jean charest has not been very helpful to the Tory cause. The latest scandals sqirling aroung the Quebec liberals these may help bring down the federal grits. This will help confirm the national impression of grit corruption according to David Akin.
This is, obviously, a problem for Charest but, as several Quebec MPs here this week said, it is also a problem for his federal Liberal cousins. Though the imbroglio has nothing to do with the federal Liberal Party in Quebec, many voters will fail to see the difference.
“There’s always this spin-off because people just think in terms of Liberals,” said Montreal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler. Cotler said he met a voter Wednesday who said though he was a Liberal, he was not going to vote Liberal ever again because, in that voter’s mind, even the perception of a corrupt provincial Liberal politician had stained all politicians who carry on under any Liberal brand.
The federal Liberals in Quebec had, until Bellemare’s accusations began dominating the front pages of newspapers in Montreal and Quebec City, stopped the bleeding that came in the wake of the Gomery Commission. Meeting here in Baddeck, N.S., for their summer-ending caucus meetings, some Quebec Liberals were saying that, before Bastarache, their brand was undergoing something of a rehabilitation, at least in Montreal, and they hoped to improve in the next federal election on the 14 seats they now hold in that province.
Now, an MP like Justin Trudeau, who won his populous Montreal riding by 1,200 votes over a Bloc Quebecois incumbent, must worry more about playing defence than helping win new seats.
The proceedings of the Bastarache Commission, now on a short break until next Tuesday, is not yet getting wide coverage in English Canada but it is nonetheless important for the federal political scene.