Saturday, May 07, 2011

Did Quebec reject the Bloc to make a coalition easier?

There has been lots written the last couple of days about the collapse of the Bloc and the NDP surge in Quebec and so far I have not read anything that really explains what happened. Did BQ supporters all wake up one day and decide to toss out a party that for years has enjoyed their support because of something Duceppe did or did not do? Were they all taken in by the guy from downtown Toronto with the big smile and equally big spending promises? 

While I don't claim to know the answer I do have some thoughts and a possible piece of the puzzle as to why Bloc supporters decided to abandon their party and support the NDP.

The coalition.

Whenever the idea of a coalition has been discussed it has been quite clear that having Bloc MPs as part of any coalition was not to the liking of most Canadians. During the original coalition crisis both the Liberals and NDP were desperately trying to spin that the Bloc were not actually part of the coalition, only that they would be supporting it, and Ignatieff himself had this to say as to why he didn't enter into the deal he had signed: "I could be sitting here as your prime minister, but I turned it down because I didn’t think it was right for someone who believes in the national unity of my country to make a deal with people who want to split the country up," 

Having separatist Bloc MP's either in or supporting a coalition government did not fly in 2008 and was never going to go over well with Canadians. Bloc supporters were as aware of this problem as much as anyone else but what to do about it.

The solution: Drop the Bloc and elect enough NDP MPs so that a coalition would not only be legitimate but it would have a much better chance of being accepted by the rest of Canada.

It makes sense and possibly explains why dedicated separatists tossed their own party and blindly voted for NDP candidates some of which were barely old enough to vote themselves, did not speak French, or have NEVER even been to the riding in which they were running in.

Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Not so sure. The BQ and their supporters were genuinely crushed at their massive defeat on election night.

Pissedoff said...

Having a very cynical sense of humour I am waiting for at least 50 of the new Quebec NDP MPs on the opening of parlaiment to cross the floor to the Bloc and give them the official opposition status. The look on Jack's face will be priceless.

Robert c. said...

In order to get all the goodies Layton was promising Quebec voters had to ensure that the NDP had the majority of the seats in the coalition thus making Layton PM.

fernstalbert said...

Since the BLOC wasn't going to run candidates in the ROC (perhaps they should have used the Layton model) they went for BLOC lite. I think they would have been pleasantly surprised to see how much support there is for a separate Quebec. Cheers.

Ardvark said...

The numbers that went from the separatist BQ over to the 'federalist' NDP boggles the mind as do the reasons for doing so.

Anonymous said...

This was a concern i had as well - the NDP_LIBS getting enough legit seats via growth from Quebec to unhorse the Conservatives.

I 'spects it must have crossed some minds as a good reason to vote Dipperville...although Duceppes musings about "everything becomes possible..." was predominate.

Agent Smith

Anonymous said...

The Bloc blew it because of Duceppe's speech at the Parti Quebecois convention. He talked of how weakening the federal government through the Bloc would be one of the winning conditions to bring about the next referendum. Quebecers don't want to hear anything about another referendum for years to come.

Unfortunately a lot of Quebecers can't bring themselves to vote for Harper because of the media constantly painting him as the devil and because they are in general for gun control, against military missions and for abortion, etc. The Liberals still are living down the sponsorship scandal. So that leaves Layton who became the media's darling (English Quebec too).

But the main thing was Duceppe's arrogance and letting the cat out of the bag too soon.

Anne in swON said...

I think you're onto something. Take a look at this:

Bec said...

I think Quebec has been told so often that THEY decide the outcome that in this election, they really thought they would.

Their isolated bubble has given them the impression that they are still in charge and this election brought them down several notches. They look ridiculous electing nameless, faceless candidates all for a Quebec only agenda.

Basically I think that in Quebec, Jack ran on a 'to hell with the West,YOU are first and best' platform and that resonated.

I too don't believe that Duceppe saw the Dipper, fully loaded freight train headed his way but then neither did Jack. It was meant to be a Coalition, bar none.

Ardvark said...

"Quebecers don't want to hear anything about another referendum for years to come."

I hope that this is indeed true.

I have to ask though: Why would so many federalists be voting for the Bloc all of these years? Wasn't Duceppe/Bloc always upfront about their goals? How could one speech on those goals derail the train?

Roy Elsworth said...

