Pauline Marois’ electoral gamble will amount to a loss

Graphic Jenny Kwan

It would be untrue to say that Quebec’s political scene isn’t wildly entertaining. This zoo we call our political system has been embarrassingly inadequate for the past few years, no matter who has been running it.

Graphic Jenny Kwan

When it came time to hit the polls last year, it was none other than Pauline Marois, infamous leader of the Parti Québécois, that took the vote by a mere one per cent, ousting the corruption-laden Liberal Party.

After over a year of watching Pauline Marois and her minority government struggle to make any valuable contribution to Quebec, Quebecers were eagerly awaiting to see whether she would call an election at the end of this year.

The answer is a resounding no. It seems 2014 will be the next time we’ll be choosing a provincial leader.

“The government doesn’t want general elections in 2013,” Marois told the press on Oct. 26. “The population gave us a mandate and we will continue to assume it. In the next few days, we will present our governmental orientations for solidarity because we think a responsible government must take care of people. We will also present our electrification strategy in transportation because we want Quebec to be a leader in that technology.”

Most importantly for Marois, it gives her a bit more time to convince voters to let her stay, no matter how unlikely that seems when you look at the facts.

Marois’ time in office has been a laughing affair. All the good she’s done politically has been almost completely shunned and overshadowed by a few major stunts that changed her reputation from separatist leader to separatist wacko.

Regardless of when the elections are held  the hole Marois and the Parti Québécois have dug themselves will barter the same result:  a change of heart politically for Quebecers. Whether it’s the reformed liberals, with Pierre Couillard now holding the reins, or the newly formed Coalition Avenir Quebec, it is highly unlikely that Marois will ever lead this province again.

QMI Agency political analyst Jean Lapierre said the PQ realized it didn’t have the poll numbers to win a majority government.

“Marois got spooked,” Lapierre said, according to The Toronto Sun. “Marois has been preparing for months to open a window for an election, and she choked.”

The truth is that as a province this isn’t what we need at the moment. Like the rest of the world, Quebecers all over the province have real issues that need fixing.

Our education system is in debt and needs more funding, our construction system is a mess, and our province is falling apart economically, mirrored by the economic plan the Parti Québécois announced last week.

“The economic plan announced last week signals a shift away from fiscal austerity, along with a hefty dose of interventionism in industrial policy that is destined to be rejected by the opposition parties at the first possible opportunity,” said Pierre Martin, a professor of political science at the Université de Montréal, in an article for The Toronto Star.

We took a gamble when we gave a separatist party a chance, and we lost our chips. Truth is, Quebec is a diverse province with an amazing population, and preserving the French language is an incredibly important issue. That being said, the party in place is simply too immature to lead. You cannot focus all of your attention and energy to language and “identity issues,” and ignore other pressing matters. It’s especially disconcerting that the one issue they are focusing on is being handled incorrectly.

The people in this province need to be united, and all the Parti Québécois has done is create issues to separate us. It’s time for a change.


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