Quebec elections 2012
Quebec Election Results 2012: How Did The Pollsters Do?
ThreeHundredEight.com – excellent poll analysis, round-up of all political commentary
None of the Above: Why aren’t Quebec Anglos voting?
Ridings with strong English representation among lowest in voter turnout in 2008
Ilona Dougherty: Voter turnout among youth can’t be taken for granted
About 75 per cent of Quebecers cast a ballot in the Sept. 4 provincial election. That’s the highest voter turnout we’ve seen since 1998. And although we don’t know the exact numbers for turnout in different age groups yet, we know that many of those ballots were cast by young people, some of whom voted for the first time.
Quebec has the least accessible voter registration policy of any province or territory. This year, the election took place on a Tuesday. However, anyone who hadn’t registered by 2 p.m. on the previous Thursday was effectively disenfranchised. … Quebec is the only province that still does not allow citizens to register when they get to their polling station.
Secondly, our political leaders and civil society need to stop treating youth as an issue, and start treating them like citizens.
Thirdly, we need political parties, non-governmental organizations and our communities in general to more actively engage youth in decision-making, and make them active participants in their democratic decision-making — both during election time and outside of it.
David Kilgour: Parti Quebecois government may be new, but it won’t be particularly effective vs. David Jones: PQ victory a much-needed change for Quebec, despite referendum whispers
Shall we give Conrad Black the last word? At least for now.
Conrad Black: Pauline Marois Is More Quebec’s Prisoner Than its Leader (HuffPost) Quebec has had both a brilliant and a thoroughly contemporary, as well as a cautionary election. It is brilliant because it has exposed the failure of the Quebec political class to inspire any public confidence. The government was humdrum, over-indulged the striking students, and rushed the election to get it done before the unflattering report on government skullduggery in the construction industry comes in. The only Quebec leaders who can be elected almost indefinitely are galvanizing personalities with programs that are replete with gestures to the factions but who consistently govern in a way that fosters economic growth while protecting the complex of prerogatives and cultural distinctiveness that French Quebeckers consider necessary to their unique condition as the only French-speaking jurisdiction in North America above the level of a municipality. Maurice Duplessis, Louis-Alexandre Taschereau, and Sir Jean-Lomer Gouin, with five, four, and four terms, respectively, were the champions of this category.
Stéphane Dion: The Parti Québécois’s Secessionist Agenda Cost it a Parliamentary Majority
Surprisingly, the result makes the three major parties appear like they lost. Given the unprecedented unpopularity of the Liberal government, Madame Marois should logically have netted a majority of seats. But her sovereignist option prevented that. So the great lesson to be learned from this campaign is that the majority of Quebeckers want to remain in Canada. They will hesitate bringing a secessionist party to power even when their dissatisfaction with the major federalist party — the Liberals — reaches record levels.
Succession de Jean Charest: plusieurs ministres en réflexion
(La Presse) Une série de poids lourds du gouvernement Charest, les Pierre Moreau, Yves Bolduc, Raymond Bachand et même Sam Hamad, n’écartent pas l’idée de se porter candidats à la succession de Jean Charest.
Les députés libéraux se sont réunis pour la dernière fois ce matin en présence de leur chef, Jean Charest, qui a annoncé hier sa démission.
«C’était une grosse décision à prendre hier, mais je suis très heureux ce matin», s’est contenté de dire M. Charest, manifestement dégagé, à son arrivée à la réunion.
Le seul à se désister ouvertement, le ministre de la Justice Jean-Marc Fournier n’écarte pas l’idée de devenir chef par intérim, le temps que le PLQ choisisse son nouveau chef.
Quebec Liberal Party leader Jean Charest to quit: source
‘We will give the PQ at least … until the budget,’ campaign source says
John Moore: PQ victory is nothing to fear
The rest of Canada should take a breath and get back to whatever it is we were doing Monday. The PQ may be bad news for Quebec but outside of the province there isn’t much to fear. Firstly, it should be remembered that on balance, the PQ runs pretty good governments. … what Marois does not have on her side is time and circumstance.
