Sunday, December 11, 2011

Les rapports de leur mort ont été grandement exagérées

Daniel Paillé, the man Stephen Harper trusted to investigate the Liberal Party, is the new leader of the Bloc Quebecois. However, the media attention has not been on Paillé, but on the anemic total of 14,000 who bothered to vote in the leadership contest.

It's certainly not a number to get excited about. After all, over 48,000 Bloquists voted in 1997, when Gilles Duceppe won on the second ballot.

Still, before we draft the Bloc obituaries, let's recall that the NDP juggernaut had under 6,000 Quebec members last time we checked. So it's far from certain that more Quebecers will vote for the next leader of the opposition than just voted for the new leader of the fourth place party.

And if memory serves me, neither the 2006 Liberal leadership race nor the 2004 CPC leadership race generated a ton of excitement in Quebec. In both contests, many ridings were won with 2 or 3 votes.

So yes, 14,000 voters is a pitoyable total for the Bloc. But even in their darkest hour, they may still be able to generate more interest than any of the three federalist parties. Let's not dismiss them as a spent force.



  • ie. That separation would occur out of Quebec City, not Ottawa.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:53 p.m.  

  • The issue is not how many BQ members voted in the process - its the fact that Paille shows every sign of being the "Fabien Roy of the BQ" (see wikipedia "Fabien Roy and the death of the Creditiste Party"). If there was one thing the BQ had going for them it was that Duceppe had "street cred" as a leftwing activist and he positioned the BQ clearly as a leftwing party that was essentially identical to the NDP in the rest of Canada except that it supported Quebec independence. Paille is totally different duck. He is a rightwing business tycoon who says that his plan for the BQ is to use solely as a vehicle to promote the cause of Quebec independence. in other words, the BQ will no longer compete with the NDP for the progressive vote and instead Paille will hold meetings in places like Herouxville and appeal to Quebec xenophobic nationalism. For the NDP in Quebec - Christmas came two weeks early this year in the person of Daniel Paille

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