Postscript: PQ sputtering under Marois
Published Friday, August 3, 2012 3:20PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 3, 2012 6:47PM EDT
After all of these years of reporting on and observing Quebec politics I never knew this: Pauline Marois has a sense of humour.
And a wicked one it is.
This is what she said this week: “If they want to choose a party which has been very open to the English community, and respects the English community, it is the Parti Quebecois.”
Pretty hard to keep a straight face on this one.
This is the party that has closed English hospitals and decimated our education system.
This is the leader who is promising limiting access to English CEGEPs.
She is promising more restrictive language legislation and promising to force small businesses like depanneurs to operate in French only.
You call that respect?
On another planet the PQ would take this none-of-the-above election in a cakewalk.
The Liberals are worn and tired but Quebecers have not bought into Pauline Marois and her leadership.
She is a lightweight compared to her predecessors.
The PQ is, first and foremost, a party dedicated to the independence of Quebec and that will be one of the defining issues.
The PQ's Bernard Drainville laid it all out this week. The strategy of a PQ government would be to constantly demand more powers from Ottawa, to pick fights in order to create "winning conditions" for a referendum.
It's such an old and stale strategy, like the knife-at-the-throat of the rest of Canada. We've heard it all before.
I'm not sure that's a game Ottawa or the rest of the provinces want to play anymore.
Speaking of referendums, the irony here is that Jean Charest is clearly setting this up as his own referendum campaign.
Either Quebecers are for the students or for a responsible government, for the law of the street or the rule of law.
It's an election that will no doubt be nasty and negative.
Is there still enough magic in Charest to pull another rabbit out of his hat?
Will Pauline Marois finally get the prize she has lusted after for years?
Or will Quebec opt for a third party wave like the NDP in the last federal vote?
Let’s hope that we can have a real debate about the things that really should matter, like health care and Quebec's soaring debt.
It's anyone's guess what will happen but what seems obvious is that Quebecers will cast their ballots for the candidates they dislike the least.