04.07.2014 10:17 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: vive le Canada!

Au revoir, separatists. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

OK, OK, we know. We shouldn’t get too cocky about the Parti Quebecois’ decisive loss in Monday night’s Quebec election. The so-called “sovereigntists” have been here before, in 2007, and they came back. Like a stain in the carpet that won’t go away, they’ll return to bedevil Canada, eventually.

But they lost! The separatists lost, and they weren’t supposed to! A month ago, an arrogant, detestable, smirking Pauline Marois called an election, because she (and everyone else) was convinced the PQ was an election away from a majority government. And then, a campaign happened.

Campaigns matter, I always like to say, because they do.

When distilled down to its base elements, a campaign is just a great big job interview. You put on some nice clothes, you get a haircut, and you go out with a CV touting your accomplishments. And at the job interview, you talk about the stuff you think your employer wants to hear.

That’s why the Parti Quebecois lost on a historic scale: they talked about stuff Quebec voters didn’t want to hear. Another referendum? Non, merci. A racist “values charter?” Laisse tomber! The conspiracy to assist a few hundred McGill students vote in the provincial election? Vous etes fou! [Ed. That’s “no thanks,” “drop it!” and “you’re crazy,” in that order, folks. You’re welcome.]

The problem, for Marois and her hapless gang of Canada-wreckers, wasn’t so much that the Liberals’ Philippe Couillard ran a great campaign. He didn’t, really; he oversaw a competent, workman-like campaign. The separatists’ problem was they didn’t talk about the issues important to Quebecers.

To wit: the last Ipsos poll issued before Monday night’s vote. Ipsos is a real, reputable polling firm (unlike that shall-not-be-named bucket shop that gets covered in the media a lot, but also gets things wrong a lot).

“What Quebecers want,” Ipsos wrote, “are bread and butter issues to lead the way. [They want Quebec’s government to] roll up their sleeves and get to work.”

And what the vast majority of Quebecers wanted – nearly 80% of them, like every other Canadian – was a focus on jobs, the economy and health care. A referendum, a values charter and Manchurian Candidate-like McGill students didn’t even make the list. Said Ipsos: “The top four [issues] are creating a better economy and jobs (41%), followed by providing better health care (36%), ensuring debt repayment and balancing the budget (24%) and lowering taxes (23%).”

See that? What Marois and her cabal were talking about incessantly didn’t even make the list. Couillard, on the other hand, was so message track he could talk about the economy and health care in his sleep, and probably did.

A few other things helped, along the way. No idiots in Brockville wiped their feet on Quebec flag. No federalists provided “humiliation” fodder. And the three federal leaders – Messrs. Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau – smartly kept a low profile during the campaign. Way to go, boys.

Campaigns matter. So, too, talking about the things that matter to voters.

Couillard did, Marois didn’t. Voila!

Canada wins!


  1. Ridiculosity says:

    PKP sure knows how to ruin a party. Oh wait, with that much cash he can host his own.

    • Gord says:

      PKP is now going to run for the leadership of the decimated PQ? That’s like going from Marx to Mussolini …!!

  2. Al in Cranbrook says:

    IMHO, I think “separatism” got put out of everyone’s misery tonight, and I think the PQ, if Legault and the CAQ plays its cards smartly, can be relegated to third party status on the fringes…where it belongs.

    It was, in large part, generational, and I don’t think up and coming younger Quebeccers feel nearly as insecure about their identity within Canada…or for that matter, globally. They’ve figured out that one can identify with both provincial and national roots, tradition and culture, no different than anywhere else in Canada. IOW, they’re maturing beyond that insecurity stuff.

    That even the PQ leader lost her own riding is fairly indicative of a fatigue with all of the nonsense.


  3. J. Jackson says:

    Watched Couillard’s speech after the election. He was cool, calm, collected… almost Harper-like in his public demeanor!

    He made a lot of costly election promises to Quebecers that will need a big infusion of federal aid, and Harper will have to now cope with the demands of a majority Liberal government in Quebec.

    Wonder if Justin will cave in to Liberal Couillard’s demands of the federal government? Would that be le baisser de la mort for the federal Liberals in the ROC?

  4. david ray says:

    maybe the Maroionettes should have consulted Couillard and used his neurosurgeon skill-set to warn them that separatism in a bad economy is always a bad idea. Now let’s get back to Skippy and the schmucks before they wreck what’s left of the ROC.

  5. Ryan Spinney says:

    This provides Mulcair the perfect stable opportunity he’s wanted for creating a QNDP to contest the next election, so all bets are off for next time.

  6. e.a.f. says:

    Marois got greedy, she had a government and could have continued as is, but she wanted her “charter”. not a good thing. then she called an election and got greedy again and went for a “star candidate”, who wasn’t. He got greeedy, he wanted his own country.

    as long as Couillard doesn’t get greedy, he may be able to stay in his job for sometime. Marois went to the electorate and said, I have the job, now I want a triple increase in my salary, the employer said no.

  7. Jerry says:

    Seperatist parties got the majority of votes, kind of like progressives in Canada, they lost, like we do and will.

    • Tiger says:

      CAQ isn’t a separatist party, and their voters are about 3/4 federalist.

