Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Royal incurs wrath of Canada

After two embarassing international forays, it would be hard for Royal to screw up a third time; nevertheless, she did, and on her own turf. During a radio interview with the head of the Quebec independence movement, Royal expressed her support for "freedom, and the independence of Quebec." These comments were nearly universally condemned in Canada, first by the head of the Liberal federalist party, Stephen Dion:

"She does not understand, you do not interfere in the affairs of a friendly country, you do not wish for the dismantling of a friendly country. Canada does not wish for the dismantling of France and France certainly does not wish for the dismantling of Canada."

She was even scolded by the Prime Minister of Quebec, Jean Charest, especially because she has previously rejected his official invitation to visit the province.

If that wasn't enough, Royal is having to go so far as defend her marriage, as rumors fly in the wake of a public tax feud.

"It is important that the rumours stop, that we are left in peace. Every day we hear something new about our relationship. The French people are tired of this intrusion into our private lives."

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Charles Henry said...

Boz, I think you're mixing two separate events into one..

Sego's disgraceful encouragement for quebec's separation from Canada was a spontaneous remark made to a chance question from a Canadian reporter, posed as she was leaving a meeting with the leader of Quebec's sedition party, the Parti Quebecois, who was visiting France.

As a result of the controversy she has caused my country, she was asked to clarify her comments the following day during a previously-arranged interview on one of France's radio stations, where she claimed she was merely trying to make a neutral comment, "neither indifferent nor interfering", concerning what for Canada is a very sensitive issue... a sensitivity she seems oblivious to.

The Canadian Prime Minister was the first to respond, I believe, followed in turn by the french-quebec leader of the official opposition, Stephane Dion, who coincidentally happened to be speaking in Quebec that day. (the video of Dion's response is hilarious, as his tone implies that he considers her a complete nitwit)
Next came the remarks from Quebec Premier (not prime minister) Jean Charest, who coincidentally is now in Europe, attending a conference there, and soon will be visiting France. (and probably will not be meeting with her majesty mme Royal...!)

The separatists are going to use her comments to enflame the nationalist sentiments of quebecois in their next provincial election. The french there are very anti-US, and since Sarkozy is perceived by them as pro-american, there is a knee-jerk reaction to being more favorable to Sego anyway, regardless of all these other gaffes that routinely occur along the way.

Boz said...

Thanks for the clarification. As an American I must admit that I am woefully uneducated about the Canadian political system, so I was trying my best from the article I had read. From my standpoint, I hope Royal's comments do more to anger the moderates than arouse the separatists, because the last thing we need is a balkanization of North America ; )