Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Quebec Poll: Good News for Harper and Charest

La Presse has released a new poll, which illustrates why Harper and Charest are so eager to form a close alliance:
For the first time in two years, the Charest government clearly improved its standing with the electorate. The rate of dissatisfaction dropped by 10% in February, the most significant movement in one month since the fall of December 2003...

Moreover, CROP notes from with certainty what it had already perceived, but starting from too partial data, in January: the arrival of the Conservatives in Ottawa gave oxygen to the Charest government. "Now, it is clear and significant", observes Claude Gauthier of CROP...

Charest isn't the only one to gain in Quebec:
The poll of 1,000 Quebecers shows a 62% satisfaction rate for the Harper government, a number which rises to 70% in Quebec City and falls to 56% in Montreal...

The poll's respondents supported Harper's plan to raise the age of sexual consent, from 14 to 16, by a margin of two to one. The majority supporting his child-care plan, in the only province with a fully functioning daycare system, is narrower — 57% to 34% — and, one suspects, not rock-solid. Still, for the moment Harper's on the winning side of public opinion, in a debate that pits him squarely against an elite Quebec consensus.

No wonder, the two leaders plan a third meeting in the near future. The fact that Harper scores a 70% approval rating in Quebec City is quite striking by any measure. Harper's calculated focus on Quebec is solidifying his support and hurting the sovereignists. Separatism numbers were likely to wane, simply as a by-product of the Liberal ouster, but there does seem some natural gravitation towards Harper's "renewed" federalism.

Charest sees Harper as a lifeline to change the conversation and get off the electoral mat. Harper sees Charest as a vehicle to firmly entrench the Conservatives in Quebec. These poll numbers will solidify the alliance- for the moment it appears a win-win. No wonder the Federal Liberals are increasingly nervous about their future prospects in Quebec. Be afraid, be very afraid.


Clinton P. Desveaux said...

I have been wanting to say hello for some time now, I enjoy the site. The Quebec scene is interesting because I see Harper being dragged somewhere that he may not what to go from a political perspective and the entire "distinct" and "unique" silly stuff.

Steve V said...


Thanks for stopping by :)

I think Harper is operating under one premise- win a majority. It scares me because I think his "renewed" federalism angle is purely politcal, and not necessarily in the best interests of the country.

Elizabeth said...

If the Conservatives are up in Quebec, It must be because Harper will help them separate, along with all the Provinces-- (Harper's dream ). That is why the Bloc also agrees with Harper..he knows exactly what is in the works

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

The Harper-Bloc Axis:

President Lyndon Johnson was a master at counting the votes when he was Senate Majority Leader. He knew that principles counted, but having them passed into legislation meant another set of counting: how many votes did he have?

To understand the dynamics of the Harper government, one must count the votes.

Firstly, the Liberals and NDP are impotent in this Parliament because they do not have enough votes to defeat Harper’s New Tories. So their votes do not count.

Secondly, the balance of power in this Parliament lies with the Bloc. Only they have enough votes to singlehandedly ensure that Harper’s legislation is passed or voted down. So the votes of the Bloc count.

Thirdly, the Harper-Bloc Axis is one of convenience – both sides need each other for certain purposes. Harper needs the Bloc’s votes to pass his program. The Bloc wants to negotiate as much transfer of powers (taxation, other) from the federal government as possible, and so will support Harper if he gives them this.

Fourthly, the Bloc has Liberal Premier Charest boxed in. He cannot be seen to be opposing the transfer of power from Ottawa to Quebec because this will cause him lost support in the next election. So he has to march to the Bloc’s tune and support the Harper-Bloc Axis program of the dismantlement of the Canadian confederation.

Where does that leave Canada?

There is no-one standing up for Canada, and no-one with the votes who will defend Canada.

The only hope for Canada is if it becomes transparent what is taking place, and the citizens start voicing their concerns. The pressure to preserve Canada must now come from the voters, in each and every constituency.

Aided, of course, by progressive bloggers, who are a new force in the political universe.