08 November 2007

Huh, Who Knew?

Last week I wrote this about Guy Bertrand, the separatist gadfly that attempted to smear Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu for his limited French-speaking abilities:

"Hearing some low-life politician looking for his fifteen minutes of fame embodies what is wrong with the Canadian body politic today."

Turns out that M. Bertrand has already received much more than just fifteen minutes. I'm in the midst of reading Jean Chretien's memoirs, My Years as Prime Minister, during which I've learned that Bertrand is the person responsible for the Government of Canada sending a series of questions to the Supreme Court of Canada in what came to be known as the Quebec Secession Reference. Bertrand was of the belief that Quebec could unilaterally declare its independence from Canada following a 50% plus one referendum vote, no matter how muddy the question, and he pressed this viewpiont in public. All of this resulted in the Clarity Act, perhaps the finest moment of Stephane Dion's political career, which put many nails in the coffin of the separatist movement in Canada. But this little bit of linkage does demonstrate just how small a world it is, and how easy it is for any crankpot to make himself famous...twice.

No comments: