How dare Philippe “The Chicken” Couillard think that he has earned the right to speak for anyone in Quebec officially, but his Liberal Party when he refuses to ask for the privilege by running in the first available by-election ? I just do not understand the Liberal Party of Quebec when it comes to electing a new leader for their party. I mean they are still the official opposition, because there was no one else in the race for the non Francophone vote in Quebec. I mean really, literally no other federalist party stepped up to the plate, and ran for the position of Premiere of Quebec. The Conservative party did not bother, neither did the NDP and neither did the Green Party, so all other parties were separatist, despite some small differences to approaching their ultimate goal.
The Liberals were once again being accused of corruption including illegal election campaign financing and government contract rigging which threatened to have them heaved from office on their scandalous arses, but were spared this fate simply because for the English and non Francophone Quebecers there was no one else for them to vote for; the rest of the federalist parties could not give a damn what happens to the non Francophone citizens of Quebec on a provincial level and only seek our vote on a federal level. What happened instead was the non Francophone voter decided to cut off the head of the snake, Jean Charest, vote the Liberals back into power and allow them the opportunity to get a new leader, reinvent themselves into a better functioning party with fresh ideas that do not involve corruption and at least have some of the Liberal Party of olds social values. What they got after all the hoopla is a leader who quit his post amid scandal, has come to the table with very old stale and potentially dangerous ideas and who’s only saving grace is that he claims to be a federalist.
The non Francophone voter was put through what I feel is a long costly process of candidates informing us about why they thought that they should be chosen as the leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec and why the other candidates should not; what direction they intended to take the liberal party and what they saw as their main point of focus in uniting Quebec and keeping the province in Canada. To that end Raymond Blanchard brought into light the friendship of Philippe Couillard and disgraced Arthur Porter the former head of the McGill University Health Centre who left Montreal last year amid controversy. For anyone who does not know, Porter is wanted in Quebec on charges of accepting kickbacks in relation to a $1.3-billion hospital construction contract awarded to SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.. Raymond Blanchard reminded us all of Philippe Couillard’s business ties and friendship with this accused fraudster. Philippe Couillard’s only reply was he does not worry about being seen as to chummy his pal Porter, because the Liberal Party does not seem to care about any of that. At a time when the Liberal Party of Quebec is trying to distance itself from the MUHC scandal and claim they had no part in any corruption, is it wise to make a friend and former business associate of the number one suspect accused of bilking the Canadian and Quebec taxpayers out of over a billion dollars on this file their leader? The fact that he refuses to deny his friendship with Porter may appear noble and loyal, but the old saying that says, “If you lay down with dogs you could wake up with fleas”, does apply here.
Even after all of the accusations of fraudulent dealings of Mr. Porter and the hospital contract Mr. Couillard did not dissolve the company they were in together until he decided to run for the leadership of the party, which says to me that if he had not decided to run he would have still kept up his business dealings with a man who is accused of bilking the Canadian and Quebec taxpayers out of over a billion dollars. He may be guilty of nothing but bad judgement, but do the Quebec Liberals really need another leader who is best known for his lack of good judgement. Couillard could also be accused of using bad judgement when he negotiated a job in the private health care sector while he was still minister. I think that a party that always seems to find itself on the wrong end of political wrong doing and scandal was not wise to choose a leader for the party who is already tainted and has all of these close ties to the number one suspect in the biggest single act of corruption in the history Quebec ?
What really bothers me though is that this guy seems to be a coward and seeks to lead from outside of the National Assembly for as long as he can, instead of running in a by-election as soon as possible. I think that getting into the National Assembly; getting on the record and backing up his party members on the frontline should be his and the Liberal Party of Quebec’s primary goal. I do not like politicians who try to play it safe and get too cute with my right to vote them into office before they assume the right to speak on my behalf. Now one would think that the Liberal’s would have no greater priority than to get their leader elected by the people and I do not understand why they are prepared to let Philippe Couillard do and end run around the voters. What could be more important for Philippe Couillard and the Liberal party of Quebec than for the party’s choice of leader to become the people’s choice for leader. I think that it is a bad political strategy to ignore the people and assume that they will vote for you to become premiere of this province when election time comes if you show a yellow streak running down your back when it comes to putting yourself in front of the voters at the earliest opportunity and asking them to give you the privilege of representing them in the National Assembly in the first by-election possible, there by treating the voter with respect and not taking them for granted. Getting elected to lead your party is only half of what you must accomplish to hold the number one job in the province, the other is getting the people to elect you and this comes with trust and you as a politician will never get that trust if you down play the value, or do not put a high enough priority on getting their permission to represent them and giving them the opportunity to choose you.
I am also tired of the only thing that politicians think that we need to do to fix things in Quebec is to get a better deal for Quebec than they got in joining Confederation. We stand to lose billions of dollars in health care payments for Quebec, because Marois has decided to grand stand and pick a fight with the feds in a hope to fuel anger and put the radicals in the mood for an election based on sovereignty and put her party in the position to gain a majority, but Philippe “The Chicken” Couillard has decided to work on changing the party infrastructure rather than face his political foes in the arena, where the political policies and this province’s direction is ultimately decided.
Fixing what ails the Liberal Party of Quebec should have been going on since their leader resigned after not getting elected in his own riding. Why do you think it is that when a leader of a party loses his or her seat in an election that they resign their leadership? I think it is because they are forced to acknowledge that the peoples will is greater than that of their party and the choice of the voter must be respected and honored above even the desire of their party to keep them as leader of the party. In closing I would like to reiterate that think that, at no time can the voters right to vote for a politician be put off, because it is us that the politician says that he represents and in a democratic society it is the ordinary citizens vote that is supposed to choose who represents them and that can only happen when we are allowed to choose them in an election. I think that the longer Philippe Couillard does not enter the National Assembly by winning a seat in the National Assembly in a by-election the more voters will think that he has something to hide and he might be the 1st leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec to not get a seat in the National Assembly, because he was a coward and afraid to face his opponents in the place where the people of Quebec can have the opportunity to say, “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting”, or “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found to be the perfect candidate for the job”. This is the right that Philippe Couillard and the Liberal Party of Quebec seek to deny us with this end run around the democratic process and the voters of Quebec.
- Philippe Couillard wins Quebec Liberal leadership with strong support (theglobeandmail.com)
- Federal and Quebec Liberals’ relationship may get chillier: Hébert (thestar.com)
- Jobs, not Constitution, top of mind in Quebec, Ottawa says (theglobeandmail.com)