Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Political Suicide

So Jean Charest is ready to die on the hill fighting for a tax cut that 70% of Quebecers are against?

Uh-huh. Yeah right. I'm pretty sure the guy is gonna blink on this one.

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  • News all over the place today were that they'd give an extra 100 million to health care and education to get the PQ's support. Peanuts, really, just so they can say that they tried and that the PQ is at fault for the election happening this Summer (which is BS, really - it's everyone's fault just the same).

    I wonder how the PQ will handle this. Supporting the budget might be shooting itself in the foot, given that they clearly have the most to gain from an election. At the same time, if it turns down the PLQ's ridiculous offer, it doesn't look very good either now does it?

    Charest's playing his political future on this one. If there's an election this Summer, there are very good chances that he won't be the PLQ's leader comes August. I,m somewhat hoping for an election, so that the PLQ might catch my attention again with Couillard at its head rather than that Charest scumbag.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 1:30 a.m.  

  • I'd be concerned about the question they asked. The question was not "Do you support the proposed tax reduction?" The question was an either-or question that put the alternative of increased spending in health and education, and put it second, for that matter.

    I question what the answer to that question really means, particularly what it means in terms of which party they would vote for in the next election. Only the BQ are left of the Liberals (i.e. education and healthcare), and they're in a leadership transition.

    It would be the wrong hill to die on, but I don't think this poll shows that death is necessarily the result.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 1:58 a.m.  

  • charest wont budge on the tax cut

    and people are never against a tax cut.

    Many people didnt vote for Charest two months ago because he didnt deliver on his tax cut promise.

    that poll means nothing

    By Blogger Anthony, at 2:10 a.m.  

  • Groupthink much Antonio?

    By Blogger Concerned Albertan, at 9:10 a.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Stéphane, at 9:47 a.m.  

  • It's true, in theory. Charest won't budge on the tax cut.

    I wont go as far as saying that the survey doesn't mean anything, but it needs to be said that 42% of Québec's working population does not pay income tax. That's a pretty large base that, for obvious reasons, doesn't really care for a tax cut.

    Charest will make other concessions and the PQ will vote in favour of the budget. Contrary to what jeagag says, the PQ doesn't have the most to gain from an election. Polls show that, if an election were held now, the ADQ would be in power.

    What boggles my mind the most about this absurd pissing oonctest is the fact that very little people have called out the PQ, and Pauline Marois, for opposing a tax cut that is essentially identical (at least in its intent) to the one Marois proposed when she was finance minister.

    By Blogger Stéphane, at 9:48 a.m.  

  • There are two main reasons why I think the PQ has the most to gain from an election. The first is that if there is an election, they will clearly gain the most seats compared to the March results, much more than the ADQ - they can probably even take some back from the ADQ. If an election were held today, the PQ would become the official opposition, which I think will please them somehow, as I don,t think they're quite happy being third (ask Diane Lemieux).

    The second reason why I believe that the PQ has the most to gain is that it secretely wants the ADQ to take power as early as possible. It knows that the Liberals have a very solid team and a very weak leader, and that the Liberals will come back strongly whenever Charest gets the boot. The ADQ, however, is not ready for power, and if it were indeed to take power, the PQ will bet that it would fall flat on its face and that the population would soon realize that the ADQ isn't as good for governing as it is for complaining. Mario Dumont himself probably doesn't want to take power right away, he knows full well that his caucus isn't good enough right now.

    So, while I agree with you, phoff, that in absolute terms the ADQ will gain the most from an election, in the medium term I think the PQ would be pleased with an ADQ minority government, as it would give them the chance to say "Hey, look - the Liberals were the most unpopular government in Québec history, and the ADQ's a huge mess, so guess who's left?".

    Pauline Marois is a beast. She has more political experience than Charest, while being very pragmatic (it takes some guts for the leader of the PQ to put a referendum on the ice). They'd have a chance at winning a Summer election, and if they didn't, they'd have a great chance at the next one, depending on how Couillard will do as PLQ leader (I can't see him being more unpopular than Charest).

    I think Jean Charest demonstrates how a hard-line federalist is not a good bet, at least provincially, for Québec. Other than in Outaouais, the West of Montréal and a few South Shore ridings, federalism isn't very sexy in Québec. It's not a knock against the concept of federalism, which is perfectly sound, but it just doesn't go over well in Québec these days.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 10:54 a.m.  

  • jeagag, while I agree it's not easy for a PQ leader to "put a referendum on the ice", surely this conclusion was part of the received knowledge which everyone took from the last election. It's quite clear that the referendum resolution was not liked by the voters.

    If Marois had defeated Boisclair in the leadership race two years ago, she would likely have gone into the last election with the same position on the referendum that Boisclair did.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 3:56 p.m.  

  • Yeah, she wouldn't have had a choice. Still, the PQ's programs was totally out there, some even said that it made the PQ more of a referendist party than a sovereignist one. Boisclair and Marois have this in common: neither of them wants a referendum unless they are not sure to win it. They are not late 70's Lévesque, or Jacques Parizeau, they're both realistic and agree with Stéphane Dion that a referendum should only take place if they have pretty good odds of winning it. Boisclair hated the PQ's program, but it was adopted before he came in power, and he wasn't solid enough to fashion the party after himself. Marois has that luxury, since she is definitely the most qualified provincial politician in Québec of all allegiances, she is loved by her party and by the population, and no one in their right mind would want to hold on to the idea of a referendum "as soon as possible in a first mandate".

    Basically, I agree with you that the circumstances forced the PQ leader to make some adjustments. Still, it took some guts, as the last PQ leader to claim he didn't want a referendum was Pierre-Marc Johnson, and he didn't fare very long. Well, fine, there was Bouchard who wanted "winning conditions", but never since Johnson has the idea of a referendum been pushed aside so clearly. I think it's refreshing, and it will make the PQ much, much more appealing to a number of disgruntled PQ voters who jumped on the ADQ bandwagon this Spring.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 5:34 p.m.  

  • Why is that the people who are opposed to tax cuts are the ones who don't work and therefore don't pay taxes. Try getting ahead and working full time after college, then you can have a real perspective on taxes.

    For the Quebecors that are actually hardworking (single or in a family) tax cuts simply mean more for their bottom line.

    Quebec continues to lag the country in growth and productivity and needs competitive tax rates in order to attract investment - It can't rely on huge handouts from Ottawa forever.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8:42 a.m.  

  • For a very, very rare time, I agree with the ADQ in the income tax point. Lowering them is not a bad thing in itself - the problem is lowering them in such a huge way. The thing is, the fiscal imbalance money won't magically appear every year, so I think it's rather ill-advised to base a recurring measure on a one-shot deal. What's going to happen when we don't get substantial amounts from Ottawa anymore... raise taxes again to adjust?

    I can't stand Gilles Taillon, he's a lobbyist with the #2 position in opposition (plus he looks like a clown), but on that one, he's spot on. At least it's better than the PQ's position that all money should be reinvested at all costs (for all its good sides, the outdated social-democrat position it defends is annoying).

    For me, lowering income taxes is not necessarily a bad thing at all. What's bad is basing these cuts on a one-time thing that will get the government in trouble in the long run.

    By Blogger jeagag, at 12:56 p.m.  

  • jeagag, as I understand it, the fiscal imbalance money isn't stopping anytime soon. My problem would be the focus on tax cuts when there is a large deficit (and zero political will to do anything about it).

    Also, I hate it when Paul Wells is right about things... but it seems he was pretty right about Charest.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 2:59 p.m.  

  • By Blogger raybanoutlet001, at 9:31 p.m.  

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