Times are tough. Quebec independence is a luxury. Hard core nationalists (who never make up more than about 30% of the population) can talk all they want about being crushed under the jackboot of Ottawa’s oppression but ordinary Quebeckers are just trying to pay the bills.
Two people shot at PQ victory party
Montreal Police spokesperson Dany Richer told The Gazette on the scene that two people were critically injured by gunfire. A section of Ste. Catherine St. in front of the Metropolis has been closed.
Marois wins minority in Quebec election, security scare cuts speech short
Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois will become Quebec’s first female premier after her sovereigntist party won a minority government and ended nearly a decade of Liberal rule in a tense election.
Liberal Leader and outgoing premier Jean Charest lost his seat in the riding of Sherbrooke to PQ candidate Serge Cardin, even as his party fared better at the polls than projected, assuming the role of official Opposition.Read more:
Interactive results map
Chantal Hébert: PQ win a bittersweet victory for Marois
For the third time in as many decades, a sovereigntist sword of Damocles is hanging over Canada. But appearances can be deceiving. In this instance, the sword is essentially a prop.
Quebec split three ways on Tuesday, grudgingly handing Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois a ticket back to power after a decade-long spell in opposition.
But hers is the most conditional governing mandate ever earned by a PQ premier-elect. She won with only a third of all votes casts and she finished the evening a handful of seats short of a governing majority.
Harper pledges to work with PQ on common goals
Marois has said a PQ government would work toward sovereignty — taking back powers from Ottawa in areas such as immigration. She’s made Quebec’s linguistic and cultural identity a key issue in the campaign, to the delight of sovereigntist hardliners. The party has said it wants Quebec to have control over many responsibilities that are usually in the federal domain, from copyright law to international aid funding. If Ottawa refuses, it says, that would bolster the case that Quebec and the rest of Canada must go their separate ways.
“Fifty percent of people won’t vote, and fifty percent don’t read newspapers.
I hope it’s the same fifty percent.” – Gore Vidal
Final Quebec Projection: Parti Québécois victory tomorrow night ThreeHundredEight.com projects that Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois will win the Quebec provincial election with a plurality or majority of the National Assembly’s 125 seats. Though the projection leans slightly towards a majority government, the margin is too close to definitively project with confidence what form the government will take.
Similarly, either the Liberals or the Coalition Avenir Québec will emerge as the Official Opposition. It is more likely that the Liberals will be given the job, but the CAQ is also capable of jumping from third to second spot in Quebec City.
Quebec 2012: The Road to Mediocrity
By Pascal Zamprelli
Grim. Underwhelming. Hopeless.
These are just some of the words that describe Québec’s political landscape as we prepare to vote tomorrow. Dear elector, fear not! You can ease your addled mind with zlog’s handy guide to the parties and their campaigns, discussed here in a random order I’ve selected.
Because sure, every party claims to be not as bad as the others,
but which one is truly the least-worst fit for you?
Frédéric Laurin: Élections 2012 et développement économique
Comparaison et évaluation des programmes économiques des 5 principaux partis politiques.
Dans le tableau ci-dessous, je présente une comparaison des engagements électoraux en matière d’économie des cinq grands partis politiques se présentant aux élections du 4 septembre prochain. Je n’ai pas voulu entrer dans un débat de chiffres que je laisse à d’autres commentateurs. Plutôt, les plateformes électorales sont évaluées selon trois grands critères liés aux grands enjeux de l’économie du Québec:
1. Développement économique : croissance et création de richesse, développement régional (incluant les régions de Québec et du Grand Montréal), plans sectoriels en appui au secteur agricole, manufacturier, des services ou des ressources naturelles;
2. Compétitivité du Québec : innovation, éducation, formation des travailleurs, attraction des investissements étrangers;
3. Emploi : lutte contre le chômage et intégration des personnes sur le marché du travail.
J’aurais souhaité ajouter le développement durable à ces critères, un enjeu crucial pour le Québec, mais par soucis de ne pas alourdir davantage la comparaison, malgré la mention de quelques éléments directement liés au développement économique, je laisse au lecteur le soin de faire cette analyse des programmes environnementaux des partis.
