Quebec says ‘Non’ to PQ govt after less than Two years.

It is 3,000 miles away and no, I am not arguing for a moment that you can transplant the political musings of the francophone province of Quebec on to our situation, but this election is a genuinely interesting one to watch.

Scandals, divisions and student protests drove the last Liberal government from office after 9 years in power. Promising a fresh start and a new sense of politics the Parti Quebecois hoping to rebound from the near wipe-out of their sister party, Bloc Qubecois in 2011, won a narrow victory in the 2012 Quebec elections. At the time a long time Quebec journalist, Chantal Hebert, remarked that if this has been 1993 the PQ would have won a majority government with its eyes closed.

Now, we move on to the present day where after just 18 months, the PQ government has gone down to a huge defeat. What happened? Well, the promise of a referendum on separation from the rest of Canada happened. Going into this election, the PQ had a narrow lead of the Liberals and looked set to either come back with a strengthened minority government or just scrape a majority. However, when the party recruited media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau and he made his statement that in the next term of government Quebec will be a country, the PQs poll ratings almost immediately began to fall.

In every debate, the opposition continued to hammer Marios on her position on a referendum. Unable to answer whether she would hold one, voters opted for the federalist parties who oppose any form of separation from Canada.

The lesson here which is appropriate for our situation is thus-don’t attempt to call a vote or raise an issue unless you have a good chance of winning the argument. An opposition which after its last term in government should have been out for at least two terms is now back after just 18 months. Combine this with weak separatist representation in the Canadian Parliament, Quebec separatists are truly out in the cold.

Final results from election

Liberals-70

PQ-30

ADQ-22

CS-2.

 

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs