Parti Québécois

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Parti québécois
Leader Pauline Marois
(until June 7)[1]
Stéphane Bédard
(interim, parliamentary)
President Raymond Archambault
Founded 11 October 1968 (1968-10-11)
Merger of Mouvement Souveraineté-Association,
Ralliement national
Headquarters 1200 av. Papineau, Suite 150, Montreal, Quebec
Ideology Nationalism (Québécois)[2]
Sovereigntism (Québécois)
Separatism
Social democracy (Québécois)[2][3][4][5]
Political position Centre-left
Policies Fiscal: Centre-Left
Social: moderate liberal (left)
Official colours blue, green
Seats in the National Assembly
30 / 125
Website
www.pq.org
Politics of Quebec
Political parties
Elections

The Parti Québécois (French: Parti québécois[6], PQ; pronounced: [paʁ.ti ke.be.kwa]) is a separatist[7] provincial political party in Quebec in Canada. The PQ advocates national sovereignty for Quebec involving secession of the province of Quebec from Canada and establishing a sovereign state. The PQ has promoted the possibility of maintaining a loose political and economic sovereignty-association between Quebec and Canada. The party traditionally has support from the labour movement, but unlike most other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal.[8] Members and supporters of the PQ are called "péquistes" (Quebec French pronunciation: [pekɪst] ( );[9]), a French word derived from the pronunciation of the party's initials.

From June 2007 until 2014 the party was led by Pauline Marois. Her resignation, announced on the night of the April 7, 2014 general election, will officially take effect on June 7 when the PQ's Council of Presidents meets.[1] The party formed a minority government in the 2012 provincial election,[10][11] but was defeated 19 months later in the 2014 provincial election.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The PQ is the result of the 1968 merger between former Quebec Liberal Party cabinet minister René Lévesque's Mouvement Souveraineté-Association and the Ralliement national.[12] Following the creation of the PQ, the Rassemblement pour l'Indépendance Nationale held a general assembly that voted to dissolve the RIN. Its former members were invited to join the new Parti Québécois.

The PQ's primary goals were to obtain political, economic and social autonomy for the province of Quebec. Lévesque introduced the strategy of referenda early in the 1970s.[13]

Lévesque and the PQ's first government[edit]

In the 1976 provincial election, the Parti Québécois was elected for the first time to form the government of Quebec. The party's leader, René Lévesque, became the Premier of Quebec. This provided cause for celebration among many French-speaking Quebecers, while it resulted in an acceleration of the migration of the province's Anglophone population and related economic activity toward Toronto.

The first PQ government was known as the "republic of teachers" because of the large number of scholars who served as cabinet members. The PQ was the first government to recognize the rights of Aboriginal peoples to self-determination, insofar as this self-determination did not affect the territorial integrity of Quebec. The PQ passed laws on public consultations and the financing of political parties, which ensured equal financing of political parties and limited contributions by individuals to $3000. However, the most prominent legacy of the PQ is the Charter of the French Language (the Bill 101), a framework law which defines the linguistic primacy of French and seeks to make French the common public language of Quebec. It allowed the advancement of francophones towards management roles, until then largely out of their reach – despite the fact that 85% of the population spoke French and most of them did not understand English, the language of management was English in most medium and large businesses. Critics, both Francophone and Anglophone, have however criticized the charter for restraining citizens' linguistic school choice, as it forbids immigrants and Quebecers of French descent from attending English-language schools funded by the state (private schools have always been an option open to everybody). The Parti Québécois initiated the 1980 Quebec referendum seeking a mandate to begin negotiation for independence. It was rejected by 60 per cent of voters.

The party was re-elected in the 1981 election, but in November 1984 it experienced the most severe internal crisis of its existence. Lévesque wanted to focus on governing Quebec rather than sovereignty, and also wanted to adopt a more conciliatory approach on constitutional issues. This angered the more ardent sovereigntists, known as the purs et durs. Lévesque was forced to resign as a result. In September 1985, the party leadership election chose Pierre-Marc Johnson as his successor.

Despite its social-democratic past, the PQ failed to gain admission into the Socialist International, after the membership application was vetoed by the federal New Democratic Party.[14][15][16]

1985 defeat[edit]

The PQ led by Johnson was defeated by the Quebec Liberal Party in the 1985 election that saw Robert Bourassa return as premier. The Liberals served in office for two terms and attempted to negotiate a constitutional settlement with the rest of Canada but with the failure of the Charlottetown Accord and the Meech Lake Accord, two packages of proposed amendments to the Canadian constitution, the question of Quebec's status remained unresolved and the Quebec sovereignty movement revived.