The Nation: Separation anxiety
(Ottawa Citizen via Canada.com) As Pauline Marois and the PQ rise in the polls, writes Philippe Gohier, the relative peace between Quebec and the Rest of Canada during the Charest era appears to be coming to a close
You could hardly blame Quebecers if they had a splitting headache by now. After a relatively subdued campaign in 2008, this year, provincial politicians remembered the volume knob in Quebec goes to 11. For the past five weeks, the province has played host to an unusually rancorous political conversation, all of it held at a deafening level. And that’s not to mention the months of student protests that got us here.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Editorial: If change is to come, let it be for the better
(Gazette) By all appearances, the thing the greatest number of Quebecers agree on at this point is that they want a change in government. As such, the chances of the Liberals being re-elected seem slim, even if backed by an overwhelming West Island vote. That means that the party with the best chance of preventing the economic and social turmoil into which a PQ government would plunge the province is, for all its warts, the CAQ.
If Quebecers elect Coalition Avenir Québec as their next government, they will be taking a chance; but it looks like the best chance available to avoid a prospect that is much worse than anything the CAQ might wreak.
Conrad Black: Quebec’s real revolution will come when it looks itself in the eye
The Quebec election campaign, which will end with Tuesday’s election, reflects a modern campaign tradition in which leaders ambiguously go to and fro, nibbling at the edges of issues and then retracing their steps. …
My prediction is that the Quebec election will produce a result roughly analogous to that observed in Britain two years ago (which also was a three-way affair): the defeat of all parties.
What is needed, and will come eventually, is a Quebec leader and party that sells full participation in Canada with retention of the French language in those regions where its numbers make that possible; an ungrudging subscription to federalism with two official languages; and a return to the undoubted pecuniary vocation of French Canadian enterprise, not the dead hand of a clumsy, pompous, imitative, stifling public sector.
Quebec and its Quiet Revolution have failed, and its politicians have failed. The real revolution will come when Quebec looks itself in the eye and realizes where its ambitions and possibilities intersect.
PQ on verge of losing majority
(ThreeHundredEight.com) Polls from Forum Research for The National Post and CROP for La Presse have been added to the projection. Together, they suggest that the Parti Québécois’s quest for a majority is on a knife’s edge, and that the role of the Official Opposition is still very much up for grabs.
André Pratte: Pour la stabilité
(La Presse) M. Jean Charest et son Parti libéral du Québec gouvernent le Québec depuis neuf ans. Ils demandent aujourd’hui aux Québécois de leur confier à nouveau la direction de la province. La première question que se posent les électeurs est donc celle-ci: est-il souhaitable que les libéraux obtiennent un quatrième mandat?
À plusieurs égards, M. Charest et son équipe ont fait du bon travail. Le Québec a mieux traversé la dernière crise économique que la plupart des régions du monde et une partie du mérite revient au gouvernement. En matière de finances publiques, les libéraux ont géré prudemment.
Le premier ministre a lancé l’ambitieux Plan Nord, qui sera l’une des clés de la prospérité du Québec au cours des prochaines décennies. Il a redonné au Québec un rôle actif au sein de la fédération canadienne.
Cependant, le bilan libéral est terni par deux taches importantes.
Party leaders not interested in issues of English-speaking community
(Westmount Examiner) Heading into the final days of the election, the Quebec Community Groups Network is concerned about the lack of interest shown by party leaders and candidates on issues of importance to English-speaking Quebecers. And despite courting our vote, the parties of have little or nothing to offer our community, said QCGN President Dan Lamoureux. … Lamoureux pointed out that English-speaking Quebecers represent almost 783,500 (13.5 per cent) of voters in Quebec. “We represent a clear majority in a handful of Montreal districts, but in many ridings dispersed throughout the province – in the Eastern Townships, on the Gaspé Peninsula, and in the Outaouais region – English-speaking Quebecers hold a significant enough number of votes to make a difference in a race where votes are divided among multiple parties. Leaders and candidates who take English voters for granted do so at their own peril.”
