Monday, December 27, 2010

Quebec vs Ontario: Liberal Graveyard?

Is Quebec ready to join the rest of Canada at the federal table? Some high profile Quebec citizens think so. The Separatist-Bloc have had an interesting run with dominating Federal Quebec politics starting with the Mulroney-Bouchard fallout in 1993. Will the newest movement of conservatism in Quebec be able to help the Federal conservatives?

If the voters in are ready to punish the Charest Liberal's; will the Federal Liberals in Quebec  be punished if they face the voters before the Charest government triggers an election?
Liberal-NDP coalition in Quebec?
At 42 per cent, the combined Liberal/NDP score just about matches the Liberal result in Quebec in the last ChrĂ©tien campaign in 2000. Back then the NDP barely managed to win 2 per cent of the province’s popular vote.-Liberals, NDP deluding themselves in Quebec

Ontario has been the game changer in my opinion not Quebec in the last four general election cycles. The West, Atlantic Canada and Quebec have been consistent along their party lines. The Pundit's Guide has a detailed analysis of Quebec voters here. The Federal Liberals have given back sixty-two seats in Ontario to the Conservatives and NDP since 2000. The Separatist Bloc are not a factor in the largest province that hold one hundred and six seats. If the Democratic reform is passed without changes Ontario stands to gain another eighteen seats.
Is it realistic for Quebec voters to expect more friendly policies without a larger presence at the cabinet table? Ontario alone sends fifty-one Conservatives to sit on the Federal Government side. Quebec  with seventy five seats, the second largest province sent  ten Conservatives to Ottawa. If Quebec wants a larger role in Ottawa they need to send at least twenty five percent of their MP's to the side of the governing party.  Are Quebec voters capable of sending twenty Conservatives to Ottawa in the next general election. No one thinks so.

HST flip flops, G20 criticism,  Dalton's Cabinet-poaching
Ontario is the battleground and it appears Ignatieff has a strained relationship with the Premier Dalton McGuinty His brother David McGuinty is the house leader for the Federal Liberal Party of Canada in Ottawa. How will this affect the family and the cooperation of Liberals Federally-Provincially in the upcoming elections? Ontario is slated for October 2011. Will the provincial Liberals risk  draining their volunteers, by deploying their team to help their Federal cousins if an election is triggered this summer?

Is Ontario capable of going from fifty-one to seventy-one Conservatives? After the sweeping  victory by Rob Ford in Toronto and the win in Vaughan of Julian Fantino it is more likely than a shift in Quebec.

These issues are not top of mind nationally but may impact the local campaign in Ontario. Jobs, the economy and who do the voters trust may be the most important factor in determining how big the sweep of the Liberals from official opposition to third or fourth party status. Will Dion get the last laugh?
  1. HST flip flop by Ignatieff
  2. Criticism of G20 policing in Toronto
  3. Voluntary or requested resignation of Labour Minister Peter Fonseca
Ignatieff is on an European vacation and has promised once again to not support the Conservative agenda. He has done this since May 2009. Clearly Ignatieff is not listening to his advisers or taking their advice in keeping his powder dry. It is a mistake to warn in advance your intention if you are going to roll over again and be unprepared to fight an election. Ignatieff is a political rookie and it is showing in his communication.

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