Monday, February 18, 2013

One Must Pander Carefully

The NDP has been pandering to the soft nationalists of Quebec with its proposed bill (yes, it is a private member's bill but it fits with NDP stances) to revise the clarity act to make a secession referendum with a 50% plus one result as sufficient.  Not only do most Canadians find this too low, more than half of Quebeckers find it too low.  When folks are asked, they indicate around 60% seems to be the right threshold.  Which makes sense to me as it is such political change should have enough support that it could withstand a few people changing their minds. 

Anyhow, I do wonder about the trap the NDP faces--with most of its seats in Quebec, it faces the choice of appealing to its base or to Canada.  Playing to one audience may alienate the other.  So, the NDP might be trapped into permanent 2nd status (as long as the Liberals prove to be inept).  Giving much attention to the Quebec issue is surely a bad idea, given the dangers the NDP faces.  Could it possibly instead focus on issues of concern to Canadians inside and outside of Quebec?  That would take some work and imagination.  Good luck with that.

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