Canadians might worry about the possibility of electing a Conservative government with no MPs -- and perhaps no Cabinet representation -- from Quebec. And second, they may fear the possibility of a Conservative-Bloc Quebecois alliance manipulated by the separatist party to suit its goals.
Neither of these concerns holds up to scrutiny. On the first count, there is no reason the Conservatives could not draw Quebec Cabinet ministers from their Senate caucus if needed. And even if they did not, consider that there is a very real possibility that after the election the Liberals themselves will lack any MPs from the province of Alberta. Has anyone advanced the argument that this is a reason for the rest of the country to vote against them?
This has already happened with Liberal governments from 1972-1979 and 1980-1984. They managed to govern from 1997-2000 with no Nova Scotia MPs either, and at no time did the media speculate about Alberta's or Nova Scotia's alienation from the country.
But then, national unity has always been code for appeasing Quebec. Quebec will never be appeased, and people in Canada have lost patience with this neverending issue. The Conservatives could turn their weakness in Quebec into a strength, if it positioned itself as the voice of English-speaking Canada and its legitimate aspirations.
Who speaks for Quebec? We already know.
Who speaks for English Canada? No one right now.
The Tories can be, and need to be, that voice.