“...Mr. Harper, utterly frustrated by the betrayal, decided to write off Quebec for good and rule with a minority, while seeking a majority, outside the borders of Quebec.” NoDogsOrAnglophones- April 2, 2010
“Quebeckers have finally convinced Stephen Harper that Quebec is a dead end, a place where governments go to die, not to find majorities. Coldly turning his back on the Province, Harper is slowly and deliberately setting out to take Quebec out of the Canada equation and like the oblivious frog in the pot of cold water, the heat is being turned up.” NoDogsOrAnglophones- May 17, 2010A realistic analysis of the death of 'Quebec Power" in Ottawa, was written last week by commentator Joël-Denis Bellavance in La Presse
"Mr. Harper and his senior aides were so firmly convinced that further gains in Quebec would allow them to gain a majority in Parliament...Last week's cabinet shuffle underscored this Alberta/Ontario axis, with those promoted to the cabinet representing Albertan and suburban Toronto area ridings. The promotion of Peter Kent, a unilingual Torontonian was particularly galling to Quebec as well as the newly-elected Julian Fantino, a "big C" conservative who is also no friend of the province.
But the results of the federal election of October 2008 shattered that belief. After a difficult electoral campaign and despite a respectable record in Quebec, the Conservatives won only 10 seats (they have since made a gain at the expense of the Bloc in Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup). At the same time, they won a dozen more seats in Ontario without a campaign of seduction.
Since then, the political Quebec-Alberta axis has officially been replaced by a new coalition: Ontario/Alberta. For conservatives, obtaining a majority in the House of Commons passes through Ontario." Read the full story (fr)
No Quebec minister lost their job, but none were promoted. For hard-working Steve Blaney, of Levis, Quebec, it's a bit of a disappointment. Link fr
It's clear that Harper is looking to high-profile candidates to knock off Liberals in the riding rich suburbs of Toronto, known colloquially as the the 905's (after the area code.) Building a conservative majority now runs through southern Ontario and while nothing is sure, it is the only viable option left to the Conservatives.
That's because in Quebec, the Conservatives realize that they are dead.
The Bloc Quebecois MP summed it up neatly, not realizing that his analysis, underscore why Quebeckers shouldn't vote for the Bloc;
"They're picking people from Ontario because we are possibly on the eve of a federal election. There is a political message here. He's winking at Ontario, noting that he obviously cannot improve his score in Quebec . Mario Laframboise, Bloc québécoisFor separatist journalist Josée Legault, it's somehow unfair that the Prime Minister has turned his back on Quebec.
As a longtime advocate of squeezing Ottawa for whatever Quebec can get, whilst pursuing a sovereignist agenda, a policy that has been quite successful over the years, the fact that the gravy train has pulled into the station and parked, is particularly hard to take.
In a blog piece appropriately entitled Bye Bye Québec, Ms Legault reports rather bitterly that Quebec no longer figures in Harper's plans.
Whether Harper can actually pull off a majority government is debatable, he certainly can't do it today. Most likely Harper will work on southern Ontario over the next months and recruit more 'star' candidates with promises of cabinet positions.
If the Conservatives do achieve a majority, it will be nothing less than apocalyptic for Quebec.
Free from a large Quebec presence in the caucus or the cabinet, Harper will get down to payback, punishing Quebec for turning its back on the Conservatives.
Quebec can expect him to follow through on all those ant-Quebec legislative initiatives that have been impossible to pass under a minority government.
First he will finally add those thirty seats to parliament, diluting Quebec and the Maritimes political weight in Parliament. Out of those thirty seats, the Conservatives will probably win about two-thirds.
Next he'll pass legislation removing federal subsidies to political parties, a move which will cripple the Bloc Quebecois, since they don't really raise any money on their own. Quebeckers have shown themselves the least generous Canadians when it comes to reaching in their pocket and so the next time Mr. Duceppe wishes to visit Washington to speak, he'll be riding a Greyhound bus.
Most importantly, Harper will curry favour in the ethnic communities of Toronto and that means no decrease in immigration levels, which stands at a devastatingly high level, that is slowly, but surely eroding Quebec's demographic position.
These policies are a given, but it could get worse if the Conservatives decide to 're-work' equalization payments or fiddle with bilingualism.
For Quebec, a Conservative majority government represents a grave threat, one that is starting to scare the crap out of political commentators in Quebec.
But oblivious as usual, expect Quebec voters to send the Bloc back to Ottawa in force, not believing or realizing that four or five years of a majority Conservative government will destroy what is left of 'Quebec Power' and change this country forever.
Quebec may react by voting in a separatist government, but without enough votes for independence, it will be another case of the worst possible outcome.
For Quebec there's nothing left to do but to cross their fingers and pray for the good fortunes of the federal Liberals., otherwise......