send snail mail letters regarding Bill C-32 and the Bloc Québécois motion to: the Prime Minister, the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and/or your Member of Parliament (MP) AND/OR regarding Bill 96: to the Premier of Québec, the Minister of the French Language, and/or your Member of the National Assembly (MNA) expressing your views politely but firmly.
But always be prepared to vote your conscience because:
“They say if you don't vote, you get the government you deserve. . . And if you do, you never get the results you expected.” ― E. A. Bucchianeri, author