Quebec's flirt with the NDP

s_lone

Council Member
Feb 16, 2005
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So Quebec voted overwhelmingly for the NDP and the Bloc has been decapitated.

Does this mean separatism is dead?... I wouldn't bet too much on that.

1: The PQ still have very decent chances of winning the next provincial election which will be sometime in 2013 at the latest.

2: The divide between Quebec and the ROC is as clear as ever, which will feed the separatist rhetoric. MANY Quebecers will not feel at home in this majority Conservative Canada.

3: The NDP now have the responsibility of saving federalism in Quebec, which isn't an easy task. Constitutional talks are bound to reopen within the next decade and when that happens anything becomes possible. Another failure to include Quebec in the Constitution will inevitably lead to a rise in separatism. That doesn't mean I think the inclusion is impossible though.

4: The Quebec vote is very volatile and I see it as a symptom of Quebecers being in search of where they stand as a nation. The dream of having a Quebec country has never been fulfilled neither has the dream of Quebec being successfully included in Canada. So long as neither of these options is fulfilled I think Quebec vote will be volatile and rather unpredictable.

5: Many separatists actually voted NDP knowing full well the Bloc can't achieve separation.
 

lone wolf

Grossly Underrated
Nov 25, 2006
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It ain't over. Layton promised to re-open Constitutional talks. In a minority, he's as effectively stifled as the Bloc would have been - and I doubt if Harper has the parts required to co-operate with Quebec.
 

Tonington

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 27, 2006
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I agree with you Slone. I think Charest will get the boot, and now with a Conservative majority, taking very few seats in Quebec, I think we may have another referendum soon. The PQ has said they would press the issue when they get favourable conditions...with the Conservative platform so unpopular in Quebec, it's hard to imagine a better set of conditions for a vote in 2013...
 

Cliffy

Standing Member
Nov 19, 2008
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This is really too bad. I was hoping the pendulum would settle in the center by now. But Ottawa has been anything but conciliatory over the last 40 years so separatism still raises its ugly head. Quebec as a country would spell the end of both Quebec and Canada and make a merger with the US inevitable (unless Harper beats them to the punch). As far as I'm concerned, last night's results were the worst possible outcome for a united Canada.
 

DurkaDurka

Internet Lawyer
Mar 15, 2006
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Well, it makes more sense for the separatists to further their agenda at the provincial level anyways, Quebec did not gain much from electing Bloc majorities for the past 20 years.

Perhaps though, Quebecer's are resigned to the fact that they're just Canadian and have given up on the fallacy of what is the "nation of Quebec".
 

Mowich

Hall of Fame Member
Dec 25, 2005
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"Whatever their partisan preferences, Canadians should take heart from the Quebec results. The Bloc Québécois is effectively extinct, its leader defeated, its approach to federal politics rebuked. Three in four Quebeckers cast a vote for federalist parties. It may be a protest vote, a vote for the charisma and the nationalist-friendly promises of Jack Layton. But still, after years of Bloc obstructionism, Quebeckers are expressing a desire to participate in the affairs of their nation – of Canada."



Stephen Harper’s double victory - The Globe and Mail
 

mentalfloss

Prickly Curmudgeon Smiter
Jun 28, 2010
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Considering Layton has no real power, as long as he's spewing the right rhetoric the NDP should do just fine in Quebec for the next election. I think the Bloc are officially going bye bye.
 

Tonington

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 27, 2006
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Mandatory minimums
More prisons
Ending the gun registry
National preferences over regional development

There is a long list of policy planks in the Conservative play book which are unpopular in Quebec.

Quebec doesn't need the Bloc to separate.
 

wulfie68

Council Member
Mar 29, 2009
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So Quebec voted overwhelmingly for the NDP and the Bloc has been decapitated.

Does this mean separatism is dead?... I wouldn't bet too much on that.

1: The PQ still have very decent chances of winning the next provincial election which will be sometime in 2013 at the latest.

So what? The people of Quebec have and have always had the right to elect their own provincial gov't. That gov't can do whatever it wants, including hold referendums on seperation. However, if Quebec should vote to seperate, that doesn't mean the remaining parts of Canada are under any obligation to give it any of it wants unless Canadians wish it to be so.

2: The divide between Quebec and the ROC is as clear as ever, which will feed the separatist rhetoric. MANY Quebecers will not feel at home in this majority Conservative Canada.

Why should they feel any different than other Canadians? There are laws to protect their rights, just as there are to protect those outside of Quebec. If anything Quebec's own laws are what drives division on issues like language because they are far more discriminatory than anything accepted outside it.

