Good news for federalists
Whilethe Bloc Québécois may win more Quebec seats than it did at the last election, for the first time in decades, a federalist leader is beating a sovereignist in popularity in La Belle Province. Quebec born Jack Layton, with his pure “accent de pure laine Anglais du Québec”, is Quebec’s preferred leader in this election. 48% of us would prefer to have a beer with him, way ahead of Gilles Duceppe at 20%. He would also be the best hockey coach for our kids and the best neighbour.
Now, these surveys must be taken with a grain of salt and, while we can hardly dispute the data from Léger Marketing, they will not translate into many votes when the NDP is not even able to field a candidate in Sherbrooke as we go to press. It could be understood if the party had done badly in the last election, but it was not the case. Television personality Yves Mondoux had an impressive showing in the last election.
While we tend to think of the Johnson family in Quebec as the archetype of a political dynasty, the Laytons are another breed. The present NDP leader comes from a long line of politicians: all Conservatives! His grand-father was a Duplessis minister, who must have been in the wrong party as he was proposing that women could vote in the 1930’s! Not surprisingly, he resigned when Duplessis gave his famous October 4th 1939 speech with the punch line of: “J’aime mieux que la population de Québec soit administrée par Québec, pour Québec, que par Ottawa, pour Ottawa.” (I much prefer that the population of Quebec be administered by Quebec, for Quebec, than by Ottawa for Ottawa.) Duplessis also opposed conscription in the same speech.
His father was also a Conservative, when it was still the ProgressiveConservative party, and a minister in Brian Mulroney’s government.
But it’s in Toronto that Jack (will you call a beer buddy by his family name?) moved and got involved in politics and, as the Conservatives shed the progressive from their name, he went to the NDP.
Now, for most Quebeckers, the NDP is a sort of private chapel where former hippies’ congregate singing Solidarity Forever with the fervour once heard in hymn singing at church. Elsewhere in Canada this is not the case: it’s a real party, with real down-to-earth members from the working class to small business owners.
But in Quebec, apart for consumer rights advocate Phil Edmunston, a political comet that soon faded away, the NDP is a party of one: Thomas Mulcair, who has passed the test of being re-elected in what was Quebec’s safest Liberal seat: Outremont. He also comes from a political family, having Honoré Mercier in his family line. He is also a man of principle, having resigned over the Orford saga when he was the environment minister of Jean Charest. He was up to then one of the most despised politicians by the sovereignists, but politics makes for strange bedfellows and nobody would argue that the Bloc and PQ machines were behind his two victories. But we are not in Outremont, nor Gatineau or the Saguenay where they may have a chance of electing a second or a third Member of Parliament. Here we have the usual nobodies running to be fourth in front of the Greens, and this is when the nobody is known.
So the good news for federalists is that one of their own is Quebec’s (and Canada’s) most popular politician. Unfortunately, this cannot be translated locally into votes that have any meaning except to hurt the Bloc Québécois slightly and the Liberals badly.
an illicit $200,000 donation to the reelection campaign of President * +,- million in no-interest loans made to Afghan political elite.
more than $3 billion in cash was openly flown out of ' / ' top Afghan officials. Dear Chairman Chaffetz,
Earlier this week the New York Times reported that the ' ( ) 0 +,- million in no interest loans to Afghan political elite. As previously reported by the New Yorker, Afghan officials have International Airport by top Afghan officials and former Vice President Ahmad Zia Massoud’s attempted to leave the country with $52 million in cash.
As Congress attempts to get America’s fiscal house in order, we should be questioning every U.S. dollar spent in support of this corrupt government. I write to urge you to open an investigation into these recent reports and conduct a series of hearings to put a spotlight on the waste and misuse of funds provided by American taxpayers in support of a hopelessly corrupt Afghan government.
I look forward to working with you and Ranking Member Tierney on this issue. Sincerely,
PETER WELCH Member of Congress