I already told you folks that the ndp were electied to try and stop a conservative majority. Mike Duffy was on lowell Green 1 nite just after the writ droped and said that lisa Lafflame was in Quebec and that the rumor was that who ever was ahead in the polls at the end of the election that wasn't conservative they were going tovote for them to try and avoid a Conservative majority.

Patrick Ross said...

A few theories already abound. I suppose this is one.

Another that I had heard is that the NDP landslide was basically an "anti-" vote, punishing the establishment parties for the corruption in Quebec politics.

On one hand, it doesn't make much sense -- punishing federal politicians for the corruption of their provincial counterparts. However, on the other hand, does it make much sense to elect someone with no qualifications who's never set foot in your riding... ever?

ward said...

To much switched too quickly. I think you have nailed it Ardvark.

Quebecers en masse did not need to be convinced. Just the opinion makers and the unions. The word then filters out from there.

Chantal Hebert went on Tout le Monde en Parle - the most popular show in Quebec, that voters should risk buyers remorse and vote NDP.

Quebecers knew what they were voting for.

We were 13 seats away from PM Layton and the Quebec unions from running Canada

Alex said...

I've had this thought myself. it didn't work for them.

Now we just hope for the best and maybe they'l forget about their motivation to vote federalists was to destroy the country in a different way.

wilson said...

Remember too the Bloc seppies themselves publicly told Quebecers to vote NDP instead of Bloc , just 4 days before the election.

By then Frank Graves had a seat prediction showing the LibDips can form a majority without the Bloc.

All polsters had the CPC 35-37,
TorStar 'leaked' CPC insider saying they would fall short of a majority because of the orange crush.

So yes, Quebecers thought they had a coalition to stop Harper.

Anonymous said...

Possibly les Québécois et Québécoise thought this was there last best chance to hold the ROC hostage due to the coming surge of seats in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia if the Conservatives got a majority.

Liz J said...

I think Quebec voters heard all their dreams being promised by Jack Layton that the Bloc could never deliver.

They thought there would be a minority Conservative government and the Liberals and NDP would form a coalition government giving Jack the obligation to fulfill his wild promises. Didn't happen.

Jack will not be able to deliver what he promised Quebec and more importantly,he won't have the power to blackmail the government of Canada, the tool used by the Bloc Separatists.

The Chretien Liberals tossed money to the wind in Quebec with Adscam to buy votes, that's corruption and after a couple of elections it has taken them down to third party status.

The NDP has promised some wild stuff for Quebec, even to open the Constitution, we didn't give them the power to enact those promises and as a result,Canada has won.

Anonymous said...

Solid reasoning Alberta Ardvark you are right on the money
I agree that your argument makes the most sense
ROC would still have rejected a coalition if it was East TOP HEAVY
Enjoy Mother's Day with your family best wishes to everyone

Ardvark said...

I wonder how soon buyers remorse will set in for the NDP in Quebec? ( if it hasn't already started)

Jack is out of the gate saying he wants to pass his right to work in French for Fed gov't workers in Quebec. Nice pandering Jack, but the NDP also supported a bill that stated only fully bi-lingual judges could be appointed to the SCOC.

Pick a side Jack.

Casey said...

A thought to ponder: if the Liberals elect Bob Rae as their leader would it be an NDP coalition without a contract?

Jen said...

It is much easier to vote NDP since their (ndpers) affliation with the ROC and not just for quebec as the the Bloc were.
Meaning it would be easier for Jack in COALITION MAJORITY to master mind the FRENCH LANGUAGE in all public departments than it would the bloc. That is why some Bloc members migrated to the NDP to get exactly what they have been hoping for- for years.

In other words, the Bloc is using NDP to get what they always wanted whereas the same for Jack to use the bloc and Quebec to get what he wanted without uttering a word to the ROC.

Why didn't Linda Duncan not informed her constituents of her leader's intentions for Quebec which could have resonated to the rest of canada?

Jen said...

One thing for sure AA, do not let Layton/Mulcair band out of your sight. They are up to something big that will transform this nation for good and it aint going to be pretty.

First thing first, the NDP very impressionable people to be the NDP much stronger and vibrant Socialist without ever knowing the trap laid out for them.

What the media has done to canadians 'brainwash and manipulate them is going to be or is happening under the NDP.