Monday, February 04, 2013

NDP Toys With Quebec

Ralph Goodale with another solid analysis of the national political scene, as viewed from the trenches in Ottawa.

A commentary by the Member of Parliament for Wascana

February 4th, 2013


Thomas Mulcair’s NDP keep coming up with troubling prescriptions for Canada’s future.

First, last summer, they depicted the development of natural resources in western Canada as a “disease” harmful to manufacturing in the east. They deliberately attacked western Premiers, and pitted sector-against-sector, region-against-region.

Obviously, Mr. Mulcair was going after votes elsewhere than in the West, and he was specifically prepared to sacrifice the well-being of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Now, this past week, there’s another NDP gambit, playing fast-and-loose with another dimension of Canadian unity – i.e., the terms upon which a province might claim the right to separate from the rest of the country.

Having faced two previous separatist referenda in Quebec, which put the country through great anguish and uncertainty, the Parliament of Canada adopted The Clarity Act in the year 2000.

Based on advice from the Supreme Court, this law says the federal government shall not negotiate any province’s separatist aspirations unless the population of that province “has clearly expressed its democratic will that the province secede from Canada”. The referendum necessary to determine that “democratic will” would have to involve a clear vote on a clear question.

The NDP supported The Clarity Act back in 2000. During the most recent federal election, they said they were not calling for its repeal. But all of that changed last week. They tabled draft legislation to get rid of the Act, and make it easier for separatists to win.

The NDP would eliminate the role of the Parliament of Canada – i.e., the one legislative body that includes the elected representatives of all Canadians – in determining whether any proposed referendum question is unmistakably clear.

But even worse, the NDP say a bare majority voting “yes” – i.e. 50%-plus one – would be sufficient to cause this country to be broken up. And that’s 50%-plus one of those who actually turn-out, not the total voting age population.

It takes a two-thirds majority to amend the constitution of the NDP as a political party, but Mr. Mulcair would let Canada disintegrate based on the ambiguous views of a minority share of the population in one province. Surely that’s just wrong!

-- Post From My iPhone

No comments: