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28 March 2007 @ 12:36 am
Quebec election implications on federal election timing  
Quebec has now rejected a left-wing sovereigntist option (and, to be fair, a more centrist federalist option) for a right-wing "autonomist" option. This would appear to represent a shift to the right in Quebec politics. I've noticed several newscasters pointing out that the ADQ picked up many seats in which the Conservatives ran second in the 2006 federal election.

Considering how hard Harper has been fighting to pick up Quebec votes (the Quebecois as a nation, the extra wheelbarrows of cash in the just-passed budget, the enhanced international presence for Quebec), he's going to want to capitalize on these things before they fade from memory. Riding this right-wing wave would seem to be optimal timing for him to have an election. However, it's likely Canadians would not respond well to a government appearing to call a third election in about that many years.

So, should the Conservatives try to force an election in the next couple of weeks? If not, how should Harper keep ahold of these potential gains in Quebec without alienating the rest of Canada? If so, what issue should he force the opposition to bring his government down on, particularly considering that neither the Liberals nor the Bloc is likely to want an election (and both are required to vote non-confidence for such a motion to pass)?