Return to power under Parizeau[edit]

The PQ returned to power under the leadership of hardline sovereigntist Jacques Parizeau in the 1994 Quebec election which saw the PQ win 77 seats and 44% of the vote. The next year, Parizeau called the 1995 Quebec referendum proposing negotiations on sovereignty. After leading all night, the final count showed 49.6% of voters supported negotiations that could eventually lead to sovereignty. On the night of the defeat, an emotionally drained Premier Parizeau stated that the loss was caused by "money and some ethnic votes" as well as by the divided votes amongst francophones. Parizeau resigned the next day (as he is alleged to have planned beforehand in case of a defeat).

Bouchard government[edit]

Lucien Bouchard, a former member of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Cabinet and later founder of the Bloc Québécois, a federal-level sovereigntist party, succeeded Parizeau as PQ leader, but chose not to call another referendum due to the absence of "winning conditions". Bouchard's government then balanced the provincial budget – a feat achieved in Canada only by the federal government and a few of the ten Canadian provinces at that point – by reducing government spending, including social programs. The PQ won another term in the 1998 election, despite receiving fewer votes than the Quebec Liberal Party led by Jean Charest. Bouchard resigned in 2001, and was succeeded as PQ leader and Quebec Premier by Bernard Landry, a former PQ Finance minister. Under Landry's leadership, the party lost the 2003 election to Jean Charest's Liberals.

Return to opposition[edit]

Mid-late 2004 was difficult for Landry's leadership, which was being contested. A vote was held during the party's June 2005 convention to determine whether Landry continued to have the confidence of the party membership. Landry said he wanted at least 80% of approval and after gaining 76.2% approval on the confidence vote from party membership on 4 June 2005, Landry announced his intention to resign.[17]

Louise Harel had been chosen to replace him until a new leader, André Boisclair, was elected 15 November 2005, through the party's 2005 leadership election. At the time of Boisclair's election, the PQ was as much as 20 percent ahead of the Liberals in opinion polls, suggesting that Boisclair would lead them to a landslide majority government in the next election.[18]

Splintering on the right and the left[edit]

Progressives on the left wing of the PQ perceived a rightward move by the party towards neoliberalism under Bouchard, Landry and Boisclair. In 2006, a new left-wing party, Québec solidaire, was formed which included many activists who would have formerly been members or supporters of the PQ. Over subsequent elections, the QS would attract increasing support from left-wing sovereigntists disillusioned with the PQ, while on the right, the ADQ and later the Coalition Avenir Québec attracted the votes of right-wing and soft sovereigntists, resulting in the PQ being squeezed from both sides.

Third place[edit]

The PQ was unable to maintain the momentum it briefly had under Boisclair, and in the 2007 provincial election, the party fell to 36 seats and behind the conservative Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ) in number of seats and the popular vote: this is the first time since 1973 that the party did not form the government or Official Opposition. Boisclair said that the voters clearly did not support a strategy of a rapid referendum in the first mandate of a PQ government. Instead of a policy convention following the election, the party held a presidents' council. The party caucus in the provincial legislative assembly was said to have supported Boisclair continuing as leader.

On 8 May 2007, Boisclair announced his resignation as leader of the PQ.[19] This was effective immediately, although Boisclair confirmed he would remain within the PQ caucus for the time being. He was replaced by veteran MNA François Gendron, pending a leadership race and convention.

PQ leader Pauline Marois greets voters in Quebec City on the eve of the 2012 general election.

Former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe was the first to announce his intention to run for party leadership, on 11 May 2007. He was followed the same day by Pauline Marois. In a surprise move, Duceppe withdrew on the 12th – leaving Marois the only declared candidate. No other candidates came forward, and on 26 June 2007, Marois won the leadership by acclamation.

