Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things Have Changed

There have been two constants the last couple of years. One, columnist Ian MacDonald forever arguing the case for rising Conservative fortunes in Quebec, while simultaneously kicking sand at the Liberals. I just kept telling myself "former Mulroney speech writer, former Mulroney speech writer". Two, Chantal Hebert perpetually bashing anything Liberal, Dion a frequent target, the idea of extinction for the party a recurring theme. With that in mind, how REFRESHING to read said columnists today, enough to be downright optimistic.

Liberal hater MacDonald, in the Conservative Post no less:
Ignatieff may not be from here, but he fits in here. He has a cosmopolitan finish and easy fluency in French that enhances his public conversations. In short, he interviews well. He’s passed difficult Quebec tests, such as obligatory appearances on the popular Tout le monde en parle TV show. And as he has just demonstrated in mounting a bloodless coup for the Liberal leadership, he also has a flair for what Quebecers call the “velvet glove and the fist of steel.” His fingerprints aren’t anywhere on the glove.

In essence, a strong leader with style. Quebecers like that.

The result of the coalition crisis is that Harper doesn’t have Dion to kick around anymore. He’s now looking at a real opponent, one with a real chance of restoring the Liberals as the competitive federalist option in Quebec.

Chantal, with another column, speaking to how the Liberals are off the mat:
Michael Ignatieff is widely seen as the most Quebec-friendly leader the party has had in decades. He certainly is the least encumbered by constitutional and referendum baggage. Many Quebecers have not forgotten his proactive role in the nation debate two years ago.
Decades? Oh, I like the sound of that.

It's a honeymoon, nothing has really happened, but more signals that there is a real openness to Ignatieff in Quebec. All you can ask for is opportunity, then it's a matter of what you do with it. It will be exciting to see if Ignatieff can bring the Liberals back to the true federalist option. I'd be lying if that potential wasn't a chief consideration in supporting Ignatieff, because the Liberals near exile in Quebec is a pet concern of mine. I have a cautious grin, maybe it's the rum balls.


Anonymous said...

"It's a honeymoon, nothing has really happened, but more signals that there is a real openness to Ignatieff in Quebec."

This was two years in the making, at least. The problem was that the party people who were sitting on their hands for Stephane Dion are now revealing themselves. How ungrateful these Quebec partisans are?

"It will be exciting to see if Ignatieff can bring the Liberals back to the true federalist option."

Well I guess the 308 seat strategy is now put into the backburner for now ;) It will always have to be Quebec, Quebec, and Quebec. The Grits will always be the national unity party. The Cons, barbarians at the gate, preaching funny money theology.

WILLY said...

So the question would be, can Igatieff compete against Duceppe in a March election.

Will Quebecers see voting Liberal as a way to rid the country of Harper as opposed to voting Bloc just to prevent a Harper majority?

JimmE said...

I'd like some of those RUM BALLS!

burlivespipe said...

Wow, Mcdonald AND hebert. Considering they've often been heard tooting the Harper horn, the 'brilliant strategist' fictional meme over the past two years, I'd say this may be more a sign of concern than hope.
But let's see how it plays out. It is encouraging. Now if we could only break some sod with western Canadians...

janfromthebruce said...

Isn't Iggy the a right of centre type of liberal leader? Just wondering on this.
We'll see if the libs get into bed with Harper cons - it will signal Canadians that libs just don't want to be in power, unless it is by themselves.
Another thing, I heard mention again of an election. I hope libs don't put power over Canadian interest - I think that Canadians would rather see 300 million bucks go to a economic stim package rather than waste money on an election, where they could save Canadian taxpayers this money by going into a Coalition govt, and save this un-needed expense.
One is putting nation over party, and the other is putting party over nation, with no guarentee the newly anointed or the party can even pull this off - no money in the bank, Iggy untested as a leader.
I am remember the selling of Dion too! It didn't go to well. Oh, and I remember the honeymoon of Martin too, and he got huge polls too. That didn't go too well.
This is sobering.
Iggy and Harper in bed together - priceless

Anonymous said...

Methinks JanfromtheBruce is worried about NDP and Layton's interests.

Let me guess Jan - public employee part of a union? Probably.

Anonymous said...

Funny isn't it - complaints when Layton will sleep with anyone. Back room dealings for Layton is a permanent situation, but hey, it's okay for Layton.

Anthony said...


popular in Quebec...


Next time, if the Liberals ever decide to go back to leadership races, if the entire province of Quebec is waving a red flag, you're probably better off listening...

Steve V said...

Hey, old jan is coming back, how surprising.

Center-left btw, if you're paying attention.

Steve V said...

More Ignatieff in Quebec.

Anonymous said...

Oh Antonio you are so smart.
Go back in your hole, nobody is interested.
Tous ensemble biatch.