Prof. Morton says it’s a mistake for Stephen Harper not to pander to Quebec. I think it’s silly advice.
OTTAWA - Stephen Harper may have celebrated St. Jean Baptiste Day with Quebeckers on Sunday, but that didn’t convince Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair the prime minister is any less out of touch with La Belle Province.
Harper held a secret meeting with former PM Brian Mulroney earlier this month in which he asked for advice on national unity. Mulcair dismissed the meeting, saying it only showed how little Harper understands about Quebec.
With the popularity of the Parti Quebecois on the rise and the possibility of a provincial election there as soon as this fall, observers say it is not just in Harper’s own interests to improve relations with Quebec, but also important for federalism in Canada.
“A government that doesn’t appear to care or even pander to Quebec, that’s bad for federalism,” McGill University history Prof. Desmond Morton said.
Scratch that. It’s not silly advice. It’s worse than that. There is nothing that Stephen Harper can do that will please Quebec’s chattering classes. Pandering to Quebec does WAY more damage than good. Stephen Harper should do what’s right for the country, regardless of how it will be perceived in Quebec, and let the chips fall where they may.