"QUEBEC — Pauline Marois opened the door Sunday to Philippe Couillard entering the National Assembly.
During the Gay Pride Parade in Montreal, the premier invited the Liberal leader to run in a by-election in Viau riding, which became vacant with the recent departure of Liberal MNA Emmanuel Dubourg.
Marois said that she would not present a PQ candidate against Couillard in the by-election.
Couillard has already indicated that he is not interested in running in Viau, which covers the Saint-Michel district of Montreal. The Liberal leader instead is looking to run in Roberval, in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region, in the next general election. Link
I usually agree with much of what Robert Libman has to say when it comes to politics, but not when he suggested in an interview that Liberal leader Philippe Couillard should jump at the chance to run in a by-election, made necessary by the departure of the Liberal MNA Emmanuel Dubourg, who is making the jump to federal politics for Justin Trudeau's Liberals, in the vacant and very safe seat that Denis Coderre vacated in Montreal, in order to seek the mayoralty of Montreal.
And so when Pauline offered to let Couillard run unopposed, it wasn't much of a gift considering that Viau is a Liberal party stronghold, one which has sent a Liberal to Quebec for as long as I can remember.
Actually Couillard is doing just fine on the sidelines and that is what is bothering Pauline so much, she'd like to get him into the National Assembly and rough him up a bit, perhaps taking the shine off the apple.
Coullard scoffed at the infantile offer, because when he does get into the National Assembly it will come at a cost of a sitting PQ MNA, one Denis Trottier, a backbencher whose only claim to fame is that he serves as a fart-catcher for the dumbass Minister of Natural Resources, Martine Ouellet.
As it stands now, Pauline and the PQ are imploding and sometimes doing nothing and letting your opponent self-district is the smartest thing to do.
But Couillard is doing a lot more than just watching.
He is charting a new course, betting on the fact that there are enough Quebecers tired of the separatist debate and tired of hearing that the French language is about to disappear, confident that a new debate, one based on prosperity is one that will resonate with voters.
And so he is unequivocal and very presidential.
He isn't vacillating like his predecessors nor is he spouting the rhetoric of oppressed. He told us that the Liberals will oppose Bill 14 on principle and are not interested in compromise. He has told Quebecers that they shouldn't be frightened by the scare tactics of the PQ that lie that French is going down the drain and his message from the sidelines has resonated with enough voters and scared the crap out of the PQ,
This Fall, the disastrous decision to support more wind power generation will hit the PQ like a ton of bricks.
Notwithstanding that it was the Liberals that introduced the disastrous policy, Pauline has embraced the idea at a time when Quebecers are waking up to the expensive white elephant that will be paid for by a large Hydro-Quebec rate increase.
Pauline will find herself firmly ensconced between the proverbial rock and a hard place (entre l'arbre et l'écorce) where she dare not backpedal on the issue once more.
Damned if you do and damned if you don't... Even the skillful Pauline can't wiggle out of this predicament.
For Phillippe Couillard it must be like those running against Anthony Weiner in the mayoralty race in New York City.
Best to stand back and watch the meltdown..
Pauline's offer to let Couillard run unopposed in Viau is a desperate and transparent attempt to change the political dynamic, but for Couillard, handing Marois a life jacket while her ship is sinking, is just not in the plan.