The morning after the morning after
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.