So how do Quebecers account for the gap between overwhelming support for the left-wing, pro-union NDP federally and the right-wing, government slashing CAQ provincially?
|Not the change |
Quebecers have in mind
Unfortunately, François Legault's party will bring little of that. The catalyst for the declining fortunes of the PQ was the advent of the new Quebec City arena legislation. Just under 60% of the Quebec residents hate the prospect of funding this new arena with either provincial or federal money.
But lo and behold, who should speak positively of the project? None other than Legault who suggests that the $200 million that the Charest government will spend in the amphitheater of Quebec will attract tourists and investors. "Companies like to settle in cities where there is a buzz," he said.
You would think it possible to create a buzz in Quebec City without resorting to a $200 million disbursement to the largest media company in the province, wouldn't you? Also, would it create as big a buzz as the one created by the "KFC Yum! Center" in Louisville, Kentucky? Because employment-wise, any buzz that might have come from the construction of that arena has now devolved into a hangover for its municipal government as it keeps having to cut social benefits in order to pay the tab on the arena.
More than likely however, you've never heard of the KFC Yum! Center and its construction created no buzz outside the town of Louisville. And while it may shock readers in Winnipeg, the new MTS Iceplex in your fair city does not compel me any more or less to visit The Peg nor does it create an urge for investors to setup shop over there.
And yet here is François Legault, a man who promises to handle the province's purse strings diligently has no reservations regarding a $200 million hand-out to Quebecor. The same company that uses its news division to peddle its smartphones as well as push its right-wing agenda as detailed in SRC's investigative report on "Enquête".
Therefore, in 2012, I'll listen to all the candidates - even François Legault - although I doubt I'll be very excited about this CAQ Party. His support was growing ever larger until he opened his mouth and suggested that Quebec CEGEPs be abolished. Ever since then, the swelling of support for his CAQ seems to have shrivelled up and as a result, he's been less inclined to speak off the cuff for fear to diminish Quebec's passion for the CAQ. I suspect that Quebecers only like the idea of this new CAQ but once it has penetrated the body politic, I expect revulsion will soon follow only to end with all parties feeling a deep sense of shame and regret.
But the only options for desirable change are Amir Khadir's Québec Solidaire and Jean-Martin Aussant's Option Nationale. While they currently aren't enjoying popular support, the same was true of the NDP in Quebec 2 months prior to the election. Khadir was the loudest dissenting voice regarding the Quebec City arena legislation and Aussant's call for sovereignty is smart and compelling.
It's one thing to talk about change, it's another to come up with ideas that will deliver on that promise.