It's the morning after the Quebec election, and the Parti Québécois are back in power after nine years. Unfortunately for them, it's a minority.
What will that mean for the National Assembly? Our chief Quebec correspondent Sophie Cousineau and Ottawa columnist John Ibbitson are here to take your questions for an hour. All comments are moderated, and we'll try to get to as many as we can.
Good morning, John and Sophie.
by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:02:00 PM
Good morning, Chris.
by Sophie Cousineau 9/5/2012 1:02:48 PM
by John Ibbitson 9/5/2012 1:04:00 PM
Let's begin by addressing the terrible shooting outside Pauline Marois' riding last night. We still don't have a lot of details. What should we think about it?
by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:05:05 PM
It is a shocker to all Quebeckers. And it raises serious questions about the security measures surrounding the Prime Minister.
by Sophie Cousineau 9/5/2012 1:06:59 PM
What kind of questions?
by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:08:05 PM
I offer a few thoughts on this in a post that landed on the Globe's web site a few minutes ago. My main thought is this: While we can't know what motivated this attack, we have to try to avoid ascribing motives to what are in fact usually the product of a diseased mind. This sort of violence comes to the most peaceable of kingdoms--including, sadly, Canada.
by John Ibbitson 9/5/2012 1:08:11 PM
This is the post John wrote this morning: www.theglobeandmail.com
by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:08:59 PM
One thing I was thinking last night was that an unfortunate consequence of these attacks is greater security surrounding politicians. It's understandable, but it leads to ever-greater distance between the people and their elected leaders.
by John Ibbitson edited by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:09:29 PM
A hooded, armed and visibly deranged man was able to get inside the Metropolis, shoot two victims, get out, set fire to the artists' entrance before he got arrested.
by Sophie Cousineau 9/5/2012 1:09:44 PM
Security around premiers has always been minimal, unlike the PM, who now is surrounded by a phalanx of RCMP wherever he goes. Now we may see more of that at the provincial level as well. Gone will be the days like the one where I found myself in a washroom, with the premier of Quebec standing to my left, and the premier of Ontario standing to my right.
by John Ibbitson edited by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:11:24 PM
I'll resist any further questions about that, John.
We'll turn to reader questions now.
by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:12:25 PM
Not in the lifetime of this government, is the short answer. A minority government ensures that the legislation required never makes it through the National Assembly. Do you agree, Sophie?
by John Ibbitson 9/5/2012 1:13:42 PM
Not anytime soon. While Pauline Marois said in her acceptance speech that "we want a country and we will have it", that dream is further than it was before the election. Her extremely weak mandate, and Quebeckers's general aversion to a third referendum, is the best insurance policy federalists have had in years.
by Sophie Cousineau 9/5/2012 1:15:00 PM
Yes, I agree, John.
by Sophie Cousineau 9/5/2012 1:15:29 PM
One Crop poll last week had support for a referendum at 28 per cent. Barring a truly cataclysmic turn of political events, a referendum is a non-starter.
by John Ibbitson 9/5/2012 1:16:02 PM
So: how will the PQ work in a minority government?
by Chris Hannay 9/5/2012 1:17:54 PM
My guess is the same way that the Harper government learned to work in a minority parliament. If you think you can win the support of one party, you introduce the legislation. If you fear you have the support of neither party, but the initiative is a core part of your mandate, you put it in the budget, hoping the other guys won't take you down over it. That's where we may see something like the expanded application of Bill 101 showing up.
by John Ibbitson 9/5/2012 1:19:57 PM