yesterday confounded all predictions and proved to be among the most interesting elections in contemporary Canadian history. I think this will prove to be a watershed election for both Quebec and Canada, though I am not sure how things will play out.
- It’s annoying to note the interesting showing by the Green Party and then to remember all of the coverage that the foundation of Québec Solidaire received in the press.
- I think that Charest is secretly disappointed that he didn’t lose his seat last night. He’s never had either a taste or a feel for Quebec politics, having ended up there via a series of events beyond his control.
- Plus, there’s not much Charest can do to fix things in the PLQ. I think the main reason for their lack of success last night is that Charest will never be seen as anything but a strong Federalist, whereas his predecessors (i.e., Bourassa) retained a great deal of aloofness towards Ottawa.
- I think the socially left side of the PQ has gone beyond what the non-Montreal voter in Quebec will accept – and mixed with the emphasis on civic (not ethnic) nationalism that Parizeau’s “money and the ethnic vote” comment in 1995 provoked, sealed their fate.
- I don’t think we can escape the fact that Boisclair’s being gay had an impact on the results. I don’t think Quebecois outside of Montreal are homophobic in general – far from it – but this part of his persona cemented the close identification of Boisclair with Montreal, which most Quebecois seem to believe is completely out of step with the rest of the Province. So it wasn’t an anti-gay vote but an anti-Montreal vote. Being gay just reinforced Boisclair’s Montreal-ness.
- I don’t think either the PQ or the PLQ will be capable of truly addressing the problems that surfaced for them in this election, at least not for some time.
- I think we get a Federal election sooner than later following this result, if only because the Quebec voters have clearly demonstrated that they’re willing to experiment with new things. Right now, I would predict a Harper majority.
- Paul Wells made a great point in his blog last night: “…how does Stéphane Dion feel, knowing that 46 Quebec seats are now held by Liberals who agree with Stephen Harper on federalism and 42 Adéquistes who agree with him on everything else?”
Overall, the whole thing was as stunning political theater as we’ve seen in years. There are still too many wildcards in the deck to know how this will play out, but I suspect that notwithstanding the wild results, Quebec won’t have to go to an election for some time. Only time will tell.
Michael Boyle says
Comments always welcome.