Harper and Mulroney plot on how to win in Quebec

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Harper and Mulroney plot on how to win in Quebec

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CBC's P&P is reporting that Harper is scared out of his wits by the recent PQ byelection win - that he believes the PQ could win the next provincial election and that willl start the countdown clock again on the sovereignty debate, and that would throw his economic plan out the window. So, he's secretly meeting with former PM Mulroney to discuss various scenarios. Harper will be joined by many of his caucus members Sunday to celebrate the Quebec holiday, and there will be some kind of celebration with his four or five caucus members in Quebec. Harper's meeting with Mulroney is the first in more than five years - he exiled Mulroney from the PMO over the Karlheinz Schreiber business.

Harper in Quebec on June 24th. Fuck.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Advice from Mulroney

OTTAWA - The potential for a national unity crisis to emerge out of the next Quebec provincial election has prompted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to do something he has refused to do for years:  Meet with former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

Stephen Harper held a secret meeting in a Montreal hotel with Mulroney last week, The Canadian Press has learned, to seek advice on forming a better relationship with Quebec.

He sought similar advice that same day from Liberal Premier Jean Charest, government sources said.

The meetings came ahead of a planned Conservative rally in Quebec this weekend where the prime minister is going to try again to restart the stalled Tory machine in the province.

He needs to get it roaring not just to increase his paltry number of just five Quebec MPs.

A provincial by-election in Quebec last week saw the sovereigntist Parti Quebecois win a riding that's been held by the Liberals for 46 years.

If another national unity debate springs from a PQ victory, Harper would be in an enfeebled position relative to his predecessors: his Conservative party polls in the low teens in Quebec and there is no effective spokesperson for federalist forces in the governing party.

The sit-down with Mulroney signals how skittish the federal government is about their continued failure to connect with Quebecers.

- snip -

The advice Harper received from Charest and Mulroney is expected to figure prominently in the prime minister's speech on Sunday, where he will seek to remind Quebecers of his commitment to giving greater powers to the provinces and his respect for Quebec's place in the federation.

But with effectively no political machine in the province and a year of majority government that has seen Quebec constantly irritated by everything from the end of the gun registry to changes to employment insurance, it won't be an easy sell.

The New Democrats continue to maintain their political hold following last year's surge to Opposition status that came thanks to Quebec.

 

- snip -

 

If the election of a PQ government does eventually result in another election on the question of separation, who is going to wave the maple leaf?

"Who is there from the federal government to lead the no side in the same way (Liberal Prime Minister Jean)Chretien led in the last referendum?," White said.

No one ever speaks in favour of Harper in Quebec and in fact he is reviled there, White said.

"If there's an election pitting Harper against (PQ Leader Pauline) Marois, Marois wins hands down, he said.

"And that is a problematical scenario." Laughing

 

 

and:

Mulroney still remains a respected political figure in the Quebec and probably knows it better than any current Conservative, while Harper can't shake the stereotype of being a Western cowboy out of touch with la belle province. Laughing

janfromthebruce

Well Harper did give Quebec the political finger and basically through his actions, let them know they don't matter so like, what did he expect.

 

Happily, Mulcair has the gravis, along with all our cool MPs, especially the ones for Quebec to fill the national void and carry the day, thank you very much.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC is indeed reporting that Harper will be in Quebec Sunday, but did not release any details as to where in the province he will be speaking. Anyone know?

I faintly remember Pierre Trudeau sitting through a parade where he was not wanted. I wonder if Harper will be greeted with rotten tomatoes.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Remember

excerpt:

Does Harper think his winning personality and enormous personal charm (/snark) will convince Quebecers to just forget all about the insults that the Harper Cons keep dishing out?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

Well Harper did give Quebec the political finger and basically through his actions, let them know they don't matter so like, what did he expect.

 

Happily, Mulcair has the gravis, along with all our cool MPs, especially the ones for Quebec to fill the national void and carry the day, thank you very much.

Harper took Quebec for granted - and look what happened to his seat count here. Mulcair is smarter than that - but he really needs to side with the student strikes.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
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David Young

If Harper needs Brian Mulroney's advice, all the more evidence that the Cons may think their time is coming, even if it's 3 years away!

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I think any free thinking and intelligent Quebecer would be deeply offended that Harper would think that through advice,especially taking advice from,of all people,Charest,will magically vere the Quebec nation rightward.

