Saturday, September 5, 2009

Duceppe's Friends and Enemies in Quebec

Since common sense dictates that the Liberals have to know that they are not favoured to win any imminent election, this superlative withdrawal of support was done to infect Duceppe or Layton with the responsibility of avoiding an election. Layton is caught between a rock and a hard place. He has to shift towards the center to make a deal acceptable to the Tories, where a decision to do so could possibly see him bleed off his left flank to the Greens. Also, the NDP has spent the last 3 years saying and voting that "we can't support any confidence in the government whom we believe to be both evil and corrupt." How can you justify propping up a government that you are on record saying has an evil heart of darkness. If you constructed a Game Theory Matrix for this Collective Bargaining Model, where is the zone of agreement? Free market Libertarians trying to reach a compromise on monetary policy with protectionist Marxists? The centre-left party has to be the main negotiating party in a minority Parliament where Marxists and a Special Interest Lobby Party are the only possible alternatives to avoiding an election.

Then we get to Duceppe, who came out and said that he will vote yes on any legislation where Quebec gets a better deal than anyone else. As a Canadian who does not live in Quebec, I have to admit that it pisses me off that we would need to rely on an inequitable transfer of money or services in order to keep the government alive. Avoid an election, but every non-Quebec citizen pays more to get less? Thanks, but no thanks. Quebec deserves a great deal of government attention because they are a substantial proportion of our population and productivity, but they should not receive a better deal than everyone else because they have a “one province party” that votes only for legislation that is disproportionally pro-Quebec. (scroll down my blog history and I'm sure you will find multiple postings where I shit on Danny Williams.)

All this begs the question, if there are Quebec voters in play for a change of mind, in which of the following scenarios would the Bloc LOSE the most seats?

A) One fifth of Bloc votes switch to NDP?
B) One fifth of Bloc votes switch to Liberal?
C) One fifth of Bloc votes switch to Tory?
D) One fifth of Bloc votes switch to Green?


C) If one fifth of the Bloc crossed to Tory, the Bloc would lose 13 seats and the Conservatives win Richmond--Arthabaska, Drummond, Chicoutimi, Abitibi, Louis-Hébert, Québec, Montmagny

Question: If the Bloc were able to seduce voters from another party, under which scenario would they GAIN the most seats?

A) One fifth of NDP votes switch to Bloc?
B) One fifth of Liberal votes switch to Bloc?
C) One fifth of Tory votes switch to Bloc?
D) One fifth of Green votes switch to Bloc?


C) If one fifth of the Quebec Tory voters switched to the Bloc, the Bloc gains 5 seats and the Conservatives lose Jonquière--Alma, Roberval--Lac-Saint-Jean, Pontiac, Charlesbourg, and Beauport.

There you have it. The Bloc has the most to gain by converting Tory voters, and the most to lose by losing voters to the Tories. Given the Quebec-Only negotiating strategy deployed by the Bloc, how is this partnership supposed to prevail without the rest of the country paying a financial penalty for avoiding an unwanted election? The Majority-Question is, what would need to happen for a Bloc voter to vote Tory, and what would have to happen for a Tory voter to vote Bloc? That question, I do not have the answer to...

1 comment:

  1. To answer your last question, and given that I know very little about Quebec politics, let me point out a message that Liberals have used on Calgarians in the past: "Get a seat at the table".

    Harper has used (much less crude, and insulting) variations of that message in Quebec. For this message to resonate, and move voters, it obviously helps enormously if Harper is ahead in the polls, in the final days. The more ahead, the better. Especially in Ontario.
    In my mind, that's the best indirect route to winning Quebec votes.

    The "Coalition" messaging in Quebec is tricky. Harper has toned down his rhetoric since last December, no longer referring to a "socialist/seperatist" coalition. I also expect him to say: "A vote for the BLOC is a vote for the Liberals." (and vice versa)