Interesting article in the Toronto Sun on the phenomenon of a party-within-a-party represented by the separatist inclinations of some Québec-based members of the ostensibly federalist New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada. Since the party’s electoral landslide in Québec during 2011’s federal elections across Canada (which effectively knocked out the once dominant nationalist Bloc Québécois) accusations have circulated that the NDP’s representatives from La Belle Province are not all that they seem.
“Is Thomas Mulcair’s New Democratic Party federalist in English-Canada while separatist in Quebec? The question could well become very embarrassing if the Quebec New Democrats keep sending mixed messages.
We all remember that many of the MPs elected in the May 2011 orange wave in La Belle Province were also separatists. Among others, Jack Layton’s successor as interim leader, Nycole Turmel, had to admit being a card-carrying member of the Bloc Quebecois and of the provincial radical left/separatist party Quebec Solidaire.
Like many voters in Quebec, many New Democrats don’t see any contradiction in supporting a federalist in Ottawa and a separatist in Quebec City.
Every time Rosemont’s NDP MP, Alexandre Boulerice, asks a question in the House of Commons, the Conservative MP for Nepean-Carleton, Pierre Poilievre, reminds us all that Boulerice has given money to Quebec Solidaire more than 30 times since its creation in 2006 (he continued even after he got elected) and demands that he reveal whether or not he’s a separatist.
I had Boulerice on my radio show two weeks ago and asked him three times if he would vote Yes or No on the question of separation and never got the beginning of an answer.
I know the issue may be difficult to understand for many readers in English-Canada, but being or voting separatist and federalist, back and forth, is not perceived as a contradiction in Quebec politics.”
These people support an idea that is, in their minds, beyond national struggles. They don’t see the contradiction of both supporting and fighting the federation because their leftist views are, for them, beyond the “Question nationale”. Québec Solidaire is, at it’s very core, seperatist only if the federation doesn’t support it’s leftist agenda. It’s only because two different questions, that of economic struggle and the other about the national struggle, co-exist independant from one another that this can be done without contradiction. And it’s far from being a generalized state; more than a few of us do point out the contradictions of supporting independance and a federalist party at the same time. These people simply don’t get to speak that much these days.