Wednesday night, in Quebec City, Stephen Harper claimed that the Bloc Quebecois was a party without a mission. He and his party, he said, were responsible for the Bloc's fall from grace:
“In spite of the popularity of the Bloc and other sovereigntist parties, support for sovereignty itself has fallen dramatically since our government came to office.”
Mr. Harper has a habit of taking credit for things which have nothing to do with him. For the last three years, he has travelled the world, extolling the virtues of the Canadian banking system, as if his government built it. The banks were protected from the rampant speculation of American and British banks because the Prime Minister's forebears did not follow the policies he says he believes in.
For the same three years, he and his government have peppered the nation with signs and television ads which sing the praises of Canada's Economic Action Plan, conveniently forgetting that the economic statement he and Jim Flaherty delivered in 2008 was about belt tightening, not expansion. Only when faced with a revolt of all three opposition parties, did he deliver a budget with the biggest deficit in Canadian history.
Now he and his confreres are responsible for the death of Quebec separatism. Those of us who grew up in Quebec know that Quebec nationalism is a dormant volcano. All it needs is a Maurice Duplessis, or a Rene Levesque or a Lucien Bouchard to encourage an eruption. Pierre Trudeau declared separatism dead. So did Jean Chretien. And now Stephen Harper takes credit for its demise. Only a man who thinks that The Harper Government is the Government of Canada would be foolish enough to make that claim.