Where does Bloc Quebecois support go if the party eventually dies?

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Stockholm

It's a simple reality that if in 2015 the NDP and Liberals have a majority between them, Harper will likely be replaced by some sort of opposition accord or coalition. The BQ were to come back and make that math impossible then we are back to a 2008 situation in which case the BQ plays into Harper's hands and the Tories will stay in power. In QC a vote for the BQ only benefits Harper. Thankfully QCers seem to have gotten that message which is a big part of what the BQ is now down to just 4 seats

6079_Smith_W

I'm confused. Do you think Ignatieff was right? Was the coalition a bad idea?

And what did the Bloc do that was such a problem other than exist? Should they have supported Harper on confidence motions or abstained instead just to please anti-sovreigntists? Does their holding the same position on something somehow taint it?

And how does their fairly reasonable position translate into Harper's prorogation being a win?

I know that crass politics and playing to the discrimination - and in this case ignorance - of the electorate is a reality, but how does that justify it, as you seem to be arguing? Political decisions based on fear greed and other base motives (like party numbers) is a reality too.

Again, for a party that has apparently accomplished nothing it sure seems to bug some people a lot that the elected choice of many Quebeckers has ruined their fun.

 

6079_Smith_W

So again, the people of Quebec are somehow responsible even though it is people in other parts of Canada who actually voted for Harper.

And Liberals? Contrary to the notion that the Bloc gave Harper the leg up in 2009, Ignatieff was the one who actually allowed him to get legislation through the house.

Is there any reason to suspect that in a minority parliament they won't do exactly the same thing again to benefit their party?

Some sort of coalition is not a "simple reality". Parliament might not work the way Harper spun it back in 09 - coalition as coup -  but it doesn't work that way either.

Don't tell me this all comes down to the fact that some Quebeckers supported a sovreigntist party. That was the spin that Harper put on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3SsUBrUc_M

You can skip to 2:30 if you want to get past the fluff.

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, I'm sure Quebeckers supported a coalition that included the Bloc, Liberals, and the NDP. If the rest of the country was somehow against it, then it wasn't the position of the NDP. The NDP was willing to look for common ground with everyone, and that included progressive federalist policy that the Bloc and the Liberals could support.

Just as an expression of the Quebec voters, the Bloc worked about as well as a FPTP system could work. They had a party that was ready to represent their interests, and that would make it very hard for a majority to shove laws down their throats (except when the opposition was divided in the 90s). I'm passionately pro-federalist, but I can admit that the Bloc did some good on federal, non-sovereigntist causes.

 

theleftyinvestor

Unionist wrote:

theleftyinvestor wrote:
A Liberal-NDP majority accord may have still resulted in backlash but most Canadians would have seen it as more democratically legitimate.

While I agree with much of your post, I must have missed when "most Canadians" pronounced the 2008 coalition to be democratically illegitimate.

I didn't quite say that most Canadians found the three-party accord to be illegitimate, just a question of degree. Perhaps a better phrase should have been "most Canadians would have seen it as less problematic". There was a lot of fear even among CDNs who supported the coalition that letting it happen would lead to a backlash in the next election.

Mind you, considering how thoroughly the Liberals were routed in 2011, it would seem they may as well have just ousted Harper and tried to make the best of it.

Sean in Ottawa

I think the coalition would have worked if the Liberals had not backed out. Maybe they did not want to go in to such an arrangement at such a fragile time economically with political risk. I am sure that the issue of BQ not being in government would have been apparent quickly. But the Liberals failed to take that opportunity and are responsible for much of what has happened since.

Blaming Quebec for their legitimate electoral choices is undemocratic.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Stockholm wrote:
It's a simple reality that if in 2015 the NDP and Liberals have a majority between them, Harper will likely be replaced by some sort of opposition accord or coalition. The BQ were to come back and make that math impossible then we are back to a 2008 situation in which case the BQ plays into Harper's hands and the Tories will stay in power. In QC a vote for the BQ only benefits Harper. Thankfully QCers seem to have gotten that message which is a big part of what the BQ is now down to just 4 seats

Not necessarily.  It's entirely possible that the Cons could stay on in a minority position at that point if enough Liberals from the Marttin wing of the party were to break with their leadersthip and back a Conservative government on "free enterpriser" grounds.

That's what started the Coalition in B.C. in the 1940s, and that coalition evolved into the electoral bloc that has largely controlled B.C. politics ever since.

Don't assume that 2015 can't lead to the Socredization of federal politics in Canada.

Stockholm

I agree 100% with Chantal Hebert here

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/01/08/bloc_qubcois_sliding_into_...

 

Going, going, gone? First the Bloc Québécois lost all but four Quebec seats and party status in the House of Commons. Then Daniel Paillé — the man tasked to lead it out of the wilderness — quit before leading the BQ in a single campaign. Now the party may remain leaderless until the eve of the next federal election in 2015.