Clearly he takes the Quebec populous as complete idiots.

It doesn't surprise me that Harper would choose the safe setting of Quebec City rather than Montreal...It reminds me when Harper was in Montreal a few years ago to unveil new Canadian stamps celebrating hockey.

Instead of unveiling these stamps in a ceremony on ice at the Bell Centre (which is tradition) , Harper chose to unveil them in a closed door ceremony sometime before the hockey game.

Harper will not chance the possibility of being jeered or greeted unfavourably....He should be aware,and I'm sure he is,that the Conservatives have not won a seat in Montreal since 1988..You'd figure he'd pick the big city.

But of course he didn't because he knows,and always has,that he is reviled in Montreal...His only hope is in the regions and it's in the regions that he will show his face--exclusively.

Personally,I was hoping he'd show up in Montreal...I was planning to show up and heckle him incessantly.

BTW...Mulcair is going to be at La Fete Nationale Parade in Montreal today...Harper meanwhile,will be at a BBQ at a municipality  with a population of roughly 1 100 people....LOL!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

alan smithee wrote:

BTW...Mulcair is going to be at La Fete Nationale Parade in Montreal today...Harper meanwhile,will be at a BBQ at a municipality  with a population of roughly 1 100 people....LOL!

That's awesome!

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I know this may be a thread drift but when the National Post runs a story like this ;

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/22/ndp-out-ahead-of-the-tories-with...

you know that Harper is in trouble.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

On another forum, a friend wrote: "...how dumb is our dictator to seek the advice of the two most possibly reviled men in Quebec???" (Charest and Mulroney)

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

On another forum, a friend wrote: "...how dumb is our dictator to seek the advice of the two most possibly reviled men in Quebec???" (Charest and Mulroney)

 

bahahaha!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CTV is interviewing Nelson Wiseman who says  that Harper is concerned that Maxime Bernier wants Harper's job. Laughing

autoworker autoworker's picture

Harper is in Quebec so that the ROC thinks he's Prime Minister of a whole country.

Wilf Day

alan smithee wrote:
Mulcair is going to be at La Fete Nationale Parade in Montreal today...Harper meanwhile,will be at a BBQ at a municipality  with a population of roughly 1 100 people....LOL!

About 300 showed up.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

alan smithee wrote:
Mulcair is going to be at La Fete Nationale Parade in Montreal today...Harper meanwhile,will be at a BBQ at a municipality  with a population of roughly 1 100 people....LOL!

About 300 showed up.

My guess is Charest and Mulroney advised him 'Whatever you do, do NOT step foot in Montreal' Laughing

Brachina

If you connect this with sudden attack ads, the NDP polling at 37-38 percent, to Harper change in attidude towards Quebec, it shows he's scared of Mulcair. Its just a matter of connecting the dots.

autoworker autoworker's picture

It seems that Harper has conceded that there is no future for a conservative federalist option, and is seeking a back channel, through Mulroney, to conservative nationalists. It wouldn't be surprising that he may be trying to make inroads with the CAQ, but is wary of repeating the mistake he made with the ADQ.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CTV had brief coverage of the Harper appearance Sunday, and everyone had faux smiles - it looked to me like they were gritting their teeth behind those smiles. All the while Mulcair was in Montreal and enjoying a mile long parade, although I didn't see him in the coverage I was watching.

love is free love is free's picture

yeah, the cpc in quebec is like the ndp in alberta, it'll never again be a mainstream party.  part of me is pleased that harper seems to have decided to make an effort to woo quebec voters, in that, it could well mean less destructive policy coming out of ottawa.  but another part of me takes a dark pleasure watching harper and his media cronies ride the missile toward annihilation of the federation.  these columnists who whine about quebec and the left and the ndp, my guess is that they'd take mulcair pm in a heartbeat over the quebec independence drive that harper's government is powering.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I am glad Harper is going nowhere in Quebec but I don't see anything the matter with him reaching out to like minded right wing Quebec nationalists anymore than I see a problem with Mulcair trying to appeal to all left leaning voters in the province no matter their views on Quebec's independence.  Any Quebec voter who partakes in the federal electoral process should be appealed to on public policy grounds not using the constitutional issue as a wedge to drive progressives apart.

