Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Quebec election 

In the great movie The Wind and the Lion, one of the best lines is when Brian Keith playing Teddy Roosevelt says "I go to Oyster Bay for the weekend and the government of Morocco falls."
Well, I feel a little like that tonight -- I go to Kamloops for the last two days, and the government of Quebec falls (or sort of falls, anyway).
Jason Cherniak provides the following analysis of the confusing conservatives-helping-liberals aspects of Quebec politics:
During the last federal election, Québec Liberals helped the federal Conservatives outside of Montreal. This was at Charest's behest and he was able to convince provincial Liberals because the federal Liberal cause seemed hopeless in many parts of the province. Federal Conservative Jean Charest seemed to have played his cards right. He and Harper would work together to end the separatist threat, then the PLQ could help Harper everywhere in the province.
Then came the ADQ. Oops. Who would have thought that the election of a federal Conservative government would help the provincial conservative party? Like any other political party, members of the Québec Liberals want to win. While they did win, it was by a whisker. I don't think they will be in much of a mood to help Harper after seeing how his success helped the ADQ.
I think it has become very clear that if politics is to become a true left-right argument in Québec, then the provincial and federal Liberals need to work together. Otherwise, both Liberal parties will fail in the province. Federal Tories like Charest may be around for a while yet, but they cannot be the future of the Québec Liberals. The only question in my mind is whether Québec Liberals will figure that out before the next federal election. They might not, but in the longer run I am fairly sure they will. I am also fairly sure that if federal politics becomes a debate of ideas, then the Liberals will win in Québec.

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