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Quebec and 1976 All Over Again?

Growing up in Quebec in 1960’s and 70’s I feel I got to experience a unique piece of Canadian (and very much Quebec) history, and today, will we see a step back to 1976? No, I don’t think so, comparing now to 1976 when Rene Levesque swept into power compares apples and avocados. In 1976, the PQ election was effectively the antithesis of the Quiet Revolution, and a very different time.

There are some similarities, in that there is a feeling of corruption in the Quebec Liberal Party (which was rampant in 1976) and, from these, the feeling of a need for change, but Quebec is very different from Quebec in 1976. In 1976 Maitre Chez Nous was only an idea, now Quebec is a different place (for the better? I don’t know, but it is not the Quebec I grew up in).

As I have said while Federal Politics is a three-ring circus when it comes to shenanigans and silliness (witness the “Harper Government” and all of its retribution against its critics), Quebec politics is much more like the Cirque du Soleil: much more spectacular, far more dramatic than a regular circus, and at the end of it all, no one is really sure what the heck they saw, or what the heck they are witnessing (but you are always entertained).

Drawing, cartoon | O.K. Everybody take a valium! | P090-A_50-1004

A PQ majority will lead to a great deal of collective hand-wringing in some of Canada (and more likely a great deal of, “… if they want to go, let them go!”), but there is also a sentiment in Quebec that the Harper Government wants the PQ to win (I never got a good explanation why, but for some reason, it didn’t surprise me either).

A PQ Minority will lead to what we have in Ontario: stalemate, not much progress for about two years, and then another election.

Is another result possible? Yes, this is Quebec after all, and more than once the Provincial Liberals have been declared dead before an election, only to have them come back from the dead (how else do you explain Robert Bourassa being reelected Premier after being summarily dismissed in 1976?). I love Quebec politics, and the funniest part is to watch non-Quebec pundits try to overlay Canadian sensibilities onto the Quebec political scene, it just does not work!

Financially, there are folks holding off buying houses until today’s results are final, but will it mean another mass exodus from La Belle Province? Not likely, but it could mean a lot of fun and games for a few years, that is for sure (and yes, maybe even another Referendum).

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I was 3 at the time, so I don’t really remember 1976…although I heard it was a good year. I do recall lots of Neil Diamond on the radio though.

    I think these results tonight will trigger very little, a PQ Minority or if the province forgives him, a Liberal Minority will just stall the province for a few more years. Too bad…

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