The Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe seems to take exception to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s depiction of the Bloc as “… separatists and people trying to destroy Canada.” The words—as reported in the Globe and Mail—are Mr. Duceppe’s, but most would agree they sum up the PM’s view of the Bloc Québécois pretty well.
The PM’s view is likely shared by most Canadians outside Quebec, for only there and among some left-leaning and NDP-supporting Canadians is the Bloc seen otherwise. Apparently, many Quebecers and some Canadians like the author, Margaret Atwood, view the Bloc Québécois as simply a regional party, and believe voting for them places no additional obligation on the voter to support separatism. To me, this is a Twilight Zone-like view of the world—but then I don’t reside in Quebec, am not left-leaning and do not support the NDP.
It seems that Mr. Duceppe believes that Michael Ignatieff has a more tolerant opinion of the Bloc than does the PM does. And he has cause. After all, even though Mr. Ignatieff appeared cool to the Liberal-NDP coalition when it was formed last November, he did personally sign the agreement along with all Bloc and his fellow Liberal MPs.
Mr. Duceppe dismisses as “spin” the idea the Mr. Ignatieff would now prefer to let the January 27 budget pass and seek an election at a later, more advantageous date.
Mr. Duceppe seems to believe that the coalition is still a realistic possibility, and he says the it remains the best option to deal with Canada’s economic crisis, even if a coalition supported by the Bloc enjoys little support outside of Quebec.