Joined: 04 Oct 2006
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Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:22 pm Post subject:
If O'Leary was able to for a moment establish he wasn't another Iggy who had no interest in building the party simply showed up to be ushered into 24 Sussex and bolted after it didn't work out.
I agree -- this is the best argument against O'Leary in my book. I like Bernier myself, because he is as genuinely conservative as any, and he is a French-Canadian.
If he were to become leader, the Conservatives chances in Quebec would increase dramatically. At least that would be my expectation.
Bernier is an interesting option;
My biggest concern is that its hard to maintain support in Quebec without placating Quebec which is challenging because it hurts you in Ontario and the West.
Last time a Conservative Government relied on Quebec to govern it resulted in the rejuvenation of the Reform Party and birth of the BQ and the near destruction of the PCs
Even now the nearly half the Liberal caucus in Quebec (17 of 40 seats) are there with less than 40% of the popular vote with several less than 30% in their ridings.
I look at Bernier as being in the same situation as Ignatieff in 2006 at the Liberal Leadership Convention,
He has a lot of external support, is signing up a lot of members, but doesn't seem to have internal support and may very well plateau after the first round as folks fall off the ballot and section choices are calculated.
I think this is the wrong analysis. You have to bribe (placate?) less if the leader is a French-speaking quebecois.
It isn't just a matter of speaking French -- you could call that the Joe Clark mistake. John Turner spoke fluent French, and had the anti-free trade issue to campaign on, and he lost big. partly because Mulroney spoke Quebec French. It's a matter of trust as much as a matter of language.
Another example: Jack Layton spoke Quebec French even if he was rusty. All the other leaders spoke passably good French, but it was the French you learn in classrooms, not in the playground.
In Quebec, language stands in for anti-Anglo fears. It plays a similar role that anti-American sentiments play in Anglo-Canada. It's the parochial side of the population.
Is there any reason to believe that Bernier wants to conduct another raid on the treasury for Quebec's benefit? I don't think he's another Mulroney.
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