A three-way street is how the Quebec election finished showcasing the strengths and pitfalls of third parties and fairly vigorous identification with the democratic process. All three top finishers, who had a near even separation of popular vote, are going to have to re-invent themselves anew before the minority government implodes and the populace goes back to jury duty….
Liberal Party: given up for dead, they lost but the fifty seats is indicative that the Liberal ideal is still alive, in spite of Jean Charest’s absence of personal charisma. The party has to go back to Liberalism roots and wage something it dislikes: a grassroots campaign that brings the lower strata of society into the fold by increasing pensions and social assistance to those most in need while stressing their favorable position in ensuring Federal Old Age Security as a guarantee. Nathalie Goguen almost beat a heavy favorite in her riding by sticking to a basic model, the American “precinct to presidency” approach. They have to go after the “little people,” and make the party valid on a social level. In terms of separation, going back to Jean Charest’s concept of asymmetrical federalism, a Canada as loose Federation while engaging in the Claude Ryan philosophy of piecemeal harvesting more powers would be the best course of action: non federalist and non separatist.
Parti-Quebecois: This might be as good as the going can get. Pauline Marois has to prove that Socialism, soft Marxism can be a viable economic model and that expanding the role of government can increase overall prosperity. Regarding the Separatist issue, the party has to finally articulate the process, the “pertubations”, and the sacrifice entailed in creating a new nation, and then facing the heat, the scrutiny and selling the package to the public. If the PQ had taken the lumpy road much earlier instead of playing with smoke and mirrors, Quebec would already be at the United Nations; who knows, maybe they don’t want sovereignty after all.
Coalition Avenir Quebec: Francois Legault grabbed 27% of the vote; in fact everyone he didn’t shish-kebab on the campaign. The showing was respectable, and indicated Quebec was not ready to confide the reins of power. A show-me story. And show Legault will have to do: How trimming government in a concerted fashion will put more money in the taxpayers pocket without ballooning unemployment. Why should he succeed when no one else has? Still, Legault sees the problems clearly; the inner-Quebec trade barriers for trades which restricts employment and helps nurture a black market economy as well as the sheer fat, blubber of political patronage over the years.
écois 31,94 %
Parti libéral du Québec
Quebec Liberal Party 31,21 %
Coalition avenir Québec – L’équipe François Legault 27,06 %
Québec solidaire 6,03 %
Parti indépendantiste 0,03 %
Bloc pot 0,01 %
Union citoyenne du Québec
Québec Citizens’ Union 0,05 %
Indépendants 0,27 %
Québec – Révolution démocratique
David Frum:Quebecers know that, or anyway intuit it. The old promises of an easy separatism have been discredited. Separatism is now a hard path, involving great sacrifices, reduced standards of living, more work, and fewer social benefits — all at a time when PQ supporters yearn to hear a message of no sacrifices, improved standards of living, less work, and more social benefits. Which is precisely why Quebec separatism is effectively dead.
So what is offered instead is an elaborate pretense. PQ leader Pauline Marois has promised to form of committee to work on a project to develop a plan for a new strategy for independence. The committee will begin by studying past studies of Quebec independence, and then — once the studies are complete — proceed to propose action plans. A new diplomatic initiative will seek to gain international approval of the independence that Quebecers themselves do not want.
In tough economic times, these studies at least offer make-work jobs for under-utilized economists, sociologists, and party functionaries. But they impose a tough challenge on the rest of Canada: how to keep a straight face through the prolonged hemming and hawing. “Okay, you just let us know when you finish talking to yourselves. Take your time. We’ll wait. Four years? Eight? Twenty-seven? Fine. No rush.” Read More:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/09/01/david-frum-the-real-reason-that-separatism-in-quebec-is-dead/