March 27, 2007

Quebec Gong Show Debriefing (Part 1)

This was a bittersweet win for me last night.

I HATE the ADQ, because they stand for a vision of Quebec society that thinks minorities are hurting the Quebec way of things, and openly campaigned on that. Not my Quebec. My Quebec is a civic nation; Mario Dumont’s Quebec is a civic nation with conditions. (That won't cut it for me sorry)

They used voter anger to come up the middle, something which some of my friends heard me predict last year was a “hail mary” possibility if Charest were to call an election with no reason to other than Boisclair being full of shit.

In a two party system, Charest would have come in with a HUGE majority last night, over 90 seats. That is really why this is a terrible blow to the separatists, who lost fortress ridings like Joliette (Duceppe’s brother) Terrebonne, and Masson.

Mario Dumont refused to give us a position on sovereignty. Instead, he said I have a third way, Stephen Harper’s way.

His campaign mirrored Harper’s 14 months ago years ago. He set up a beachhead and catapulted with his “I am not the old way” position. He targeted families with bad policy and good politics. He did not want to talk about the paradigm which would only hold him back if he played into it.

There is a place for this kind of families-first, tough on crime platform in some Quebec areas where the BQ vote is an anti-Liberal vote. Harper provides something to vote “for” for this clientele, and not something to vote against as was the case for 15 years…

For these people, provincially, they have had nobody to vote for since the days of Daniel Johnson and the Union Nationale…maybe that’s why the reaction was so fierce…40 years of a paradigm is bad news, and yesterday, the paradigm was shattered.

After 40 years, Quebecers put sovereignty back in 3rd place, although not by very much.

The two sides marched closer to each other yesterday. Dumont wants to open the constitution in Ottawa. He has already he will force Charest’s hand. Open federalism is as far as us federalists are willing to go to accommodate Quebec’s place within Canada without compromising our values of federalism and equality. For some, we already went too far. (Hi Braeden!)

Autonomy is a scary concept precisely because it is not fully defined. It is closest to the position that Maurice Duplessis and the Union Nationale adopted. Chuckercanuck is the only adequiste I deal with. He can correct me if I am wrong.

Autonomy is the theory that the federal government should stay out of provincial jurisdiction and vice versa. Do not forget that it was last REALLY in power before the emergence of the Welfare State and the federal funding of social programs. (Daniel Johnson won in 1966 because of a vote split with parties who would eventually form the PQ) All indications are that Paul Sauvé, successor to Duplessis, was in favor of the welfare state programs and Daniel Johnson never really complained, although he did advocate opting out of every federal program, not to leave Canada, but to allow the province to manage its own jurisdiction.

The one thing that scares us Liberals is how close this role of the federation is to Stephen Harper, who started with measures acceptable to the Liberals in Quebec, like the recognition of Quebec as a nation, and the solving of the fiscal imbalance, which did hurt the federalist cause in Quebec. The limiting of the spending power is next, and it should be the last. It implements Meech Lake, and in theory satisfies the demands…it will be interesting to see where this all goes.

Enough out of me for today

Tomorrow I will deal with what the election means for Gilles Duceppe now that a federalist party is in power and is the official opposition…

Yes two federalist parties. Even Dion said so…Not Harper talking points.

We should see the writing on the wall today. Two federalist parties won last night…

18 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

"Autonomy is a scary concept precisely because it is not fully defined."

Are you sure you're not taking about the so-called fiscal imbalance? Or is this problem now "solved"?

Charest deserved what he got is lucky he's still the Premier today. This is no win for Harper.

3/27/2007 11:50 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


I mean not defined like you not admitting to the general public who you are...

3/27/2007 12:03 p.m.  
Blogger Mark a dit...

Two "couteau a la gorge" parties won last night. If yo call them federalists, then I'll tke your word for it. Maybe for Quebecers that is legitimate cause for celebration. But as "couteau a la gorge" federalist parties solidify support in other provinces, I call it a cause for concern.

3/27/2007 12:18 p.m.  
Blogger KC a dit...

There is no writing on the wall. The separatists got 28% last night under some of the worst possible conditions. Thats a pretty damn solid baseline (whether its the lowest they have ever gotten before or not) and they have room to grow.

The death of separatism is being predicted prematurely.

3/27/2007 12:32 p.m.  
Blogger KC a dit...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/27/2007 12:32 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

i didnt say it was the end...

I said a third player has sat down to play

I will talk about the effect on the BQ tomorrow...

3/27/2007 1:18 p.m.  
Blogger Glen a dit...

Boisclair is going to stay on - I'm curious what drugs he's on now.

3/27/2007 3:06 p.m.  
Blogger Cerberus a dit...

There was less than 5% difference between the 3 parties in popular support. Wells is calculating that a mere 10,000 votes in a mere 10 ridings would have given the PQ the government.

Add to that the fact that total voter turn-out is down and 60,000 fewer Quebecers voted for the three parties than in 2003 and it seems a bit more like Liberal and PQ supporters stayed home combined with a protest vote.

This is a big shift in Quebec politics, no doubt. But how deep a change and how long lasting and the ultimate effect on federal politics is very difficult to discern.

3/27/2007 4:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Too bad,so sad for the Natural Governing Party!Times are a changing.Maybe the people of Quebec & the ROC are tired of the politics of LPC divisiveness.Blame Harper & Dumont all you want but the liberals in Quebec got spanked justly.The results are a reflection of Dions failures as much as Charest's.