PQ in precarious majority position as CAQ moves up
(Threehundredeight.com) On Saturday, Le Journal de Montréal released the latest set of numbers from Léger Marketing suggesting that the Parti Québécois was still comfortably in the lead. More significantly, however, the poll indicated that the Coalition Avenier Québec has moved into second, ahead of the governing Liberals. A poll this morning for Le Soleil by Segma Recherche also points to Liberal woes, in this case in Quebec City. But a few riding polls released over the last three days suggest that the Liberals do still have some staying power.
Terence McKenna: Quebec’s winds of change – excellent wrap-up of the situation to date
(CBC) The late Robert Bourassa was fond of quoting the adage that “a week is a long time in politics.”
This last week of the 2012 Quebec election promises to be just that, a long time, and no one here is making confident predictions about the outcome of this strange three-way race.
CAQ eyes major triumph in Quebec City region
Pollsters are suggesting Legault and his party hold a commanding lead in provincial capital and could be poised to take 12 of 18 seats
Referendum, identity overshadow Quebec’s campaign promises – but they have been whoppers.
(CBC) A Leger Marketing survey, done for the QMI news agency, released Saturday puts support for the Parti Québécois at 33 per cent, followed by the CAQ at 28 per cent and the Liberals in third place at 27 per cent. The online poll surveyed more than 1,900 people and has a margin of error of 2.2 per cent. With the numbers so close, the poll reflects a downward trend for the Liberals rather than a formal loss in voters.
Projection updated, PQ moves back into lead
(Threehundredeight.com) With Léger Marketing’s new poll for Le Journal de Montréal out this morning, I have updated the projection. The result is a swing back to the Parti Québécois, who are now once again in a position to win a majority government. Though there is enough uncertainty that a minority is still a distinct possibility – as is a second-place finish by the Coalition Avenir Québec.
Raymond Garneau: Le Canada est tanné
Ex-ministre des Finances du Québec dans un gouvernement Bourassa, l’auteur adresse sa lettre à la chef du Parti québécois, Pauline Marois.
Top bureaucrats’ jobs at risk from CAQ
Legault says ‘there will be changes’ if Caisse and Hydro-Québec CEOs don’t agree with him
(CBC) It’s normal for new governments to appoint a fresh slate of deputy ministers and even associate deputy ministers. But telegraphing those decisions during an election campaign, as Legault initially did in a La Presse interview published Friday, then repeated at his news conference in Quebec City, is not.
Charest apologizes to anglos
(Gazette) Liberal leader says his government could do more to defend English minority when it feels attacked
Rhéal Séguin: PQ’s sovereignty strategy has left Marois in a predicament
It was only a matter of time before the referendum controversy that has dogged the Parti Québécois in recent months would force itself into Quebec’s election campaign. Now, confusion over PQ Leader Pauline Marois’s position on the controversial issue has placed her in quite a predicament.
Jonathan Kay: Pauline Marois’ assaults on democratic values
Given the close scrutiny that surrounded the recent Alberta election, it is somewhat surprising that more attention is not being paid to the genuinely alarming things coming out of the mouth of Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois.
During the Alberta campaign, every gaffe committed by a member of the right-wing Wildrose Party became a national news item. The Toronto media, in particular, lapped it up — because it played to our outdated stereotype of Alberta as a land of rural hicks. Yet nothing that was said in the Alberta campaign can compare to the declarations of Ms. Marois, who has easily established herself as the most xenophobic major-party leader in all of Canada.
