Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The morning after the morning after

Jean Charest: It could have been worse for him but the man is certainly vulnerable, which means there will be intense pressure from within his own party to resign or, at the very least, rebrand. Minority governments are dicey in even the most stable political places and Quebec politics is the antithesis of stability so it’s really hard to predict how he’ll fare or if the PLQ can afford a leadership race before the next election. Because of that, I’ll predict he stays around until the next vote.

Andre Boisclair: The PQ will be having a leadership review vote this June. Given that the party has been known to knife even their most successful leaders, I can’t for the life of me imagine Boisclair surviving the vote. The timing of the vote certainly opens the door for Duceppe to jump provincially should the PQ dump Boisclair but I can’t really see why anyone would want to lead the PQ these days and, we should remember, he already turned the job down once under far better circumstances. Regardless of who their leader is, the PQ has a real identity crisis on their hands now and might not even promise a referendum in their next campaign platform.

Mario Dumont: Usually in minority governments, the Premier is the man under the microscope but I think it’s fair to say all eyes will be on Mario Dumont. He’s going to have to borrow a few muzzles from his buddy Steve to keep the wing nuts who were elected in check. He’ll also have to show that his party is credible and ready to govern. If he performs well as opposition leader, the next election is his to lose…but on the flip side, if he stumbles, the ADQ could fall back to fringe status next time since he doesn’t have the entrenched voter loyalty the other two parties command. It will be very interesting to see how much pressure he puts on Charest, in particular with respect to demanding more “autonomy”.

The Bloc Quebecois: Is in serious trouble next election. I’ll go into this a bit more as we lead up to the election since it’s not directly tied to the provincial vote but, for now, is there anyone out there who can name one issue they have to attract voters? Because I don't think an anti-scab law is going to exactly capture the imagination of the Quebecois.

Stephen Harper: I don’t necessarily buy the argument that what happens provincially translates federally…if anything provincial governments usually counter their federal counterparts. However, what the strength of the ADQ has shown is that Harper certainly has the potential to gain votes in Quebec. It shows there are Quebecers willing to vote for a party with conservative values under the right circumstances. Now, no one really knows how much of the vote was a protest vote, how much was anti-Montreal, how much was about reasonable accommodation, how much was about Dumont’s personal popularity, and how much was about Charest and Boiclair being universally hated. But the potential is there for a Quebec breakthrough.

That said, outside of Quebec, I don’t see this as a great victory for Harper. The man burned through a wad lot of political capital (and monetary capital too) to get Jean Charest re-elected and the end result was anything but a resounding victory for Harper’s ally.

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45 Comments:

  • I'm no genius but I'm pretty sure I agree with you every step of the way here. I almost think Boisclair is safe - but I'm not sure if I can say why. I just "do".

    I think Harper must certainly realize he's pushed his luck with the other nine provinces focusing on Quebec. Now that he's got a positive result, I imagine he'll open his gaze up to the rest of the country. Let's see...

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:23 PM  

  • If you agree with Calgary Grit, Bo Green, then you are both nuts - sort of. Here's why:

    1) If the PQ dump Boisclair, its over for the PQ. Its a cliche that the PQ commits regicide. No one will want to run that party. They are stuck with him and they will vote that way to pretend they are enthusiastic about him. Boisclair will stay.

    2) Dumont's priority is not constituional reform and you are, at best, baiting him to waste his time and play Liberal politics. He won't. The folks that put him where he is want the priority to be economic issues. That will be the priority. And, as he said, his no.1 priority is the state of senior citizenry in Quebec. Their stds of living, etc. No one voted for Dumont to make the constitution the big issue over the next 2 years.

    Wrong wrong wrong! :)

    3) I don't mind Grits thinking this isn't the victory for Harper that it is, but let me tell you:

    Alberta won't be pissed because the home town guy goes into Quebec and kicks some ass. How could that upset them?

    Ontario won't be pissed because they love PMs who put separatists on notice. And Ontario - as you all know - is the big prize.

    Big win inside and outside Quebec.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 4:58 PM  

  • I dont quite understand why the Bloc is in big trouble. I think a lot of the PQ's troubles relate to Boisclair personally and thus don't necessarily translate into trouble for the Bloc. Also (and Im speculating a bit here) I imagine there are a good number of Quebeckers who ultimately want soverignty but don't want a referendum in the next four years (for whatever reason). I mean I'd like to see major constitutional reform in Canada but I would vote against any party that promised to move in that direction in short order.

    By Blogger KC, at 5:17 PM  

  • I agree about Harper not necessarily coming out a winner. It is arguable that he's a loser given that his largesse towards Charest at least was of little effect, or at worst a boost to Dumont. Furthermore, was Dumont's showing a victory for family values, yada, yada, or was it merely the Quebec people saying to the Grits and the PQ - 'A Pox on both of your houses!'

    By Blogger Darryl Raymaker, at 5:21 PM  

  • Hey Chucker,

    No, I think this is a real victory for Harper - if I didn't already, the Liberal reaction to the election would make it clear that Harper's scored. I agree with Dan that the potential for a Conservative rise in Quebec is there for the taking (if that's what Dan meant... not to put words in his mouth).

    I don't think Dumont is after Constitutional reform but, as I understand it, "Constitutional adherence". I don't think that's wasting his time, it seems to be what a growing number of Canadians are interested in.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:27 PM  

  • Oh, wait - you mean "I don’t see this as a great victory for Harper"...

    Okay, I missed that part.

    I do think this is a notch on Harper's bedpost, myself. Even my ultra left-wing roommate agrees - it burns him to say it, but he thinks Harper has really polished his image on this.

    Is it a "victory" in that Harper handed a win to Charest? I dunno. But it's an optical victory for him, imho.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:30 PM  

  • Agreed. The outcome could have been much worse for Harper, yes. But that's something quite different from saying this was a win for him. In fact, the most positive result to come out of all this is that it's neutralized the Bloc as a political force in Ottawa. For now.

    By Blogger shadowbox, at 5:30 PM  

  • It is arguable that he's a loser given that his largesse towards Charest at least was of little effect, or at worst a boost to Dumont.

    A boost to right-wing Dumont would be a victory for right-wing Harper though, no?

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:32 PM  

  • Agreed, Bo Green, but Calgary Grit is wrong-o to think Dumont is about to launch some massive constitutional discussion or push for that. It will be the quick end to the ADQ if they did that and Dumont has other priorities which he listed - except his platform was so slim, he couldn't put up 5 priorities, he put up one: seniors!

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 5:35 PM  

  • "But that's something quite different from saying this was a win for him. In fact, the most positive result to come out of all this is that it's neutralized the Bloc as a political force in Ottawa. For now."

    Except that no one can now argue (effectively) that ONLY the Liberals, via Dion, can "save" Quebec/Canada. In fact, the Liberals (both federal and provincial) have NEVER seen the PQs drop below their 1970 debut popularity, have they?

    I'd call that a win for Harper.

    By Blogger Candace, at 5:55 PM  

  • In fact, the most positive result to come out of all this is that it's neutralized the Bloc as a political force in Ottawa. For now.

    I'd say that's pretty screamingly positive, as results go.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:58 PM  

  • I think Harper is a winner in this. As I said on my blog, if Dumont is the new Bourassa, Harper is the new Mulroney. I also feel the biggest loser was Justin Trudeau.
    Strange you didn't mention Dion CG. Are you acknowledging the Liberals are irrelevent in French Quebec?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 6:00 PM  

  • Harper is the new Mulroney.

    We really have come a long way from the Reform days.

    There's certainly the opportunity for some new Tory MPs in the next election, given that Dumont's small-c conservative message played well. Although a lot of the PQ's troubles were leader-related, and, while Gilles is hardly the life of the party, he's not exactly a big drag. Of course, I never understand why even separatists would vote for such a purely obstructionist entity as the Bloc; even if you want to leave, surely it's better to actually participate in government while you're still in Canada.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 6:08 PM  

  • chucker; You might be right re: Dumont. I just said it would be interesting to see how much he asks for vis-a-vis autonomy. It might be a lot, or he might focus on the economic issues, which would likely be a wiser course of action for him. I have no clue what his agenda will be and I doubt Mario Dumont himself does at this point.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:33 PM  

  • nuna; I just can't see any direct implications for Dion on this one...all the polls show he's far from irrelevant federally, but he didn't have much of an impact on this provincial vote and I don't think it impacts him.

