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Denis Saint-Martin – Professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal
June 8, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/351949/la-politique-contestataire
Caption: MNA Amir Khadir comments on his daughter’s arrest by Montreal Police.
The arrests of MNA Amir Khadir and his daughter cogently illustrate a new brand of political activism that is more oppositional and led by social movements in connection with Québec Solidaire (QS); Khadir acts as a spokesperson for the party at the level of State institutions.
Khadir is not just the Plateau’s MNA. He is the chief lobbyist of the civil society organized at the National Assembly. QS is a federation of social movements born out of unions, the third sector, feminism, the environment, and the fight against poverty. At the National Assembly, the social movement initiated by students last spring unexpectedly found in Khadir an ally working within the political system.
This brand of oppositional institutionalization is not likely to pose a threat to the authorities or social stability. It does, however, make itself known. It also makes a difference, politically. With a deputy from QS in Parliament, students are represented by one of their own in the institutions.