EFAy congratulates the Parti Quebecois (center-left independentist) for their victory in the elections in Quebec held on September 4, 2012.
We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ms. Pauline Marois for being elected as Quebec’s first female Premier. During her victory speech in Montreal Ms. Marois reaffirmed her party’s commitment to an independent Quebec: “As a nation we want to take decisions that concern us on our own. The future of Quebec is to become a sovereign country.”
This victory also reminds of the inherent risk of self-determination politics: the PQ victory party held in downtown Montréal was saddened by a shooting, the killing and wounding of 2 people. The quickly apprehended, heavily armed, terrorist, screamed: “The English are awakening! It’s time for payback!”.
An experienced parliamentarian in the National Assembly and former Minister of health, education and finance, Ms. Marois is one of the prominent leaders of the sovereignty movement. Her significant impact in politics includes the creation of the universal day-care plan, one of Quebec’s most popular social programs, as well as the implementation of the Family Medicine Groups in primary care reform. The economic aspect of her platform emphasizes “fiscal justice” – meaning that higher taxes should be included for the wealthy and that there should be increases in natural resources exploitation fees. With regards to language and identity she is in favour of toughening the language laws (Bill 101) and reinforcing the use of French in the workplace and retail businesses. PQ has also developed a secularism (“laïcité”) charter that should stop all government employees from wearing visible religious symbols.
One of the key elements in her platform is the fight against corruption. Corruption in the construction industry has been a source of serious concern in recent Québec and a core issue of the election campaign. Therefore, an important feature of her counter-striking plan against corruption is a legislation that will forbid the companies with a criminal record to obtain government contracts.
Most of the other Provinces’ Prime Ministers, as well as the federal Prime Minister of Canada, have stressed that the election of a Parti Québécois government will make no difference to Canadian politics, and bear in no way on the Canadian political agenda. A tough line against any specifically Québec request is already put forward. The central Canadian state’s stance towards Québec needs, realities and demands, even when it was led by the fiercely loyalist pro-Canada government of Jean Charest (defeated in this election), has been benign or open neglect.
EFAy considers extremely important that Ms. Marois maintains her promise that she would freeze the tuition hikes because we believe that education should be affordable to anyone and not reserved only for the wealthy as it was unfortunately in Quebec until the 1960’s.
Taking into consideration that PQ is a minority government, they depend on coalitions with either Coalition Avenir Québec (center right, not openly independentist though not hostile) or Québec Solidaire (left, rather pro-Independence). The Parti liberal du Québec (center right, openly Canadian loyalist) loose power but survive with just 4 MPs less than the Parti Québécois. Consequently, the PQ will certainly need to display a subtle, smooth, and quasi permanent coalition building capacity in order to pursue their agenda and not see the government defeated and dissolved. Consequently, there is no independence referendum in view in Québec.
The victory of PQ should serve as an inspiration to all political parties representing stateless nations around Europe to continue with their legitimate struggle for self-determination and sovereignty.