(Hyperventilating New Democrats should calm down. The party won a nice by-election victory; it is not an NDP breakthrough in Quebec, regardless of party leader Jack Layton's "winds of change" rhetoric.)Did you catch that? The NDP kicked the crap out of the Liberals in one riding and finished ahead of them in another and yet the NDP should not believe they have actual traction in Quebec.
In the other two seats, the Liberal vote was in single digits! The party ran fourth in Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, behind the NDP! It doesn't get more marginal than that.
There also seems to be an almost pathological need among the MSM to exaggerate the Tory brand in Quebec and minimize the NDP. Take Simpson's final paragraph:
The erosion of that bridge began before Mr. Dion's arrival. It's been going on since the end of the Trudeau era. The Chrétien years masked the Liberals' decline. Conservatives under Brian Mulroney captured the province twice. Then the Bloc Québécois became the dominant federal party, although the Chrétien Liberals won enough seats to claim credibly to be a national government. Now the fight is on between the BQ and the Conservatives, with Liberals as spectators.Is there any evidence the Tories have traction in Montreal? None whatsoever. In fact the Tory vote fell in Outremont. Is there any evidence that the BQ is strong in Montreal? None, the BQ vote collapsed in Outremont. Is there any evidence that the Liberals are any more prepared to fight anywhere else in Montreal? From the panic in the ranks of the Liberal party, I would say no. So why is Quebec a contest between the Tories and the BQ? I submit, it is because pundits like Simpson cannot admit to themselves that the NDP is poised to become a force in urban Quebec, just as it is in the rest of urban Canada.
If you want to read someone in the MSM who does not have her head up her behind, I suggest you read Chantal Hebert, this morning. Ms. Hebert may not be the biggest fan of the NDP, but at least she can separate fantasy from reality. Recommend this Post