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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Price is Right

They may not love Canada, but they love Canadian money:

In the former sovereignist stronghold of Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, fatigue with opposition politics decisively trumped the Bloc Québécois's anti-Conservative message.

The lure of millions of stimulus dollars and the sight of Quebec's 10 Conservative ridings awash in federal cash made a difference. On that score, the Liberal strategy of drawing attention to the Conservative spending pattern seems to have backfired, at least in Quebec.

And pretty much everywhere else. Pointing out the obvious - that governments spend more money in ridings held by their own MPs - is a short-sighted strategy by the Grits. Sure oppositions love being righteous when the patronage flows elsewhere, but it's not really a killer blow. Adscam was seen as outrageous because well connected individuals got government largesse. When governments bring home the bacon to whole ridings, they're seen as doing their job. It's not something people like to admit publicly. One of the reasons they vote for parties they see as winners is greed. They want better roads, a new arena and a new hospital. Perhaps a nice fountain too. It's part of the political process. As Chantal Hebert points out, highlighting the Conservatives activities in Quebec works against the Grits. It reinforces the fact that the Tories are dispensers of largesse, and that the Liberals and Bloc are just ranting from the sidelines.

Posted by Richard Anderson on November 17, 2009 | Permalink


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