Home > News and politics > Coyne vs. Mulcair: Debating Maclean’s Magazine Story on Corruption in Québec

Coyne vs. Mulcair: Debating Maclean’s Magazine Story on Corruption in Québec

08-Nov-10 05:26 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments


ndrew Coyne, Maclean’s Magazine’s right-of-centre lead political columnist and National Editor, found himself facing off with Thomas Mulcair, MP for the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) first and only elected seat in the province of Québec (who is starting look like he might not be holding on to his seat for long); won in a huge political upset for the Liberals who traditionally hold it.  The subject of the debate was the Maclean’s article concerning corruption in Québec’s political establishment and – as has been widely reported – the article spurred a huge controversy over whether the article (coming from a leading English language Canadian journal) affirmed widespread disdain for Québec throughout the rest of Canada, which would further the cause of Québec separatism.

Unfortunately, Mulcair came off as being unfair and opportunistic.  I find myself disagreeing with Coyne frequently, but Mulcair’s approach in debating Coyne was simply the product of single-minded ad hominem attacks blended with statements extracted from Coyne’s article meant to make him seem bigoted and intolerant that were demonstrably taken out of context.  (Indeed there were several such remarks which Coyne stated were merely a list of possible views that could be taken by would be proponents of corruption being a problem in Québec – but not necessarily his own views.)

“What explains Quebec’s unusual susceptibility to money politics? Deeply entrenched deference to authority? A worldly Catholic tolerance of official vice? There is no grand unified theory: at different times and in different situations, different forces have come into play.”

                       — Andrew Coyne, Maclean’s Magazine;

Perhaps what annoyed me most about this interview was that it was yet another symptom of the political discourse in Canada taking on some of the negative characteristics of American political discourse; and I can’t think of anything Canada needs less right now.  And consistent with the experience the Americans are having, it seems to me that extremists on either side of the political spectrum are leading this charge away from reason.

If it gets much worse….perhaps we should invite Jon Stewart to hold a rally on Parliament Hill (similar to the mall rally held a week ago this past weekend).

Categories: News and politics
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