Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Marois has a seat in the National Assembly, politics changing in Quebec

Pauline Marois, the new leader of the Parti Québecois, has won the by-election in the constituency of Charlevoix.

What does this mean for Québec and the rest of Canada? For federalists, this is in fact good news. Marois has stated that she, at least at this time, doesn't have the intention of pursuing the dominant sovereignty aspect of the PQ's platform. So with Marois winning this seat with 59% of the vote, showing her popularity, it means that Marois should be sticking around for awhile holding back the sovereignty agenda. What she'll do in the Assembly is something that we'll have to keep an eye on.

This adds to the list of recent events that shows a change in direction of Québec politics. All of a sudden in the past year, we have experienced the following:
- the first minority government in Québec since the 1800s
- the rise of a Francophone conservative party (the ADQ), and its position as the Official Opposition
- the federal Conservative Party going from zero to ten seats in Québec in one election, followed by another seat in a by-election
- an uncontested female leader of the PQ who has no immediate intention of pursing the sovereignty of Québec
- the first NDP MP in Québec since 1970

Remember Québec in the 60s and 70s? The passion, the patriotism, the anger of the public were all present; people were genuinely involved and passionate about the future of their province. Also, people were fairly centre-left. Nowadays, it seems as history is no longer an insight into Québec politics. More and more people are going Right to the conservatives, which thirty years ago would have been unthinkable.

In the August 13th edition of Maclean's, Québec filmmaker Pierre Falardeau was quoted as saying, "Quebecers have become imbeciles. This is a population that lives in the suburbs and shops at Wal-Mart. It's a collective problem. Where are the intellectuals? Where are the artists? Where are the thinkers, the ones who are meant to make us reflect?"

While many people would disagree with that interpretation, the former revolutionary-type province of Québec is changing. How much more it will go to the Right, and be like the rest of Canada, is yet to be determined.


Craig Sauvé said...

Don't get too excited about Marois receivin 59% in the Charlevoix by election. Neither the Liberals nor Québec Solidaire presented a candidate -not to mention that the voter turnout was low.

Besides it is very rare that a leader of a major party loses a bid for a seat.

ADQ said...

first NDP MP in Québec since 1970

WRONG!!! FIRST SINCE 1990 not 1970

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