Author: Adam Daifallah
Jean Charest’s impressive majority victory in the December 8, 2008 Quebec election should, at best, be met by conservatives with a collective shrug. The return to power of the Quebec Liberals is no great cause for enthusiasm, but no reason to fret either. The results confirm a regrettable truism of Canadian politics that if you do essentially nothing and govern simply by trying to offend the least number of people possible, you will likely be rewarded at the polls.
The study of Canadian identity has preoccupied many Canadian political, sociological and historical scholars. Like Canadian unity, it is a topic that virtually has its own industry. Scores of books have been written and conferences convened on the subject, and yet still no one has found a definitive answer to the question of what Canadian identity actually is.
Only one presidential trip in memory has resulted in the creation of a famous political saying. From Richard Nixon’s seminal visit to China in 1972 came the “Nixon Goes to China Rule” of politics, the crux of which is that the politician perceived to be least likely to do something will actually have the easiest time doing it.