The most powerful politician in Quebec right now is not separatist premier-elect Pauline Marois who, despite her fragile minority, still talks as if she has the divine right of queens.
No, the most powerful politician in Quebec is Francois Legault, head of the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), a party that did not even exist a year ago.
It is no small achievement.
While his party, now just nine months old, may have placed third in last Tuesday’s provincial election, Legault commands the 19 seats that will unquestionably determine the near future of Quebec.
Do the math.
Marois’ separatist tribe has 54 seats in the National Assembly, the Liberals of Jean Charest, himself now gone, have 50.
Without Legault’s support, Marois can pose and pontificate all she wants but be able to do nothing. And, without Legault’s support, the Liberals are absolutely useless as the official opposition.