As you may (or may not) have heard, the ruling Liberal party trashed Canada's constitution by failing to call for new elections after it lost a vote of confidence (and then lost a few more votes). Instead, it stalled unconstitutionally until Prime Minister Paul Martin was able to pay off Conservative MP (and former Bill Clinton girlfriend) Belinda Stronach to switch to the Liberal Party in return for the most patronage-rich Cabinet post.
Colby Cosh notes:
What's not arguable is that the delay imposed last week on a formal non-confidence vote in the House of Commons has now--with the balance of power in the House teetering on the razor's edge--visibly become a banana-republic power tactic. Michael Bliss, who has forgotten more Canadian history than most of us know, wrote thus in the National Post on Saturday:
Canadians ought to realize that this week's breakdown of their Parliament is far more serious than any of the thuggish revelations from the Gomery commission. As of this weekend, we are in the historically unprecedented situation of having a Prime Minister who is clinging to office by recklessly disregarding the fundamental principles of our democracy. It is a shocking act of proto-tyranny, which justifies the extreme resort of intervention by the Governor-General.
The Ambler laments:
There is a great deal of ruin in a nation—but not an infinite amount. And by 19 May 2005, it could no longer be denied that Canada was used up, sucked dry, finished. On this day, the Liberals effaced the last vestige of Parliamentary sovereignty and destroyed thereby what little remained of Canada's legitimacy, legal and moral. On this day, the Liberals revealed the condition to which they—and their Mulroneyite Conservative allies—had reduced Canada. After this day, it can no longer be denied that ours is a gangster state whose sole animating principles are bribery, blackmail and theft. Whose sole remaining purpose is to continue pumping the lifeblood that provides vampiric sustenance to the Liberal Party, its oligarchic masters and its parasitic rainbow coalition that marches to the polls on election days, delighted to have traded our birthright for a mess of social programs.
Let the Liberals laugh. They'll be crying soon enough. That they have defiled everything noble about this country is of no account in English Canada, but the Québécois nation, a once phantom polity fomented by Liberal cynics as the most successful of its bribery-blackmail schemes, has become a real nation and has developed a self-respect that English Canadians can only envy. The Québécois will not forget Adscam; they will not forgive their humiliation at the hands of capo Chrétien and capo Martin. The Parti Québécois will be returned to power by 2008. It will call a third and final sovereignty referendum: neither money, the ethnic vote or the furious efforts of the quisling federalist class will prevent a Yes vote this time.
And that will be the formal end of Canada. The Liberals will demand we weep, but those of us who knew and loved the Old Canada will have no tears left. We wept when the Liberals—and their Mulroneyite Conservative allies—traduced, then trashed our British tradition. When it was demanded we "forget the Plains of Abraham."
We wept when Canada was declared first bicultural, then multicultural. When millions of fractious colonists were imported here, when it was it demanded we change our ways to protect their feelings, when New Canadian became synonymous with Better Canadian. When millions of native Canadians were made strangers in their own land and official discrimination became the price of being a member of the visible majority. When terrorism was introduced here and when our politicians rushed to succour the terrorists. [More]
The people of Canada would certainly have been better off breaking up a few decades ago rather than letting Trudeau placate Quebec by destroying British Canada as a nation-state.
Canada only seems boring. It's actually an important country where some dramatic and rather sinister processes have played out in slow motion. Although Canada's British-descended residents are as good citizens as you could want, Canada's transformation into a bicultural, and now multicultural state has inevitably reduced its politics to the kind of Tammany Hall machine politics that you found in multicultural immigrant cities in the U.S. If you want to understand Canada, Peter Brimelow's mid-80s book "The Patriot Game" remains essential.
The die was cast during the Trudeau Era. Since then the Liberal Government continues to fight secession by promising lots of tax money and breaks to Quebec, and by pushing bilingualism in British Canada while allowing Quebec to run a de facto monolingual province. This is a form of affirmative action for Francophones, who are much more likely to qualify for government jobs requiring bilingualism than are Anglophones. (Here's my UPI article on how bilingualism works against English-speaking Canada). Also, the Liberals import lots of immigrants, some of whom end up in Montreal and vote against secession since they don't want to live in a Francophone country. Quebec has some controls over immigration directly into its province from abroad, giving preference to people from Francophone countries, but just enough of the vast numbers of immigrants imported into Ontario filtered into Quebec to barely defeat secession in the last referendum a decade ago.