or not to contain

one of our so-called star candidates is a pretty prominent figure on the quebec left. and he has a big mouth. earlier this week, he stirred things up and got the party a bit nervous.

the way i see it, the ndp has nothing to lose in quebec and everything to gain. that someone like lauzon would even put his name on a ballot is a freaking big deal. we struggle for attention. we struggle for credibility. we struggle to attract quality candidates. we struggle for any sort of press coverage, never mind the front fucking page.

so this week lauzon made some noise. and he didn't weigh in on some whacky fringe issue like marijuana or star wars or pesticides. he was talking about oil and gas, people. holy shit. and he took the most sacred of ndp positions: anti-privatization. and he talked about the need to re-assume public control of other important things. we should be rejoicing.

but uh-oh, a story maker like lauzon would undoubtedly be asked about his position on sovereignty. and what didn't make it into very much print was apparently thrown into rotation on at least cbc newsworld: lauzon supports the ufp position on separation.

yes, we are a federalist party. yes, we are promoting a vision of asymmetrical federalism. yes, it would be terrific if every single progressive soul in quebec could get behind this notion, and even cooler if those who run for the ndp could. but the reality is, opinions on separatism - of one persuasion or another - are part of the dna of most quebeckers. never mind that one issue, they actually spank a passion for politics right into your ass the second you emerge from the womb. it is a bona fide physiological and psychological reality. as for the matter of separatism .. talk about the fabric of a culture - sovereignty is the ultimate thread of quebec fabric, as well as the dominant colour. [case in point: never mind the new leader of the pq is openly gay and possibly a former cokehead, people are more concerned he's soft on separatism].

one of the things i threw into the (internal) message box for the quebec campaign is this: federalism is not the enemy, more Liberal rule is; federalism is not the problem, the Liberals are. but that doesn't mean we fear the inevitable grey spots within that position. wanna play in quebec? be damn well ready for the grey.

i think the party wishes for squeaky clean social-democratic federalists to be popping out legions of squeaky clean social-democratic federalist babies in order that we may have a squeaky clean population of federalist social-democrats from which to draw candidates.

i get the need for party cohesion on a provocative topic such as this, so i really do appreciate how a guy like lauzon might raise the hackles of party brass. but as a communications freak, i'm willing to be flexible on this point. i think it actually works in our favour that someone not 100% solid on the issue of separation is still willing to put his reputation on the line for us. it's a strong message to the sophisticated voters around here. at the very least, it makes them look. and anyways, i'm not convinced that public statements of this nature risk irrevocable damage. we've got some bright people on the case, we'll take it from here. we know how to roll.

we are a dedicated few trying like fuck to get this party out of the shadows of the quebec political landscape, so forgive me for wetting myself when we manage to actually turn heads. they say any press is good press, and in the case of the ndp in quebec, i tend to agree.


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