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Quebec election may throw conventional wisdom out the window

Conventional wisdom (or “CW”) amongst our pundits has been that a majority government for Charest in the Quebec provincial election would be seen as a validation of Stephen Harper’s policies, and that it would likely be the final factor for Harper to gauge he can use it to help him win his own majority and thus engineer an election call of his own after the federal budget is released.

Whether that is actually true or not, the way things are going in Quebec, we may not find out. According to Chantal Hebert in her Star column today, Charest teeters on a minority government, or (gasp) a possible defeat if he doesn’t start turning it around soon. The leaders debate tomorrow is seen as being critical for him to regain his momentum. The other Conventional Wisdom has been that Harper’s budget will have Budget goodies in it (also known as solving the so-called fiscal imbalance) that will be help Charest in his campaign. Unless Charest can turn it around quickly however, even that may not save him.

A separate musing of mine is this: I wonder what the CW is for an ADQ (???) win – as still unlikely to me as that seems. The ADQ is more conservative socially then Charest’s Liberals, and Dumont seeks more provincial powers and autonomy for Quebec; this is probably compatible to Harper’s vision of decentralizing more power to the provinces and preventing the federal government from setting up policies in the national interest. Would Harper really consider it a bad thing if Dumont were to pull it off somehow?


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