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For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
Gustavo Kuhn June 5, 2012
Original French Text: http://journal.tdg.ch/premier-ministre-fabrique-conflit-fins-electorales-2012-06-05
Montreal political science professor Alain Gagnon is in Geneva. In the following interview, he analyzes the reasons underlying the student conflict.
Though they have attracted fewer people over the past few days, student protests are continuing in Quebec. Alain Gagnon, professor of political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), is in Geneva. Pinned to his shirt is a small red square symbolizing his support for the student strike. According to him, Jean Charest’s Liberal government is fuelling the conflict for electoral purposes rather than seeking a solution. Interview.
What do Quebec’s students really want?
The movement began when the government announced its intention to increase university tuition by 75% over five years. Some associations opposed the hike simply because they found it excessive. However, La CLASSE (the coalition of associations for student union solidarity), which represents over half of the groups implicated, has denounced the government’s position on university policy from the outset. They oppose, in particular, the adoption of a more liberal “Anglo-Saxon” model based on the user-payer concept.
But when the government decided to pass Bill 78 limiting the right to demonstrate, the conflict extended far beyond the issue of tuition fees.
In my opinion, this is part of Premier Jean Charest’s political strategy.
Are you saying that the government is deliberately polarizing the positions?