Jack Layton is not a Franco. So what?
Just two weeks ago the Sith’ari of the Conservative Party of Canada, the University of Calgary’s Tom Flanagan, explained to La Presse’s Patrick Lagacé that his boy Stephen Harper had pretty much filled up on all the Québec votes he was going to get.
« Stephen Harper has made some big efforts. But he’s not a native son. He faces Gilles Duceppe, who is a native son. Is there an example in Canadian history of a party leader able to win Québec when his main opponent is Québécois? I don’t think so. It might be an impossible burden. » (My backlation of Lagacé’s French translation)
If you can crunch that quote into 140 characters, you might want to tag a #FAIL to it. According to the latest polls, Jack Layton’s New Democratic Party is ahead of the Bloc in Québec with 36% of the votes to Gilles Duceppe’s 31%. Even with the all important Francophone demographic Jack Layton is in the margin of error at 34% compared to Gilles Duceppe’s 38%.
Not only does the NDP not have a Québec or Francophone leader, it doesn’t even have a decent token Franco. The NDP’s only Québec MP, Outremont’s Thomas Mulcair, is also a Maudit Anglais. It apparently hasn’t stopped them from a formidable surge in Québec.
Of course the NDP will not win much more than a handful of seats on May 2nd. The very poll that puts them in the lead might spook voters back to the old parties, the NDP doesn’t have the political muscle to get the folks from the retirement home to the voting booth and many voters might change their minds when they see unfamiliar names instead of « Clayton » on their ballot.
But this latest poll once again challenges the tenacious Canadian myth that Québec voter base their democratic decisions on obscure tribal loyalties.
This idea that the Québécois vote ethnically is more a cop-out than a myth, really. Instead of actually trying to come up with policies and a vision of Canada that the Québécois could buy into, English-Canada’s politicians have wasted three decades in grooming Frenchie Saviors willing to sell their agenda to « his people ».
It’s that kind of thinking that led the Liberal Party to choose Stéphane Dion, against the loud opposition of its own Québec caucus, as leader. Native son or not, Dion was trounced in the 2008 election.
So now I have a question for Tom Flanagan. When was the last time the voter of Alberta voted for a Québécois when there was a Albertan on the ballot?