Simply on the grounds alone that I actually like the idea of the Grand Bargain, I would say that Laxer has nothing to worry about. More to the point, however, such a thing will either:
Harper declared that if Quebeckers elected a federalist government, Ottawa would negotiate a deal with Quebec that would severely restrict the power of the federal government to undertake spending initiatives in areas of provincial jurisdiction.
a) never come to pass;
b) pass, but in a significantly abstruse manner with enough loopholes and vagaries to drive a yard of gravy trains through; or
c) be hailed or decried according to political preference, but ignored according to political exigency.
Politicians, ministers and bureaucrats at all levels of government have got a good thing going — they're not going to give it up that easily, except maybe rhetorically. Speaking of rhetoric, Laxer concludes:
Wow, that could almost make me want to vote Conservative… if I actually believed the guy.
Stephen Harper's Grand Bargain with Quebec would place the capstone on the edifice of a right-wing Canada, which neither Quebeckers nor English Canadians want. Progressives who reject the idea of a stripped-down market society need to understand the stakes in the next federal election. It is one they cannot allow the Conservatives to win.
On the subject, Political Staples is definitely the place to go for election junkies like me who want their Quebec election fallout fixes.