It isn't the outrage over his and Chretien's antics that he figures will be the cause of a Quebec vote to separate but the fact that an inquiry has been held at all that will be the reason:
Alfonso Gagliano is predicting the end of Canada after Quebec separatists win the next referendum in the province -- and the country will have Paul Martin and his inquiry to blame.Well isn't that rich? He appears to be suggesting that in order to maintain Canadian unity, the federal government should turn a blind eye to whatever corruption Chretien and Gagliano determine is necessary to save the country. Is it possible that the only thing holding the country together is the federal government lining the pockets of Chretien and his friends?
In a telephone interview from Florida, the former Chretien cabinet minister and Quebec lieutenant called Martin and his election team "a bunch of amateurs" in last year's election and suggested that Transport Minister Jean Lapierre may have acted improperly as a lobbyist before returning to federal politics in 2004.
Gagliano said Martin has badly damaged the Liberal party in Quebec and predicts the Bloc Quebecois will sweep the province's 75 seats in an upcoming election.
He says the separatist party's big win will boost the fortunes of the Parti Quebecois.
"(Quebec Premier Jean) Charest has problems. Well, the next provincial election, unless there is a miracle, the PQ will win and they will call a referendum right away," said Gagliano. "And 'goodbye Canada.'
"This is the end -- thanks to Paul Martin's leadership."
"I think the first mistake Paul Martin made was calling the inquiry on his own party. Imagine if there had been a Gomery inquiry into the Mulroney years, or any political party. This is a very politically-driven inquiry," said Gagliano.
He said it's too late to turn the Liberal party's fortunes around in Quebec: "The damage has been done for the next 10 years. The Liberal party of Canada will have a tough time in Quebec. I mean, that is the only federalist party that can face the separatists."
The irony of it all that Chretien has indirectly justified the scandal as a means of maintaining national unity. Does anyone think Chretien would care if it did just the opposite?
crossposted to The Shotgun