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Why the Quebec election should have Justin Trudeau worried

2 29 212

Justin Trudeau beware.

In the wake of Quebec’s second ‘Quiet Revolution,’ all bets are off for the next federal election in Canada.

The landslide victory of the Coalition Avenir Quebec is a boulder that sends ripples into the furthest reaches of Canada’s political pond. Which is to say, the ascension of Premier Francois Legault is no regional flash in the pan.

It is suddenly open season on incumbents, with three Canadian premiers recently getting the boot, and a growing animus across the country against traditional politics.

Of course, the earth-shaking news is that the CAQ so easily won the big prize. Not bad for a sapling party with no governing experience.

But also of great importance is the collapse of the Liberal vote in Quebec to record lows. This despite the fact that former Premier Philippe Couillard was a pretty good steward of the province’s economy.

He leaves office with public finances in good shape and a record low unemployment rate. For those who like to rant about tax and spend Liberals, Couillard proved to be an exception. His government even paid down the provincial debt.

So it wasn’t the economy, stupid.

All of this is bad news for every traditional political party in the land. But it is Trudeau and the federal Liberals who have the most to worry about.

For starters, when Trudeau campaigns in Quebec, it will not be with a political cousin running the show provincially, just as in Ontario.

It will be against a leader who is prepared to use the notwithstanding clause to force a ban on hijabs for public servants in the workplace. Legault believes the majority of Quebecers are with him — and the results of the election suggest that he is right.

Quebec will now be led by a man who came to power fixating on immigration and cultural identity.

So how popular will Trudeau be as the politician who comes into the province declaring that Canadians don’t have a “core” identity, and that everyone is welcome here?

The prime minister........

© iPolitics