Four months before the next election, the Legault-Trudeau duel promises to be a must in the CAQ's pre-election campaign.
Faced with opposition parties that he himself eclipses, would François Legault have found in Justin Trudeau his unofficial leader of the official opposition?
The lack of chemistry between the two prime ministers is already known. Mr. Legault's call in the last federal election to vote for the Conservative Party certainly confirmed this.
Ditto for the foreseeable refusal of Justin Trudeau to negotiate additional powers in immigration for Quebec.
However, the two men will have to live together politically for a few more years. Mr. Legault navigating towards a massive second term. Mr. Trudeau having secured the support of the NDP until 2025.
Good Cop Bad Cop
Their Bon Cop Bad Cop number has therefore not finished occupying the political arena. Everyone derives the same advantage from his base.
The more Mr. Legault, the "nationalist", attacks Justin Trudeau, the "multiculturalist", the more he consolidates his image as "leader of the nation". The more Justin Trudeau says no to him, the more he strengthens his base in his ability to stand up to Mr. Legault.
On a strictly partisan level, it's a win-win. The real questions then become of a completely different, deeper order.
To know what concrete impact their conflictual dynamic, if it continues, will end up having on the higher interests of Quebec? And two, what will Mr. Legault do when negotiating with the federal government is impossible?
What will he do in front of the wall? Will he bypass it? Or will he ignore it by pretending to believe that one day, Justin Trudeau or Pierre Poilievre, will eventually give in?
As for those whose abundant imagination already makes them see a François Legault confined to political impotence in the face of Ottawa, ending up rediscovering his sovereignist convictions of yesteryear, what can we say? Otherwise it's all just a mirage.