Sunday, 12 August 2012

Quebec elections 2012.

After my last post on renaming the the Welsh Assembly perhaps a   its a good time to look at another National Assembly  that of Quebec  ( Assemblé nationale du Québec)  particularly as Quebec general election of 2012 is set to take place in the  on September 4, 2012. 

Lieutenant Governor Pierre Duchesne dissolved the National Assembly on August 1, 2012, following Premier Jean Charest's request.

The National Assembly was formerly the lower house of Quebec's legislature and was then called the Legislative Assembly of Quebec. In 1968, the upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished and the remaining house was renamed.. So may we don't really name to change.

The Assemble has powers that Wales and indeed Scotland can only dream about illustrated by The Lesage  Liberal government of, 1962 and When Rene Lévesque a minister in that government "Nationalised Quebec"  Hydro. Since then it has achieved almost mythical status in Quebec and has become a symbol of Quebecois identity  in the same manner Mondragon has become for the Basques.

Levessque went on to form  Parti Québécois  leading them to the government of the "province" and further increase Quebec's powers but failed in his dream for independence

The  2012 Election in Quebec is very different from that of those in Wales and Scotland in that only the Liberals of the Federal Parties take part.

The main contenders are in the 2012 election are ..

Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) seats  64/125 

Is the  federalist provincial political party in Quebec.that fights seats in the Assemblé although  It has been independent of the federal Liberal Party of Canada since 1955. (and not in the same way as Welsh or Scottish  Westminster parties)

The party has traditionally supported Quebec federalism, meaning it is in favour of Quebec remaining within Canada, and operating within Canadian federalism. While it is sometimes described as centre-right in the context of Quebec politics,[the party believes in a strong role for government in the economy and supports socially liberal policies.

Since its most recent election the Liberal government has faced a number of scandals, including historic losses at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the attribution of highly-sought subsidized daycare spaces to Liberal Party donors, as well as allegations of systemic construction industry corruption which arose notably during the 2009 Montréal municipal election. After public pressure, the Liberal government eventually called for a public commission of inquiry.  Premier Jean Charest's personal approval ratings have at times been lower than those of other premiers.

Charest may be gambling on calling on the election before corruption enquireys get underway and a public backlash a student protest pver Gharest's plans to raise university tuition from $2,168 to $3,793 between 2012 and 2017.which has seen street protest clashes with the police though his introduction of Bill 78 which aimed to prevent such protest has been seen as over authoritarian and has seen some who were not sympathetic to the students joining the protest.

Parti Québécois (PQ) seats 47/125 

Is a centre-left provincial political party  and is the party which most resembles Plaid and the SNP  that advocates national sovereignty for the province and secession from Canada .Unlike Plaid and the SNP  The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement.but unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal. 

Because the New Democratic Party does not fight  Assemblé seats,  some of its members and supporters are free to back PQ .

Under its current leader  Pauline Marois. it has undergone a period of infighting and has failed to exploit the discontent with Charest's Liberals '

However, it seems that the PQ are narrowly ahead d in the polls but  are hampered by the formation of a new Party

The Coalition Avenir Québec (or CAQ)  seats 9/125

Is a newly formed  political party in Quebec. Its politics have been described in the press as centre-right, but the party describes itself as of neither the left nor the right. It also describes itself as of centre-right on economic issues, while left of centre on social ones. 

It was founded by former PQ  cabinet minister François Legault and businessman Charles Sirois; Legault also serves as its leader and includes former members of .The Action démocratique du Québec, ADQ a right wing party won 41 seats in the 2007 election but the fell spetacually back and were almost wiped out at the last election.

 The party membership of CAO  includes both sovereignists and federalists (i.e., supporters and opponents of Quebec sovereignty); however it has called for a ten-year moratorium on any new sovereignty referendum.

It is fluctuating in the Pole but has benefited from running populist candidates like former Montreal police chief Jacques Duchesneau who has been leading a anti corruption campaign.

Two Other Parties may have some influence 

Québec solidaire (QS)  seats 1/125  is a social-democratic and sovereigntist political party , It  has been formed of various left wing groups including members of the NDP , feminists and  Ecologist its philosophy  is summed up as 

  • "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
  • "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the Left")
  • "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
  • "Nous sommes féministes" ("We are feminists")
  • "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
  • "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
  • "Nous sommes d'un Québec souverain et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and supportive Quebec")
  • "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("Another party, for another Quebec!")
The fact that these groups have managed to fall out and  also to support Quebec autonomy is a lesson to the Left in Wales and Scotland

QS are likely to win about  2 seats but may find themselves in a position of power.

Option nationale  Seats 1/125  Was a.  was founded in 2011 by Jean-Martin Aussant, a member o fAssemblé nationale  who had quit the Parti Québécois ) earlier that year after being elected in 2008. 

Frustrated with PQ commitment  to Sovrignity it is a reverse of CAO  It is a center-left party which advocates the sovereignty of Quebec from Canada, and says a vote for Option nationale is an electoral mandate for full-fledged autonomy (de facto sovereignty), before a referendum to adopt the constitution of Quebec as an independent nation-state (de jure sovereignty).

Its best hope is Aussant, retaining his seat 

The current Polls suggest a hung  Assemblé nationale  with a coalition government the likely ourcome .But who it will consist off is widley open.  Where it leads for  those seeking Quebec Independence may be a big question over the next years.

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