The slogan of the CAQ campaign is MAINTENANT.   Or NOW in English 

For Francois Legault it should be NOW WHAT?

The angry misinformed pretender to the throne has seen his lead fall faster than the leaves on a windy autumn day.

Quebecers aren’t liking what they are seeing with the former PQ minister.    They don’t like the idea of expelling people.

They don’t like the idea of a leader whose view of immigration reminds them of the mean and brutish type of politics being carried out in Washington.

You see the whole idea of cutting immigration and pure laine dog whistle politics is part and parcel of a separatist agenda.

Quebecers want leadership.  Leaders who speak and act in a measured way, not someone who looks like his head is about to explode when pressed on contentious issues.   And Immigration just may be his undoing

Although in the final debate, Legault admitted he may have made a mistake.  But perhaps too little, too late.

The ground is indeed shifting.

Numbers Talk

The latest Leger poll has the the CAQ at 31%, the Liberals at 30%, the PQ at 21% and the Solidaires at 14%

It seems much of the soft CAQ vote is trickling over to the PQ.  And the Solidaires are attracting more young voters.  

And when your own candidates have to come forward to say they still have confidence in your leadership , then you know you are in trouble.  As one CAQ candidate said

“We are behind mr Legault because of the vision he has because of the ideas he has”

It’s  like the players on a losing hockey team giving their coach a thumbs up when they know he is about to be fired.

The Ghost of Elections Past

And then there is the claim that Legault once said he hated anglos.   He denies it but one of Canada’s preeminent political journalists says it is true.

In Policy Magazine, Graham Fraser writes:

“At his very first political speech, when he was nominated as a star PQ candidate in 1998, he told his riding association members that he had been raised in the West Island among the English, ‘ and I hate them as much as you do’. “

I do not doubt Mr Fraser’s account although a spokesperson for Mr Legault has strongly denied it.

I remember growing up in a certain time on the West Island.   There were plenty of chips on plenty on shoulders on both sides.

Many things stuck me when watching the leaders’ debate in English.

First and foremost was that it even happened.

Our Turn, Our Debate

The cackling of some francophone commentators that we didn’t deserve one was annoying but I really don’t give a damn what they say. They will never be happy until the impure notion of a vibrant English Quebec vanishes into history.

The debate also showed that despite its imperfections, our democracy is strong.   And some minor temper tantrums nothwithstanding, the tone was civil and polite.  All of this happening in their second language.

And bravo to Manon Massé who despite her weakness in English had the guts to be there

But what struck me the most was that I was watching four leaders all with different ideas, four leaders who in their way want what they think is best for Quebec. 

The Canadian

Four leaders but among them, really only one Canadian. 

Only one who sees Canada as more than the sum of its parts.   The Liberals need to be taken to the woodshed on many things.  They cut too deeply too quickly and health care is still their Rubik’s cube.

But if it matters to you that our government sees itself as not an adversary but as part of the Canadian solution, then they probably deserve your support.

It know it matters to me.