Monday, March 18, 2013

Can the Grits under Couillard finally bring Québec into Canada?

Yesterday, after his outstanding first ballot win of 58.5% at the Parti Libéral du Québec leadership convention at Verdun Auditorium in Montréal, Philippe Couillard immediately began to unveil his vision of his brand new La Belle Province within a truly united Dominion of Canada. Despite a doubtful political outlook on the popular policy planks of the economy, the environment and energy, Couillard shook the conventional thinking of today's politics to start talking constitutional affairs, provincial autonomy and national unity, aiming at the target 2017 as the year Québec signs itself back into Canada. Righting the wrong has always been a point of contention amongst Canadians who favour national unity and Québécois who favour provincial autonomy, both federalists and separatistes using constitutional affairs to find a perfect balance towards a united Canada.

As the 150th anniversary of Confederation is soon coming up, like last year's 30th birthday for our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the remaining Constitution Act 1982, it would be quite the welcome home present in the area of intergovernmental affairs for Canada!

But will Couillard and Stephen Harper finally bring in the province, along with other constitutional reforms such as electing the Senate, as Jean Charest had moved closer towards accepting whereas Couillard was seen for a time as a federal Tory wild card and possible supporter of Harper, or will the relationship be like that of late premier Robert Bourassa and former prime minister Brian Mulroney, which after much promise, was still much to do about nothing. However, as slow and pathetic as everything constitutional are under Harper, those seeing things being different under Justin Trudeau may need to look to how Claude Ryan or Daniel Johnson, Jr. dealt with their respective Prime Ministers in how Couillard would deal with a Prime Minister Trudeau. The questions one could now ask, with the selection of Couillard, does Pauline Marois find her inner René Lévesque and will Harper finally take his own Mulroney Beau Risque before the Néo Démocrates fall and the Bloc make their comeback?