With Pauline Marois now officially inaugurated as the sixth separatist premier of everyone's favorite French-speaking province, you might reckon that our nation's gigantic, months-long Quebec politics bender would finally be coming to an end. Also, you might be an idiot. Speaking of not-so-smart ideas, Harper's plans to reform parliamentary pensions aren't going over so well in the media...
On Friday, Mark Carney told us that advocates of the so-called Dutch Disease theory have it wrong. A bit of data is a good thing in a heated debate. Consider Statistics Canada latest (seasonally adjusted) monthly manufacturing sales numbers covering June 2012 sales. And when you do, ask yourself a simple question: does the data support Dutch Disease -- or are we seeing a case of a Central Canadian Cold?
Any Prime Minister in his sixth year in office and nine years as party leader has to start looking at his legacy. What will he be leaving Canada with when down the road he decides to leave? Up until this point it was his performance on the economic front that was the strongest item, now how he performs and whether or not he can keep Canada together will also be part of his legacy.
With Jean Charest's resignation as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, any arrangement between the Liberals and François Legault's CAQ to form a government now appears highly unlikely. That means that the PQ is set to govern Quebec at least for the next several months. Paradoxically, the PQ's minority win gives Stephen Harper a small window to advance a new vision for Canadian federalism and therefore unite a polarized Confederation along the lines of a common direction.
As a man lay dead and Canadians sat glued to their social media feeds patiently awaiting updates on the appalling violence that struck Tuesday night's Parti Quebecois victory rally, the trickle of breaking news from the nation's top commentators was frequently interrupted by cryptically off-topic offerings from otherwise credible sources. If nothing else, it was a reminder of the perils of setting up one of those time-delayed auto-tweeters.
Over the course of the Quebec election, every time Jean Charest thought he was changing the conversation to Medicare or Le Plan Nord, the CAQ's Jacques Duchesneau would make another accusation and grab the headlines. But last week many thought the ex-police chief went too far. Duchesneau said he had a list of Charest's cabinet ministers who had accepted favours from a construction baron named Tony Accurso. Charest demanded the ex -cop supply names. The ex-cop played coy and refused. How could Charest possibly defend himself and his party against that kind of slander?
It's been five gruelling weeks of symptoms and suffering but Canada's lengthy bout of Quebec Election Fever is set to finally break. It will bring an end at last to the ostentatiously cynical editorials from the Canadian punditocracy, all of whom were eager to spout various theories about why there were no good choices in this race between three equally hopeless parties led by three equally loser dinguses. Debt! Incompetence! Dubious loyalty to Canada! It matters not who you vote for, puny Quebeckers, either way your province is doomed, dooooomed!
Jean-François Lisée, star candidate of the Parti Québécois divulged the PQ's vision of "maintaining a majority of native French-speaking citizens on Island of Montreal." That means a PQ government would favour an immigrant from Bordeaux, France, who speaks French at home, over a French-speaking Shanghai immigrant wishing to settle in La Belle Province.
While I disagree with many aspects of the Parti Québécois' current platform, if elected, the PQ has stated that it would essentially abolish the asbestos industry in Quebec. No other G8 country currently mines and exports this known cancer-causing agent. While Quebecers may be in for a rough ride on sovereignty, language and identity issues, this is one facet of the next would-be government that should have us all breathing a little easier.