Here’s Why The Quebec Elections Matter For All Canadians

Quebec. Boring? Not this time. The provincial elections set for October 1 in the mainly French-speaking province will matter for the rest of Canada. Here’s why.

First all all, the ruling Quebec Liberals of Philippe Couillard have been in power since 2003, except for a brief 18-month stint by the Parti Quebecois (PQ) in 2012-2013. A large majority of Quebecers are fed up with the Liberal regime. That’s normal, as 15 years in politics is a long time.

The Liberals have imposed on citizens a major austerity program in the first three years of their last term, cutting budgets in everything from higher education, seniors homes and social services. A major push for the centralization of decisions and services in the public health-care system has so far been a failure, and has led to a major outcry by nurses and citizens. Horror stories in retirement homes are related daily now in local news outlets. Heavily-taxed Quebecers do not like that budget cuts led to such crappy services.

If elections had been held in the past few weeks, the Liberals of Premier Philippe Couillard would only have kept 42 seats out of 125 in the Quebec National Assembly. The popular right-wing Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) would get a majority government with some 66 seats, and the separatist PQ would keep 13 seats.

But these are just polls, and we know opinion surveys can be wrong. Also, eight months in politics is an eternity, and a 35-day election campaign can make a huge difference at the last minute.

My conclusions so far are:

The Liberals are not finished

The CAQ is headed for a victory, but anything can happen

The PQ could lose its party status in the provincial legislature

The left-wing Quebec Solidaire party is the X factor

The Liberals are not finished

Never disqualify the Liberals. Why? They have a support of around 80 per cent of English-speaking Quebecers in the Montreal area and in Western Quebec, which usually ensures them a minimum of around 35 seats.

Since last year, the Quebec Liberals have been throwing goodies all over the place. The budget austerity of the past few years has been replaced by a Santa Claus. Almost every day, the provincial government announces new money for education, roads, hospitals, local projects and tax cuts. Quebec is now projecting large budget surpluses, and this week gave a $500 million package to medical specialists, just

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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