Times are good for Sovereigntists

Three months ago, The Globe and Mail headlined: "Sovereignty on its death bed in Québec" (click here to read my reaction to it). The underlying premise to such a statement is the conclusion much of the English press has reached by equating support for sovereignty with the demise of the Bloc Québécois. This conclusion doesn't hold.

A CROP survey, conducted in the weeks that followed the Bloc's collapse, showed support for sovereignty at 43% [Google translation]. A more recent Léger Marketing survey (conducted in late January) also puts support for sovereignty at 43% [in French].

Had there been an election in Québec two weeks ago, yet another poll from CROP put the PQ in the driver's seat [Google translation]. Those who doubt the conclusions of a Québécois research firm may want to look at an Ontarian source; Forum Research saw a possible majority [Google translation].

Why?... the PQ hasn't made any drastic change to its offering... the PLQ is still plagued with the same problems... Harper!?... yep!

While most of English Canada has been busy celebrating the demise of the Bloc on the federal scene, the Québécois have been acknowledging what the Bloc contributed to shield them from:
  • Canada's withdrawal from Kyoto
  • Purchasing of F-35 fighters
  • The rise of the Monarchy in Canadian symbols
  • Military patriotism in general
  • Impact of C-30 on privacy
  • Using intelligence derived from torture
  • End of the long-gun registry
  • Fetal rights and their impact on abortion
  • Hints at death penalty under certain conditions
These initiatives have been so unpopular in Québec, and to many Canadians, that Justin Trudeau said he's enormously sad about where Canada is heading, and that if he ever believed Canada was Prime Minister "Stephen Harper's Canada," he would think about sovereignty."I always say that if ever I believed Canada was really Stephen Harper's Canada — that we were heading against abortion, against gay marriage, that we were going backwards 10,000 different ways — maybe I would think about wanting to make Quebec a country."Say whut Justin??... sovereigntists are carrying your father's vision of a progressive Canada?"No, absolutely, if I no longer recognized in Canada my values... But I believe deeply in Canada and I know that Quebec in Canada can put it back on the right path."Ah... Québec is an important contributor to progressive Canadian values. I see what you mean, but I doubt the average Canadian shares this vision.

At any rate... the Estates General on Sovereignty has now kicked into gear. And the PQ is seizing the opportunity by revamping some 148 sovereignty related studies. The plan is simple... if support for sovereignty is at 43%, they only need to convince everyone that the PQ is serious about it to harvest corresponding votes.

Now... what Harper could do to help the PQ further... is... tinker with the equalization program... reduce health transfers... legislate in a way that incurs higher provincial burden... or plain simply... anything that reduces financial benefits to the province.

Many of my sovereigntist friends would say: "Let the Reform perform."

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