Recently, Gilles Duceppe said he would like to make the Liberal Party disappear in Quebec, and for the Bloq Quebecois to win every one of the 75 seats as opposed to the 54 they now hold.
On the surface that sounds like the kind of rhetoric that any party leader might indulge in - however, Duceppe is not a normal party leader.
He is a leader without any mathematical chance of forming the next government since his party only contests seats in Quebec.
His party's raison d'etre is to further the cause of Quebec separation, and until that happens, to promote the values of the citizens of Quebec within the federal system supporting social democratic principles.
Given this reality, what would be the consequence of the disappearance of the Liberal Party?
Most likely, a Conservative government. Probably a minority but you never know.
Would the Conservative agenda be a good thing for Quebec, according to the Bloc?
Not if you compare party policies.
For instance (taken from the CTV - By Issue - Pages):
Bloc: The Bloc believes that the primary role of the Canadian Army should be peacekeeping missions
CPC: Support a multi-role, combat-capable maritime, land and air force
Bloc: Support and implement the Kyoto Protocol
CPC: Review all environment and energy initiatives, including Kyoto Accord
Bloc: The Bloc favours maintaining the gun registry program, but also wants to see a tight rein on controlling the costs of the federal registry
CPC: Scrap the gun registry legislation
Bloc: Favours decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
CPC: Stephen Harper has been a harsh critic of the legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana
Bloc: Majority of Bloc Québécois representatives voted in support of same-sex marriage legislation in 2005
CPC: A Conservative government would support legislation defining marriage as union between one man and one woman
Sure, I'm cherry-picking, but the fact remains, Quebec leans to the left socially and is too far out of step with conservative values for the Bloc Quebecois leader to give them his implicit endorsement.
This is the Canada that Quebec would be a part of until such time as it separates - and last I looked, over 50% of Quebecers still wanted to stay in Canada, else we'd be way outta there by now.
We said so in the 1980 and 1995 referenda.
We said so in 2003 when we elected a Liberal government.
Yes that was then, and this is now. But this is also the future, for several more years because Charest's mandate doesn't run out until the spring of 2008.
Then the PQ has to get elected
Then they have to call a referendum, assuming they feel they have *winning conditions* at the time. A third loss would be devastating to the cause.
If all the ifs fall into place, Quebec could be independent perhaps three years from now.
We could go through ten minority governments in that time.
Well okay, two or three, anyway.
Is it in Quebec's best interests to live in a Conservative Canada whose values we don't share? Only if you're so hell-bent on promoting separation that everything else is irrelevant.
(Cross-posted to the CTV Weblog)