In June 2011, the party was shaken when three of its most prominent MNAs—popular actor Pierre Curzi, former cabinet minister Louise Beaudoin, and Lisette Lapointe, the wife of former premier Jacques Parizeau, followed the next day by a fourth, Jean-Martin Aussant, quit the party to sit as independents over Marois's support for a bill changing the law to permit an agreement between the City of Québec and Quebecor Inc. concerning the management of the new sports and entertainment complex in Quebec City.[20] Unrest continued later in the month when a fifth MNA, Benoit Charette, also quit, citing his dissatisfaction with the party's sole focus being sovereignty. Beaudoin rejoined the PQ caucus in 2012.[21]

Marois minority government[edit]

The party won a minority government under Marois in the 2012 provincial election with 54 of 125 seats in the National Assembly. It embarked on a program of "sovereigntist governance" in relations with the rest of Canada, to return Quebec to balanced budgets through higher taxes and debt reduction, to increase the use of French in public services, and to address resource development in Northern Quebec. After the legislative failure of its 'new Bill 101', the centrepiece of the government's program was a Quebec Charter of Values which would have curtailed minority religious identity by banning the wearing of religious symbols by those in the employ of the government, particularly turbans, Muslim veils and Jewish kippas. Based on the charter's growing popularity among francophones, Marois called an early election for April 7, 2014 in an attempt to win a majority government. The campaign went badly, however, after the recruitment of star candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau whose comments made sovereignty and the prospect of another referendum a focus of the campaign. Marois' government was defeated by the Liberals, led by Philippe Couillard, in the 2014 provincial election which resulted in a Liberal majority government. The PQ won 25% of the vote and 30 seats, its worst result in terms of popular vote since 1970. Marois announced her intention to resign as PQ leader that night.[22]

Stéphane Bédard was chosen interim parliamentary leader by the PQ caucus on April 10, 2014.[23]

Relationship with the Bloc Québécois[edit]

The Bloc Québécois (BQ) is a federal political party founded in 1990 by former Progressive Conservative MP Lucien Bouchard. It holds close ties to the Parti Québécois, and shares its principal objective: sovereignty. The two parties frequently share political candidates, and support each other during election campaigns.

The two parties have a similar membership and voter base. Prominent members of either party often attend and speak at both organizations' public events. Gilles Duceppe, a former Bloc leader, is also the son of Jean Duceppe, a Quebec actor who helped found the PQ. Jean Duceppe also helped found the New Democratic Party branch in Quebec, which later separated from the federal NDP and merged into the Union des forces progressistes (UFP), which gathered 1.0% of the vote during the 2004 election). The UFP then merged with Option citoyenne to form the left-wing party Québec solidaire.[relevant? ]

[edit]

The party's symbol was designed in 1968 by painter and poet Roland Giguère. It consists of a stylised letter Q, represented by a blue circle broken by a red arrow. The creator meant it as an allegory of the Parti Québécois breaking the circle of colonialism which he claimed Canada was imposing on Quebec and opening Quebec upon the world and the future.[24]

The creator represented the second letter of the two-letter acronym only (see the Hydro-Québec logo, also an example of a second letter design).

Second logo of the party, used from 1985 to 2007

Compared to the Quebec Liberal Party, which has completely changed its logo often, the PQ has made very few significant modifications to its logo during its history. In 1985 it made the circle and arrow slightly thicker, and placed the tip of the latter at the centre of the circle. The original saw it span the whole diameter]. When placed upon a blue background instead of a white one, the circle was commonly turned to white, the single main design variation currently observed.

The party revealed a new logo on 21 February 2007, at the beginning of the 2007 provincial election campaign. While maintaining the basic style of past logos, the Q was redesigned and modernized. In addition, the tail of the Q was recoloured green, in order to present a more environmentally friendly image of the party.[citation needed]

Party policy[edit]

The Parti Québécois centres on the protection of the Franco-Québécois identity, up to or including the ultimate result of sovereignty-association. Sovereigntism, however, is 'Article 1' in its party program.[25]

After former French President Nicolas Sarkozy's rejected the long standing "non-interference, non-indifference" stance towards Quebec should they seek sovereignty in 2009, PQ leader and Premier Pauline Marois' visit to France in October 2012 saw her re-instate it with French President François Hollande.[26] Also during her visit, Marois commented that "Canada's current foreign policy corresponds to neither our values nor our interests".[27]

The PQ delivered a brief to the reasonable accommodation commission on minorities, which conducted holding hearings across the province. The commission briefing looked to reformulate the relations between Quebec's francophone and minority populations. Its task was to be a platform for the PQ's protectionism of French.[28]

Marois stated there is nothing dogmatic in Francophones wishing to declare their existence even if it includes developing legislation requiring newcomers to have a basic understanding of French before becoming citizens of Quebec.[citation needed] (Note that there are no official citizens of Quebec[citation needed]; residents of Quebec are citizens of Canada.)

