Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Federal Politics and the Quebec Election

In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. But there is nothing particularly funny about the ill-considered timing of the three amigos' coalition accord, and the manner in which the Bloc has successfully manipulated the spin surrounding it.

As Quebec voters enter the final lap of the race for the stewardship of the National Assembly, the Parti Quebecois is feeling energized. They believe they are gaining momentum and the wind is at their back. And they have the Bloc to thank for it.

Separatist leaders are hailing Gilles Duceppe's skillful manipulation of the coalition partners, Messrs. Dion and Layton.

According to the Montréal Gazette, via the Journal de Montréal Jacques ('money and the ethnic vote') Parizeau "praises Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe for his “impressive victory,” in prying enough concessions out of the coalition of the New Democratic Party and Liberals to agree to back them."

Add to Parizeau's thumbs-up buoyancy the jubilant reaction of PQ leader Pauline Marois who "is using the crisis to advance her own cause in the provincial election campaign."

She says the agreement allows Quebec to get $1 billion in equalization payments it would not have otherwise had. On the other hand, Marois also says the crisis shows the Canadian federation no longer functions and Quebec should separate.

But as the spiritual leader of the PQ hardline, Parizeau’s comments can only help Marois stir Péquiste to get out and vote for her.

“This victory sweeps aside any hesitation Quebecers might have had on the presence of the Bloc in Ottawa,” Parizeau said.

It seems Christmas might have come early for the dynamic duo of fractious politics in Quebec.

And hey, did you hear the one about the three federalists who blindly reignited the separatist flame ...? Define irony.

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