Asleep at the wheel

André Pratte hits the nail on the head in today’s La Presse:

Despite being launched under the pretext of an economic crisis, the electoral campaign in Quebec is taking place as if Quebec was going to be the only corner of the planet spared the turbulence that’s wreaking havoc worldwide.

Jean Charest couldn’t stand the thought of having “three pairs of hands on the steering wheel” in the midst of a recession, so he launches an election to let voters decide who’d do the best job. Fair enough. But then, how come nobody’s talking about the economy? And would it be too much to ask that the parties use real numbers when they do?

Granted, tomorrow’s debate might go a long way to addressing this issue, but Charest hasn’t yet made it exactly clear why people should vote for him, much less why should they hand him a majority government. If Quebec’s economy is tanking and Capitaine Canada truly believes he—and he alone—can rescue it from the quagmire, shouldn’t he be making that case just a tad more forcefully?

In the meantime, why haven’t Pauline Marois and Mario Dumont filled the void by defining Charest themselves? It’s not like the prospect of another Charest majority conjures up memories of sensible, compassionate, and effective government. But neither Marois nor Dumont seem interested in reminding anyone about those four years between 2003 and 2007.

Collectively, Charest, Marois, and Dumont have a total of 14 election campaigns under their belt. And yet, for whatever reason, they all seem to have forgotten how to go about it. This campaign is as boring and empty as it gets.

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