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NDP Congress in Quebec City


August1991

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First, some "big" names quit the party:

The co-president of the New Democrats' Quebec campaign in the past election, Carl Hétu, and Pierre Laliberté, the NDP candidate in Hull–Aylmer the past two elections, have both accused Mr. Layton of spending too little time in the province during the election early this year and of centralizing power at the expense of the party's grassroots.

Mr. Hétu said he was leaving the party while Mr. Laliberté said he was “taking his distance.”

Economist Paul Summerville, who ran for the NDP in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, said he was leaving the party because the leadership would not counter the strong “anti-market rhetoric” from the grassroots. Mr. Summerville said he hopes to attend the Liberal leadership convention in Montreal as a supporter of Bob Rae, the former NDP premier of Ontario.

G & M

Then the NDP votes on Afghanistan:

New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton received the overwhelming support of party delegates Saturday for his controversial call to pull Canadian troops from Afghanistan.
G & M

Then the NDP accepts the so-called Sherbrooke declaration about Quebec:

...le Nouveau Parti démocratique (NPD) reconnaît le caractère national du Québec et son droit à l'autodétermination, précisant que « ce caractère peut trouver son expression dans le contexte fédéral canadien ».

Il défend du même souffle un « fédéralisme asymétrique » tenant compte de ce que « la construction d'une identité et d'institutions nationales s'est fait (sic) de manière différenciée » au Québec par rapport au reste du Canada.

...

La déclaration adoptée affirme encore que « le NPD reconnaîtrait une décision majoritaire (50 % + 1) des Québécoises et Québécois, advenant la tenue d'un référendum visant à modifier le statut politique du Québec ». Elle précise aussi que le parti reconnaît « la capacité de l'Assemblée nationale de rédiger [...] une question référendaire ».

R-C

In essence, the NDP recognizes the "national character" of Quebec and supports an asymmetric federal state. In addition, it accepts that the Quebec National Assembly has authority to choose wording in a referendum and to win would require "only" 50% + 1.

There's also talk of setting up (again) a provincial NDP in Quebec.

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I'm not sure how all this will go over in English-Canada. But I have a suspicion that this will help the campaigns of Rae, Dion and Kennedy.

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I'm not sure how all this will go over in English-Canada. But I have a suspicion that this will help the campaigns of Rae, Dion and Kennedy.

Could it also help the Greens in their hopes of replacing the NDP as the voice of the left?

Could be some interesting vote-splitting, and at least temporary loss of many ridings to non-"progressive" parties.

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I'm not sure how all this will go over in English-Canada. But I have a suspicion that this will help the campaigns of Rae, Dion and Kennedy.

Could it also help the Greens in their hopes of replacing the NDP as the voice of the left?

Absolutely. If the Liberals don't beat them too it...

If Rae wins, the end of the NDP is nearly instantaneous. The Liberals becoming a socialist machine would definitely end any hope of NDP success beyond a couple autoworkers and coal miners ridings.

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If Rae wins, the end of the NDP is nearly instantaneous. The Liberals becoming a socialist machine would definitely end any hope of NDP success beyond a couple autoworkers and coal miners ridings.
I'm not even certain they'd get the auto worker vote since the CAW has dissociated itself from the NDP.

Layton has flip-flopped before on the Clarity Act. In the 2004 camapaign, he wanted to repeal it. Then in the 2006 campaign, he supported it. Now, the NDP policy seems to be to repeal it.

In 2004, this is how Stephane Dion dealt with a journalist's question about Layton:

Stéphane Dion, first thing first, you know your party leader has now made it very clear that he would not repeal the Clarity Act. Why are you so upset with what Jack Layton had to say?

Stéphane Dion: Because he's trying to deprive my right as a Canadian to be Canadian as long as the people of my province did not clearly decide to stop to be Canadian. We Quebecers we're as Canadian as Ontarians, like Mr. Layton. We have the same rights to be Canadian and a separatist government cannot remove this right to me through a confused process and through an unlawful process and Mr. Layton thinks he is open to Quebec in saying that he will repeal the Clarity Act.