      See also the EKOS poll re the actual choice on offer — outright independence or the constitutional status quo. The status quo carried the day, 65%-32%.

  8. Marc L says:

    This was part of a big master plan that failed spectacularly. The PQ would try to whip up old-stock quebecers’ sense of “identity” with the Charter. The charter would be challenged in federal courts as a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and would be invalidated. The PQ would scream murder, claiming that federalism prevents Quebec from assuming its identity and defending its language and culture. Then it would hold a referendum on sovereignty. Unfortunately for Marois — as well as Drainville and Lisée, who were behind this strategy — Quebecers don’t want anything to do with this crap. So where does this leave the PQ? With the baby boomers ageing, many saw this as their last chance. The party is split across left-right lines and across hard-line-soft-core nationalist lines. And the PQ is known for mud-slinging and backstabbing within their ranks. This should be interesting.

  9. Jerry says:

    What is always forgotten about the idiots in Brockville is that they got caught on camera while the Francophone idiots who first wiped their feet on the Canadian flag – and so inspired the Brockville idiots – were only written about. The lesson there is don’t be an idiot before a recording device, because people forget word of mouth idiots.

  10. doconnor says:

    I am hesitant to celebrate a new right-wing provincial government elected to yet another false majority with only 41% of the vote.

    • Gord Shuster says:

      And there is no “vouching” vote in Quebec… and apparently only 5 legitimate IDs… and no McGill students from Ontario either…lol

  11. graham watt says:

    An interesting aspect of Couillard’s campaign positioning was use of the words inclusive and inclusiveness, frequently throughout the campaign. Another Liberal who also uses the word frequently (in fact has established it as his raison d’etre) is Justin Trudeau. This Québec Election degenerated into very divisive and brutal name-calling from the Péquiste side (the CAQ too). Divisiveness, (mixed with increasing political vulgarity) has been a mainstay of Mr. Harper’s approach as well since his arrival in 2006. His idea of inclusiveness being hockey and going to Tim Horton’s after.

  12. steve says:

    History is a harbinger and Harper is next. Canada is not buying any more crazy we are full up already.

    Have you not been watching Vikings, Walking Dead or Game of Thrones? Did you know the most popular TV show NCIS is produced by Lockheed Martin? The message more than ever is some people just need killin or torture and then killin. Harper has punched the big data and seen electoral gold is going after voters with violence, pomp and ceremony.

    There is no doubt the War if 1812 was an existential event for Canada. These phantom limbs of history linger. Does it lie as heavy in our psyche as the civil war playing out daily in modern America? Not even close, which supports your supposition that Canada is not a nation built by combat. Therefore (thank goodness) Harper can beat us with the phantom limbs of war and royalty till the cows come home and we are not going to become Americans.

    Vimy Ridge was an event that allowed Canadians greater independence, and in English Canada a nation building shared triumphal David and Goliath type experience. Of course Canadian independence was inevitable and obviously giving credit to the military is spun. However where I grew up WW1 happened yesterday. Maybe growing up in Quebec was different.

    History should be a lesson. No spin, no glory, just human equations and outcomes. Hopefully the future is made of good equations

    • Gord says:

      …. and then there was Justin’s to-be dad, Pierre, riding around Montreal on his motorcycle, during WWII and wearing a Nazi soldier helmet while trying to avoid conscription in Quebec by the MacKenzie King Liberal government. No spin, just the facts!

      • Kaspar Juul says:

        Hmm what did your father do that we can hold against you. Is this a method of tulk to get past his posting limit?

        • Kaspar Juul says:

          “Any party – not just the cpc can now get a majority w/o Quebec any and all parties can. That changes the political position of all federal parties (iow no one is likely to win a majority without significant support in the west)”

          That is still as of yet not set in stone. Things can change Gord 2.0. You may read something in your pamphlets and it might be quite different on the ground. I know your claims of my industry out here are wildly off. But we tend to love cheerleading a bit too much out west for my liking.

          Then again you’ll never admit you’re wrong. It takes a bigger person to do that.

          Maybe you can sign in as Gord 3.0 do that. The IP address may be different but the talking points and prose aren’t.

          “Thanks for reading”. Ha, have you coopted this site that much already?

      • smelter rat says:

        You might want to round out that education of yours. http://thetyee.ca/Books/2006/09/14/Trudeau/

  13. Matt says:

    Marois was looking for a fight with Ottawa over seperation.

    To Harper’s credit (and Mulcair & Trudeau as well) she was ignored. Them not taking the bait took a lot of wind out of the PQ’s sails.

  14. Paul Brennan says:

    agreed …the federal party leaders stayed out of it and that helped the cause…maybe Que is getting the message that ROC is tired of this separatist notion ..

    Que has big challenges…one of TV stations had a pundit on last night that said 22% of Quebecers are over 65 …. second nation (sic) in world next to Japan ..the ROC is at 14% – with free ($7 a day) daycare in Que, cheap college and university tuition , very unstable business sector, where is the money going to come from for health care , retiremnt homes etc.

    Dr Couilliard has his work cut out for him …can make it work I hope .. the PQ had not a rats ass chance of making it work…

  15. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Pundits on CTV today were saying that 40 percent of Quebecers don`t pay income tax. Greece anyone? Also that the biggest work force is Government employed?

    Could this possibly be true?

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