My worry on that file is that Mulcair will do a Mulroney and try to square the circle after gaining government.  That is a deadly thing for a federalist party.  Mulroney managed to piss off majorities in both official languages and his ideas where supposedly the best academics and others had to offer on the file.  Nothing has changed and I don't believe that there is any consensus in Quebec amongst federalists on what changes in the constitution need to occur for the National Assembly to sign on.  Too me that is an issues for the Quebec people to resolve in the NA and then to take that to the federal government to begin a process.  Politicians who want to push specific idea will find that they will never have a majority supporting any view but instead a majority will usually oppose any specific measure because it goes too far for some and not far enough for others.

love is free love is free's picture

really really funny (google translate)

http://www.lapresse.ca/debats/chroniques/stephane-laporte/201206/30/01-4...

CANADA WANTS TO KICK US OUT!

Stéphane Laporte , Special Press

Yesterday, in the Debates section of La Presse, there was an interesting open letter from the renowned political scientist Donald J. Savoie. We explained that if there's a third referendum on Quebec sovereignty, we should not count on Canadians from other provinces to hold us back. No love-in. No major events of love. No lark, gentle lark.

To the west, the fewer of provinces in this great country, the better, because it will not have to share his wealth. Ontario has lost interest in national unity. And the Atlantic provinces are tired of expensive Federal institutions of Bilingualism.

In short, everything suggests that if Quebec again threatening to leave, Canada will open the door and started his car remotely. Good riddance!

If Quebec separates, one day, Canadians will see the smile of satisfaction of parents when their son moved Tanguy, finally.

A survey from appearing on the perception of Canada by all its citizens confirms these statements. Canadians believe that Quebec is the province least well managed, it is the worst place to start a business and where people are less sympathetic.

Before, at least, the English we were poor but warm.

Now they really are poor and unpleasant.

We must face the facts, Canadians are tired of us. For them, our difference, we can put it where they think.

You may say that in 1995 the Canadians were not really so in love with us and that any demonstration of this Do not leave me, let me become the shadow of your frog was orchestrated by the federal government.

Exactly. Do not count on for Stephen Harper to convince the ROC need to keep Quebec in Canada. Does not even count on him to convince Quebecers to stay in Canada. No thousands of red and white flags. No thousands of brown envelopes. Nothing.

Because Stephen Harper, like the people who voted for him did not care in Quebec.

Christian was a member of Shawinigan. If Quebec separates, he lost his job.

Harper is MP for Calgary. If Quebec separates, it may keep her job even longer, so his constituents will be happy.

Think of it as it is needed, the separation of Quebec is the fantasy of Stephen Harper.

No more leftist, Mulcair finished, no more briefings in both languages, no more wasted time, no more subjects who do not like the queen. Canada would also be a great country united. The same. The Same. The Royal Canada. All bland like him. Happiness! The happiness!

Harper dream the night that Paul Piché take power in Quebec and we finally tick Yes.

The problem with Harper is that he has beautiful appoint officers unilingual anglophones, cut budgets for culture and ignore the environmental purposes of Quebec, it does not arouse nationalist aspirations of Quebecers. Nyet.

If the federal-provincial relations were relationships, Harper does everything for his girlfriend that the coward. He comes home late, do not communicate and does not pick up his junk, but the girl endures. Because she fears being alone.

Boyfriend and rage, because she can not wait to leave.

I think Canada has realized that Quebec independence will never happen if you wait after Quebecers to do it.

That's why I suspect Harper to have a plan B. A few days ago, Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney met in secret. It was certainly to outline its strategy.

If Quebec is not able to hold a referendum to leave Canada, why Canada would it not be a referendum to take Quebec out?

It has come here.

The exasperation is so Canadian.

The question is already found: "Do you think Quebec is no longer part of Canada?" It's clear. Stephane Dion will be happy. The referendum will be held from Vancouver to Halifax. Yes and will win. That's for sure.

Notice to Quebecers who really want to stay in Canada: it's time to get you going. You have a hill to climb.

Starting tomorrow, celebrating Canada with passion, singing of Glass Tiger and waving your flag maple vigorously.

And if you come across fellow canadians, be nice. And say happy birthday!

For other Quebecers, I wish you a good match between Spain and Italy.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Alberta is not Western Canada and most of us in BC, the province I live, in hate Harper as much as we hate Campbell or Quebec hates Charest. This is just a piece of separatist propaganda.

