Valley Voice stilled, Canada triumphant!


by admin on May 4, 2011

By Peter Connolly

When all the dust from the national vote settled early yesterday morning, we in the Pontiac found ourselves left without any representation in the majority Harper government. Majority in the sense that it has captured a clear majority of the seats in the House of Commons, while at the same time being rejected by an equally clear majority of sixty per cent of the electorate.

The voters of Pontiac have sent to the sidelines a vastly experienced, eminently qualified, moderate, senior minister in favour of an unknown, untried, newcomer of enviable enthusiasm, but little else to qualify him to come to our aid as a member of a party with a similar paucity of experience as the official Opposition, the New Democratic Party.

Worse still, with a majority of its members from Quebec(they being the majority group in the NDP caucus) who have little to qualify themselves as MPs except as apparent sacrificial lambs before the “orange wave” swept them into Parliament.

Before I offer my analysis of why this happened and what it means for the future of the Pontiac and the various players on the local and national scenes, I must express great joy, though no surprise, that separatism is dead.

Gilles Duceppe, in his last-minute desperation, joined forces with the Parti Quebecois and pleaded the issue of a Quebec nation as the rationale for the continued support of the Bloc. Quebecers from all across the province responded resoundingly with a cry of “anything but separation” – even the NDP!

Incidents will still occur, but the long-running spectre of the breakup of this magnificent country has finally been put to rest through the confident response of a new generation of Quebecers who see no need to isolate themselves behind an uncertain and unappealing barrier of fear and insecurity.
This has all happened because the majority of the electorate have at last, and thankfully, rejected the “old politics” of the Ottawa scene. Does this mean then that the NDP represent the future, that it is a “government in waiting?” I would suggest not.

In my view, the “orange wave” shall soon be spent on the cruel shores of reality due to the almost ridiculous makeup of over half its caucus and the chasm that exists between the expectations it has aroused and its ability to to satisfy them. They now must become the voice of Quebec in Parliament. Regrettably, they will pay a price for this in the rest of the country.

Remember the Action democratique du Quebec (ADQ) and its leader, Mario Dumont, who once engendered similar expectations, and who now occupy a well-earned place in the dustbins of political history.

Watch therefore for Bob Rae, another charter espouser of the “old politics,” in spite of his almost indecent call for a merger with the NDP, featuring himself as a prime mover, to be rejected by his new party. Thence, it is most likely that the Liberals will turn to Justin Trudeau and the dynamics of Canadian politics will shift once more.

While in the meantime, it is sad to say, the Pontiac and our beloved Valley will linger far from the helping hand of the federal government, until once again we have a chance to have our “voice” heard in the corridors of power.


Peter Connolly, a Chelsea resident, is a longtime observer of the political scene at all levels.