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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19478694

Quebec's Parti Quebecois set for election victory

The separatist Parti Quebecois is heading for victory in parliamentary elections in the Canadian French-speaking province of Quebec.

Preliminary results indicate the party is on course to win 58 of the 125 seats and form a minority government after nine years in opposition.

It is unclear whether a PQ victory will lead to a new referendum on separation from the rest of Canada.


Just curious as to what Canadians on this board think of this latest bit of news? When I was in grad school, I had a Canadian friend who lamented about the "referendum never-endum" situation. Reading the article, it would appear another referendum is unlikely. The PQ doesn't have an outright majority and polls do not indicate that the local population want another referendum. Of course if economic problems continue in Quebec, wouldn't that ultimately give the PQ the support they need?
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(Reuters) - Security guards abruptly rushed the leader of Quebec's separatist party from the stage after an armed man shot and injured two people outside the Montreal venue where she was speaking.

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois - whose party had just won a narrow victory in provincial elections - later returned to the stage to say a security incident was to blame.

RDI television showed pictures of police arresting a man with a rifle outside the venue where Marois had been speaking. It also showed a large fire at the back of the building.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/canada-quebec-maro...
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(pics)

Moment Canadian politician is rushed off stage as gunman burst into political rally and opened fire leaving one supporter dead

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2198495/Quebec-elect...
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Of course if economic problems continue in Quebec, wouldn't that ultimately give the PQ the support they need?


folgore

Probably not, as long as they are in Canada equalization payments keep them on the hook, would a person on welfare vote to leave the payments?

The PQ have been in power a couple of times and actually run a pretty good provincial government when not trying to have a referendum.

Harper has managed to alienate them (and everyone else except his base) but perhaps in this case that is a good thing?



In the 2012-2013 year, the following provinces will receive equalization payments:[4]
Quebec ($7.391 billion)
Ontario ($3.261 billion)
Manitoba ($1.671 billion)
New Brunswick ($1.495 billion)
Nova Scotia ($1.268 billion)
Prince Edward Island ($337 million)
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Probably not, as long as they are in Canada equalization payments keep them on the hook, would a person on welfare vote to leave the payments?

...

In the 2012-2013 year, the following provinces will receive equalization payments:[4]
Quebec ($7.391 billion)
Ontario ($3.261 billion)
Manitoba ($1.671 billion)
New Brunswick ($1.495 billion)
Nova Scotia ($1.268 billion)
Prince Edward Island ($337 million)



As an ex-Ontarian (now living in Quebec), the amazing thing about those numbers is not Quebec's $7 billion, it is that Ontario is also a have-not province, and gets $3 billion support from the rich provinces like Newfoundland (!!) and Saskatchewan and Alberta and BC. And it should be pointed out that $7 billion, for a population of 7 million people, is $1000 a head, not exactly an irresistible dependancy on welfare when you consider that per capita GDP is about $40,000 in Quebec ($71,000 in Alberta!). The major reason to stay in Canada is because it is a good country, not because of equalization payments that bump up our GDP by 2 or 3 percent.


The PQ have been in power a couple of times and actually run a pretty good provincial government when not trying to have a referendum.

Agreed. And I think with 28% support for independence, we are not going to be seeing a referendum any time soon.


Harper has managed to alienate them (and everyone else except his base) but perhaps in this case that is a good thing?

Maybe Harper should get a bit of credit for that 28% pro-sovereignty figure, no? It means that 72% of Quebecers are pro-federalism, a number I never dreamed we would see 10 years ago. Having a federal government that actually respects the constitution and leaves provinces to do their stuff within their areas of jurisdiction seems to be working out pretty well so far.

Harper is not personally popular, but he gets grudging credit for concentrating on the economy and international trade, and if we want some more left-wing social policies in Quebec, nothing is preventing us from putting them in place. Except of course for our 2 centre-right opposition parties that got 58% of the vote...

Regards, DTM
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Canadian friend who lamented about the "referendum never-endum" situation.

I seem to remember on the far west coast most people I knew agreed with your college friend. We would prefer that Quebec stay in Canada, but if they really wanted to leave, just get on with it.
We were tired of endlessly having to hear about it.
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the amazing thing about those numbers is not Quebec's $7 billion, it is that Ontario is also a have-not province, and gets $3 billion support from the rich provinces like Newfoundland (!!) and Saskatchewan and Alberta and BC. And it should be pointed out that $7 billion, for a population of 7 million people, is $1000 a head, not exactly an irresistible dependancy on welfare when you consider that per capita GDP is about $40,000 in Quebec ($71,000 in Alberta!). The major reason to stay in Canada is because it is a good country, not because of equalization payments that bump up our GDP by 2 or 3 percent.


