Blamed by some in his own party for adopting policies that helped reawaken the Quebec independence movement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper now finds himself walking a political tightrope as he prepares to face the demands of a fresh Parti Quebecois government.
�He�s in charge and he�s got to figure it out. So we�re in for great fun and games,� said veteran Quebec Conservative organizer Peter White. �But it isn�t the end of Canada.�
For months, White has argued that Harper and his small team of Quebec MPs were angering a large majority in the province by adopting unpopular policies and decisions in areas such as language, law and order, and the environment.
But despite the fact there are only five Quebec Tory MPs in Ottawa, White has also said Harper could tackle the problem by raising his public profile in Quebec and explaining his policies more.
�Quebecers came very close to saying �Yes� last time (in the 1995 referendum on sovereignty) and things were not nearly as bad then as they are today in terms of the emotion of the thing,� White said Tuesday.
�There is nobody in Quebec, literally nobody, standing up for federalists.�
A former federal Liberal policy chairman, Akaash Maharaj, said the Quebec election campaign demonstrated that all federal party leaders need to take responsibility for promoting national unity in the province.
�Yes, Stephen Harper does carry some of the blame for the rise of separatism in Quebec, but the Liberal party and NDP�s weakness is also to blame.