Just finally got around to reading Lucien Bouchard et. al’s manifesto Pour un Québec lucide.
I even like the use of the word ‘manifesto’. It has a vigorous tone to it like the ‘communist manifesto’ or something.
Essentially, this group has singled in on a half dozen or so key issues and properly scoped the problems and put forward clearly defined solutions. This is the essence of vision.
Of course, the meat and potatoes of getting it done will be almost overwhelming without a complete change in thinking among the vast majority of Quebeckers.
But the elements of change are there and I think that more than a few Quebeckers will be ‘scared’ into action.
How about one for New Brunswick. Instead of a weakly worded ‘prosperity plan’ which glosses over any hint of problems (reread it you will find no refererence to New Brunswick’s population decline and only the vaguest of references to the problems of Equalization, EI, rural out-migration, decaying infrastructure, etc.), let’s have a real manifesto that tackles the issues in a clear, concise but meaningful way.
One thing is clear. Many of the problems mentioned by the manifesto can only be amplified in the New Brunswick context. It talks about Quebec’s slow population growth – well, New Brunswick’s is in decline. It talks about Quebec’s standard of living relative to other Canadian and U.S. states. Well, New Brunswick’s is lower than Quebec’s.
This most likely can’t be done by a sitting Premier. Look at Charest in Quebec. He has opinion levels lower than George Bush.
Maybe Frank would put his name on something. Probably not because of his political ambitions.
How about Donald Savoie? Maybe not. He’s off pursuing knighthood or some such thing.