3/27/2007 6:11 p.m.  
Blogger Chuckercanuck a dit...


I'm warm all over from the mention.

1) My own sense is the "intolerance" of the ADQ is something you can run with for a little while, but over time, people like me will muscle out the nutballs as we have in the Tory party. And a PQ that loves slanty-eyed folks and denies genocides has nothing on me, thank you very much.

2) Its amazing how many Liberals who profess to love Canada but seem puzzled by the autonomist position - which is the founding principle of Canada. You know? The more Canada-loving Liberals who claim confusion over what the 1867 BNA Act was about, the less convinced I am that they love Canada. You love Canada on your Trudeaupian terms. Which is okay, I just hope you folks are more upfront about that.

3) You underestimate, my friend, the fiscal conservatism that underlies Dumont's support. This is about pretending Quebec's debt doesn't exist, pretending that the unions don't run the province, pretending that you can offer quality daycare at $7 per day, pretending that women who choose to raise their children themselves are nasty people.

4) ADQ vote in Montreal was seriously up! You know why? Because glib comments about the suburbs paying their fair share of downtown expenses is such utter rot. The City of Montreal pays too much for its terrible services and no one should be forced to swallow that pill.

5) It will be easier for Mario Dumont to be conciliatory with Canada than it would be with Jean Charest because Jean Charest always has to prove he's not anti-Quebec. A retarded proposition, I agree, but that's just the way it is.

6) the ADQ will draw major star power in the next election. If I were you federal Liberals, I'd figure a way to reconcile with the centre-right of Canada. Fast. Calling Paul Martin. Calling Paul Martin.

3/27/2007 10:59 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

wells is grasping at straws because he was among the pundits who were proven wrong this election...

With a PQ win the ebst scenario for Dion, its only normal that he would look for such a scenario...

10000 votes the other way would have given Charest a majority...

tories have already overtaken the Libs in some Quebec polls and Dumont's politics resemble Harpers (minus the reasonable accomodation)

3/27/2007 11:01 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

chucker, was I wrong on the autonomist defintion?

I am not sure I fully understand it...

3/27/2007 11:04 p.m.  
Blogger JimTan a dit...

Hang on a minute. I agree with Cerebus.

I looked at the voting numbers. The PQ’s share of the vote isn’t that bad. They were down just 5% points. That was the Green Party’s gain. This is not unexpected as separation continues to lose its luster.

Boisclair’s failure is that he didn’t capitalize on Charest’s weakness. At 28% of the vote, the PQ still remains a viable force because it still has a large core group of supporters. In fact, only 5% points separate the PQ from the Liberals. And, only 2.5% points from Dumont.

It was Dumont and his motley crew that won the 12% of the votes that Charest lost. The PQ has got to re-examine the social and economic agenda in their platform.

That said, Keith Boag of the CBC says that harper isn’t calling an election(?). Can you believe it? This is the guy who claims that he won a battle for the federalists.

3/28/2007 2:16 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Jimtan and Cerberus,

You forgot about Quebec Solidaire. A sovereigntist party making ground among the francophonie (visible minority immigrants whose first language is French). Green Party voters are more federalists who can't stand Charest.

Chucker, these are my response to your points.

1) Dumont will morph himself into Stephen Harper and vice versa. I am betting on the latter. Harper will begin using Dumont's rhetoric knowing that about 40 to 45 per cent of Canadian are not tolerant multiculturalists.

2) With the exception of Antonio, Trudeau's vision Canada is what most Liberals subscribe to. Getting closer to it is what is necessary for us to regain power. Furthermore, very few Grits see the world before 1968.

3) Agree about the fiscal conservatism. But what about Dumont giving 100 dollar a week for childcare? More reasonable than Charest's proposed tax cuts, but Harper's budget spending means that there is also money to keep the 7 dollar a day daycare centres.

4) Same reason why Harper is making inroads at the 905 commuter belt in Toronto.

5) Charest's first name is John. That is why many of the Quebecois don't trust him. However, Dumont needs to be careful. His message needs to be "autonomy or sovereignty/independence" in his dealings with Harper. Think of the Daniel Johnson of the late 1960s. Or Ted Morton in the present.

6) Star power along candidates similar to the mayor of Herouxville. Or is the mayor of Herouxville running for the CPC in the next federal election?

3/28/2007 5:37 a.m.  
Blogger JimTan a dit...

Mushroom said

"1) Dumont will morph himself into Stephen Harper and vice versa. I am betting on the latter. Harper will begin using Dumont's rhetoric knowing that about 40 to 45 per cent of Canadian are not tolerant multiculturalists."

Goes to show that right-wing nuts are divisive in their politics.

3/28/2007 9:39 a.m.  
Blogger Sean Frauley a dit...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/28/2007 10:16 p.m.  
Blogger Marc a dit...

"Goes to show that right-wing nuts are divisive in their politics."

I agree

3/29/2007 2:19 p.m.  
Blogger Chris a dit...

I don't know...can Dumont drive around in a Chevy Silvarado and have Rock Voisin do a french interpretation of "this is our country"? If so he's got this whole reasonable accomodation debate in the bag, no one can resist a catchy retro-rock jingle.

4/03/2007 8:15 a.m.  

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