|Leader||Pierre-Paul St-Onge (de jure); collective leadership (de facto)|
|Spokesperson||Françoise David and Andrés Fontecilla|
|Founded||February 4, 2006|
|Merger of||Union des forces progressistes (UFP),
|Headquarters||7105, St-Hubert, bureau 304, Montreal QC, H2S 2N1|
|Seats in the National Assembly|
|Politics of Quebec
Québec solidaire (QS; pronounced: [ke.bɛk sɔ.li.dɛʁ]) is a left-wing social democratic and sovereigntist political party in Quebec, Canada. The party and media outlets use the name "Québec solidaire" in both French and English, but the party's name is sometimes translated as "Solidarity Quebec" or "Quebec Solidarity" in English-language media.
Principles and aims
The aim of QS's foundation was to unify the left of the political spectrum in Quebec by merging the Union des forces progressistes (UFP) party with the Option citoyenne social movement. In addition to advocating the independence of Quebec from Canada, the party's platform identifies with the concepts of environmentalism, feminism, social justice, proportional representation and participatory democracy, pacifism, aboriginal rights, and alter-globalism. The party favours aboriginal rights, immigration, and human dignity, and opposes discrimination including racism and homophobia. QS describes itself as a sovereigntist, green, alter-globalizationist, and feminist party.
QS presents itself as an alternative to the main three parties in Quebec (the Parti Québécois, the Quebec Liberal Party, and the Coalition Avenir Québec), saying that the three are different faces of neoliberalism, which QS considers right-wing. QS also holds that its view of an independent Quebec is a completely different project than that of the Parti Québecois. Rather than working for independence for its own sake, QS works for an internationalist independence - an independence based on principles of social justice. For QS, independence is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Québec solidaire was founded on 4 February 2006 in Montreal by the merger of the left-wing party Union des forces progressistes (UFP) and the alter-globalization political movement Option Citoyenne, led by Françoise David. It was formed around a number of activists and politicians who had written Pour un Québec solidaire, a left-wing response to Pour un Québec lucide. Pour un Québec lucide presented a distinctly neoliberal analysis of and set of solutions to Québec's problems, particularly criticizing the sovereignty movement as distracting from Québec's real issues and the Québec social model as inefficient and out-of-date. Pour un Québec solidaire presented an alternate analysis, and later its writers formed the party Québec solidaire, taking its name from the manifesto.
At the party's founding, the congress unanimously adopted a document called the Déclaration de principes (declaration of principles) which laid out the principles and values that led the two organizations to merge. The declaration of principles does not specifically endorse social democracy, socialism or communism, although it includes certain activists and tendencies that do. The document declared:
- "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
- "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the Left")
- "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
- "Nous sommes féministes" ("We are feminists")
- "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec souverain et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and united [literally: solidarity-showing] Quebec")
- "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("Another party, for another Quebec!")
The Green Party of Quebec had tried to avoid running candidates in ridings where there was a UFP candidate, although it reserved the right to run anywhere it wants to (even ridings with a UFP candidate). However, such an arrangement will not be renewed since the Green Party has taken a new direction.[vague]
The party had no logo for several months after its formation, until the National Council adopted the logo at right in 2006. It adopted orange as its political colour in 2009 and adjusted its logo to match.
Québec solidaire contested the 2007 Quebec election. It won 3.65% of the popular vote and received 144,418 votes, 0.21% behind the Green Party of Quebec. They were also endorsed by the Montreal Central Council of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux which represents 125,000 members in Quebec. According to an analysis on Canadian Dimension, this is the first time a trade union in Quebec has endorsed a party more left-wing than the Parti Québécois.
On 8 December 2008, the first Quebec Solidaire candidate was elected in the provincial election. Amir Khadir was elected in the Montreal riding of Mercier. He won his seat for the second term on 2012 election along with another QS candidate Françoise David in Montreal riding of Gouin. Manon Massé was elected in Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques in the 2014 election to become the party's third MNA, joining David and Khadir who were both re-elected.
|General election||# of candidates||# of elected candidates||# of votes||% of popular vote|
Members of the National Assembly
|MNA||District||Region||Years of Service
|Françoise David||Gouin||Montreal||2012-present||Community organizer
Women's rights activist
Option citoyenne founder and activist
Bloc Québécois candidate in 2000
UFP activist and 2003 candidate
|Manon Massé||Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques||Montreal||2014-present||Community centre worker
LGBT and women's rights activist
The party's statutes call for it to be represented by a male and female co-spokesperson, one who sits in the National Assembly and one from outside it who serves the dual role as party president. They are sometimes referred to in the media as the de facto co-leaders of the party. