We have a lost a lot with the demise of the Bloc Quebecoise as a significant presence in Parliament. Social policy in Quebec has been more progressive than elsewhere in Canada for a long time. This is particularly important for policy related to women’s rights, including labour and social policy that allow women’s full participation in society.
This strong progressive voice in Parliament coming from Quebec was a distinct voice and Harper’s recognition of that distinctiveness was responding to this.
The NDP, as Quebec’s voice in Parliament, is not going to be able to fill the space that the BQ had on progressive issues. I fear Quebec will be simply not be part of the equation whenever social policy is at stake. Harper will simply reject the NDP voice on these issues as socialist programs we can’t afford and since no other opposition party will have the political credibility the BQ had, Harper will be free to do his worst.