Monday, August 18, 2008

The party of the nation, or the party of the country?

A MacLean's blogger reports a possible new Quebec strategy for Stephen Harper, abandoning the whole compete with the BQ for soft nationalists thing and fight the Liberals for the federalists. And he also points the way to this quote:

“During the next election, Quebecers will have to make a choice. They will be able to choose between the party of separation (the Bloc Québécois), the party of centralization (the Liberal party) or the party of the nation (the Conservative party),” says a Conservative strategist who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Hmm, so the Conservatives are the party of the nation. Note the singular, denoting one nation. So which nation would that be exactly, Stephen? I'm guessing the Quebecois nation? So, should all the other nations just vote for another party then?

BTW, the party of the nation? If we Liberals tried a line like that the Cons would attack our arrogance. They're welcome to the line though. We'll just have to settle for being the party of all nations, the Pan-Canadian party.

Anyway, an interesting, likely poll-driven strategy by the Conservatives. Maybe third time's the charm. I've long been advocating for the Liberals to adopt a staunch federalist strategy. I've seen no evidence they actually have though. But with the Cons and BQ fighting for the soft-nationalist space and the NDP joining in, I've long argued there's room for the Liberals to own the staunch federalist vote, and that's an area that plays to Stephane Dion's strengths.

So, if this is indeed the new Conservative strategy it will be interesting to see how it plays this out. I know this though: in an election fought on national unity, in a battle for the staunch federalist vote, I sure wouldn't bet against Stephane Dion.

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Chuckercanuck said...

only because you'll be forced to re-define "staunch" everytime we scoop up more federalists! (oh, they weren't really STAUNCH staunch).

Skinny Dipper said...

If I lived in Lloydminster, Alberta or Saskatchewan, my vote for the Conservatives would be a vote for the Québécois nation.

Nous sommes tous Québécois. I don't know if my français ist parfait or imparfait.

Let's have Harper change the name of Canada to Québec. We can satisfy both the federalists who want a unified country from Mary usque ad Marie and the separatists who want to belong to the sovereign state of Québec.

The Jurist said...

It's probably too late to reverse the trend of allowing anonymity for absolutely no reason. But doesn't test-driving a new slogan strike anybody else as a particularly ridiculous time for a party official to demand to remain nameless - or for a reporter to grant that request?

A BCer in Toronto said...

We're still trying to define nation chucker, we'll have to save staunch for later.