3: The NDP now have the responsibility of saving federalism in Quebec, which isn't an easy task. Constitutional talks are bound to reopen within the next decade and when that happens anything becomes possible. Another failure to include Quebec in the Constitution will inevitably lead to a rise in separatism. That doesn't mean I think the inclusion is impossible though.

The NDP won't be able to do a damned thing the Conservatives don't want them to do. Jack's promises of trying to re-open the constitution are hot air unless the Prime Minister decides to do so. I honestly don't see this happening though, because there are far too many issues that would come from re-opening constitutional talks that can't be resolved.

4: The Quebec vote is very volatile and I see it as a symptom of Quebecers being in search of where they stand as a nation. The dream of having a Quebec country has never been fulfilled neither has the dream of Quebec being successfully included in Canada. So long as neither of these options is fulfilled I think Quebec vote will be volatile and rather unpredictable.

The only reason Quebec hasn't been "successfully included in Canada" is because Quebec refuses to allow itself to be so. Quebec refuses to see itself as an equal to the other provinces and until it does so, will hold itself apart. Thats not something to blame Canadians for...

5: Many separatists actually voted NDP knowing full well the Bloc can't achieve separation.

Well they traded one opposition party for another. The one they traded to, however doesn't put Quebec's interests ahead of all others, though, so they may be disappointed...

This is really too bad. I was hoping the pendulum would settle in the center by now. But Ottawa has been anything but conciliatory over the last 40 years so separatism still raises its ugly head. Quebec as a country would spell the end of both Quebec and Canada and make a merger with the US inevitable (unless Harper beats them to the punch). As far as I'm concerned, last night's results were the worst possible outcome for a united Canada.

How much more conciliatory should Ottawa be? Quebec already has won special status and concessions from Ottawa on numerous issues. Do we need to let Quebec draft a constitution where they can just outright rule over the rest of the country? I'm also curious how you think a Conservative majority and the demise of the BQ is bad for a united Canada? Both the CPC and NDP are federalist parties. Granted, the CPC's stance on some issues may not be what some Quebecers want to see but thats the same for some region, no matter who is in power... or is this just more of Quebec wanting to take Canada's ball and go home?
 

DaSleeper

Trolling Hypocrites
May 27, 2007
33,676
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Northern Ontario,
Considering Layton has no real power, as long as he's spewing the right rhetoric the NDP should do just fine in Quebec for the next election. I think the Bloc are officially going bye bye.
I think Harper will have to give in to quite a few of Layton's demands for quebec in order to keep Quebec happy and keep them from going back to the bloc...

It's gonna be a fine two-step to watch in the next four years;-)
 

Tonington

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 27, 2006
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I think Harper will have to give in to quite a few of Layton's demands for quebec in order to keep Quebec happy and keep them from going back to the bloc...

It's gonna be a fine two-step to watch in the next four years;-)

Harper surprised many of us with his piano skills, maybe he's lightfooted as well :lol:
 

cranky

Time Out
Apr 17, 2011
1,312
0
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The best strategy for dealing with Quebec is good government for Canada. Treat Canada well and treat all provinces equal. Any special treatment for Quebec may seem like a good idea, but in the long run it will create problems.

/2cents
 

Mowich

Hall of Fame Member
Dec 25, 2005
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So Quebec voted overwhelmingly for the NDP and the Bloc has been decapitated.

Does this mean separatism is dead?... I wouldn't bet too much on that.

1: The PQ still have very decent chances of winning the next provincial election which will be sometime in 2013 at the latest.

2: The divide between Quebec and the ROC is as clear as ever, which will feed the separatist rhetoric. MANY Quebecers will not feel at home in this majority Conservative Canada.

3: The NDP now have the responsibility of saving federalism in Quebec, which isn't an easy task. Constitutional talks are bound to reopen within the next decade and when that happens anything becomes possible. Another failure to include Quebec in the Constitution will inevitably lead to a rise in separatism. That doesn't mean I think the inclusion is impossible though.

4: The Quebec vote is very volatile and I see it as a symptom of Quebecers being in search of where they stand as a nation. The dream of having a Quebec country has never been fulfilled neither has the dream of Quebec being successfully included in Canada. So long as neither of these options is fulfilled I think Quebec vote will be volatile and rather unpredictable.

5: Many separatists actually voted NDP knowing full well the Bloc can't achieve separation.

The biggest question still remains whether or not a clear majority of Quebeckers actually want to leave Canada. There are always grumblings and elections give rise to the more vocal. The next provincial election will probably tell the tale as you suggest but I won't be holding my breath and am extremely relieved to be rid of the Bloc.

This is really too bad. I was hoping the pendulum would settle in the center by now. But Ottawa has been anything but conciliatory over the last 40 years so separatism still raises its ugly head. Quebec as a country would spell the end of both Quebec and Canada and make a merger with the US inevitable (unless Harper beats them to the punch). As far as I'm concerned, last night's results were the worst possible outcome for a united Canada.

