Itdidn’t take long for the non-existing Péladeau effect that the Liberals were still pitching last week to reveal itself as a fantasy.
Reality is back. The PQ is taking the lead by a wide margin and the independence movement jumped by 10 points.
And among Francophones, the Yes side is at 51%. As for the Liberals, they are nowhere to be seen in francophone ridings. And the PQ has three and a half years of the Couillard bumbling regime in front of them.
That the Liberals are in panic mode, spinning any canard as they can is almost fodder for any comedian. Forget the almost, is fodder for any comedian. Political jokes, gone for almost ten years, are now back in the repertoire of most Quebec comics.
And, lo and behold, the Libs are now anti-business! And taking page after page from the communist Québec Solidaire program, including a newly found attraction on controlling the press, not seen since the Lesage government fifty years ago. Even the PQ saw fit not to intervene when Power Corporation bought what was left of the French paper owned by Conrad Black a decade or so ago. But now, the morally inclined Couillard government has decided that Péladeau cannot own his media company because, refrain your laughter, there is too much media concentration with his ownership of Quebecor.
Nothing short of the impossible would satisfy the Lib’s point man, Jean-Marc Fournier: Sell the company or resign as an MNA and, while we are at it, from the face of the planet. Even bringing the full force of a Parliamentary Commission to force forever successful businessmen, especially those who are also successful in politics, to stay where they belong: HOME.
Not only that, the party that elected the first woman in the then Assemblée Legislative has decided that the spouses of politicians should not get any tax breaks related to what they do. This government must be stuck in a ‘Mad Men’ world, with Couillard as ‘Father Knows Best.’ Needless to say, the woman in question is the wife of said Péladeau. And it doesn’t fly well with the Francophones, once again.
If the Liberals are unable to correct the course over the summer and they come back to Quebec City with the same attitude in the fall, then they will be in free fall, as was the Bertrand government of the late sixties. It had a majority, may we remind some. Then, remember Bill 63?
When you have the one and only Fournier saying that the best protection for Francophones right now is in Canada, you wonder if he has ever set foot in Ottawa.
But there is a silver lining to all of this. The new leader of the PQ took enormous care to speak in English in his acceptance speech last Friday. For the Parti Quebecois it is a first since the couple of words that René Lévesque usually spoke once in a while.
So, rather than going along with the Liberal bandwagon, the Anglophone community would be wise to open gates with the new leader and engage in discussion with him.