Drt,

Touche, while I left out the per capita bit you left out that while Quebec has been an almost perpetual recipient Ontario became a "have not" for the first time very recently, ironically at the same time as Newfoundland became a "have" province for the first time since joining.

but he gets grudging credit for concentrating on the economy and international trade

I wonder if they will agree when he offers up the dairy supply management in order to get into the TPP?


Tim

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/26/canada-trans-pacific...

So far, Canadian concerns about the TPP have focused on Canada’s supply management system, which restricts imports and sets prices on certain farm goods such as dairy and poultry. The TPP would likely require Canada to abolish the system, a move that some say could lower prices for consumers and spur agri-business growth, and that others say would hurt farmers and consumers. Critics say eliminating supply management hasn't lowered prices for consumers in other countries.
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but he [Harper] gets grudging credit for concentrating on the economy and international trade
======
I wonder if they will agree when he offers up the dairy supply management in order to get into the TPP?



First, it's not done yet. But if Canada does sign the TPP, I agree that supply management is unlikely to survive (you won't see me crying). And you never know - it's true that the loss of SSM would hurt Quebec's miniscule dairy industry, and the farmers will scream bloody murder. But then again, low prices on dairy products... Yumm.

dtm
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But then again, low prices on dairy products... Yumm.

dtm


Concur, every time I see USians paying half as much for milk products as we do I get upset.

Note: I've heard from a little birdie that NZ is insisting on us scrapping it as a condition of entry. Of course the whole thing is done in the dark so we won't know until they spring it on us.


Tim
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Concur, every time I see USians paying half as much for milk products as we do I get upset.

I don't.

They allow growth hormones to be fed to dairy cows in the States. I personally, can't understand why people go to the States to buy milk of all things. And I have an anecdote about those hormones.

My wife's personal trainer came from Russia to Georgia (the state, though it might have been another southern state - irrelevant) with a bunch of friends. They noticed a marked increase in breast size (over which period I'm unsure). Now these women were/are all extremely fit so it wasn't a simple increase in size overall. When she moved to Vancouver though her breasts reduced. She doesn't KNOW it's the milk but she's pretty sure.

Regardless, when I'm in the States I splurge for organic milk if possible.

Simon, father of two young girls....
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Simon,

Do you think we could sell the milk at half price without adding the hormones that make it harder to keep the boys away? }};-D


**** absolutely not signed ****
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every time I see USians paying half as much for milk products as we do I get upset.

====

I don't.

They allow growth hormones to be fed to dairy cows in the States. I personally, can't understand why people go to the States to buy milk of all things. And I have an anecdote about those hormones.



There are a few problems with this argument, but the main one is that we don't have to pay 2x the US cost of dairy products just because we don't want bovine growth hormone in our milk. BGH maybe decreases the cost of milk by 5% (although this is debatable), but not by 50%, and the principal reasons for the price difference are just climate and economies of scale, not BGH.

(The other problems with the argument: only about 15% of US cows are given BGH; the BGH doesn't get into the milk; even if it did, it isn't absorbed by humans; even if it was, it doesn't affect humans; Canada prohibited use of the recombinant form of BGH because of concerns for animal health, not human health, etc.)

Regards, DTM
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It means that 72% of Quebecers are pro-federalism, a number I never dreamed we would see 10 years ago.

I agree that the numbers are comforting for us non-separatists. However, the 72% includes a lot of people who are "soft federalists", so perhaps we should not be too sanguine with the PQ now in a better position to stir the pot.
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DrtThrwingMonkey,

Except of course for our 2 centre-right opposition parties that got 58% of the vote...

Okay, perhaps I'm an ignorant American who doesn't understand Canadian government as well as he should, but please help me out here. How do two parties that got 58% of the vote get to be "opposition parties" in Canada? I thought that opposition parties were those who opposed the agenda of the majority coalition, but 58% sounds like a majority.

Norm.
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1971simon,

My wife's personal trainer came from Russia to Georgia (the state, though it might have been another southern state - irrelevant) with a bunch of friends. They noticed a marked increase in breast size (over which period I'm unsure). Now these women were/are all extremely fit so it wasn't a simple increase in size overall. When she moved to Vancouver though her breasts reduced. She doesn't KNOW it's the milk but she's pretty sure.

This sounds more than a little bit hokey. Were any of these supposed changes in breast size confirmed by measurements for bra size, or is it possible that it's all in somebody's head?

Norm.
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Norm,

The 58% that the 2nd place and 3rd place parties got is indeed a majority, and you are perfectly right that if these 2 parties got together in a coalition, they could govern. As it is, the 2nd place party leader (the previous government leader) is resigning and the 3rd place party leader has said he would work constructively with the winning party (that got 32% of the vote, against 31% and 27% for the 2 other parties).

Minority governments are relatively uncommon in Canada, but they can work OK, and they give some of the advantages that are present in the US system (checks and balances), along with some of the disadvantages (constant politicking, short-term view, etc.)

Regards, DTM
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