Slow down, Cliffy... there you go... take a breath. Right! Quebec is not going to be leaving Canada anytime soon and if it does it will have nothing what-so-ever to do with the Conservatives. All my life Quebec has threatened to leave Canada and it has never happened. Heck given the chance to do so, they could not even muster the number of votes needed to finally achieve their goal. The Quebec of today is not the Quebec of my younger years. I believe the majority of Quebeckers are more than comfortable remaining with the status quo and letting the pesky question of separatism die a good death. I could be very wrong but from what I hear younger people saying, the desire to have their own country does not burn as deep as it did for their parents.
 

Bar Sinister

Executive Branch Member
Jan 17, 2010
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I agree with you Slone. I think Charest will get the boot, and now with a Conservative majority, taking very few seats in Quebec, I think we may have another referendum soon. The PQ has said they would press the issue when they get favourable conditions...with the Conservative platform so unpopular in Quebec, it's hard to imagine a better set of conditions for a vote in 2013...

The key is "favourable conditions." Somehow I doubt that even the most ardent separatist will see the obliteration of the Bloc as a sign that the moment is right. Polls in Quebec over the last couple of decades have shown that the number of ardent separatists is down to less than 20%. Unless something happens to once again stir up Quebec nationalism separatism looks like a dead issue regardless of what party is in power. In fact if the PQ was to run on a strong platform of independence it would almost certainly tend to be a vote loser.
 

damngrumpy

Executive Branch Member
Mar 16, 2005
9,949
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kelowna bc
A lot of this depends on how well the NDP does as opposition. The next generation is
not as interested in separation, as the older one. The separatists are now divided on
the Federal and Provincial scale. Yes Layton would open the constitution but he won't
be doing that now. Secondly the separatists were down in popularity and the young
are not living everyday waiting for a new nation. Several students from McGill are now
MP"s. I think it is a stretch to say its not real, after all many said the NDP would take no
more than for or fifty seats period. No one knows the landscape yet and even the Tories
are beginning to realize they can't do what ever they want, power must be tempered with
wisdom. Brian Mulroney didn't think in those terms and he was reduced to two seats.
The only thing people know right now is there is a new political reality and it must play
itself out on the pages of history
 

s_lone

Council Member
Feb 16, 2005
2,233
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The key is "favourable conditions." Somehow I doubt that even the most ardent separatist will see the obliteration of the Bloc as a sign that the moment is right. Polls in Quebec over the last couple of decades have shown that the number of ardent separatists is down to less than 20%. Unless something happens to once again stir up Quebec nationalism separatism looks like a dead issue regardless of what party is in power. In fact if the PQ was to run on a strong platform of independence it would almost certainly tend to be a vote loser.

Of course no true separatist will see the obliteration of the Bloc as a good omen for the movement. Yet a lot of talk is going around on how this actually might be the best thing to happen to the movement in a long time. The polarization will be as strong as ever with Quebec fully into the opposition mode versus the rest of Canada. The idea that the rest of Canada is like a different country is and will be as strong as ever. I'm not voluntarily ignoring the fact that there is a significant left leaning movement in the rest of Canada. I can see that. But the global zeitgeist in Quebec nonetheless risks turning into a ''us vs. them''.

I'd also like to see those polls on 20% support for separatism... Traditionally, separatist support tends to oscillate around a fixed base of 40%. And I tend to think that it's still close to that despite what the circumstances can lead us to think. The key word here I think is ''volatility''. I know many separatists who voted NDP. People know the project is on hold for now and the temptation to give a true left leaning balance of power in Ottawa has concretized.

As for the PQ's platform they are shaping up to propose some kind of ''sovereigntist governance'' to Quebecers. This means attempting to repatriate as many powers from Ottawa as possible if they come to power. This strategy shouldn't be underestimated because it's some form of win-win situation for separatists. Either the PQ does succeed at repatriating powers and we end up being more independent while still being part of Canada, or the rest of Canada gives Quebec a resounding ''NO'' and Quebecers have a reason for separating again.

Of course the PQ must get elected in the first place. I think the key to the future of the sovereignty movement is in a strong pro-environment stance (that somehow manages to be good for economy at the same time.) This the only way the sovereigntist movement will rejuvenate its base by attracting the new generation. If it can succeed on that aspect, it will manage to show itself as a true alternative to the conservative political landscape of the ROC who, let's face it, doesn't seem to care much for the ecological challenges that await us in the next decades.

It is true that the movement has aged and many hard core separatists are slowly turning old and less eager for drastic change.