With the Bloc Québécois consistently winning a large majority of seats in Quebec (50 out of 75 in the recent election) it has become almost impossible for any other party to win a clear majority.
Listening to Norman Spector this morning he indicated that Yolande Brunelle, who is the wife of Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe, recently said that part of the strategy of the Bloc is to block any federal party from ever achieving a majority. She feels that this will eventually alienate other Canadians so much that they'll eventually want Quebec to leave.
Frankly, I think this has already occurred. To be clear, I don't believe that most Canadians want Quebec to become independent but they're tired of Quebecers never being satisfied enough.
And make no mistake, Stephen Harper has gone out of his way to give Quebec an endless stream of goodies that no other province received. But in the end, it was all for naught. The Globe & Mail's Jeffrey Simpson has an excellent, detailed take on all of this.
The way out of this quagmire may occur when extra seats are assigned to Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. to reflect their increased populations. Until then, we're likely stuck with permanent minority governments.
Further to Canadian majority governments, on the most recent CBC Sunday Edition show there was a discussion of the aftermath of the recent election. One of the 3 guests was Michael Byers, the failed NDP candidate in my riding of Vancouver Centre.
Byers is a bitter, almost creepy little man. He perpetrated the myth that Canadians don't want Harper's "neo-con" agenda. Precisely what about the Conservative platform is extremely right-wing Lil' Byers did not choose to illuminate us on.
Later on in the discussion the host said to Byers: "Jack Layton kept saying that I'm your next prime minister. He kept saying that we're the only national party to be a possible opposition to Stephen Harper. And yet that didn't play in Quebec or outside of your base either."
Byers responded with this: "But Jack Layton did stop a Conservative majority by winning a number of new seats in Northern Ontario and holding onto a core of seats in British Columbia. And that difference was what kept Mr. Harper to a minority and has enabled us to continue to find ways forward to cooperate and make parliament work rather than having a dictator essentially for the next 4 years...." (The emphasis is mine.)
Like an all-star wrestler, Tasha Kheiriddin, the Conservative pundit on the panel, bitch slapped Bitter Byers down with this immediate and calm response: "I want to know why it is that when a Conservative is threatening to get a majority, one calls him a dictator. If Stephane Dion got a majority, Michael, I don't think you'd be complaining about a dictator being in parliament. Our parliament works best when there is a majority government, which is able to put forward a clear agenda. That is our tradition and while we've had some successful minority parliaments but also some very disastrous ones. And in this case our country is facing a major worldwide financial crisis and we have a minority parliament and it's not clear how efficient or effective a government is going to be now dealing with this."