So, let's consider that obscure but intriguing article, written in 1997 by two brainy conservatives, Tom Flanagan and Stephen Harper. Yes, it calls Canada "a benign dictatorship." Oh, and it's a passionate defence of coalition governments.And they further suggest that: "a strategic alliance of Quebec nationalists with conservatives outside Quebec might become possible, and it might be enough to sustain a government."
That's right: the whole article is a detailed, persuasive and deeply-researched plea for governments to be forced to compromise with opposition coalitions. That's the only way, said Harper and Flanagan, to curb the tendency to a "one-party state" induced by Canada's "winner take all" system. At the time, Harper was on a break from active politics, working at the National Citizens' Coalition. When he returned as Opposition leader, Flanagan became Harper's chief of staff in 2003 and became campaign co-chair in the 2004 election.
A Quebec nationalist isn't necessarily a separatist. They're not the same thing. But "nationalists" don't have a party in Parliament; separatists do. The article does suggest that conservatives might have "little choice" but to deal with the separatist party — the Bloc — as the only political formation able to join such an alliance where it counts — in Parliament — along with the Reform and the PCs.I think I'll send this to Joe Preston.