So why has there been comparatively little uproar over Ms. Marois? It is as if Canadians in the rest of the country have become so accustomed to watching Quebec nationalists bottom-feed for votes that we no longer are shocked by it. But Quebec is, after all, part of Canada. And Ms. Marois might become the province’s next premier on Sept. 4. Surely, it is worth rousing ourselves to pay attention to the fact that this woman is proposing policies that are unconstitutional and even bigoted.
Quebec Votes 2012: Referendum call will come from citizens, not ‘caribou’, PQ leader Pauline Marois says
(Gazette) Marois fended off accusations in the final TV debate that she would let sovereignty hardliners push her into a referendum the way a herd of caribou follows its leader off a cliff.
Pacis says letter was not critique of the CAQ
Legault denies pro-Anglo CAQ candidate is bashing him
(CBC) Angely Pacis, the Coalition Avenir Québec candidate for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce who wrote a letter stating concerns about François Legault’s stance on anglophones and allophones, said the letter was not a critique of the CAQ.
Éric Crenier: Charest’s Liberals in the lead?
(Threehundredeight.com)As I work to include the latest poll by Forum Research for The National Post into the projection, I invite you to read my take on the surprising results in my article for The Globe and Mail.
The reaction to the poll has been pretty skeptical in the Twittersphere. I have to admit that such a dramatic and unexpected turn of events leads me to raise an eyebrow as well, but we should wait and see what the other active firms in Quebec have to say before passing complete judgement on the poll. Then again, as I mention in the article, the three one-on-one debates could change things on their own and thereby prevent us from knowing whether Forum was capturing a real surge in support for the Liberals or just a statistical wobble.
Bernard St-Laurent: CAQ support could grow after Legault’s first leaders’ debate
When it comes to televised debates I trust my gut-meter. And my gut-meter tells me this debate hurt Pauline Marois.
She was challenged by Françoise David, destabilized by Liberal Leader Jean Charest, and unable to discredit François Legault of the CAQ.
Considering where the Liberals are in the polls that’s all good news for Legault.
David, the co-spokesperson of Québec Solidaire, came off as the most likeable candidate. She showed left-leaning, and sovereigntist voters that for them her party is a credible alternative to the PQ.
That will take votes away from the PQ across the province and help David win her race in Gouin against PQ star MNA Nicolas Girard.
Round two of Quebec election debates tonight (but first, here’s a recap of round one)
(National Post) Pauline Marois has used the first Quebec election debate to repeatedly attack Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a hint of federal-provincial battles that might follow the Sept. 4 vote.
… The four topics Sunday were: the economy, governance, social policy, and the national question and identity. In Sunday’s debate, a frequent theme was attacks on the trustworthiness and preparedness to govern of Legault’s new party.
Quebec is committing slow-motion [demographic] suicide
Whatever her intention, Pauline Marois’s proposed secular charter is bound to worsen the immigration crisis in Quebec.
The province is committing slow-motion demographic suicide. Year after year it fails to bring in enough newcomers to replenish the diminishing ranks of the native-born.
In 2011, Quebec represented 23 per cent of Canada’s population. But over the past five years, the province has been responsible, on average, for only 19 per cent of the annual intake of permanent residents, according to Statistics Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada data.
In the business class, Quebec has a selection target of 9,000 to 10,000 immigrants a year, but only brings in 2,500 to 2,700.
Ethics, identity dominate Quebec leaders’ debate
(CBC) No knockout punches were landed in the two-hour event, the first of four debates scheduled this week. But there was ample opportunity for the candidates to spar, particularly over questions of ethics and governance.
Denis Lessard: Françoise David s’illustre dans un débat sans vainqueur
(La Presse) Les échanges ont été animés, intenses, les chefs combatifs, mais personne n’est allé au plancher. Le premier des débats télévisés entre les chefs des partis s’est terminé sans vainqueur. Pauline Marois, première dans les sondages, a été souvent la cible de ses adversaires – de François Legault surtout, qui a maintes fois réclamé des précisions sur les engagements de son ancienne collègue.
C’est peut-être Françoise David, de Québec solidaire, qui a le plus gagné de l’affrontement d’hier. Avec aplomb et calme – sans jamais subir les attaques des autres, il faut le dire-, elle a pu longuement expliquer la plateforme de son jeune parti.
Marois, Bill 101 and small business: Mean-spirited, petty bullying
By Beryl Wajsman
(The Metropolitain) So now Pauline Marois wants to extend Bill 101 to small businesses as well. Why not, Quebec has so much extra money to spend on more social engineering inspectors. And of course we need more constriction of entrepreneurs’ ability to function so we can lose more jobs.
The timing of her announcement is so totally incomprehensible that reasonable people may rightly accuse her of the worst kind of demagoguery and demonizing politics. Implicit in her statement is the old saw that Francophones can’t be served in French. Yet just this year the OQLF itself released a report that in 97% of business establishments in the centre city, French service was not a problem. The OQLF’s figures for the West Island put French availability at 93%. There is no issue here.
Hébert: Minority mandate might best serve Quebecers
If there ever were an election that no party deserves a win, or at least not with the top prize of a majority mandate, it’s the one currently unfolding in Quebec.
Three weeks into the campaign, the Liberals, the Parti Québécois and the Coalition Avenir Québec have all failed to dispel the serious doubts that so many voters harbour about each of them.
Consequently, none has earned the support of more than a third of the electorate and the proportion of undecided is growing faster than the support of the PQ front-runner.
Le réseau de la santé crie famine
Alors que les candidats des partis politiques multiplient les promesses à la pièce pour le secteur de la santé, les dirigeants des hôpitaux aimeraient les entendre sur le financement du réseau dans son ensemble.
À l’approche du débat des chefs, l’Association québécoise d’établissements de santé et de services sociaux (AQESSS) veut savoir comment les partis comptent combler un trou de 1,2 milliard de dollars d’ici à 2015 dans le budget des établissements de la province, en plus de financer leurs nouveaux engagements s’ils sont élus le 4 septembre.
Corporate Quebec braces for the worst as election day inches closer
Jonathan Kay: Dear Ms. Marois, does Uncle Avi’s Jewish pendant count as a banned ‘religious sign’?
As Graeme Hamilton reported this week, PQ leader Pauline Marois is promising Quebecers a “Charter of Secularism” that would prevent public-sector workers from brandishing “conspicuous religious signs.” But she is employing a rather selective definition of “conspicuous” here. Crosses and crucifixes — like the big one that hangs in Quebec’s National Assembly — would be exempt; while Muslim headscarfs, Jewish yarmulkes and Sikh kirpans would be verboten.
CTV news: Cultural issues heating up
Beryl Wajsman, editor of ‘The Suburban,’ talks about how voters are responding to the focus on cultural issues in the Quebec election.
Quebec election 2012: Anglophones complain of few options on election day
The emotions that pour out of a minority community reflect the sentiment that between a “corrupt” Liberal party, the sovereigntist Parti Québécois and a range of other parties seeking either separation or greater distance from the federal government, there is no good choice at all when the province goes to the polls on Sept. 4.
Prominent Quebec anglophone says English-speakers should consider voting for new CAQ
(National Post) [Robert] Libman hopes Anglos vote strategically.
He wants them to give the Liberals a jolt — but not in areas where that might help elect members of the more nationalist, pro-independence Parti Quebecois.
“Anglophones… should perhaps, in order to send a message to the Liberals, consider voting for the CAQ,” said Libman, “(but) only in areas where there is no danger of splitting the vote and electing the PQ.”
CAQ’s Legault denies promising star candidate super powers
(CBC) A claim by Coalition Avenir Québec’s star candidate Jacques Duchesneau that he would have the power to choose key ministers in a CAQ cabinet left his leader, François Legault, scrambling to clarify who’s in charge. In a French-language radio interview with broadcaster Paul Arcand Monday morning, Duschesneau said Legault has promised to name him deputy premier — and that he’d be no ordinary deputy, but one mandated with the power to choose key cabinet ministers. A little problem in Happy Valley?
