Quebec politics have always been mercurial. What has applied for a decade can be reversed in the next decade. And so it is that, in la belle province, the NDP fortress has crumbled. Chantal Hebert writes:
The enthusiasm that attended the 2011 orange wave has given way to widespread voter indifference as well as internal discomfort within the province’s depleted NDP ranks.None of the four candidates has emerged as a panacea for the party’s post-election blues. Many of the province’s New Democrats see little light at the end of the leadership tunnel.A Léger Marketing poll published this weekend by Le Devoir, the Gazette and the Globe and Mail found 80 per cent of respondents unable or unwilling to state a preference for any of the contenders for Thomas Mulcair’s job.
At the moment, all indications are that Jagmeet Singh will win the leadership. In Montreal his victory might be cheered. But, in the hinterland, euphoria would probably be hard to find:
It is increasingly common in the dying days of this campaign to hear some Quebec New Democrats warn that under a turban-wearing Sikh leader, the party will hit a wall in the province.On Sunday in Montreal, Singh asked the audience attending the campaign’s only French-language debate to look beyond his turban and beard. But the fact is, his identity is a major, and in some instances, the main attraction for many of his supporters.It is not primarily the ideas and the policies he has put forward in this campaign that have some party members dreaming of a big NDP breakthrough in the more multicultural quarters of Canada.
Quebecers are not the only ones who could be repelled by a Singh victory. But, more importantly, he is no native son -- as was the case with Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair.
Guy Caron can make that claim. However, "of the 124,000 members eligible to vote for the next leader, fewer than 5,000, making up a measly 4 per cent of the total, are from Quebec. When the party selected Mulcair to succeed Jack Layton, it had almost three times as many Quebec members."
What it all means is that, in the next election, there will be no Orange Crush.