Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brian Lee Crowley on Quebec

An interesting analysis of Quebec's misplay in the Federal election. The knife at the throat no longer works.

A rare misplay by Quebec


Q uebecers' political weakness within Canada has been their perennial minority status as French-speaking Catholics. Their great offsetting strength has been their ability to act collectively so as to magnify their political weight. Their strategic sense has been uncanny, almost preternatural.

But in the recent federal election, for arguably only the second time since 1867, they have weakened rather than strengthened Quebec within Confederation. Just how weak their position is we will only discover if the Parti Québécois is returned to power in the provincial election in 2012 or 2013.

Quebec's ability to play a weak hand with panache and aplomb was evident at the founding. Sir John A. Macdonald wanted Canada to be a single country with a single Parliament, but Quebecers demanded federalism, with powerful provinces. That guaranteed that while French-Canadians would be a minority within the new nation, they would enjoy majority status with respect to key powers in areas such as education.

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wilson said...

What Crowley didn't say was that Quebecers were going all in on the coalition of losers to stop PMSH.
We need to thank Frank Graves for that,
he convinced Canadians of a NDP/Lib win without the Bloc.
That urged Quebecers to ditch the Bloc and scared the ROC into giving PMSH a majority.

Now the Quebec tail no longer wags the Canadian dog.

With 30 new seats in Ontario/West before the next federal election,
and a federal NDP majority in Quebec that is sure to disappoint,
Quebecers need to do a little reflecting.

Sixth Estate said...

Crowley gives far too much credit to Quebec. It's not as if they collectively meet and decide to throw all their weight behind a party. Ten years ago the Bloc only had half the seats in Quebec. They had more before, and since, but it does vary. Other provinces tend to lean very heavily one way or the other, too, but no one implies they're all meeting together and plotting some sort of strategy.

And the idea that this is the time when they've misplayed their hand so that we can beat them up with a strong central government makes little sense, either. I distinctly remember Stephen Harper saying that he was an advocate of stronger provincial government and weaker federal government, too. If anything, Quebecers voted for one of the most centralist parties on offer, not the other way around.

Frankly I would expect better from someone who heads up a think tank than this roundup of half-baked cliches.

Anonymous said...

Actually it was the media in Quebec, French and English. They had a total love fest for the N.D.P. and Jack Layton. And a total hate-on for Harper.

I Support Lord Black