The Magdalen Islands do not an election make.

While always having great respect for reporter Chantal Hébert of CBC and Toronto Star fame, she cannot forecast an election based on visiting Iles-de-la-Madeline. And it is also far too early. Much has yet to happen before the votes are counted. Mind you, we can both agree that the Bloc Québécois and Conservative parties are both whistling past the graveyard in Quebec this October. It is which party will benefit most from their demise that is very much open to question.

Ms. Hébert agrees that the Harper Conservatives have only a few seats left to lose in Quebec and will probably lose them. The last time the Conservatives dived like that was in the 1993 election. The only riding worth watching for Conservative votes is Mount Royal. This long-time Liberal stronghold in Montreal has been a target of Harper’s very expensive pandering for the Jewish vote. The riding has a story to tell.

But Chantal is looking for a second orange wave. It is like a religious fanatic anticipating a second coming. You think it might be interesting if it happens but this cynic is not about to bet money on it.

A second orange wave is dependent on two factors. The first is the messianic potential of New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair. And, frankly, this guy has the Christ-like qualities of a gerbil with whiskers. Give him credit for trying but the truth is he is a typical, stuffy little Quebec Liberal with all those dull, predictable right-wing traits. As hard as the news media will try to keep him in the ring for the entire campaign, he likely does not have the political stamina for the long haul.

The second reason Ms. Hébert gives for this second coming is the overwhelming desire of Quebecers to rid this country of Mr. Harper. While we certainly agree with that idea, we must suggest that there are better ways than by voting NDP. It was a reasonably sound idea four years ago but it caused a Conservative majority government. That was certainly not the intent and voters will want to do it a little smarter this time. While Mr. Harper made the mistake of stirring up interest in the election somewhat early, very little thought has been devoted to it so far.

Frankly, the orange wave hit its zenith in Quebec four years ago. It can only go downhill this year. Chantal needs to go back to Quebec at the end of September and get another reading. The intentions she notes then might be closer to the final results.


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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