A scenario to be discussed by the party executive this weekend would see the vote to select Paillé’s successor postponed for a year. As things stand, that amounts to delaying the decision to take a comatose patient off life support in the hope that someone comes up with a miraculous cure in the interval....

cco

You'd agree with Ferdinand Marcos if he came back from the dead and wrote about how separatism was moribund, though.

janfromthebruce

http://rabble.ca/babble/babble-book-lounge/brian-topp-how-we-almost-gave-tories-boot

I think it's worth starting a forum on Brian Topp's book about the coalition.  While a lot of the content was previewed by Brian on his Globe and Mail blog a few months ago and discussed on babble at that time, the book is a much more comprehensive account of the brief NDP/Liberal coalition in Nov/Dec 2008.  Full disclosure: I worked with Brian in the Quebec NDP in the early 90s and consider him a friend, even though we disagree on many issues.

The book is an excellent read and raises some key questions about the way forward for the NDP and the broader progressive movement in Canada. As we saw from the blog excerpts (and from his blog generally), Topp is a gifted writer and the reader gets the same adrenaline rush all the way through the book as we all felt during that fateful week when it looked like Layton and the team were going to form a progressive coalition government with Dion and the Liberals.

Along with the breathless recounting of Blackberry-fueled intrigue and insider accounts of key Lib/NDP negotations (the confrontation between Marlene Jennings and Dawn Black over the NDP's right to be in Cabinet is alone is worth the price of the book), Topp is courageous enough to admit his own errors in judgment, including the infamous Elizabeth May debate debacle in the 2008 election campaign, as well as the strategic errors made by the coalition team that helped cause the implosion of the project within 10 days of its inception. 

Overall though, the sense is that Layton and the team did the best they could under difficult circumstances, in a noble attempt to reverse the right-wing direction of Canada's politics over the past 25 years.  Sadly, the particular set of conditions that led to the coalition won't happen again in the forseeable future.  And the Libs have revealed themselves in public under Iggy to be exactly what Topp feared during the coalition process, when they knifed Dion and killed the coalition by voting for Harper's budget with no changes in Jan 2009.

I'll have more to say about the broader questions raised by Topp's book in a separate post.  But by all means, buy this book - a must-read for NDP supports and political junkies alike.

In my haste I forgot to ensure quotation. Thanks for the reminder. It was a mistake

Stockholm

I didn't say that separatism was moribund...only that the BQ is about as important to the sovereignist project as an appendix is to being able to shit!

Unionist

Hey jan, please use the [ quote ] function when you're quoting another babbler from 2010. It's just a bit confusing for those who read your long post to the end before figuring out what's really going on. Thanks.

 

Thanks, Jan!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The problem is, you STILL think it was realistic to expect Quebec francophones to vote NDP BEFORE the party made the Sherbrooke Declaration...even though, prior to that, the NDP showed no real understanding or concern for francophones and never fought for them on any significant issues.

The Bloc prospered in Quebec in the era when it did because it was the ONLY party that had anything worthwhile to offer Quebec francophones.  In the Nineties, the NDP still took this more or less "we'll be there when you've got over that separatist foolishness" tone and was only, in that era, a party for Quebec anglophones, and not many of them at that.

It was Sherbrooke that changed it all...that and the implicit acknowledgment that Quebec francophones truly did have a legitimate grievance about the threat to their language and culture that Jack Layton became the first federal NDP leader ever to make.

So enough with the grouchiness already...there was simply no way that left-Quebec francophone voters, prior to 2011, were ever going to vote NDP.  There were maybe a few thousand left-federalists in Quebec at best.

Stockholm

FYI, the Sherbrooke Declaration was passed in 2006 at the NDP convention in Quebec City. It was not some sudden thing put out in 2011. I also never said there was no reason for people to vote BQ in the 90s, I'm saying that NOW in 2014 I think they are obsolete

DaveW

Ken Burch wrote:

....  In the Nineties, the NDP still took this more or less "we'll be there when you've got over that separatist foolishness" tone ...

that strategy paid off big-time in 2011 Wink

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Uh, no, the NDP didn't speak dismissively of separatist/sovereigntist sentiments in 2011.  It simply came up with something that actually connected to those people.

 

DaveW

I think it was like selling umbrellas when the wind started blowing: all the other federal options collapsed, including Bloc, and there was Jack and the NDP ...  presto Orange Wave

hence the shallowness of the NDP roots in Quebec and vulnerability to some Justin-type phenomenon

Stockholm

You could say that ALL federal parties have shallow roots in Quebec. The Creditistes came out of no where in the 60s then vanished. The federal Liberals had a lock on Quebec and then in 1984 they got swept away by the Mulroney PC who were in turn swept away by the BQ who in turn were swept away by the NDP.

sherpa-finn

There's a political cartoon in there somewhere: Quebec voters as surfers, watching and waiting for the next big federal wave ....

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