CBC

This latest policy will get the NDP absolutely no votes in Quebec but will likely lose them votes in English-Canada. The departure of Paul Somerville simply shows that the NDP is stuck in a pre-1970 economic timewarp. It is incapable of accepting or even understanding market relations.

I have the impression that the NDP has been taken over by some old socialist fogeys and Layton simply lacks the gumption to stand up to them.

If either Rae or Dion is chosen as Liberal leader, the NDP will fare very badly with the programme they have just given themselves.

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If Rae wins, the end of the NDP is nearly instantaneous. The Liberals becoming a socialist machine would definitely end any hope of NDP success beyond a couple autoworkers and coal miners ridings.
I'm not even certain they'd get the auto worker vote since the CAW has dissociated itself from the NDP.

Layton has flip-flopped before on the Clarity Act. In the 2004 camapaign, he wanted to repeal it. Then in the 2006 campaign, he supported it. Now, the NDP policy seems to be to repeal it.

In 2004, this is how Stephane Dion dealt with a journalist's question about Layton:

Stéphane Dion, first thing first, you know your party leader has now made it very clear that he would not repeal the Clarity Act. Why are you so upset with what Jack Layton had to say?

Stéphane Dion: Because he's trying to deprive my right as a Canadian to be Canadian as long as the people of my province did not clearly decide to stop to be Canadian. We Quebecers we're as Canadian as Ontarians, like Mr. Layton. We have the same rights to be Canadian and a separatist government cannot remove this right to me through a confused process and through an unlawful process and Mr. Layton thinks he is open to Quebec in saying that he will repeal the Clarity Act.

True enough about the autoworkers. One Windsor riding, traditionally very pro-union NDP even went CPC last election. What exactly do they have left? Is there a possibility the vote could be split so badly the CPC squeaks a majority through by the disarray of the left? How far away are we from a unite the left movement?

What is the opinion of the Clarity Act in Quebec August, it's an important part of Canadian politics I never understood. Does the opinion fall along sovereigntist lines or is it more scattered?

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Not sure who posted this, since the quoting sequence seems scrambled:

Stéphane Dion: Because he's trying to deprive my right as a Canadian to be Canadian as long as the people of my province did not clearly decide to stop to be Canadian. We Quebecers we're as Canadian as Ontarians, like Mr. Layton. We have the same rights to be Canadian and a separatist government cannot remove this right to me through a confused process and through an unlawful process and Mr. Layton thinks he is open to Quebec in saying that he will repeal the Clarity Act.

One of the reasons I don't think secession should be up for discussion is that it deprive people with settled expectations of a Canadian identity of that right. I am sick and tired of political correctness depriving people of their rights in this manner.

What is the opinion of the Clarity Act in Quebec August, it's an important part of Canadian politics I never understood. Does the opinion fall along sovereigntist lines or is it more scattered?

I'd like an answer on that too.

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What is the opinion of the Clarity Act in Quebec August, it's an important part of Canadian politics I never understood. Does the opinion fall along sovereigntist lines or is it more scattered?
It alters the negotiation, sort of.

Here's one example of a sovereignist view: A PQ government is elected promising to hold a referendum. The government organizes a "national" commission to consult with all regions and then write a constitution of an independent Quebec. The government then presents the constitution to Quebec's National Assembly for adoption.

Once adopted, by the legal representatives of the Quebec people, the Quebec government declares independance and asks the people of Quebec to confirm this through a referendum.

The Clarity Act gives a negotiating point to the federal government. It will be harder for the Quebec government to obtain international approval.

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Believe me, everything debated on this forum is expressed ten times more on my French forum. The threat of Hull or Westmount seceding from an independant Quebec? Debated. How Indians and Eskimos in northern Quebec will respond to an independant Quebec? Debated.

Quebec's sovereignty is an obsession. It consumes Quebec politics. Bush, Al-Qaeda, Harper, Iraq - in Quebec, it all becomes part of the national question.

Sovereignists are as obsessed about independance as NDPers are obsessed about the USA.

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I have the impression that the NDP has been taken over by some old socialist fogeys and Layton simply lacks the gumption to stand up to them.

