Sunday, May 15, 2011

A new right-wing force bent on changing Quebec's political culture? Part Deux

(Part Un is here)

So, I wake up on a gloomy Sunday morning and the first headline I see is about how a new right-wing merger may take place in Quebec and storm the political scene and dominate the province with their low-tax, small-government mantra, just after the province voted in 58 59 high-tax, big-government New Democrats.

The merger would take place between Francois Legault Mystery Party and the currently-represented-and-formerly-respected Action Democrartique du Quebec (ADQ), also formerly with "Equipe Mario Dumont" (EMD) as the second part of its acronym, until Dumont decided to hand another seat to the Liberals.

While the Francois Legault Mystery Party isn't the same as the Réseau Liberté Québec mentioned in Part Un, it does essentially the same thing, except with more success; the Mystery Party, officially called the "Coalition pour l'avenir du Québec", which has a nice ring to it, has has some success with fudging up Quebec's provincial numbers, though the novelty wore off after awhile.

What confuses me, though, is why there is such concern that the failure of a right-wing merger will spell doom for Quebec's right wing; after all, the fact is, the right-wing in Quebec isn't exactly split to begin with. Those with the ideology represented by folks like the ADQ and Legault was already represented by the ADQ to begin with; and as we all saw, while they managed a very good finish in the 2007 provincial election, they simply didn't have it in them to take out the Liberals in the end, and were mercilessly beaten back in the 2008 election.

The fact is, there is no really successful formula for the right-wing in Quebec, as they have their base supporters, and that's it. Their success comes from popular leaders, like Dumont or Legault. Which means their entire formula for winning is the same as it was during the life of the ADQ - popular leader different from the other guys. Which means that unless they can win government on their first go around, they're not going to affect a heck of a lot, and fizzle out like Dumont. One can only hope, of course, but it seems to me that this is the wrong way to go about base-building. But, hey, what do I know? It worked for Layton, will it work for Legault as well?

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