How would progressive people in Quebec like it if Charest was put forward as the true heart and soul of Quebec?

love is free love is free's picture

i don't think it's propaganda at all, actually sort of the opposite.  i guess it doesn't really come out in translation (actually, that translation is sort of incomprehensible at points), but the article is kind of riffing on a number of things - that survey that shows general canadian indifference to quebec's leaving canada, a prime minister who seems to be doing everything within his power to antagonize the province (with weird stands on social issues, unilingual political appointees, shipbuilding contracts, poor support of quebec legislative priorities), AND a quebec population that currently has little appetite for questions of independence, in spite of everything.  the humor is fatalistic and suggestive of a quebec society crippled by a lack of consensus and drifting on, rudderless.  jean charest could win the next election, with as low a personal popularity score as has ever been seen by an election winner - maybe in the western world.  we could end up with another referendum within the next 5 years, but only a rump minority is clamoring for one.  quebecois are stuck in a country they don't really like and that doesn't really want them, but the marriage just continues on, because neither really has the stomach to end it.  fatalistic comedy on that order is funny.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If Charest decides he's sick of all this and decides not to run again, who is most likely to replace him?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

If Charest decides he's sick of all this and decides not to run again, who is most likely to replace him?

 

I doubt Charest will ever become 'sick of all this'...He sticks to power like a parasite..Even when the federal PC's imploded and he was 1 of 2 remaining MP's,he found himself chief and clung to it like grim death.

I think Johnny strongly believes come next election,he'll be victorious.

If he loses and Harper continues to bomb in Quebec and somehow that will make the federal Conservatives lose their majority,don't be surprised if Charest takes over....Or,gawd help us,move to the PLC.

Who will replace him in the PLQ? ...I guess you should look to the most conservative cabinet member in that party..Who it is exactly,I don't know.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Any thoughts on how Charest is weathering the Bouchard Commission? I watched a bit of it on CPAC this morning - three hours coverage, all in French - and it must be making the PLQ nervous.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

love is free wrote:

 quebecois Progressives are stuck in a country they don't really like.

That is how I see it anyways.  Harper and Campbell and Mulroney and Bennett before them have totally changed our country in the last 30 years.  You want to put a date on it then think to the year the first food banks in Canada opened.  It has been that long that we have been going backwards.  Harper is the culmination of a long slide down a very slippery slope. Like all slippery slopes if you don't apply the brakes hard then you just keep picking up speed in the race to the bottom.

Quote:

The first food bank in Canada opened its doors in 1981 in the city of Edmonton, Alberta.[3] In 1987, the Canadian food bank community created the Canadian Association of Food Banks to represent food banks nationally.[4]

There are now over 700 food banks and 3,000 food programs available in Canada.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_Banks_Canada

quizzical

Edmonton huh! that's enough evidence right there to tear down conservative thinking. or maybe it proves they don't?

Doug

Boom Boom wrote:

If Charest decides he's sick of all this and decides not to run again, who is most likely to replace him?

 

I don't see why he would. It's very possible for him to win at least a minority government that could get the support of CAQ MNAs.

love is free love is free's picture

yeah, i'd bet on a marois win, but i could really see it going plq or caq, minority or majority.  it's just totally unclear at this point how it'll go down.  even more than that, with everything that's happened over the past year - the sweep of the bq and harper majority, the crazy rebellion in the pq, marois' return to form, the student strike and protests, the founding of the caq, and all the corruption stuff - it's not even clear if this will be a decicive election or not.  one is tempted to say that everything is on the line, that whatever path the people go will signal some resolution on these issues, but it also seems that one could very well say the opposite.  quebec politics is very unsatisfying at the moment.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

If you go on the last 2 byelections ...Most likely a PQ minority...The CAQ can only hope to merge with the PLQ at that point...The honeymoon with the CAQ lasted about a month (when they had people believing that they were a 'new' party)

David Young

Are Quebec's provincial riding boundaries due for changes as most other provinces are following the Census?

Would the Liberals be desperate enough to try and gerrymander the ridings to their benefit?

 

love is free love is free's picture

no changes on the horizon.  the pre-election is fully déclenché, with candidate and platform news pretty much every day now.  i think that we'll probably vote in october, with the announcement in august.  if people are thinking of vacation times in quebec, i can tell you that there's never a more temperate time than september, and that there are numerous montreal districts where solidaire could actually win out.

