Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois | Photograph by: Paul Chiasson, CP , Vancouver Sun
The Parti Québécois seems to be fading in the stretch run to Quebec’s September 4, 2012 general election. At least, this is what is suggested to me by a new Forum Research telephone poll conducted for and reported by the National Post.
Of the 1,602 respondents, more than a third (35%) said they would vote for the Jean Charest’s Liberals, more than a four-point increase in support since last week’s poll. Better yet, the gain seemed to come at the expense of the PQ, whose popularity dipped six points to 29% since Forum’s last poll. The third-place party, Coalition Avenir Québec, stayed unchanged at a respectable 24%.
Encouraging news for those of us who were convinced the incompetence—and perhaps corruption—of Jean Charest’s Liberal government might have provided the PQ with the opening they needed to once more put Canada on the edge of constitutional crisis with their blackmailing threats to separate, and to do so even though a 49% minority of Quebecers may want to remain in Canada.
I want Quebec to remain in Canada. I do not, however, believe the federal government should continue to pay out equalization payments to the tune of $7-billion plus to that province, which has received $56.7-billion—a whopping 54% of the $107.4-billion our federal government spent on equalization from 2005/06 to the present year.
Frankly, I do not believe a majority of Quebec residents want to separate from Canada. Support for sovereignty would, however, be enough to “tease” the rest of Canada and keep the country “off balance” for the full term of a PQ government.
And, in these unsettling economic times, our country can do without that.