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Mother polls test mood of ordinary Canadians, Quebeckers

If Stephen Harper’s mom is a good barometer of the economic fears of ordinary Canadians, then mine is just as good when it comes to judging the mood of the average Quebec voter.

A long-time federalist living in Jonquière, the riding of infamous Minister of Labor Jean-Pierre Blackburn, she voted for him in 2006.

Blackburn, who had a long record as a backbencher during the Mulroney era, had run with one major promise: if elected, he was to become a Minister. Surprisingly enough, he managed to deliver his promise.

I was surprised last week when I asked her for whom she would vote.

“Certainly not for Blackburn. What a moron he is. I’ll vote for whoever is the most likely to beat him.”

I asked, “You’ll vote for the Bloc then?”

Her reply was blunt: “Never in entire my life.”

Jonquière-Alma being a nationalist riding, my mom always voted strategically to get rid of the Bloc. This time, voting for the Bloc would be the strategic thing to do for her.

Her strong feeling against Blackburn is shared by many in Jonquière-Alma, according to local polls.

Blackburn, like several Conservative MPs in Québec, might even lose his seat.

Despite the recognition that Quebecois form a nation within a united Canada and solving the so-called fiscal imbalance, his party failed to show any understanding of the attachments of Quebeckers for culture and of their political mean.

As a result, the predicted Bloquist debacle is not likely to happen. Gilles Duceppe and his troops are stronger than ever in Québec.

More surprisingly, the party, who has a natural alliance with Quebec’s provincial nationalist party, has become one of Jean Charest’s main allies during the campaign.

The Bloc even managed to present itself as the strongest alternative to the rise of the right, and gained the support of Canadian writer Margaret Atwood.

For once, and in a strange political twist, a strong Bloc might come as a relief to several across the country.

As for my mom, I’m not too concerned.

She still has the weekend to solve her dilemma and vote for Duceppe’s troops. At least once.

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