Pre-Debate Thoughts

Talk is abound about Quebec politics. With the PQ and the Liberals in the slumps, it seems as if "Super Mario" ADQ leader Mario Dumont has a shot at upsetting the established separatist/federalist dynamic of French Canadian politics.

Charest made the mistake of brining up the "p-word" giving the PQ the opportunity to pounce. All the while Dumont had to put down fires started by ADQ candidates unwilling or unable to keep their mouthes shut.

A poll later and nothing's changed. The debate is tomorrow and that leaves one last chance for Charest to save his leadership and Boisclair to keep the separatist movement alive.

Suggestions are being made that this is a "turning point" in Quebec politics.

Turning points become turning points only after they become turning points. Otherwise they just end up become mindless media dribble that no one remembers the next time someone labels an event a "turning point."

Anyways, the end game is here. Dumont has exceeded expectations and really can only hope not to screw up. Boisclair's position can be best described as a dying man on his last rungs. I expect mistakes of desperation are his worst enemy.

Charest's only hope is that somehow Dumont falls under the intense scrutiny and pressure he now faces. Charest I expect, for the most part, will focus his guns on the ADQ for the time being. Just what is the point in attacking Boisclair? The separatist leader has been reduced to his primary base and there is little hope in much movement from separatists to Charest.

Maybe this is a "turning point" election. Or maybe it isn't. I really doesn't matter. What matters is that the rise of ADQ seems like a foregone conclusion driven by two factors: Quebequers in the 21st century have tired of the separatist debate, and they yearn for a conservative alternative to years of near complete socialism in La Belle Province.

The ADQ, both Conservative, and ambivalent towards the unity debate has become the vehicle of time. In some ways it must be asked if the ADQ merely was at the right time and the right place, or if it was the place and time that spurred the creation of the ADQ.

So regardless if separatism dies in this election or in one to come, that very conclusion seems as inevitable as the setting of the sun.

It's a thought not lost I'm sure by Prime Minister Harper this afternoon.

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