Prediction:

NDP will have a big lose in seats in the next election,

and Layton's 92% approval rating this past weekend will be his last as leader of the NDP.

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Believe me, everything debated on this forum is expressed ten times more on my French forum. The threat of Hull or Westmount seceding from an independant Quebec? Debated. How Indians and Eskimos in northern Quebec will respond to an independant Quebec? Debated.

Quebec's sovereignty is an obsession. It consumes Quebec politics. Bush, Al-Qaeda, Harper, Iraq - in Quebec, it all becomes part of the national question.

Sovereignists are as obsessed about independance as NDPers are obsessed about the USA.

Is there a translation, either into English or Canadian, of this forum?

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Believe me, everything debated on this forum is expressed ten times more on my French forum. The threat of Hull or Westmount seceding from an independant Quebec? Debated. How Indians and Eskimos in northern Quebec will respond to an independant Quebec? Debated.

Quebec's sovereignty is an obsession. It consumes Quebec politics. Bush, Al-Qaeda, Harper, Iraq - in Quebec, it all becomes part of the national question.

Sovereignists are as obsessed about independance as NDPers are obsessed about the USA.

Is there a translation, either into English or Canadian, of this forum?

Pardon?

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Believe me, everything debated on this forum is expressed ten times more on my French forum. The threat of Hull or Westmount seceding from an independant Quebec? Debated. How Indians and Eskimos in northern Quebec will respond to an independant Quebec? Debated.

Quebec's sovereignty is an obsession. It consumes Quebec politics. Bush, Al-Qaeda, Harper, Iraq - in Quebec, it all becomes part of the national question.

Sovereignists are as obsessed about independance as NDPers are obsessed about the USA.

Is there a translation, either into English or Canadian, of this forum?

Pardon?

And your question?

I asked if there was a translation of French-language forum referenced above into either English or Canadian language?

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I have the impression that the NDP has been taken over by some old socialist fogeys and Layton simply lacks the gumption to stand up to them.

Prediction:

NDP will have a big lose in seats in the next election,

and Layton's 92% approval rating this past weekend will be his last as leader of the NDP.

I hope so. :lol:

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Believe me, everything debated on this forum is expressed ten times more on my French forum. The threat of Hull or Westmount seceding from an independant Quebec? Debated. How Indians and Eskimos in northern Quebec will respond to an independant Quebec? Debated.

Quebec's sovereignty is an obsession. It consumes Quebec politics. Bush, Al-Qaeda, Harper, Iraq - in Quebec, it all becomes part of the national question.

Sovereignists are as obsessed about independance as NDPers are obsessed about the USA.

Is there a translation, either into English or Canadian, of this forum?

Pardon?

And your question?

I asked if there was a translation of French-language forum referenced above into either English or Canadian language?

Okay that makes sense now......I thought you were asking if mapleleaf web was translated into english...what language is Canadian?

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Okay that makes sense now......I thought you were asking if mapleleaf web was translated into english...what language is Canadian?

Whatever language is commonly spoken in non-French Canada. For example, you sit on Chesterfields, not couches. You "lay-bour" quite hard, not "lay-boor". I assume you have your own language.

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Okay that makes sense now......I thought you were asking if mapleleaf web was translated into english...what language is Canadian?

Whatever language is commonly spoken in non-French Canada. For example, you sit on Chesterfields, not couches. You "lay-bour" quite hard, not "lay-boor". I assume you have your own language.

While some sit on a chesterfield, I sit on a sofa..and with some ameicans, I couch my language

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Here's one example of a sovereignist view: A PQ government is elected promising to hold a referendum. The government organizes a "national" commission to consult with all regions and then write a constitution of an independent Quebec. The government then presents the constitution to Quebec's National Assembly for adoption.

Once adopted, by the legal representatives of the Quebec people, the Quebec government declares independance and asks the people of Quebec to confirm this through a referendum.

The Clarity Act gives a negotiating point to the federal government. It will be harder for the Quebec government to obtain international approval.

