I have one foot on the NDP bandwagon, which is about the cheapest thing anyone of my sort can do, but there you go. I’ve watched with amazement at the Dipper Juggernaut roll through my backyard, and at some disdain at the reaction of the suddenly-outraged Bloc and its entourage. (Here’s a side question for you: what would happen if, in 1995, some Anglo type had made fun of Lucien Bouchard’s cane—as proto-separatist Gerald Larose did of Layton—or made fun of the old man’s manner of speaking his second language—as Sebastien Ricard did of the same? Stay classy, folks. It doesn’t make you look in the least bit desperate…)
Anyway, the reason I’m not a full-patch, kissy-faced member of Quebec’s Orange Bandwagon is this: I still think the Dippers are going to have a tough time harvesting the good will generated towards Jack Layton—not to mention his crop of largely untested candidates, most of whom were considered but placeholders not two weeks ago. That’s a made-in-Quebec particularity : many voters remember what happens when you send a well-spoken, experienced leader into a position of power with a pack of untested pols. It happened here, in 2007, and we got the ADQ as official opposition, which was an unmitigated disaster.
Also, the Bloc has a historical knack, thanks to the peculiarities of our first-past-the-post system, of getting the most seats with the least number of votes. I don’t think that tendency will change much this time around, though the party will certainly bleed out a fair bit.
That said, my other foot, the one glued to the bandwagon, is telling me that a full-on blowout is in the cards, at the very least. So, I’d probably split the difference. No projections yet—there’s a freaking “royal” wedding to get through first—but the crystal ball is getting less hazy by the minute.