Monday, March 26, 2007

Quebec Election - What's Next - 10:15 PM

At this point the CBC is calling it a Liberal minority and that seems right based on what I see.


1. The obvious first outcome will be the end of André Boisclair as PQ leader. However, Charest may not be far behind. He trails badly in his Sherbrooke constituency.

2. I have heard some say tonight that it is a good outcome for Harper. However, one possible effect could be to give a boost to the BQ. The poor result for the PQ was unexpected, but many nationalist Quebecers may want to keep the sovereignty option alive, and see Gilles Duceppe's BQ as a means to do so in the federal election coming soon.

3. Sometimes provincial elections can have paradoxical impacts. I suspect Harper would be comfortable with a Liberal minority, but very nervous having Dumont as a putative ally - a man who supported the YES side in 1995 and has been aggressively attacking social changes to accommodate minorities, a position that might have resonance in Quebec in this election but would be unpopular in the ethnic 905 ridings in Ontario where the Conservatives hope to make gains. Harper has to keep great distance from the ADQ even if he wants their voters.

4. The ADQ has a platform they obviously can't implement, so winning would not have been helpful to them.

5. It is important not to confuse seats with votes. The ADQ is up about 13 points a lot of it a protest vote, which is by definition soft. The ADQ will still have to work hard to keep it. The PQ is just 2 points behind. A reversal of fortune in the next election can't be ruled out.

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