    A PQ win would have been a boost to him but that didn't happen.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:40 PM  

  • kc; I just don't see why anyone would vote for the Bloc. Let's look at their big issues over the last two campaigns:

    1 - Quebec sovereignty: will always be there but they can't do anything about it federally

    2 - Quebec is a nation: done

    3 - Fiscal imbalance: if you ask Flaherty, done.

    4 - Adscam: Fadding from memory and it doesn't help them against Harper

    The only argument I can see is a kind of "it's a minority so we'll vote for Quebec's interests" type argument.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:40 PM  

  • If one is going to evaluate Harper vis a vis Quebec, how does Dion fare through this election?

    Is it not fair to point out that the federal Liberal Party did no favours to the Provincial brand, despite the federal leader being from Quebec?

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 6:47 PM  

  • Paul,

    Did no favours? Heck, Dion advised voting ADQ. So much for saying he's irrelevant - apparently, a third of the province were swayed by him.

    I still don't know what he was thinking.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:53 PM  

  • Is it not fair to point out that the federal Liberal Party did no favours to the Provincial brand, despite the federal leader being from Quebec?

    The two parties are unaffiliated (although the Anglo members are obviously largely the same); Charest spent the whole campaign with Harper and the Tories trying to sell their partnership.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 7:02 PM  

  • I'm not sure this hurts the Bloc as much as everyone seems to think. A lot of sepratist voters seem to have stayed home due to distate for Boisclair, also quite a few nationalist votes went to the ADQ and the Bloc often gets a large chunk of the nationalist vote. While the Bloc may not get 50+ seats, I doubt they'll be decimated.

    By Blogger A View From The Left, at 7:15 PM  

  • I think it will hurt the Bloc, as opposed to "has" hurt the Bloc. There's a new and better deal looming for the provinces, which is going to cut into the separatist cause.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 7:24 PM  

  • CG -

    absolutely. You're no Jeffrey Simpson!

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 7:36 PM  

  • That said, outside of Quebec, I don’t see this as a great victory for Harper. The man burned through a wad lot of political capital (and monetary capital too) to get Jean Charest re-elected and the end result was anything but a resounding victory for Harper’s ally.<<

    Or did he?

    Mua ha ha ha ha!!

    (You know, he's such a strategic genius, yadda yadda...)

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 8:03 PM  

  • Hehehehe.

    The most dramatic results in a Quebec election in 40 years and everybody seems to think they know the implications for the federal scene.

    Who won, who lost?

    Mr. Harper, Mr. Dion, Mr. Duceppe?

    A case can be made for all of them really depending on what aspect of the Quebec election you want to focus on.

    Even when Quebec elections had more "conventional" results commentators always seemed to get the federal implications wrong.

    Now the whole situation is turned on its head so all of the predictions, prognosications, readings of tea leaves regarding how this will all shake out federally and a dollar will buy you a coke.

    By Blogger ottlib, at 8:12 PM  

  • Did no favours? Heck, Dion advised voting ADQ. So much for saying he's irrelevant - apparently, a third of the province were swayed by him.

    I still don't know what he was thinking.


    The context of that was that he advised people who did not want Charest to vote for the Greens or the ADQ as they didn't have a referendum in their platform. I'd hardly call it an endorsement.

    I think this campaign and defeat have finally made Boisclair a solid leader. Boisclair, who's a moderate sovereignist, was stuck with a brand new and very radical program when he was elected at the head of the party, and it was clear that he didn't like that program much. Today, he finally stands up and says that the PQ's program is too radical, that he needs "winning conditions" in order to do a referendum, and basically only now is he really starting to lead that party. If I were a PQ member, I'd give him another chance, because other than Duceppe, I don't see who else can do a better job than him. The old program didn't work - look for Boisclair to move the party further from the leftist/SPQ Libre wing and more towards the centre, keeping its social-democrat ways yet being more at ease with economic development. If he can count on François Legault and Bernard Landry, he'll be fine.

    Off topic here, but I'd like to mention that a lot of the PQ's leaders have had an economic background: Parizeau, Landry and now Boisclair. If the party can survive long enough for François Legault to lead it, that'll be four. It seems like an awful lot.

