The Dog Days of Summer

Pauline Marois will make Quebecers long for the tolerant Premiership of Jacques Parizeau

With politicians away from Ottawa and politics the last thing on the minds of Canadians, the summer news cycle usually slows to a crawl. Short of extraordinary events – war, disaster, or the great Census crisis of 2010 – politicians are content to stay on the back pages of the newspaper, and Canadians are more than happy to keep them there.

At least normal Canadians are. Those of us with an unhealthy addiction to politics need something to talk about at BBQs, now that the Jays have fallen out of contention. During the minority years, you could count on an interesting poll and a fresh round of election speculation every week. Now that we’re in a majority, the best we can do is work ourselves into a lather over Harper’s “monumental” Cabinet shuffle, then act surprised when, as has been the case with every single Cabinet shuffle Harper has ever done, it failed to live up to the hype.

Still, there are some news stories floating around as the summer comes to close. Among them:

1. Quebecers will head to the polls in under 2 weeks, and there are still three candidates with a legitimate chance at being Premier when the dust settles. The most likely, despite what today’s bizarre Forum poll suggests, is Pauline Marois, who is catering to the rawest, most hateful forms of human emotion to get herself elected. She would prevent francophones from attending English CEGEPs. She would forbid employees in public institutions from wearing religious symbols, hijabs, and turbans (but not crucifixes). She would ban anyone who does not pass a French test from running for office. While I agree not being able to speak French is a liability for an elected official in Quebec, so is being a racist, and there’s (obviously) no law against them running for office.


2. Two days after the Quebec election, voters in Kitchener-Waterloo and Vaughan will decide whether or not to hand Dalton McGuinty his third majority government, after a year of minority probation. Given Tim Hudak shows no interest in keeping the government afloat, and the Liberal-NDP marriage seems about as solid as a typical Kardashian marriage, it likely won’t be long before all Ontarians head back to the polls if the Liberals don’t sweep these two by-elections.


3. In slightly less exciting by-election news, the next Conservative MP for Calgary Centre will be chosen this Sunday. Daveberta provides the low-down on the candidates.


4. Today marks the one year anniversary of Jack Layton’s death. At the Globe, Brian Topp weighs in on what the NDP have done right (not being Conservatives) and what they’ve done wrong (not choosing Brian Topp as their leader) over the past year. Actually, Topp is quite gracious towards his former leadership rivals, but it is interesting to see him raise the issue of re-opening the constitution. In the midst of a Quebec election, no less.

Also marking the anniversary is a Harris-Decima poll, under the headline “New-look NDP not that different from the house that Jack built“. Of course, the poll says the exact opposite of that – for better or worse, only 8% of Canadians say the NDP of today is “very similar” to the Layton-led Party.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in by elections, Federal Politics, Ontario Politics, Quebec Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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One Response to The Dog Days of Summer

  1. The Invisible Hand

    She would ban anyone who does not pass a French test from running for office. While I agree not being able to speak French is a liability for an elected official in Quebec, so is being a racist, and there’s (obviously) no law against them running for office.

    Not to nitpick, but none of the policies you cited are based on race, so the correct term is “bigoted.”

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