So Much For The ‘Mass-Market Paperback Conspiracy’ Vote (Although Maybe There’s an Opportunity To Make Inroads With the ‘Master and Servant’ Crowd…)
A Conservative candidate running in a Montreal South Shore riding is a past spokeswoman and current member of Opus Dei, a secretive Catholic organization.
Nicole Charbonneau Barron, who is running for the Tories in Saint-Bruno-Saint-Hubert, is an active member of the ultra-orthodox society.
The Conservatives were not aware of her affiliation when she was chosen as a candidate, the party’s Quebec campaign spokesman Jean-Luc Benoît told newspaper La Presse.
Barron granted media interviews in 2006 as Opus Dei’s Montreal spokeswoman, at a time when a controversial film inspired by Dan Brown’s worldwide bestseller The Da Vinci Code was released in movie theatres.
The South Shore resident told francophone TV network LCN the movie was a caricature of the Catholic institution, and only a portion of Opus Dei members practised self-mortification, which features prominently in the film.
Risking eternal damnation for indulging the flesh, Gilles Duceppe nearly creams his chinos at the news:
Referring to the discovery that Nicole Charbonneau Barron, the Conservative candidate for St. Bruno-St. Hubert, a riding on Montreal’s south shore, was the former spokesperson for the group, Duceppe called Opus Dei a “secret society” with a “narrow ideology” that doesn’t fit with a modern Quebec.
“Those people are against a lot of things that are generally accepted in Quebec,” he told reporters in Quebec City. “That candidate said very openly that self-whipping is a sacrifice they have to make. I question such practices.”
Hmm. Not to defend everybody’s favourite shadowy ultra-orthodox papal sect, but, um, what’s wrong with a little self (or *ahem* mutual) whipping every now and then (between consenting adults, of course)? One hopes the Quebec BDSM community respectfully requests further clarification from M. Duceppe.
Steve V., one of my favourite capital-’L’ Liberal bloggers isn’t kidding when he says he’s “gone off the deep end.” Going from Dion to Iggy would be like trying to put out a forest fire with gasoline (or nitroglycerin). The recent Quebec by-elections have apparently given even the most sensible Grits PTSD (unless this dubious proposal is entirely modest in nature).
Entirely unrelated, I am absolutely in love with the new Battles video, Tonto:
Haven’t had a change to peruse ProgBlogs yet, nor give much thought to what the shut out means for Stephane Dion and the Grits. Nor have I considered the effect the results may have on Harper’s Oct 16th throne speech. All that can wait till tomorrow morning.
For the moment, I’m content to savour the following:
Thomas Mulcair, a newcomer to the NDP, has won the Montreal riding of Outremont, ahead of star Liberal candidate Jocelyn Coulon.
The NDP made Quebec history in winning a seat in Outremont, only the second time a New Democrat has ever been elected in la belle province and the second time a non-Liberal will hold the riding since 1935.
NDP Leader Jack Layton said it was a day to write a new page in Canadian politics.
“Today, Quebec has chosen a new direction, and it has started right here in Outremont. You have participated in making history and changing the course of politics in Quebec, and in Canada.”
Congratulations, Dippers. Y’all worked your asses off to earn this historic, well-deserved victory.
Jesus – the Tories really do appear to be once again cribbing from the GOP playbook. Of course, IMO this is all pure byelection pandering from the involved parties to xenophobic fears of the Quebecois electorate (Jesus, even the NDP!) Still, one can easily see how visions of convenient disenfranchisement could be dancing through their market-lovin’, equality hatin’ heads.
Canadian democracy must be another one of those ‘socialist schemes’ Harper hates so much.
Conservatives represent the interests of “hard-working people who didn’t have the time to stage protests or the money to hire lobbyists.“
“Dear friends”, blah blah blah, “Conservative values”, blah blah blah, “Conservative accomplishments”, blah blah blah, Conservatives “work for the well-being of…people that work hard, and have no time to protest, and who don’t have the time to protest, or have the money to hire protesters.“
Bolstered by the results of this past Monday’s election in Quebec (in which the PQ fell to third place and the conservative pro-’autonomy’ ADQ went from 5 to 41 seats to become the official opposition), a weakened Bloc Quebecois forced to support passage of the Tory’s voter-friendly budget, and not-quite-majority-level poll numbers*, PM Stephen Harper is quietly musing about a spring election, Susan Delacorte and Richard Brennan of the Toronto Star report. With everything seemingly coming up Harper, one is tempted to reflexively discount the obligatory denials emanating from official Tory circles.
Not so fast, says Don Martin:
Conventional wisdom suggests Harper could count his Conservative electoral gains by overlaying the federal riding map on right-leaning ADQ constituency conquests.
But there has been no discernible warming to the campaign concept inside the PMO and Harper was at it again on Tuesday, insisting he has no intention of forcing an election unless his agenda is suddenly derailed by Parliament.
[...] [T]he not-so-hidden warning of this election and politics in general these days is that there’s no sure thing anymore. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach? Liberal Leader Stephane Dion? Official Opposition Leader Mario Dumont? Implausible titles all just six months ago.
While Stephen Harper counts up his many blessings, he surely understands the risk of going to the polls based on fleeting favourable conditions. The last title he wants is Former Prime Minister.
Sinister Greg, however, thinks the temptation will be too great for Harper to ignore:
I realize the stunning rise of ADQ power is like red meat to the Blogging Tories who were pretty jazzed by the prospect of a spring election before the results of the Quebec election were known. This is inevitable, I’m afraid. They were itching to go before and will be howling now. I can live with that.
Harper may not have much choice but to call an election. The conditions seem perfect for him (even though I am convinced they are not) and the temptation to go is overwhelming.
Greg also points out that, contra conventional wisdom (/grin), new (right-of-centre) Quebec opposition leader Mario Dumont is not a federalist in the ‘traditional’ sense (then again, neither is the Prime Minister, at least not as currently defined). [update: more on Dumont from Radical Centrist.]
My advice to Canadian voters (FWIW): Get ready to visit the polls for the third time in as many years, sooner rather than later.
*Contrast the results of the Leger marketing survey with this Decima poll. Keep in mind both polls were conducted before this past Monday’s election in Quebec.