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Dumont poised to pay dearly for supporting Harper

Quebeckers are back in the polling stations on Monday. Which role will the recent political turmoil at the House of Commons play on Dec. 8?

ADQ leader Mario Dumont – an avowed supporter of Prime Minister Stephen Harper – might be the biggest loser. Dumont denies that the Prime Minister transformed a political crisis into a crisis on Canadian unity. He was already in trouble two weeks ago, with polls giving him a mere 12 per cent. Now his party could go from 41 seats in 2007 to a handful next Monday – and might even lose its status as an official party.

Harper’s incendiary statements about the “separatists” gave leader of PQ Pauline Marois a good argument in favour of Sovereignty. But the leader, who tried to avoid the independence issue during the current election in an effort to gain support from a broader range of electors, might see the federal crisis turning against her.

Nevertheless, for Marois, Harper’s reaction about a coalition supported by the Bloc is the proof that the concept of two nations within one country is not recognized.

“The interests of some are against the interests of others. It’s what Harper showed us,” she declared.

On the other hand, being careful in his statements, Premier Jean Charest reminded that all “All Quebeckers deserve respect, no matter their political allegiance.”

Jean Charest is likely to be the biggest winner of the failed attempt to make a coalition. Throughout the week, all the media coverage was focused on the crisis at the House of Commons, while attacks against the PLQ, leading in the polls, gathered few attention.

According to political analyst Denis Lessard, that’s just what Jean Charest needed to win easily on Monday.

“For the last week, efforts from PQ and ADQ leaders are useless. Electors don’t follow the provincial debate, and Jean Charest is gearing toward an easy victory,” he writes.

Moreover, the political turmoil at the House of Commons is the best argument against minority governments. And Quebeckers, who, since 2007, have seen minority governments at both the federal and provincial levels, might look forward to some stability, at least at one level.

Francis Plourde is a Vancouver-based journalist.

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