Big win for the Liberals!

04.14.03

charest_win

Charest and company have reason to celebrate tonight, as the Liberals take a projected 75 of 125 seats in the National Assembly. The PQ is down to only 46 seats, with the remaining 4 going to the ADQ.

Hopefully now sovereignty can take a back burner and the government can actually focus on governing for the next five years. It ought to be refreshing.

As I’d predicted, my vote wasn’t really that important in my home riding of Robert-Baldwin, where Pierre Marsan, the Liberal candidate, took 86% of the vote. Somewhat surprisingly the PQ finished second, and the “why did they bother” Equality party was fourth with only 347 votes at the time I write this. I would have thought the ADQ might do better here, because it’s such a safe Liberal stronghold that some people might have felt like they could get away with voting for them, but the ADQ candidate only managed to get 5% of the vote for a third-place finish.

The swing ridings are much more interesting to watch. Jean Charest managed to win his home riding of Sherbrooke in what promised to be a squeaker. Landry and Dumont also won their home ridings.

This is a new era for Quebec. Let’s see if the Liberals can deliver on their promises to improve healthcare and cut taxes. A pipe dream, perhaps, but a nice one.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James 11.30.-1 at 12:00 AM

The RDI wonks were predicting a Charest who gangs up with provinces, puts his backroom federal connections to work, and really goes to town on transfer payments.

It seems to me that, weirdly, any fleeting thoughts Martin might have about federalist/sovereigntist issues may incline him to go along with it. Charest’s spin: if the feds can’t get along with *his* Quebec government, then federalism really has no future in Quebec. And you know the PQ will be watching and waiting to see if they can’t make that a mantra.

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2 Ikram Saeed 04.15.03 at 3:14 PM

A Martin-Charest axis in Ottawa-Quebec. You think these two meech-lovers won’t re-open the constitution?

Support for sovereignty increases during Liberal governments. We’re in for another ride.

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3 segacs 04.15.03 at 3:59 PM

You’re making a mistake confusing the Federal and Provincial Liberals. Charest, if you recall, was leader of the Conservatives federally, not the Liberals. Here in Quebec, our political spectrum has never been Left-Right, but Federalist-Separatist. (A little less now with Mario Dumont, but he’s not enough of a factor to have changed that yet).

So Charest is a Liberal here by default because he’s a Federalist. But that doesn’t mean he’s got the same positions on issues as the Federal Liberals. No, I don’t think either of them will reopen the constitution. Charest knows it would be political suicide here. And Chretien (not leader during Meech, remember?) won’t be around much longer; Paul Martin is unlikely to focus on constitutional issues either.

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4 Ikram Saeed 04.15.03 at 6:32 PM

I agree with James.
People will think:
“If Charest can’t find a compromise with Ottawa that makes Quebeckers happy, then no-one can.”

And Charest won’t be able to, because there is no compromise that both Quebec and Rest-of-Canada will agree to. (You may disagree).

I hope Charest will not try to re-open the constitution. The only thing I ‘ve ever agreed with David Warren on “Canada works best when English and French ignore each other”.

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