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FEUQ Press Release August 11, 2012
Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), presently in congress in Montreal, has taken advantage of the electoral campaign now underway to invite politicians to present their party platforms and take questions from students. Representatives of each party were invited to meet members of the federation and to put forward their ideas, particularly those having to do with youth politics. ”We have heard very little talk about what matters to youth since the start of this election,” said Martine Desjardins, president of FEUQ. ”After the spring that we had, it is very disturbing to see the political parties pretend that nothing has happened, and ignore the legitimate concerns of Quebec citizens — it is a bigger concern than the tuition increase.”
Pierre Duchesnes, Parti Québécois candidate for Borduas, Françoise David, co-spokesperson for Quebec Solidaire and candidate for Gouin, and Simon-Pierre Bélanger, Option Nationale candidate for the riding of Viau, appeared before the FEUQ congress to deliver statements, followed by a question period. Each party’s platform was compared to FEUQ’s recommendations, particularly in the domains of education, the environment, and ethics in politics. ”Members of FEUQ are now better equipped to evaluate what each party is proposing in response to student demands,” says the president of FEUQ. ”Now, the federation and its members will share the information we have received to inform students about the interest each party takes in student affairs. It seems to us that young people will be more inclined to get out to the voting booths on September 4 if they know that parties are interested in what concerns them.”
It is for this reason that FEUQ is disappointed by the fact that the Parti libéral du Québec and the Coalition avenir Québec, fearful of facing students’ questions, declined the invitation to appear. ”In politics, we are supposed to be proud of our platform, of our record and of our party,” says Desjardins. ”And we are not afraid to stand up and show these things off, even in front of a group that is harder to please than a bunch of friends of the party. FEUQ is the largest youth group in Quebec. We asked for information about youth policies, and these two political factions thought is was acceptable to turn us down. Is this because they have nothing to offer to the youth of Quebec?”
FEUQ will continue its congress tomorrow with its sister group, Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ), to trade ideas about where to go next in this electoral campaign. This will include continuing to mobilize young voters in time for the September 4 election, so as to make a difference in the vote. ”We have launched a series of questions to political parties so as to obtain precise answers on questions that matter to students,” concludes the FEUQ president. The answers will be published in the back-to-school edition of Voix étudiante, our newsletter. We hope that all parties will take the time to respond even if we are critical of their policies. It seems to me that the least thing a party can do if it hopes to form the next government is to take the time to respond to the entire population of Quebec, young people include. It seems that the Liberals and CAQ don’t take this duty to heart.”
For more than 20 years, FEUQ has respresented university students in Quebec. Composed of 15 member associations and over 125,000 strong, FEUQ is the most important youth group in Quebec. www.feuq.qc.ca
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.