The political balance Quebec: 2017 row 2018

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press
The prime minister Philippe Couillard has worked during the year to make us forget the effects of the budget cuts of the first half of mandate with the stroke of ads and millions of dollars.

It was the year of ” before “, “above” : the 12 months of 2017 have been those where the parties have honed their electoral machine, adjusted their scheme and found the right tone in order to embody — sometimes with difficulty — the change in view of the general elections of 2018. Look three times a year, during which the parties tried to present themselves as a government in waiting.

The will of the year : be the change


The “change” is the label that all parties were coveted by 2017. Only the liberals have given up. The Quebec liberal Party (QLP), in power since 2003 — with the exception of the interlude of 18 months of the government Marois, has preferred to the word… ‘transformation’.


With the stroke of ads and millions of dollars, the prime minister Philippe Couillard has worked to make us forget the effects of the budget cuts of the first half of the mandate. Then again, he is separated from his two closest allies : his director of cabinet Jean-Louis Dufresne and the secretary general of the government, Roberto Iglesias. It has carried out a reshuffle of his Council of ministers, by displacing a single person, Rita de Santis. Cosmetic change ? The prime minister was offended by the fact that the commentators have not emphasized the boldness of his game of musical chairs. “What is it that you want to have, others you, the media ? You want to have a pound of flesh, a little blood on the table ? It is this that interests you ? ” he impatient.


Where the upheaval has been profound, it is in the voting intentions of Quebecers, who have passed the CAQ as an alternative to the government. Third in the polls with 19 % of voting intentions, the PQ’s Jean-François Lisée has already started to demonstrate that the CAQ accurately reflects the change… but mostly through his stance changing. Even the demolition of the Quebec bridge has been considered ― and then rejected ― by François Legault. It is finally in initiating in the party of “law and order” approach to the legalization of marijuana that the CAQ has been the most consistent.

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press
The CAQ’s François Legault rose in the voting intentions of Quebecers.

For Québec solidaire, the incarnation of the change was to be more simple, to the extent where the formation of the left has never been part of ” the political class that governs us for the last 30 years [and who has] been betrayed by Quebec, as the has launched Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, at its entry on the political scene in the spring. Except that the tactics of QS at times seemed dated. The party took to the media to seek financing and has conducted discussions on the convergence of the forces for independence in an opacity that has earned its coordination committee the nickname ” the Politburo “.


The value of the year : the integrity


It is up to the ex-liberal premier Jean Charest is the repeated use of this word, which has even been turned into a slogan by the CAQ during the by-election in Louis-Hébert.


Monday, April 24, the newspapers of the Quebecor have posted the picture of the predecessor of Philippe Couillard in a and revealed that Jean Charest was closely monitored by the UPAC. “It is in 2017. They want us to go back to other dates prior to the election of 2014 “, has accused the head of the government in the Room.


It’s a moot point : the attempt passed to Philippe Couillard to “console” his friend, Marc-Yvan Côté, following a story devastating in its location has placed it in embarrassment. The choice of Éric Tétrault as a candidate in Louis-Hébert has also turned against him. The businessman was forced out due to a case of harassment and the liberals are back to a candidate of the eighth choice. “Integrated” has become the slogan of the candidate caquiste Genevieve Guilbault, who has rallied a majority of 7,600 voters in the castle of a liberal.


But the troops of Philippe Couillard were not at the end of their sentences. In November, the prime minister has admitted to have participated in lavish celebrations at the ex-treasurer of the PLQ, Marc Bibeau. “It is a thing of the past” ; ” this time is past “, has he hammered. Except that this “time” passed quickly established itself in its present. Jean Charest has confirmed its participation to the 33rd Congress of the PLQ. While the caucus is simply attached around the ex-liberal leader and the prime minister has touted its balance sheet.


The end of the year will be at the very least allowed the liberals to close a case casting doubt on the integrity of a member of the bodyguard of Philippe Couillard. A team of five police agencies found “no evidence” that can support the claims of the president of the Brotherhood of police of Montreal, Yves Francoeur, on premature closure of a criminal investigation involving two elected liberals, one of which would have been Jean-Marc Fournier.


Neither the PQ or the CAQ, however, were left in the last 12 months : the first party has ruled out the mna Gaétan Lelièvre of his caucus in may because it would have accepted the favors of the firm Rock, when he was general manager of the City of Gaspé. The CAQ has cast out mep Claude Surprising, which was the subject in December, the first reprimand from the ethics commissioner to have allowed that partisan activities are financed by public funds. The first candidate caquiste in Louis-Hébert, Normand Sauvageau, has also been replaced a few weeks before the election due to allegations of harassment.


The delicate subject of the year : the question of identity


The year 2017 began with the shock of the attack on the Great Mosque of Québec and the report subsequent to the study of the draft law on religious neutrality in spite of a consensus of the opposition on the recommendations of the Bouchard-Taylor commission.


The government has had to wait to the fall to return to the charge with this bill, in which… ” it is not a question of religion “, according to the reading that has made Philippe Couillard. As soon as adopted, the controversial law has been ignored by municipalities, transport services and educational institutions, and then suspended, in part, by the superior Court.

Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
The leader of the Parti québécois, Jean-François Lisée, received a vote of confidence of 92.8% at the national convention of the party.

Anxious to demonstrate that it is ” possible that a law on the open face has the look “, Jean-François Lisée has thought it wise to announce to the media that he would file a bill on secularism before the Holiday period. The catch : the caucus was not in the coup, confessed Mr. Lisée after being rapped on the knuckles by mps.


Even the by-election in Louis-Hébert testified to the discomfort of the question of identity. The establishment of the consultation on racism, and systemic discrimination has explained in part the defeat of the LIBERALS, have agreed the liberals Patrick Huot and Michel Matte.


Accused by the CAQ and the PQ is to prepare the ” trial of Quebec, the liberal government has withdrawn the exercise of the prerogative of the Commission of human rights and of the youth, and this, after having tried, in vain, to keep the witnesses away from television cameras, contrary to what was done at the Bouchard-Taylor commission.


It is also the identity that has fed into the discussions of the end of the year, when VAT-News ― falsely ― revealed that the leaders of the two mosques in montreal have called for the exclusion of women in a construction site nearby at the time of the Friday prayer. The network apologized, but it was not enough to stop the protesters. Some are presented in front of the mosque referred to oppose intolerance, while others have decried the sham of the fake news. What portend an election year under voltage…

Of memorable dates

28 march : The minister of Finance Carlos Leitão presented the ” budget of hope found “. A surplus of $ 2.3 billion is reached. The growth in program spending is going up 3.8% to 4.1 %.

21 may : Québec solidaire will put an end to the negotiations of strategic alliances with the Parti québécois.

28 July : The liberal government subtracts the island of Anticosti in the oil industry. It pays out more than $ 100 million in compensation.

9 September : Jean-François Lisée gets a vote of confidence of 92.8 % at the national convention of his party.

1er December : article 10 of the law on the religious neutrality of the State adopted two weeks earlier is suspended by the Quebec superior Court.

Ce text is part of our “Outlook” section.

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