Articles Quebec

  • Democracy in Montréal: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

    The municipal political boundaries of Montréal are to be redrawn once again. Instead of one big city divided into 27 boroughs, Montréal will be one big city interspersed with 15 small municipalities. But apart from the question of identity, with its socio-economic and ethno-linguistic dimensions, does this movement represent a bid to strengthen local democracy?

  • The 2004 Election & the Left: Some Lessons from Quebec

    A few thoughts on the June 28 federal election, focused on the Québec results and their implications for the Left in the Rest of Canada.

  • Québec Communique

    Only two years after the founding of the Union des forces progressistes, the Québec Left has entered into a new phase of development. On the electoral scene and in the street, the UFP is a present and credible actor. Meanwhile, a new political club, Trade Unionists for a Free Québec (Syndicalistes pour un Québec libre - SPQL) is attempting to use their involvement with the Parti québécois to pull it to the left. Finally, a new political movement, Option citoyenne, led by feminist activist Françoise David and social housing activist François Saillant, is proposing nothing less than the unity of all left forces into a single party by Spring 2005. The coming year will be an important one for the Québec Left.

  • Road Bloc or Building Bloc?

    The Bloc Québécois is on a roll. For the last year, polling has predicted a major setback for the BQ in the coming elections owing to Paul Martin’s popularity and the Parti Québécois’ defeat in the April, 2003 provincial election. Yet, the sponsorship scandals have given the BQ a bounce by adding the injury of self-serving corruption to the insult of the sponsorship program, which believed national grievances could be overcome by papering Québec with the Canada logo. While it is too soon to predict the election outcome, the Bloc should more or less match its 2000 electoral results.

  • One Year of Charest

    A year after its election, the ultra-conservative government of Jean Charest is facing a level of unpopularity proportionate to the arrogance and insensitivity it has demonstrated through its dismantling of the Québécois state. In an effort to spruce up its image, the Charest government is undergoing a vast cosmetic operation to explain its policies to people through regional forums. Faced with such a masquerade, general mobilization in the streets remains the most appropriate way for people to make themselves heard. Why go and sit in front of Charest’s ministers, who will only pretend to listen to us?

  • The Charest Factor

    It is an inescapable fact that, since the 1995 referendum, Québec politics have been dominated by two of Brian Mulroney’s former cabinet ministers. The first, Lucien Bouchard, made his way to the top post of the Parti Québécois (PQ) to replace the fallen Jacques Parizeau. The second, Jean Charest, a much younger politician, was pushed to the head of the Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ) by the federal Liberals in order to fill the void left by the dull and uncharismatic Daniel Johnson Jr.

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