A sports-gambling site has begun taking bets on potential outcomes of the Quebec student strike – and the array of betting scenarios ranges from funny to frightening.
The site sets odds for when the strike will end; whether there will be a referendum on tuition hikes; how many fines will be levied against the most hardline student group; and whether the government will back down.
It even sets odds on whether martial law will be declared in Quebec by the end of 2012 – a suggestion that has so far been limited to Internet chat boards and never come up in mainstream political discussion.
Nevertheless, it pegs the odds of imminent military rule at 5.5 to 1.
The Quebec-based site sets out far more optimistic odds that the student strike will end by September. It pegs those chances at 50-50. It sets equally even odds on the Quebec government amending or repealing its controversial emergency legislation, Bill 78.
In its odds over which celebrity might be next to wear the iconic red protest square, U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore comes in first at 7 to 1 – perhaps not surprising, since Moore has already publicly expressed his support for the cause of the student strikers.
There are slimmer odds of it being worn by famous hockey players, Star Trek legend William Shatner, singers Madonna and Leonard Cohen, and hockey pundit Don Cherry.
But the celebrity seen as least likely to wear the red square? In that last spot, just after Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, is Prime Minister Stephen Harper – at 201-to-1 odds.
The Sports Interaction site is based in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, near Montreal.
The site also sets:
- Four-to-one odds of a referendum on the issue by Dec. 31.
- Odds of 1.5 to 1 that the C.L.A.S.S.E. student group will be fined less than $100,000; 2.4-to-1 odds it will be fined between $100,000 and $500,000; and 5-to-1 odds it will be fined more than $500,000.
- Odds of 17 to 1 that Don Cherry will wear the red square.
- Odds of 21 to 1 that Shatner, Cohen, singer Celine Dion, and retired goalie Patrick Roy will wear the protest symbol; the odds are 26 to 1 for pop singer Madonna, 81 to 1 for U2 singer Bono, and 101 to 1 for the Stones' Jagger.
- The chances of Montreal Canadiens players Carey Price and P.K. Subban wearing the red square are listed at 41 to 1, while underperforming forward Scott Gomez's chances of wearing it are listed at 81 to 1.