Further to her desire to protect French in Quebec, during Marois' visit to France in October 2012, she recommended that the "French elite" conduct themselves only in French on the international scene.[29]

Marois stated the PQ understands the arrival of newcomers is attractive and they donate largely to Quebec's growth, but she stated that does not imply that to better assimilate them that "we must erase our own history."[30]

As of 2014, the PQ electoral program describes the party’s main commitment: "Aspiring to political liberty, the Parti Québécois has as its first objective to achieve the sovereignty of Quebec after consulting the population by a referendum to be held at the moment that the government judges appropriate."[31]

Other electoral issues were the so-called Charter of Quebec Values, and language.[32]

Slogans[edit]

These are the slogans used by the Parti Québécois in general election campaigns throughout its history. They are displayed with an unofficial translation. The elections in which the PQ won or remained in power are in bold.

  • 1970: OUI – Yes
  • 1973: J'ai le goût du Québec – I have a taste for Quebec
  • 1976: On a besoin d'un vrai gouvernement – We need a real government
  • 1981: Faut rester forts au Québec – We must remain strong in Quebec
  • 1985: Le Québec avec Johnson – Québec with Johnson
  • 1989: Je prends le parti du Québec – I'm choosing Quebec's party / I'm taking Quebec's side (double meaning)
  • 1994: L'autre façon de gouverner – The other way of governing
  • 1998: J'ai confiance – I am confident / I trust
  • 2003: Restons forts – Let us stay strong
  • 2007: Reconstruisons notre Québec – Let us rebuild our Quebec
  • 2008: Québec gagnant avec Pauline – Quebec winning with Pauline
  • 2012: A nous de choisir – The choice is ours
  • 2014: Plus prospère, plus fort, plus indépendant, plus accueillant – More prosperous, stronger, more independent, more welcoming

Party leaders[edit]

Until June 5, 2005, the office of Leader of the Parti Québécois was known as President of the Parti Québécois.

Party leader Years as party leader Years as Premier
René Lévesque 1968–1985 1976–1985
Pierre-Marc Johnson 1985–1987 1985
Guy Chevrette 1987–1988 acting leader
Jacques Parizeau 1988–1996 1994–1996
Lucien Bouchard 1996–2001 1996–2001
Bernard Landry 2001–2005 2001–2003
Louise Harel 2005 acting leader
André Boisclair 2005–2007 -
François Gendron 2007 acting leader
Pauline Marois 2007–2014 2012–2014
Stéphane Bédard 2014 acting leader

Leaders in the legislature[edit]

When a Parti Québécois leader does not have a seat in Parliament, another member leads the party in the legislature.

Parliamentary leader Years as parliamentary leader Comments
René Lévesque 1968–1970 René Lévesque sat as an Independent member until the April 29, 1970 election.
Camille Laurin 1970–1973 René Lévesque did not have a seat from April 29, 1970 to October 29, 1973.
Jacques-Yvan Morin 1973–1976 René Lévesque did not have a seat from October 29, 1973 to November 15, 1976.
René Lévesque 1976–1985
Pierre-Marc Johnson 1985–1987
Guy Chevrette 1987–1989 Jacques Parizeau did not have a seat from March 19, 1988 to September 25, 1989.
Jacques Parizeau 1989–1996
Lucien Bouchard 1996–2001 Lucien Bouchard did not have a seat from January 27, 1996 to February 19, 1996.
Bernard Landry 2001–2005
Louise Harel 2005–2006 André Boisclair did not have a seat from November 15, 2005 to August 14, 2006.
André Boisclair 2006–2007
François Gendron 2007
Pauline Marois 2007–2014 Pauline Marois lost her seat on April 7, 2014 and announced her resignation as leader.
Stéphane Bédard 2014

Party presidents[edit]

Until June 5, 2005, the office of President of the Parti Québécois was known as First Vice-President of the Parti Québécois.[33]

Party president Years as party president Comments
Gilles Grégoire 1968–1971
Camille Laurin 1971–1979
Louise Harel 1979–1981
Sylvain Simard 1981–1984
Nadia Assimopoulos 1984–1988 Nadia Assimopoulos served as acting leader (then known as president) from June 20, 1985 to September 29, 1985.
Pauline Marois 1988–1989
Bernard Landry 1989–1994
Monique Simard 1994–1996
Fabien Béchard 1996–2000
Marie Malavoy 2000–2005
Monique Richard 2005–2009
Jonathan Valois 2009–2011
Raymond Archambault 2011–Current

Leadership elections[edit]

General election results[edit]

