Thursday, February 02, 2006

Parizeau Praises Harper

Quite a feat for Harper to receive praise from Jacques Parizeau:
"What happened, and it's not the first time, is that a clear program, with precise ideas, filled a void.''

Parizeau is urging sovereigntists to pick up the Tory program, calling it ``mandatory reading.''

He also wants them to take a closer look at the speech Conservative Leader Stephen Harper gave to the Quebec City Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 19.

"It's going to a document which will have a long future,'' Parizeau said. "It's there that Harper defines his position towards Quebec.''..

Parizeau cautiously praised Harper and gave him credit for promising to deal with the fiscal imbalance.

"Everything we've seen of him so far leaves the impression that he is a man of good faith when he tries to make peace with Quebec.''

Parizeau even admits that Harper "filled a void", in essence acknowledging the latent federalist feelings of Quebecers. It is quite telling that Quebecers would respond in such a way to a social conservative. Parizeau's acknowledgement of Harper's breakthrough offers a great lesson as we move forward, and one the Liberal Party must heed.

You could argue that people overstate the Conservative results, given the seat allocation. However, the simple fact that sovereigntists are taking notice illustrates that their political free ride as a result of no options has evaporated. Parizeau would never acknowledge the Harper effect if it wasn't a credible.

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