Friday, May 23, 2008

Jean Charest's mess

Oh looky, fallout from the Bouchard-Taylor commission goes into constitutional territory:
Mr. Dumont accused the commission of failing to include that the Canadian Constitution was imposed on Quebec in 1982 and that as a nation it deserved proper legal protection.

“We want the Constitution to be formally amended so that it recognizes the Québécois nation,” he told the National Assembly.
Dumont's not exactly Mr. Popularity these days, so this call is likely to have little resonance. We did, however, witness a Conservative cabinet minister from Quebec musing about the same idea just recently, only to be vaguely kiboshed by the PM. Isn't it interesting to see the idea resorted to from time to time, always a reminder of the danger posed by that little harmless, symbolic resolution.

Not to be outdone, Pauline Marois also called for legal recognition of the Quebec identity, but in ultimately a more severe manner:
Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois also criticized the commission's failure to address the “identity malaise” that exists in Quebec and accused the Premier of deliberately avoiding the issue.

“The identity question demands more than half-measures and must go beyond symbols. It demands a firm commitment … that should be written in our laws,” Ms. Marois said in the National Assembly, adding that the only real solution to the identity debate would be for Quebec to become a sovereign country.
Capital idea, this commission, Mr. Charest, just capital. He deserves every difficulty in wading through these self-inflicted controversies.