The pro-Conservative, anti-Coalition letters sound exactly like what we've been hearing from Tories in the House of Commons, and what's on their website. The Conservative faithful have downloaded their marching orders and are dutifully regurgitating the party line. The pro-Coalition letters, on the other hand, are diverse and thoughtful.
The G&M is doing what the G&M does. In ordinary times, they are tough on Harper and the Conservatives - moderate, to be sure, but tough. Until the election is called, at which time they fall into line and salute. In news stories, they're now describing the Bloc Québécois as "separatist Bloc Québécois".
Today they ran three letters about the Bloc Québécois. The first letter writer expresses "horror" at a coalition government that includes a party whose "sole agenda is to break up the country".
I have watched Gilles Duceppe with great interest during eleciton debates, and I see how the party votes. I find Duceppe very intelligent and credible, and the party reasonably progressive. Here is an English translation of the Bloc's platform. Their "sole agenda" is not to break up the country.
Here are two more letters on the same subject.
Concerns have been expressed about the participation of "a separatist party with the singular goal of advancing the interests of Quebec, and not of Canada" in the newly formed coalition (Harper, Dion Put Politics Before National Interest - editorial, Dec. 2). I find this unease both interesting and misplaced. I wonder what gave root to the Alliance Party and the Reform Party if it was not for the purpose of advancing the interests of Alberta.
Moreover, a fair number, if not all, of the policies of Stephen Harper have been crafted to meet the interests of his Alberta constituents.
Long before the Bloc, Alberta was on the road to the exclusive promotion of its interests. It has yet to be overt about its separatist inclinations, but its actions have the singular goal of advancing the interests of Alberta, and not of Canada.
Nicole Ferguson, Dartmouth, NS
During the past few days, Canadians have been warned about the dangers of "collaborating" with the Bloc Québécois, as though it were akin to treason. But the true antidote to separatism has always been to provide Quebeckers with a real voice in Ottawa.
Don Pyper, Toronto