PM says Lapierre was just reacting
[PoliticsWatch Updated 6:15 p.m. December 5, 2005]
|Transport Minister Jean Lapierre made Nazis
an election issue on Sunday.
Blaming campaign rally enthusiasm, Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe apologized Monday for saying he wanted to make the Liberals "disappear" from the Quebec scene after the federal election.
"I got a little bit too carried away with my comments," Duceppe said to reporters in Montreal. "I just wanted to say if my comments shocked people then I want to apologize for that."
The Bloc currently holds 54 of the 75 seats in the province and could take even more in this election, including seats held by Heritage Minister Liza Frulla, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and Transport Minister Jean Lapierre.
"What I meant was we want to see as many people vote for the Bloc as possible," Duceppe said.
Duceppe's comments were jumped on by Lapierre, who described them as having a "Nazi" tone.
"That kind of language, where you say you want to make your opponents disappear, there's a little bit of a Nazi tone in that," he said.
Prime Minister Paul Martin criticized Duceppe for the comments saying it "shows clearly the arrogance and the attitude of Mr. Duceppe."
"I think this is totally unacceptable that the chief of a political party should say that Quebecers who don't share his vision of the world should disappear," he said in St. John's. "This is part of a basic philosophy that should never be forgotten."
Martin said Duceppe's comments were worse than what Lapierre said because
"Mr. Duceppe planned what he said. Mr. Lapierre reacted."
But according to CTV News' Jed Kahane, Lapierre didn't make the comments totally off-the-cuff
after being caught off guard by a mob of reporters.
Kahane said Sunday evening on CTV Newsnet that after Lapierre heard Duceppe's comments "he called a scrum to let reporters know they should come by his office."
CBC News reported Monday that the Canadian Jewish Congress is not happy with Lapierre's reaction.
"While Mr. Duceppe's words may have been overzealous, the Nazi analogy made by Mr. Lapierre was regrettably inappropriate," Bernie Farber of the CJC told CBC News Online.
The Devil Went Down to Chilliwack -- Fraser Canyon
Conservative MP Chuck Strahl has entered the blogosphere for the election and his blog is already a must read.
Strahl's blog gives a humourous and behind-the-scenes look at his campaign and his personal life.
Even an entry about filing his nomination papers was interesting, as Strahl used it to recall an old war story from the 1997 campaign.
"No matter what happens in this election campaign, it can't be tougher than in 1997 when I defeated a guy named Sa Tan," Strahl wrote. "That's right, I defeated Satan himself!!
"What happened was this: a publicity seeker (this alone didn't make him different than many candidates) parachuted into our riding, but not before changing his first name to Sa and his last name to Tan. On the ballot it comes out Satan, which I'm sure he thought was a pretty good joke, especially here in the 'Bible Belt.'
"He came to the all-candidate meetings dressed up as a devil, completely costumed from head to toe."
To find out more about how Strahl beat the devil check out the MP's blog.
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