It can't be adopted, though, until receiving Royal Assent from the Lieutenant-Governor. The process by which that "constitution" lands on her desk, as described above, would be deemed illegal under the Canadian constitution, which Quebec is still bound by. Thus, it's very likely that the L-G would be forced to refuse Assent. If the PQ government went ahead anyway, and declared the Quebec constitution ratified, and Quebec independent, on their own accord, they would likewise be acting illegally. What the consequences of that would be? I don't know; but I imagine they wouldn't be pretty.

I think the Clarity Act simply enhances the federal government's negotiating powers. The guidelines pertaining to the succession of a province from Canada were already pretty narrow, but the Clarity Act just makes them narrower, though more defined.

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Here's one example of a sovereignist view: A PQ government is elected promising to hold a referendum. The government organizes a "national" commission to consult with all regions and then write a constitution of an independent Quebec. The government then presents the constitution to Quebec's National Assembly for adoption.

Once adopted, by the legal representatives of the Quebec people, the Quebec government declares independance and asks the people of Quebec to confirm this through a referendum.

The Clarity Act gives a negotiating point to the federal government. It will be harder for the Quebec government to obtain international approval.

It can't be adopted, though, until receiving Royal Assent from the Lieutenant-Governor. The process by which that "constitution" lands on her desk, as described above, would be deemed illegal under the Canadian constitution, which Quebec is still bound by. Thus, it's very likely that the L-G would be forced to refuse Assent. If the PQ government went ahead anyway, and declared the Quebec constitution ratified, and Quebec independent, on their own accord, they would likewise be acting illegally. What the consequences of that would be? I don't know; but I imagine they wouldn't be pretty.

I think the Clarity Act simply enhances the federal government's negotiating powers. The guidelines pertaining to the succession of a province from Canada were already pretty narrow, but the Clarity Act just makes them narrower, though more defined.

Can one be certain that is the case?

In most recent events involving the representative of the crown in disagreement with the elected commons, the commons has won. While the LG may have a formal constitutional role in approving legislation, I think that the common law requires that the LG take the advice of the government.

Secondly, the LG in Canadian Provinces represents the Governor General, head of state for Canada. It is likely that any legislation passed by the Quebec legislature would include cutting the link between the Head of State for Canada (GG) and the Head of state for the province (LG). So the bill declaring independence would render the power of the LG as it exists null and void.

The LG is just not a player in the separation of a province from Canada because the LG is Canada symbolically and Canada will be gone from the affairs of the province.

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Can one be certain that is the case?

In most recent events involving the representative of the crown in disagreement with the elected commons, the commons has won. While the LG may have a formal constitutional role in approving legislation, I think that the common law requires that the LG take the advice of the government.

Secondly, the LG in Canadian Provinces represents the Governor General, head of state for Canada. It is likely that any legislation passed by the Quebec legislature would include cutting the link between the Head of State for Canada (GG) and the Head of state for the province (LG). So the bill declaring independence would render the power of the LG as it exists null and void.

The LG is just not a player in the separation of a province from Canada because the LG is Canada symbolically and Canada will be gone from the affairs of the province.

Well, I'm relatively certain that's the case. Though the vice-regal almost always follows the advice of his or her ministers, this is simply a convention followed to ensure the stability of government. The Queen or her reps can refuse that advice in extreme circumstances, and have done so in the past: one example being Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta, John C. Bowen, who in 1937 refused to grant Royal Assent to three bills passed by William Aberhart's Social Credit government on the grounds that they were unconstitutional. The passing of a new Quebec constitution would be regarded as a unilateral declaration of independence, which the Supreme Court has already decreed would be illegal. Thus, it seems very likely that, on those grounds, the L-G of Quebec would refuse Royal Assent to the bill, thereby thwarting Quebec's unconstitutional secession.

Certainly the L-G is appointed by the Governor General (on behalf of the Queen, who is actually the Canadian head of state), but he or she acts as the representative of the Crown in the province, not as a rep of the federal government. It's also true that a Quebec ministry could (and most likely would) write in a clause eliminating the Crown (and thus the L-G) from Quebec. But, until that theoretical Quebec constitutional bill, regardless of its contents, receives Royal Assent from the Lieutenant Governor, it will never have effect, and thus the L-G remains representative of the Queen in Quebec.

