|For Quebec - It's door Number 3, another booby prize.|
Of course on the sovereignist side it's argued that the Ndp can never represent the province because as a federalist party they will always put Canada first. That coupled with the fact that they are largely inexperienced and in some cases can't even speak French make them unlikely to succeed.
On the other side of the argument are those who say that twenty years of Bloc representation hasn't brought Quebec anything signifigant and that a change can't do any harm.
Lost in the polemic, is the debaters' failure to understand or see, that it matters little if the NDP is qualified or not, the question is moot.
In our Parliamentary system of government, a majority government, means that the opposition has effectively no role to play, other than to bitch and moan. As long as Quebec Parliamentarians sit on the wrong side of the aisle, facing a government that can pass legislation at will, it matters not a whit whether they are Blocists or Dippers.
And so, debating whether the NDP will be more effective than the Bloc is an exercise in futility, akin to arguing which store is better to shop in, when you have no money to spend!
The real story of the election, the Harper majority, is being roundly ignored and like an ostrich burying its head in the sand in the face of danger, Quebeckers seem to be in denial, which is appropriately the first stage of grief.
While Mr. Layton, Mr. Mulcair and their troupe of 'little dippers' from Quebec are the talk of the town, the foreboding reality of the political downfall of the province remains unexamined.
The pollsters and the experts assured us in the later half of the campaign that the chance of a Conservative majority had died on the vine. The conventional wisdom that no majority could be attained without some Quebec support was held so strongly, that even those in Harper's own party believed it to be true and so were resigned to another minority government.
After two unsuccessful tries in coddling Quebec without reward, Harper's strategy shifted to winning Ontario and it's ethnically diverse Toronto area ridings.
Why the Liberal collapse happened is a subject long to be debated, but coupled with the Ndp resurgence, it led to unprecedented majority Conservative government, bereft of Quebec representation.
The political Earth had moved.
When the stark reality of the disaster that Quebec faces, finally unfolds, it will not be a pretty picture. Quebec will have reduced representation in the Conservative caucus and even less influence in the Cabinet.
It may open the door to Maxime Bernier to make a return in a big way, but he's even more conservative and libertarian than Harper and has even spoken against Bill 101!
Of course Mr. Harper will be very Prime Ministerial and govern for the benefit of the whole country, but what is best for Canada in Harper's eye is far from what is held in Quebec.
No doubt his first legislative foray (after passing the budget that was previously rejected) will be to pass legislation that he was unable to muster support for in his previous minority government.
So look for him to present a bill to add thirty seats to Parliament, all outside the province of Quebec. This re-jigging of the Parliamentary seat allocation will redress the shifting demographic reality of a changing Canada, to the determent of Quebec. Harper had previously abandoned the proposal in the face of fierce lobbying by Quebec cabinet ministers, but given the irrelevancy of Quebec's political weight, it's full speed ahead.
No doubt he will then pass legislation to eliminate the government per vote subsidy to political parties. This act will effectively cut off the major funding of the Bloc Quebecois and represents the coup de grace for the separatist presence in Ottawa.
In the waning months of the last minority government, Harper had already signalled that he had lost patience and was no longer ready to pander to Quebec. His decision to back Newfoundland's project to bypass Quebec to move power to the USA brought a furious reaction in Quebec City, criticism that Harper shrugged off rather nonchalantly.
It is likely that Quebec under a Conservative majority will treated fairly, but will no longer have status as a coddled and doted upon favourite child.
Those days are gone.
Quebec is going to have to come up with a new strategy. Without enough votes for sovereignty the province is stuck in Canada with little power in Ottawa, a tragic and sad comeuppance.
Will Quebec assess the new situation honestly and make the best of a bad lot?
If recent history is to be considered, voters will once more, make the wrong decision.