    I'd rather run the PQ than run the BQ. I'm sure Duceppe will too - the word for a while has been that he deeply regrets not jumping in last time.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 8:21 PM  

  • "Did no favours? Heck, Dion advised voting ADQ. So much for saying he's irrelevant - apparently, a third of the province were swayed by him.

    I still don't know what he was thinking."

    I think he said he hoped people would vote for either the Liberals or the ADQ actually.

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 8:22 PM  

  • One issue that will help the BQ - Afghanistan.

    The Van Doos will be deployed there too. Bodybags coming home in more than a trickle and Harper shoots the political capital he gained in Quebec.

    By Blogger Mushroom, at 8:23 PM  

  • fingers crossed for bodybags!!!

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 8:56 PM  

  • mushroom pretty much hits on why trying to discern federal implications from the Quebec election is a dubious exercise at best: namely the next federal election will be about issues at the federal level.

    Such issues as Afghanistan, the environment, crime, foreign policy and such never came up. They will during the federal election and that will result in a totally different dynamic from the provincial election.

    By Blogger ottlib, at 9:03 PM  

  • I think he said he hoped people would vote for either the Liberals or the ADQ actually.

    Oh, he did? I must have read the sensationalized version, in that case. Thanks Dan (M).

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:16 PM  

  • Oh, he did? I must have read the sensationalized version, in that case. Thanks Dan (M).

    As I said above, Dion said that if one did not want to vote Liberal, one should vote Green or ADQ to block the sovereignists. Hardly a strong endorsement when you suggest voting for three different parties :).

    By Blogger jeagag, at 9:59 PM  

  • In general, I agree with CG.

    We have to remember that ADQ and Dumont is an unproven ‘brand’. He’s made many promises in the elections. Can he deliver a coherent program? This is Dumont’s high water mark if he can’t.

    He’s like the Green Party. The Green Party’s web site has so many good causes listed on their home page. But, what is the Green Party other than a collection of rootless idealists and individualists.

    Dumont has spoken out for private health services. Can he deliver with just 30% of the votes? How much of that vote was for this specific issue? harper couldn’t deliver on his 2005 promises with even 40% of the vote. Much of his support was a protest vote.

    That’s why harper isn’t keen on an election this year. He’s repositioning himself and that takes time. He is vulnerable while he leaves some of his core support behind.

    The united opposition need to hit him as he pivots. The mountain has moved!

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:08 AM  

  • Harper has neutralized the PQ and Bloc by redefining the debate. Harper's movement towards decentralization has left very little on the table for the separatists. The traditional Liberal view of a deeply centralized Ottawa based confederation that has polarized the country for the last 30 years has always been the motivational bread and butter of the separatist movement (thank Trudeau and Levesque for the last 30 years of melodrama!). In turn the separatists have been the traditional cause celebre of the Liberal Party - their war cry of only Liberals can save Canada has really been hoist on its own petard by the little guy from Calgary. Not only has Harper 'won', but most Canadians are going to be wondering what the hell they were so worried about that made them vote Liberal for so long - that spells votes for Harper. I feel bad for the mainstream media - some of them are going to have to start thinking again and let's face it they aren't really very bright...

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 3:08 AM  

  • Whether or not this is SEEN as a political gain, ever since the budget hit the ground like a turkey on October 1st, there has been more bird shit than feathers hit the road.
    There is room for growth for both Dion and Harpor, depending upon the mood of the Quebec voters. Native son vs guy who said I'll only deal with federalists? Hmmm...
    It's not like he needs any more powerful enemies. Hope Danny Williams bothered to get those ads printed in french.

    www.canadianrosebud.blogspot.com

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 3:32 AM  

  • Fair sailing wrote:

    >>Harper has neutralized the PQ and Bloc by redefining the debate. Harper's movement towards decentralization has left very little on the table for the separatists.<<

    Herein lies the problem. Harper's move toward decentralization has yet to be defined, moreover, Dumont ran on a platform of Quebec autonomy: not necessarily independent, Canada can send us money while Quebec does things like opting out of the Canada Health Act in favor or a public/private scheme or Quebec developing it's own constitution.

    In other words, it looks like independence and smells like independence, in fact it's everything about becoming independent without actually saying Quebec is independent. If this is the case, sure; it's put nationalism to bed -- but that is nationalism using the separatist view of what nationalism looks like or basically, everything short of full-blown independence.