As I said, the Quebec cabinet could "declare" the constitution valid without the granting of Royal Assent, but such an act would still be illegal.

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Can one be certain that is the case?

In most recent events involving the representative of the crown in disagreement with the elected commons, the commons has won. While the LG may have a formal constitutional role in approving legislation, I think that the common law requires that the LG take the advice of the government.

Secondly, the LG in Canadian Provinces represents the Governor General, head of state for Canada. It is likely that any legislation passed by the Quebec legislature would include cutting the link between the Head of State for Canada (GG) and the Head of state for the province (LG). So the bill declaring independence would render the power of the LG as it exists null and void.

The LG is just not a player in the separation of a province from Canada because the LG is Canada symbolically and Canada will be gone from the affairs of the province.

Well, I'm relatively certain that's the case. Though the vice-regal almost always follows the advice of his or her ministers, this is simply a convention followed to ensure the stability of government. The Queen or her reps can refuse that advice in extreme circumstances, and have done so in the past: one example being Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta, John C. Bowen, who in 1937 refused to grant Royal Assent to three bills passed by William Aberhart's Social Credit government on the grounds that they were unconstitutional. The passing of a new Quebec constitution would be regarded as a unilateral declaration of independence, which the Supreme Court has already decreed would be illegal. Thus, it seems very likely that, on those grounds, the L-G of Quebec would refuse Royal Assent to the bill, thereby thwarting Quebec's unconstitutional secession.

Certainly the L-G is appointed by the Governor General (on behalf of the Queen, who is actually the Canadian head of state), but he or she acts as the representative of the Crown in the province, not as a rep of the federal government. It's also true that a Quebec ministry could (and most likely would) write in a clause eliminating the Crown (and thus the L-G) from Quebec. But, until that theoretical Quebec constitutional bill, regardless of its contents, receives Royal Assent from the Lieutenant Governor, it will never have effect, and thus the L-G remains representative of the Queen in Quebec.

As I said, the Quebec cabinet could "declare" the constitution valid without the granting of Royal Assent, but such an act would still be illegal.

The GG and all the LG's do represent the Queen but like the Queen they no longer have any effective power over the legislature.

Can the Canadian courts make rulings about the legality of a province declaring its independence? It may breach some Canadian laws but doesn't international law recognize a right to self-government that would be a higher law then Canadian law?

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This thread has seriously drifted. Am I to blame?

Thus, it's very likely that the L-G would be forced to refuse Assent. If the PQ government went ahead anyway, and declared the Quebec constitution ratified, and Quebec independent, on their own accord, they would likewise be acting illegally. What the consequences of that would be? I don't know; but I imagine they wouldn't be pretty.
That's an interesting point, bambino. The LG is appointed by the GG as advised by the federal PM. In Quebec, the LG chosen has always been a strong federalist whose loyalty is not in doubt.

When the PQ has been in power, this has meant friction and slights. In PQ eyes, the LG was not a symbol of Quebec - but an intrusion.

In the case outlined, I have no doubt the LG would refuse assent to a Quebec constitution passed by the National Assembly. This would weaken somewhat the PQ's hand when seeking foreign recognition of a sovereign Quebec.

I think the Clarity Act simply enhances the federal government's negotiating powers. The guidelines pertaining to the succession of a province from Canada were already pretty narrow, but the Clarity Act just makes them narrower, though more defined.
I agree. The Clarity Act just offers another negotiating tool to the federal government.

In the event of the scenario described above, foreign governments would likely tell the Quebec and Canadian governments to solve the problem themselves. The Clarity Act offers foreign governments a polite way to avoid getting involved.

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In any case, this is just one of several possible scenarios. Parizeau's intention was to win a referendum, try to negotiate with the federal government and then faced with the expected failure of negotiations, to declare independence in the National Assembly and simultaneously seek international recognition.

If Boisclair is elected, he will likely try a similar strategy.

It's true however that to be "legal", any legislation passed by the National Assembly must be approved by the LG, and that person is chosen by the federal government.

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