Posts Tagged ‘Quebec’

A New Year rich in political opportunity.

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

This political junkie is looking forward to 2018. Starting with the Ontario election in June, Quebec scheduled for October 1 and then the American mid-term elections in November, there will be much on which to comment. The only recommendation we can make at this stage is to ignore the pollsters.

And one other suggestion at this stage is that you should be cautious about what you wish for. Much can happen over the year. Our moods and our priorities can easily change. Even our well-read Morning Line, issued five to six weeks before the vote, can see sea change.

While pollsters gain accuracy as the final polls get closer, it is their lack of people on the ground feeling the changes that jeopardize their accuracy. You have to be able to feel what voters are thinking.

The ups and downs of the Trudeau Liberal government in Ottawa is impacting the positions of both the Wynne Liberals in Ontario and the Couillard Liberals in Quebec. Both provincial parties are philosophically to the right of the federal party and yet each is being challenged by a more right wing party.

The mistake the Ontario Tories are making is that they are trying to prove they are at the political middle. Frankly, Ontario voters would be more inclined to vote for them if they were honest about being right wing.

But my neighbours and I in the riding of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte would dearly love to have a good Liberal candidate to support and defeat a puffed-up Patrick Brown who needs to be beaten—and can be beaten.

The situation in Quebec is quite different. Quebec Francophone voters tend to park their vote when asked by pollsters and the Coalition Avenir Québec seems to be the current parking choice. The thought of this right-wing bunch of separatists making it to the top spot next October is a sad comment on the condition of Quebec politics. It would be ideal if the threat gets Premier Couillard off his butt and into action.

The fun stuff south of the border will be in full swing after the Quebec election and U.S. politics will get most of our attention until the November vote. Change in the House in Washington is possible but just three additional Democrats in the Senate will do wonders in controlling Trump for the last two years of his Reign of Terror.

We are all looking forward to that!

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Pardonez-moi M. Lisée.

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Paul Wells of the Toronto Star offers it as evidence that sometimes a journalist can make something of himself. Besides an ass, we assume.

Wells was writing about Jean-François Lisée who won the leadership of Quebec’s Parti Québécois last Friday. We all had a good laugh at the PQ last time when they chose millionaire Pierre-Karl Péladeau. We might also have a good laugh at this one. Lisée might have more political smarts than the scion of the Péladeau media empire but his fingerprints are all over the former PQ leader Pauline Marois’ controversial Quebec Charter of values.

The bigotry and xenophobia of the charter sent the last election in Quebec skittering off the rails for the PQ. The arguments about the charter split the PQ and their opponents. The province ended up with a majority Liberal government under Philippe Couillard.

Mind you, we should wonder about Lisée’s political smarts as he came into politics from an academic and journalism background to advise then leader Jacques Parizeau prior to that PQ government launching the 1995 Quebec referendum. He continued in an advisory capacity with Parizeau’s replacement Lucien Bouchard. He left the Bouchard government in 1999 because Bouchard was not interested in putting another referendum before Quebec voters.

Paul Wells tells us that Lisée is formidable. He also tells us that he thinks separatist referendums are fun. Mind you, he equates it to “playing chicken in traffic” type fun.

But Well’s admiration for his friend Lisée could be very misleading to the readers of Canada’s largest circulation English-language daily newspaper. No doubt we would all prefer to wait for the more expert analysis of national affairs writer Chantal Hébert. Despite being born and educated in Ontario, Chantal has been weighing Quebec politics for most of her adult life. Her opinion is respected.

Lisée has only been in the Quebec National Assembly since 2012. He survived the Liberal sweep in 2014 that cost Marois her seat. He claimed in the heated race to replace Péladeau that he would not push for another referendum until his second term as premier.

But in that same race for the leadership, he defended the Quebec Charter of Values and the Quebeçois jingoism that it represents.

Frankly, in our opinion, English-speaking Canadians have little reason to trust M. Lisée nor should they.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

It’s hardly like winning the daily double.

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Back in March Babel-on-the-Bay commented on how sad it would be if Pierre-Karl Pèladeau won the Parti Quèbècois leadership in Quebec and Patrick Brown won the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership in Ontario. We need be more careful in what we do not wish for.

Both these men are giants only in their own minds. They won their respective prizes by an average of about 60 per cent of the votes. Both are in their party’s driver seat on sufferance. Neither has ever shown any skills in leadership or in political policy direction. And neither of them has ever shown any political personality. That is not charisma that they have shown Canadians.

Both are the antithesis of what their parties really need. At a time when the separatists in Quebec need a patient, methodical person who can rebuild the Parti Quèbècois in its once left-wing strength, they have a right-wing, self-important individual hell-bent to get to another referendum. In Ontario where the Conservatives needed a compromise candidate who could pull the party’s factions together, they had their membership swamped by people new to the province who had no idea who or what they were supporting. They got a right-wing, right to life candidate who has never accomplished anything.

Parti Quèbècois’ Pierre-Karl Pèladeau is also right wing politically and thinks he can pull together Quebec’s disparate separatists from the political left and the right. And besides that on Tuesday he has to face the Quebec National Assembly in Quebec City in the role of Leader of the Opposition.

Patrick Brown has time to think about that as he will also become Leader of the Opposition at Queen’s Park. All he has to do is find a Conservative member who will resign his or her seat for him to run for election. He already resigned as Member of Parliament for Barrie on Wednesday.

(That did not save Barrie residents from full page, four-colour advertisements in the two local papers wherein Brown congratulated himself for his nine years in Ottawa accomplishing nothing. Mind you, who paid for Brown’s $400,000 worth of PC Ontario memberships is still a far more important question than who paid for his self-aggrandizing advertising?)

It is a simpler question in Quebec because Pierre-Karl can pay his own bills while he still has control of the major news media in the province.

At least Pèladeau will have his “grand coalition” to create an independent Quebec to keep him busy. All the Ontario PC leader has is probably some marathons to run.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me