The Quebec question, that is. With Quebec Liberals now edging ahead of separatist Parti Quebecois rivals — by a whopping single digit, according to a June poll by the Leger agency — Premier Jean Charest is now considering pulling the plug and calling an election for Sept. 4.
What if he loses? What does it mean for Quebecois, and the rest of Canada?
For Charest, the rationale for going now is plain. The global economy is in serious decline once again, and all of Canada will inevitably be hurt by that. The lead that PQ leader Pauline Marois once enjoyed has evaporated. The fledgling Coalition Avenir Quebec party hasn’t caught on yet.
And, for some Quebec Liberals, they figure it is better to go now (when things aren’t so bad) than to go later (when things are likely to be worse).
Maybe. Perhaps. But what if that political shorthand is wrong?