Growing support for the Conservatives in the province of Quebec is actually "good news," says Transport Minister Jean Lapierre.
Speaking on CTV's Question Period Sunday, Lapierre -- Martin's Quebec lieutenant -- said that anything that will prevent the Bloc from gaining enough support to bring in another referendum on sovereignty is good.
"This was the first place where the Bloc wanted to have 50 per cent plus one, and wanted every federalist to disappear from the scene," he said.
"At least, that is not happening. And this is the first good news. And the rest, we'll fight it out."
Perhaps, just perhaps, a Liberal or two might come up the middle in a three-way race outside Montreal.
And perhaps, just perhaps, Jean Lapierre is right about the weakness of the Bloc vote.
The Liberals' assumption going into the race was that Stephen Harper try to ride Adscam for 56 days, to his detriment. Instead, it appears that Gilles Duceppe tried and failed instead. His stupidity for thinking that he could hold all those federalist protest votes just on the strength of Adscam outrage, instead of offering them reasons to stay with the Bloc.
And that was always the Bloc's greatest weakness. As long as there was no credible federalist alternative on the scene, the Bloc was a safe place to park votes. But once the Tories began to rise, the Bloc had nothing to offer them. A Bloc vote would have been a mere exercise in disgust with Liberal corruption, but a Tory vote could also offer a Quebec voice in a new government.