Thursday, March 19, 2009

More on the Quebec scene

Raymond Giroux pens a column in le Soleil today looking at the federal political scene in Quebec today that makes a number of interesting observations. (Translation here)

He makes a number of observations about the deline of Conservative fortunes in Quebec and says they've been hindered by the preception in Quebec that they've moved to the right, while the Liberals have been aided by being precieved as in the centre. He also says Ignatieff has managed to move past his prior position on the Iraq war in Quebec, although his strong support for oil sands workers has raised some eyebrows.

After Denis Coderre's comments the other day, I was also though pleased to see Giroux and University of Sherbrooke political scientist Jean-Herman Guay advise the Liberls to court the federalist vote in Quebec:

There is a market for federalist votes in Quebec, and Michael Ignatieff employs default, said political scientist Jean-Herman Guay.


If Mr. Ignatieff was the first to propose the recognition of the Quebec nation, it speaks a lot today. My theory is that it must gather the votes federalist, and is hopelessly sovereignists sheet.

Jean Chr├ętien did the same, and the Liberals seemed on track to win the war of attrition against the Bloc arises when the sponsorship scandal.

Giroux does end with a note of caution though, saying St├ęphane Dion was hurt by his continual propping-up of the Harper government, and Ignatieff must be careful to avoid that mistake. A very valid point. I don't think we're there yet though. But the clock is ticking.

Is it too easy for Ignatieff to be gaining support though, Giroux asks much as Yaffe did, without putting forward much in the way of a policy program? Perhaps. But as the oft repeated truism goes, governments defeat themselves. Best to just stay out of their way and let them.

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Steve V said...

On the policy front, that will come, but what's important now is that Ignatieff is establishing himself as a steady, credible alternative. People don't know much about Ignatieff, but he's coming across as serious and measured. It's all about broad strokes at this point, just a general sense that something's there. Government's do defeat themselves, Ignatieff's job is to look the PM in waiting. It's also true, that parties NEVER release their platform months before an election, so it's sort of unrealistic criticism to want all the nuts and bolts now. Again, a "sense" is all that is required now.

Jeff said...

Quite true. It's about painting the broad strokes now, and filling in the details later. Gaining credibility as the logical alternative. And, as I said, not getting in the way when the Conservatives are shooting themselves.

lyrical said...

It seemed to me that it may have also been Mr. Ignatieff's job to look like the PM in waiting when he was Deputy Leader. ;)