Rae reluctant to enter Quebec-nation debate
OTTAWA -- Liberal leadership hopeful Bob Rae today gave a cool reception to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s bombshell motion to recognize Quebec as a nation within a united Canada.
Rae, speaking in London, Ont., said he’s unsure what impact the motion will have on the future of Canada and, as far as he’s concerned, there are other items he must focus on leading up to the leadership convention, which takes place next week in Montreal.
I agree, there are other more pressing issues at play, but this fact doesn't address the simple fact that this particular issue has exploded onto the frontpage and simply can't be ignored. The ironic part, Rae could probably do himself some favors with a substantative comment, because his eloquence on this issue is well known.
I understand politics, but it really grates me when people try to sneak through, don't rock the boat, and claim the big prize. The tactic speaks to calculation, and does a disservice to the process, which is supposed to put candidates through their paces, by offering policy and an ability to react to unscripted events. Sorry to say it Bob, but you wimped out bigtime.
Rae has some thoughts:
"It seems to me that we've been through this soap opera for long enough and if it can be brought to an end with something that has no great legal or constitutional consequence, then that's one thing. But I think we all need to reflect on what's happened and how these things can get more complicated than they really need to be."
Still, Rae said he wants to hear clearly from Harper that there are no legal or constitutional implications to the motion, especially in the wake of Quebec Premier Jean Charest's assertion that it will change the way the province's laws are interpreted by the courts and enhance the province's stature on the world stage.
"Certainly, it would seem that some people are interpreting it to mean something quite dramatic and other people are interpreting it to be much less, which is one of the reasons why these symbolic debates can be so difficult," Rae said.