Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chantal Hébert, "Tories can learn from Quebec history and polls," Toronto Star, December 17, 2008.

  With the focus off unity and onto issues such as culture, climate change and the economy, the common ground between the federal Liberals and francophone Quebec is larger than the sum of their differences for the first time in decades.

The coalition cobbled together by the opposition parties earlier this month has so far achieved what no Conservative initiative had managed to accomplish since Stephen Harper came to power in 2006. A weekend poll pegged Conservative support at 45 per cent nationally, placing the party well into majority territory.

The Ipsos Reid-CanWest poll also confirmed that unrest with Harper's government is largely contained within Quebec. There, the Liberals are outpolling the Conservatives two to one (32 per cent to 16 per cent) for the first time since Harper came to power.

So which is it? Are the Conservatives finally on the cusp of an election majority, as their national numbers suggest, or are their declining Quebec prospects a harbinger of a future demise?

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