General election # of candidates # of seats won % of popular vote Result
1970 108 7 23.06% Liberal majority
1973 110 6 30.22% Liberal majority
1976 110 71 41.37% PQ majority
1981 122 80 49.26% PQ majority
1985 122 23 38.69% Liberal majority
1989 125 29 40.16% Liberal majority
1994 125 77 44.75% PQ majority
1998 124 76 42.87% PQ majority
2003 125 45 33.24% Liberal majority
2007 125 36 28.35% Liberal minority
2008 125 51 35.17% Liberal majority
2012 125 54 31.95% PQ minority
2014 125 30 25.38% Liberal majority

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Marois bids a tearful goodbye to Quebec politics". Montreal Gazette. April 16, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b How Political Parties Respond: Interest Aggregation Revisited. Routledge. pp. 149–. ISBN 978-1-134-27668-4. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Rodney S. Haddow, Thomas Richard Klassen (2006). Partisanship, globalization, and Canadian labour market policy. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-8020-9090-7, 9780802090904 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  4. ^ Geoffrey Hale; Geoffrey E. Hale (2006). Uneasy Partnership: The Politics of Business and Government in Canada. University of Toronto Press. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-1-55111-504-7. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Cecil Young (2004). One Canada. Trafford Publishing. pp. 37–. ISBN 978-1-4120-2235-4. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  6. ^ — La première ministre du Québec, Pauline Marois. "Des élections au Québec le 7 avril | Élections Québec 2014". ICI.Radio-Canada.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Social Democracy After the Cold War - Bryan Evans, Ingo Schmidt - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Péquiste: definition of Péquiste in Oxford dictionary (British & World English)". Oxforddictionaries.com. 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  10. ^ Rita Devlin Marier, New Quebec government could have problems over tax hike plans, Reuters, 25 September 2012.
  11. ^ New Quebec government could have problems over tax hike plans, Reuters, 25 September 2012.
  12. ^ Cameron I. Crouch (10 September 2009). Managing Terrorism and Insurgency: Regeneration, Recruitment and Attrition. Routledge. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-1-135-23018-0. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Seymour Martin Lipset; Rafael Gomez; Ivan Katchanovski (2004). The paradox of American unionism: Why Americans like unions more than Canadians do, but join much less. Cornell University Press. pp. 63–. ISBN 978-0-8014-4200-1. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  15. ^ Alvin Finkel (1 April 1997). Our Lives: Canada After 1945. James Lorimer & Company. pp. 200–. ISBN 978-1-55028-551-2. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Nelson Wiseman (2007). In Search of Canadian Political Culture. UBC Press. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-0-7748-1388-4. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "Bernard Landry quits as Parti Québécois leader". 5 May 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2007. 
  18. ^ Hébert, Chantal (27 March 2007). "PQ fails miserably to rally sovereignists". The Star (Toronto). Retrieved 9 May 2007. 
  19. ^ Mason, Christopher (8 May 2007). "Quebec Separatist Leader Resigns". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2007. 
  20. ^ "PQ left reeling after three top members of Quebec sovereigntist party quit". The Canadian Press. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  21. ^ Philip Authier (3 April 2012). "Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois welcomes MNA Louise Beaudoin back into the fold". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "Pauline Marois resigns as PQ leader after crushing defeat". CTV News. April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  23. ^ "PQ elects Stephane Bedard to interim leader post". CTV News. April 10, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Archives de Radio-Canada: Fondation du Parti québécois". 8 May 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007. 
  25. ^ Fidler, Richard (2011-06-07). "Life on the Left: Behind those resignations from the Parti Québécois". Lifeonleft.blogspot.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  26. ^ Dougherty, Kevin (15 October 2012). "France’s president embraces traditional “ni, niâ€?’ stance on Quebec’s future". Montrealgazette.com. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  27. ^ "Parti Quebecois Premier Pauline Marois tears a strip off Harper's foreign policy". Ottawacitizen.com. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  28. ^ "globeandmail.com: National". Globe and Mail (Canada). [dead link]
  29. ^ "Letter: Marois telling France what to do". Montrealgazette.com. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  30. ^ "PQ leader defends citizenship plan". Canada.com. 21 October 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  31. ^ "William Johnson: Hard truths for separatists | National Post". Fullcomment.nationalpost.com. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  32. ^ http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Drainville+blames+referendum+charter+fall/9737081/story.html
  33. ^ "Conseil national - Le PQ ne profite pas de l'impopularité de Jean Charest". http://www.ledevoir.com/. Retrieved 12 February 2005. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]