Charest takes credit for Duchesneau’s anti-corruption work
Quebec Liberal Leader Jean Charest is taking credit for the anti-corruption work that was accomplished in recent years by Jacques Duchesneau, the former police chief who has now decided to run for a new party in the ongoing election campaign. Mr. Charest refused to launch direct hits against Mr. Duchesneau on Saturday, saying that he was part of a team effort to combat fraud and collusion in the construction industry.
Quebec Student Strike: Pivotal Week Ahead With Return-To-School Vote
(Canadian Press via HuffPost) Students in the more militant CLASSE association will vote over a nine-day period, starting Tuesday, on heading back to school when it reopens mid-month.
Chantal Hébert: CAQ’s François Legault could be game changer in Quebec election
On a scale of one to 10 on the charisma index, François Legault would not score more than a four. … In politics, familiarity often breeds contempt. Charest and Marois, who have been around for three decades, have little hope of winning over the many Quebecers who dislike them between now and the vote. They are known quantities that a critical mass of voters is not yet totally resigned to support on election day. For now, Legault’s CAQ sits in third place, a long way from the peaks of popularity it reached in the lead-up to the founding of his party last year. But in spite of a sharp decline in support, he has managed to come out of the campaign gate with his status as a contender for government intact.
Quebec student group CLASSE ponders more boycotts
(CBC) Student coalition asks politicians, parties to stay out of debate … The request comes after former college student leader and rising Parti Québécois star candidate Léo Bureau-Blouin called on students to heed a campaign truce in ongoing protests.
Bureau-Blouin made his public plea Thursday, warning street strife could play into the Liberal Party’s law-and-order campaign strategy.
CAQ scores anti-corruption candidate Jacques Duchesneau
The man who lifted the veil on widespread practices of corruption and collusion in the construction industry in Quebec, Jacques Duchesneau, will run as a candidate for the Coalition Avenir Quebec, according to a source close to the party.
The unexpected development represents a major boost for the upstart political party, which has been struggling to gain momentum after dropping significantly in recent public opinion polls.
Parti Quebecois promises to scrap Jean Charest’s tuition hike plan if elected
(National Post) On the first full day of the Quebec election campaign Marois promised to drop the tuition hikes, cancel the emergency protest law bill 78 and call for a summit on university funding within 100 days of being elected on September 4.
She notably made the promises while accompanied by Leo Bureau-Blouin, a student leader whose face has become synonymous with the tuition protests. Bureau-Blouin is running for the PQ in a Laval riding.
Conrad strikes again!
Conrad Black: Charest begins campaign with an edge over splintered, mediocre opposition
Traditionally, as the government of Quebec is the only French-speaking regime above the municipal level in North America, Quebecois have wanted a forceful leader, who will always distinguish the province outside its borders, and usually who is either an august and believable Quebec Liberal federalist and autonomist, like Alexandre Taschereau and Jean Lesage, or a non-Liberal who excels in uniting nationalist and centrist or conservative elements. In 120 years, only Duplessis, the first Johnson, Levesque, and Bouchard have succeeded in doing that. The current PQ leader, Pauline Marois, a querulous harridan who crabs about nonsense like unilingual day-care centres and threw in with the peevish and over-indulged student protesters in the spring, does not bring those bygone leaders to mind. Because they have a lock on the largest bloc of votes in the province, the Liberals can win with less galvanizing figures like Robert Bourassa and Jean Charest, miniature French Mackenzie Kings skillful at manoeuvre but not rabble-rousing, against splintered opposition parties, who are not themselves led with great panache.
In this race, against three opposition parties, led by an extremist (Khadir), a charlatan (Legault), and a mediocre sovereigntist bag-lady, (Marois), Charest starts with a slight edge. Historically, even an uninspiring but crafty Liberal like Charest will defeat a splintered opposition divided between ambiguous leaders who can’t stir the susceptible but avaricious Quebecois.
