French language Canadian federal election debate a close contest(2)

The French language debate was a very interesting debate in some ways superior to the English language debate because the issue of national unity was debated in very revealing ways, and the issues of unemployment,poverty and social policy received a better airing than in the English language debate., Was there a clear winner? No. But one has to say that once again Jack Layton did very well. Michael Ignatieff also did well on the issue of national unity in particular and in scolding Gilles Duceppe for still being obsessed with the constitution when there was very little interest in constitutional questions in 2011 when economic concerns were paramount.

Duceppe had however a good comeback which is very well documented in Quebec. Things can change very quickly. Since the P.Q. can easily become once again the government of Quebec in one or two years and it remains committed to achieving sovereignty this issue can become a hot one again.The debate on this issue revealed the pitfalls of the deux nations strategy that each of the federalist leaders in one way or the other  have signed onto. When you say that Quebec is a nation, its leadership expects and will demand all the trappings of a nation state and that will not go down well in English speaking Canada. Although his French is very serviceable, Stephen Harper’s effort to play the role of the open for business Prime Minister quietly going about his work left him largely on the sidelines during the debate. As such, I don’t believe he accomplished much in advancing the Conservative cause in Quebec. Gilles Duceppe defended his turf reasonably well but I suspect the debate might weaken his hold somewhat on certain Bloc voters who might desert the Bloc for the NDP. The Liberals probably held their own and Michael Ignatieff will be viewed more favourably than before the debate, although distrust of the Liberals post Gomery and the Provincial Liberal government’s unpopularity means they have a steep hill to to climb to regain their previous  popularity in Quebec.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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