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Old 02-13-2013, 10:12 AM
 
13 posts, read 77,182 times
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You know it's interesting when you look at some of the rumors about barack obama's heritage that go around in the US, about he's a muslim and so forth. I was wondering if anybody in Canada ever questions the loyalties of french-canadian politicians, especially a prime minister in the same way. I know that Pierre Trudeau was very popular and nobody questioned his loyalty but what about for ex. Jean Chretien?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
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Yes and No.

Trudeau was, in the west, probably the least popular Prime Minister in history. There was a general feeling that he had Eastern interests at heart, to the expense of the west, and many vehemently disagreed with his vision for the country.

There's generally a feeling out here that most Quebec Prime Ministers are more receptive to Eastern interests (and Easterners probably think the same of the rare western Prime Minister). While vision for the country's future may differ, I don't think there's ever been a question that they're working towards what they feel is the best for the country (even if they're wrong).

There are definitely perceived regional loyalties, however I've never heard of a Prime Minister accused of working in the interest of another country or culture, rather than a specific region within the country.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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I interpret the OP's question as whether federal Canadian prime ministers who are francophone are perceived to be "closet" Quebec separatists?

Generally the answer to this is no.

There might be a fringe element in English-speaking Canada that views anything francophone as suspicious but this is a small minority.

As the previous poster said, francophone politicians are sometimes viewed as favouring certain interests, and this is also true of English-speaking Prime Ministers from Quebec like Brian Mulroney. On more than a few occasions I heard English Canadians refer to him as "French" (sic). Well, he does speak French like a francophone and is considered Québécois by everyone in Quebec, and is "one of the gang" for sure...

The truth is Quebec politics is a complex beast and few people haven't flirted with one side or the other at some point.

The very federalist Premier (until September) of Quebec Jean Charest admitted he voted Yes as a young man in the 1980 Quebec referendum on independence. OK - he was not PM of all of Canada.

Jean Chrétien when he was PM of Canada opined that he wished that he could have woken Montcalm so he could have defeated Wolfe in the Battle of Quebec in 1759. (Present-day Canada would very likely not exist in its actual form had Montcalm won.)

More recently, this guy wants to be PM of Canada one day. He will start by trying to lead the federal Liberals:

Would Justin Trudeau separate from Stephen Harper's Canada? 'Maybe' - The Globe and Mail

But generally, most people don't pay much attention to this stuff.

As I said, the biggest perception is about favouring "interests". Either economic interests in Quebec, and sometimes also favouring the expansion of the French language across all of Canada.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
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Trudeau may have been hated in the west, but he seemed to be a true patriot. His handling of the FLQ crisis is testament to that.

The Cretien's Government's role in the Quebec Sponsorship Scandal seemed to indicate that he favoured his home province over the rest of Canada to at least some degree. IMO, he was the worst and most corrupt PM Canada has suffered in my lifetime.

However, I would say Michael "American Iggy" Ignatieff was the least trustworthy of the bunch, despite never becoming PM. It was obvious his true loyalties lay somewhere south of the 49th parallel. That guy came off about as slick as a used car salesman. It appears he moved back to the U.S. after losing the election. No surprise there, I might add.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annuvin View Post
However, I would say Michael "American Iggy" Ignatieff was the least trustworthy of the bunch, despite never becoming PM. It was obvious his true loyalties lay somewhere south of the 49th parallel. That guy came off about as slick as a used car salesman. It appears he moved back to the U.S. after losing the election. No surprise there, I might add.
I think he lived longer in the UK than the US.

Michael Ignatieff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
I think he lived longer in the UK than the US.

Michael Ignatieff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That appears to be correct. However, the sentiment remains the same. He was quite widely regarded (somewhat uniquely) in having little interest in Canada beyond political leadership.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
That appears to be correct. However, the sentiment remains the same. He was quite widely regarded (somewhat uniquely) in having little interest in Canada beyond political leadership.
I agree. He was really the first party leader that I felt couldn't have Canada's interests first. You kind of have to live in the country for a considerable amount of time before Canadians will trust you.
That said....our current PM has a lot of people thinking he has oil companies as his first interests and not Canada.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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If you take a look at "iggys " history....His Father was a professional diplomat, for most of his career, so Iggy lived all over the world. As an adult he was deep into the Ivy League life as a Prof . He spent about 30 years in the USA, as an academic. His ties to Canada are slim, and he was parachuted into a safe Liberal ryding in west Toronto, so he could get a seat in Parliament.

Once he was dumped by the Liberal Party, as leader, he went back to Harvard, and resumed his career in academia.

Justin Trudeau is a mere shadow of his Father, and he needs a LOT more actual experience in The House, before he can be a ceditable party leader.

Trudeau senior was a millionaire the day he was born, and he had a wide streak of the maverick about him, once he was in the PMO. His one great moment was the FLQ crisis. At any other time he had absolute distain for our military forces. Being educated by the Jesuits certainly slanted his world view to the Left, and he took GREAT pleasure in pissing of a number of US Presidents, by cuddling up to Castro and China. I will never forgive him for ( without getting a mandate from the electorate ) completely reversing our long standing Immigration policies. He knew that the hundreds of thousands of non white Immigrants would vote Liberal for decades, as a thank you for being allowed into Canada. It worked, too.

Mulroney had the greatest landslide victory, in Canadian political history.........But he also went down to such a huge defeat, that his party only had TWO sitting MP's, afterwards. Talk about going from champ to a chump ! I see that his son Ben has wisely decided to stay out of politics, and is content to be a fluffy cotton candy TV show host.

Jean Chretian didn't learn to speak English until he was elected as a MP from Shawinigan OC, and due to a partial facial paralasys, he was hard to understand in EITHER language. BUT he was a staunch Federalist, when he had to be.

Better him than a number of dubious Quebec politicians, who jumped back and forth, from PQist to Federal MP and back again. ONLY in Canada could we have the spectacle of Members of the Federal Parliament, being paid by the tax payers of Canada, who BELONG to a party whose SOLE object is to destroy Canada. Of course I refer to the Block Quebecois. What a charade that was. And they get a Parliamentary Pension too. Last I heard " the man with one leg " was a Professor at a US University, in California.

Who says that Canadian politics is dull ?

Jim B

Toronto.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
8,630 posts, read 8,631,525 times
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Default Since we're discussing Canadian politics...

Was Brian Mulroney popular in Quebec? I didn't learn until recently that he came from a small town and was bilingual, but he was also a friend of President Reagan, leading some people (myself included) to think he was the Canadian Reagan.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,604 posts, read 25,669,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
Was Brian Mulroney popular in Quebec? I didn't learn until recently that he came from a small town and was bilingual, but he was also a friend of President Reagan, leading some people (myself included) to think he was the Canadian Reagan.
He was not really a Canadian Reagan. More of a Red Tory.

He was popular all across Canada initially and won something like 208 of 282 seats in 1984.

His cross-Canada popularity waned though and his party basically died after he left power.

People did not necessarily vote for him in Quebec after 1990 but he remained fairly popular as a person and even today when people are asked what they think of him the poll numbers in Quebec are much much higher than the rest of the country - where he is often reviled.

In Quebec he is widely seen as being noble for having tried (in vain) to set things right constitutionally. Not just once but twice.
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