Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Could Allan Rock and Jean LaPierre maybe be related?

Excuse the misleading post title.

While Jean LaPierre has turned out to be a bit of a, well, bungle-ass, I actually originally thought it was a good move by Paul Martin to bring him on board as Quebec lieutenant. Separatist, schmeparatist, I thought.

Anyway, Andre Pratte, chief editorialist for La Presse, has a good piece in *gasp* The National Post today explaining how it is imperative for the Liberals, Conservatives, etc. to embrace Quebec nationalists, reformed or otherwise.

I concur.

I confess to finding it a little baffling that whenever a federalist political party even speaks to someone who once flirted with la souverainte-association while out drinking at a St. Denis bar, English-Canadian pundits/politicians get up in arms. Um, I thought the idea was to make separatists realise it was a good idea to be a part Canada. Maybe even, heck, get them involved with federalist politics, building a better country, yadda-yadda...

But no, as soon as someone like Jean LaPierre changes his stripes, people cry foul: Are you now or have you ever been a separatist? Have you ever worn a black turtleneck and smoked Gauloises? Have you ever spent more than half an hour arguing about the exact definition of the word 'distincte'? Do you know all the words to Gens du Pays?

When the inquisition extends to those who aren't even politicians, say, Olympic athletes, then it gets a bit ugly. [Note to the Toronto Sun: A guy who voted Yes in 1995 is now proud to wave the Canadian flag and you think it's a bad thing?]

This is, of course, part of a bigger problem in politics, the reason why I will never get involved: Politicians who change their minds about issues are called hypocrites, flip-floppers, washy-washy. In real life, people who change their minds are called human.

As John Meynard Keynes said, "When the facts change, I change my mind – what do you do, sir?"

Bam! Keynesian zinger! That's it. I'm outta here! Unity problems: solved.

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