Quebec Election 2012 Key Issues: Student Protests, Corruption Inquiry, Sovereignty And Plan Nord
(Canadian Press via HuffPost) As Quebec begins a provincial election campaign, with a vote scheduled for Sept. 4, here are some key issues and the stated positions, so far, of the three largest parties: the Liberals, the Parti Quebecois and the Coalition for Quebec’s Future.
À la «majorité silencieuse» de trancher, dit Charest
Pauline Marois: «il faut changer ce gouvernement usé et corrompu»
François Legault lance un défi à ses rivaux
Selon M. Legault les électeurs souhaitent que les politiciens répondent directement à leurs interrogations. François Legault a proposé deux assemblées «citoyennes» dans des villes différentes qui devraient permettre aux chefs d’expliquer leur programme à l’auditoire.
Québec solidaire veut canaliser le vote des carrés rouges
Avec une campagne axée notamment sur la gratuité scolaire et des candidats qui distribueront des carrés rouges aux électeurs, Québec solidaire espère canaliser «l’esprit du printemps érable» pour faire le plein de votes, particulièrement dans une quinzaine de circonscriptions que le parti estime prenables.
See also Quebec ‘student’ protests 2012
Justin Trudeau among few federal politicians wading into Quebec election
(CTV News) With an unpredictable three-way race ahead, and an untold number of potential consequences for national politics, federal parties will tread carefully as of Wednesday
(Globe & Mail) … the Liberals announced that the Minister of Natural Resources, Clément Gignac, is abandoning a safe seat on Montreal Island to run in a Parti Québécois stronghold in Quebec City. … he has decided to run in the riding of Taschereau against PQ heavyweight Agnès Maltais.
The clash in a largely francophone riding will help determine which party wins the election, as the Liberal Party needs to hold on to its seats in Quebec City to stay in office, while any PQ victory hinges on making inroads in the provincial capital.
The battle will also highlight the competing values and priorities of the Liberal Party and the PQ. Ms. Maltais comes from a community activism background and vows to fight for the city’s poorer citizens, while Mr. Gignac, a former bank economist, represents his government’s efforts to develop the province’s northern resources.
L. Ian MacDonald: Charest sees his opportunity
(Ottawa Citizen) Normally, after three terms in office, an election would be about change, but Charest has the opportunity to make it about continuity instead. His ballot question is simple: Who’s in charge, the democratically elected government, or a mob? That the mob of students and anarchists would disrupt his meetings would only make his point.
And Charest has a deeper ballot question: What kind of Quebec do you want?
Jean Charest: giant of national unity
By Lawrence Martin
(Globe & Mail) Jean Charest leads the charge against the sovereigntists again. The coming Quebec election will mark his fifth electoral campaign against them, and what a record he has posted.
… With the student strike and the inquiry into corruption in the construction industry, he is under siege again. There are signs Quebeckers have wearied of him. But no one should be surprised if he pulls another triumph out of the hat.
If he doesn’t and the PQ wins, it won’t be the end of the world. Sovereigntist passions aren’t what they used to be in Quebec, one of the reasons being Mr. Charest’s work. He has stifled them for the greater part of two decades.
Quebec election speculation ramps up
Expert says September vote could favour Liberals
Chantal Hébert: Quebec election timing won’t be more auspicious for Liberals
By all indications, Premier Jean Charest has tentatively circled Sept. 4, the 28th anniversary of his first election to Parliament, as the date of the Quebec election.
Notwithstanding polls that suggest the vote could force him into retirement, Charest is said to believe that the timing for a successful Liberal campaign will never be more auspicious.
By virtue of the controversial emergency legislation adopted in late spring, Quebec’s colleges and universities are scheduled to re-open in mid-August against the backdrop of an unresolved tuition fee showdown with the province’s student associations.
Liberal strategists see that as a rare opportunity to entice the majority of voters that support higher tuition fees to strengthen the government’s hand.