Bärlüer

I'll sound like a casseux de party again (cf. an earlier post of mine where I'm not especially sanguine about QS's chances of substantially increasing its presence in the National Assembly), but yesterday's news that Jean-François Lisée will run for the PQ in Rosemont seems to me to greatly reduce QS's chances in that riding. (People who vote PQ no matter what will by definition continue to vote PQ... and people who like/are interested in QS would tend to have a generally favorable view of Lisée, I'd say.)

love is free love is free's picture

yeah, that was a bummer to read about.  that said, as the may 2nd election showed, candidates often don't matter, and as amir's ousting turp showed, big name candidates that don't fit well with the neighborhood may suffer terrible reprisals.  i think it all hinges on a couple things, namely, whether amir (or françoise) can get into the debate, and whether the three big parties get into a debate that's too far removed from what most people care about.  it's happening right now - charest is doing a really good job making the pq candidate selection machinations seem equivalent to their years of corruption, making marois seem just as out of touch as charest, then suggesting that all things being equal, we keep with the party that's been doing a decent job on the economy.  the more these two (and a half) continue in that vein, the more terrain it leaves for solidaire's ras-le-bol message.

macktheknife

Boom Boom wrote:

CBC's P&P is reporting that Harper is scared out of his wits by the recent PQ byelection win - that he believes the PQ could win the next provincial election and that willl start the countdown clock again on the sovereignty debate, and that would throw his economic plan out the window. So, he's secretly meeting with former PM Mulroney to discuss various scenarios. Harper will be joined by many of his caucus members Sunday to celebrate the Quebec holiday, and there will be some kind of celebration with his four or five caucus members in Quebec. Harper's meeting with Mulroney is the first in more than five years - he exiled Mulroney from the PMO over the Karlheinz Schreiber business.

Harper in Quebec on June 24th. Fuck.

I don't think we can forget that the group of people Harper associates with  would LOVE a separate Quebec. They are anti-french, anti-Quebec, anti-bilingual. So, in my opinion, Harper isn't so much scared as hopeful.

love is free love is free's picture

yeah, harper today declared calgary to be "the greatest city in the greatest country in the world".  i can even begin to describe how shocked and appalled i feel at that sort of declaration.  i can't think of a single positive thing about calgary, not one thing, like if there was a city that i would not want to live, this would be it.  i've been on cross-country trips, canada world youth, vacations and visits all around, vancouver and victoria are okay, edmonton seems sort of neat, regina and winnipeg i actually really liked, toronto is a truly great city, ottawa can be really fun (probably know that place too well, actually), montreal is the only canadian city i could live forever, quebec is nice, cute baby halifax is cool.  every one of our cities has something that i appreciated, and often, really liked.  not calgary.  nothing to do, lame people, ugly built form, terrible culture, a general feeling of collective stupidity and greed, etc.  i just hate stephen harper's vision of canada, it's horrible, just horrible.

all of this to say that i'm beginning to believe that harper either can't understand the values disconnect at play here, or that he's just unwilling to bend on those/doesn't feel he needs to demonstrate any sort of nuance/actually just doesn't care wtf people in cities or quebec or wherever would think.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Harper's out to lunch. Has been, for years.

Brachina

It'll be a summer election. My bet is a Liberal Minority, I just don't think the PQ can win, Pauline's a lousy leader and Charest's part cockroach, aka the only creature surviving nuclear attack.

As for Harper fearing the PQ, its more like he fears being shoved to the side lines in a Federalism/Soveriegnty battle by Mulcair, I mean Harper's just a nonenity at best in Quebec, if the old battle resumes, people will turn to Mulcair to fight this battle, which means Harper loses Ontario for good and maybe Altantic Canada too.

Brachina

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Alberta is not Western Canada and most of us in BC, the province I live, in hate Harper as much as we hate Campbell or Quebec hates Charest. This is just a piece of separatist propaganda.

How would progressive people in Quebec like it if Charest was put forward as the true heart and soul of Quebec?

Well said. There is millions of Canadians in the ROC that hate and loath Harper. I didn't vote for the asshole, he is NOT the face of Canada, and to say he is is a huge insult to all those that oppose him.