    This might look good to Quebeckers, but I have to wonder what Canada gets out of the deal? Anyone? Anyone? So here's the good news: maybe this forces a national debate on Harper's vision for the country, and maybe it's about time we actually did that because we've been tip-toeing around the sovereignty debate for the past thirty years - every terrified to stir separatist sentiment by having a strong national government that actually wishes to get something back from a province that has been whittling away at Ottawa's role since 1970. Liberals have a moment of opportunity, and believe it or not, despite a seemingly weak leader, Dion is the right guy at the helm of the party to go after Harper on his vision of Canada. It's time to define what "Quebec is a nation" means. It's time for Dion to start asking "what happens if.." Questions to a Prime Minister who appears to like the idea of major decentralization, but who probably can't define what it looks like.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 5:38 AM  

  • fair sailing said,

    “Harper has neutralized the PQ and Bloc by redefining the debate. Harper's movement towards decentralization has left very little on the table for the separatists.”

    Nice spin! Actually, the separatists have been losing steam since they lost the referendum. The BQ’s gain in 2005 was a protest vote. The PQ’s performance in 2007 is a confirmation.

    Harper hasn’t redefined the debate. He’s merely shoved more money to Quebec, ala NEP. And, doesn’t the Quebec-Ottawa conflict have its roots in the Two Solitudes?

    Harper hasn’t managed to change policies in a substantive way. Harper’s talk-talk raises as many questions as they answer.

    I think Sean Cummings has raised a number of good points. And, I suspect that some members of the media are pretty bright and well-informed.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:24 AM  

  • "...maybe this forces a national debate on Harper's vision for the country, and maybe it's about time we actually did that because we've been tip-toeing around the sovereignty debate for the past thirty years - ever terrified to stir separatist sentiment by having a strong national government that actually wishes to get something back from a province that has been whittling away at Ottawa's role since 1970."

    Au contraire! We've been having the Ottawa Best no Quebec Best push me pull you debate for so long that even Pierre and Rene are turning in their graves and going 'enough already' (but in French of course!). The difference is that for the first time in 30 years there appears to be a suitable middle road - give the provinces(not just Quebec) more autonomy and have the central government focus on national issues. Voila, good bye separtist politics, even in Alberta. The country has grown up and it's time for Ottawa to loosen up a bit. I know that for hardline Liberals this might be anathema - it was for the British when they let go as well - but it's time to let the Provinces, who are far more in touch with their own needs than anyone in Ottawa is, march to the beat of their own drum.

    As for the msm being bright and well informed - well there's no doubting that they think so...

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 10:56 AM  

  • Fair sailing wrote:

    >>Au contraire! We've been having the Ottawa Best no Quebec Best push me pull you debate for so long that even Pierre and Rene are turning in their graves and going 'enough already' (but in French of course!). The difference is that for the first time in 30 years there appears to be a suitable middle road - give the provinces(not just Quebec) more autonomy and have the central government focus on national issues. Voila, good bye separtist politics, even in Alberta.<<

    But this just proves my point. If the federal government is transmogrified (like that word? I borrewed it from Calvin and Hobbes) into that of a glorified tax collector and distributor of monies to the provinces, you've got an independent Quebec in everything but a formal declaration of independence! Heck, it's a sweet deal! You can still threaten to separate as a means of getting more from Ottawa and what pray tell does Ottawa and the rest of Canada get under the "autonomous federal fund sucking vacuum" that Dumont is deliberately vague about on the nitty gritty details? This is "scratch and sniff" separatism and nothing more and frankly, I doubt that most Canadians would support the kind of decentralization that Dumont envisions and Harper is prepared to yield.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 11:35 AM  

  • Sean wrote:

    "But this just proves my point. If the federal government is transmogrified (like that word? I borrewed it from Calvin and Hobbes) into that of a glorified tax collector and distributor of monies to the provinces, you've got an independent Quebec in everything but a formal declaration of independence!"

    Ah...taxation. Perhaps the federal government should also get out of the tax redistribution boondoggle. With the phrase "federal tax surplus" more common than not these days it's hard for us bitter cynics to view this as anything more than a means for the political party in power to buy support (perfected by the Liberals - speaking of giving money to Quebec - and whole heartedly embraced by anyone in Ottawa, even Harps our knight in shining armour).

