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When the Courting Ends

by Archives February 3, 2009

The federal budget which was put forth last week said much about the current political situation within the country. Heavily influenced by the prospect of defeat in the wake of a confidence vote, the budget may be the first sign of a switch in the Conservatives strategy to achieve their up-to-now unattainable majority government.
Formerly, the supposed key to Stephen Harper’s majority government was held by the citizens of Quebec. Through several elections the Conservatives had hoped a major breakthrough in the province would net them enough seats to push them into majority government territory.
Much was done by the Conservative Party to attempt to broaden their appeal to the Quebec voter – some of you will remember the positive buzz surrounding the Prime minister’s decision to begin his speeches in French as a measure of respect to Quebec, or how he led the House of Commons in establishing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada. Additional money was also allocated to the province in the form of transfer payments.
Whatever the motivation was for actions such as these, they brought a certain measure of success to the party. The 2006 federal election saw the Harper government gain 10 seats in the province, a number which they would maintain but not improve upon in 2008. Much of the country perceived that the Prime minister has seemingly gone out of his way to woo the Quebec populace even at the risk of alienating his own western voting base.
But now it would seem that the olive branch that Harper extended to Quebec has been withdrawn. The budget which was put forth has been frowned upon by Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jér

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