As an old Quebecer, I was particularly interested in Michael Harris' take on the recent Quebec election. Harris writes:
The landslide victory of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) is a boulder that sends ripples into the furthest reaches of Canada’s political pond. Which is to say, the ascension of Premier François Legault is no regional flash in the pan.
It is suddenly open season on incumbents, with three Canadian premiers recently getting the boot, and a growing animus across the country against traditional politics.
Legault is an old PQ apparatchik who has taken a referendum off the table. But his policies are recycled Parti Quebecois boilerplate. He is pushing a Quebec values test again, precipitating a clash between religion and politics. And his Trumpian focus on immigration fans the age old French Canadian fear of the other. The revenge of the cradle no longer soothes Quebecois fears that they will be overrun by outsiders.
And to enforce his policy prescriptions, Legault -- like his neighbour next door -- threatens to use the notwithstanding clause.
Harris points out that Philippe Couillard's Liberals were not defeated for the usual reasons:
Former premier Philippe Couillard was a pretty good steward of the province’s economy.
He leaves office with public finances in good shape and a record-low unemployment rate. For those who like to rant about tax-and-spend Liberals, Couillard proved to be an exception. His government even paid down the provincial debt.
So it wasn’t the economy, stupid.
Change is in the air. And so is stupidity.
Image: National Post