    What if provinces had to fend for themselves - rich and poor. I personally find the kind of nanny tactics involved in "equalisation payments" abhorrent - my idea of transmogrification (best word ever)is for the country to find a natural economic balance. Elect governments (at any level) that don't stand at the trough a la Oliver Twist.

    As for the spectre of Quebec demanding more money - well isn't that a bit of a traditional Liberal view - "elect us and we won't let that happen otherwise they'll separate"? I trust our Quebec electorate and genuinely believe that the autonomy they seek is nothing more than being allowed to look after themselves a bit more... Can we trust them to be grown-ups?

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 12:18 PM  

  • It'd be nice to see the Liberal Party actually stand up against the mass decentralizing Harper is talking about but, gosh, there are votes to be had, so I'm not sure we'll see that big debate on what vision of confederation Canadians want.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:39 PM  

  • fair sailing said

    “Harper's views on decentralization are not only appealing to Quebec (don't kid yourself if you don't think that is where the ADQ triumphed) but to the likes of Alberta, BC and dare I say it Daltontario. Even better, it is a movement that has succeeded despite the best efforts of the establishment - which especially includes the mainstream media. Democracy is alive, ALIVE I TELL YOU!!!!! “

    Democracy is dead in Canada? The old guard of the Liberals was punished in 2005. The electorate in their wisdom gave harper a weak minority government. So democracy and accountability is dead?

    What is this vaulted decentralization that you champion? Many in Alberta don’t like climate change legislation. Decentralization is an excuse to pursue selfish goals. Canada will reject decentralization if it means that some will benefit at the expense of others.

    Alberta’s provincial politics is a prime example of democracy. Can democracy survive a weak central government and standards? It is the central government that holds back local tyranny.

    Finally, I remind you that it was Mulroney’s government that blotched the Meech Lake Accord. The BQ was founded in the aftermath. It was the Chretien government that gave substance to the decentralization movement.

    In 1996, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said,

    “Let's start with the first goal: rebalancing powers within the federation.
    Speaking of false beliefs, there is a myth of a centralized federation which is well entrenched in Quebec and also in parts of the West.
    In fact, the Canadian federation is very decentralized, one of the most decentralized in the world. And the trend of the past decades is towards even more decentralization.
    Federal program spending was one and a half times provincial and municipal spending during the 1950s. It was only three quarters in 1990, and will fall to two thirds in 1996.”

    Do you know who that Minister was?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:47 PM  

  • gawd this topic is painful, like having a toothache, a headache and pain in the ass all at the same time.

    I am all for a final, binding referendum. In or out, no strings attached if Quebec goes. Pat on the back a good bonne chance and no being Canada's version of Puerto Rico Autonomous zone.

    Either a referendum or stop pouring the whine. STFU.

    By Blogger Fred :), at 3:07 PM  

  • I'm not sure we'll see that big debate on what vision of confederation Canadians want

    That'd be a shame, CG. Whenever you arrive at a crossroads, whether you're a person or a team or a country, the best decisions are made after a really passionate examination of all the options and possible routes.

    I have to say - I've said before, really - that the intellectual vs. intellectual battle I thought we'd see from Dion and Harper doesn't seem to be happening. Too bad. I really misjudged both their characters, perhaps.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:16 PM  

  • "It'd be nice to see the Liberal Party actually stand up against the mass decentralizing Harper is talking about but, gosh, there are votes to be had, so I'm not sure we'll see that big debate on what vision of confederation Canadians want."

    If votes are to be had is the only thing stopping us Liberals from having this debate, CG, then that should not be a problem at all.

    The only thing stopping Stephane Dion from entering this debate is the so-called precarious position of his leadership. It is something that needs to be done whether it is 2007, 2008, or 2010. So why not raise the issues now and make sure that it be a rallying cry for Liberal party renewal?

    By Blogger Mushroom, at 5:57 PM  

  • I don't think his intention was to ever see Charest re-elected. I actually believe that he was hoping for an ADQ breakthrough. Harper's not as stupid as George Bush looks.

    By Blogger Paul MacPhail, at 1:02 AM  

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