M.J. June 25, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2012/06/22/carre-rouge-et-recomposition-politique_1723325_3210.html
“The strike still hasn’t found its electoral expression”, notes quite rightly Jean-François Lisée, director of the Centre d’études et de recherches internationales de l’université de Montréal (Cérium). The Quebec political landscape hasn’t, however, waited for the “maple spring” to start a slow recomposition, after years of bipartisanism accentuated by the voting method (for a single member at a time, like in the United Kingdom).
Since 1960, the Liberal party (PL, federalist) and the Parti québécois (PQ, pro-independence) have in effect taken turns governing. “In 1998, 90% of Quebeckers declared themselves members of the PQ or the PL. Today, no more than 43% do.”, notes the Institut du Nouveau Monde in Etat du Québec 2012 (Boréal). Brought to power in 2003 and reelected twice since, the center right Liberal party, lead by Jean Charest, has 64 of 125 members of the national assembly (MNAs). In surveys, a new group is biting into its electorate: created in November 2011, la Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), 9 MNAs strong, is led by François Legault, ex-minister of education for the PQ, founder of Air Transat, and by another business man, Charles Sirois, with the vague plan of “proposing a unifying plan of action”, without taking a position on the national question. The CAQ approved the tuition increase as well as the special law.
The Parti québécois (opposition, 47 MNAs) made a U-turn to the center right between 2005 to 2007. It has become more left under the leadership of Pauline Marois. In the case of anticipated elections, two new groups could drastically cut the electorate of the PQ. Founded in November 2011 by the dissident PQ MNA Jean-Marc Aussan, Option nationale, positioned to the center left, advocates Quebec sovereignty, mastering natural resources and renewing democracy. Born in 2006, the party Quebec Solidaire situates itself clearly to the left, with an “ecological, feminist, independent, anti-globalization” platform, in favor of the nationalization of energy resources. Co-lead by Françoise David and MNA Amir Khadir, this party was the first to support the student movement. Option nationale and Quebec Solidaire advocate the formation of a coalition of opposition parties in preparation for the next elections. A proposition to which, for the moment, the PQ hasn’t answered.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
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