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Wednesday, February 28 2024 @ 02:19 MST

Fanning the flames of separatism.

Canadian PoliticsIt is well known in political circles that Harper is at best ignoring Quebec and is at worst being actively hostile towards the province. It's at the point where long time Conservatives in Quebec are starting to complain about it. The question of why an allegedly national leader is ignoring Canada's second most populous province? There two reasons for Harper's action (or more appropriately inaction) towards la belle province. First and simplistically it feeds his base in the west who see Quebec as a province of lazy whiners who only take, take, take. The real reason is more Machiavellian, in that Harper needs a strong Bloc Quebecois to maintain his majority in parliament.

Harper and his merry band of Tories were stunned (not to mention the media of the country) at the gains of the NDP in Quebec. The gains are enough that it would only take 50 or so seats to switch hands for there to be an NDP federal government. This is thanks to a sudden switch to the NDP from the Bloc in Quebec. So in order to stop the NDP, Harper has to do something in Quebec. Since his western base would scream blue murder if Harper were to actually engage Quebec, not to mention that would be work, it is far easier to alienate Quebec and fan the flames of separatism. Since with the primary exception of Quebec sovereignty the platforms of the NDP and the Bloc are very similar, this makes sense for Canada's Maximum Leader. If Harper can convince through inaction the people of Quebec that they'd be better off out of Canada, they'll go back to voting Bloc and stopping the NDP from becoming government if they gain 50 or so seats outside of the province.

This is a dangerous game of course as a resurgent separatist movement in Quebec would require a lot of effort on the part of the rest of Canada to deal with. I suspect Harper knows this but just doesn't care since from his speeches it is clear he hates Canada with a burning passion and would probably love the break up of the country. It also goes a long way to telling the kind of person Harper is, that is one who would risk the breakup of the country for personal political gain. What remains to be seen is if it will be successful. Though the NDP is slowly dropping in Quebec (as the Tories are dropping nationally), the Block isn't re-surging in the province which would seem to indicate that separatism isn't on the minds of Quebecois at the moment. Time will tell.

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