|Founded||11 October 1968|
|Merger of||Mouvement Souveraineté-Association,
|Headquarters||1200 av. Papineau, Suite 150, Montreal, Quebec|
Social democracy (Québécois)
Social: moderate liberal (left)
|Official colours||blue, green|
|Seats in the National Assembly|
|Politics of Quebec
The Parti Québécois (PQ; pronounced: [paʁ.ti ke.be.kwa]) is a provincial political party in the province of Quebec in Canada that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec that would involve secession of Quebec from Canada and establishing Quebec as 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. Members and supporters of the PQ are called "péquistes" (Quebec French pronunciation: [pekɪst] ( ); English: Pequists), a French word derived from the pronunciation of the party's initials.
The PQ is the result of the 1968 merger between René Lévesque's Mouvement Souveraineté-Association and the Ralliement national. 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.
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 party was re-elected in the 1981 election, but in November 1984 it experienced the most severe internal crisis of its existence. The incident resulted in the resignation of Premier René Lévesque. In September 1985, the party leadership election chose Pierre-Marc Johnson as his successor.
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. 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 PQ 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 Jacques 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).
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.
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.
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.
The PQ was unable to maintain this momentum, 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 (This is shown by recent polls which demonstrate most Quebecers are not ready for another separation referendum). 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. 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.
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. 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.
Relationship with the Bloc Québécois
The Bloc Québécois (BQ) is a federal political party founded in 1990 by future PQ leader 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.
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.
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).
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.
|This article is outdated. (May 2008)|
||This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (May 2008)|
The party centres on the protection of the French language in Quebec, up to or including the ultimate result of sovereignty-association.
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 President François Hollande. Also during her visit, Marois commented that "Canada's current foreign policy corresponds to neither our values nor our interests".
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.
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. (Note that there are no official citizens of Quebec; 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.
Marois stated the PQ understands the appearance of newcomers is attractive and they donate largely to Quebec's growth, but she noted that does not say that to better acculturate them that "we must erase our own history."
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 wins with Pauline
- 2012: A nous de choisir – The choice is ours
Interim leader in italics
|Party leader||Years as party leader||Years as Premier|
|André Boisclair||2005–2007||Was never Premier|
|Pauline Marois||2007 – present||2012–present|
- Parti Québécois leadership elections
- Parti Québécois leadership election, 1985
- Parti Québécois leadership election, 2005
- Parti Québécois leadership election, 2007
General election results
|General election||# of candidates||# of seats won||% of popular vote||Result|
|2008||125||51||35.17 %||Liberal majority|
- SPQ Libre
- Parti Québécois Crisis, 1984
- Politics of Quebec
- History of Quebec
- List of political parties in Quebec
- Sovereigntist events and strategies
- Secessionist movements of Canada
- Parti Québécois leadership elections
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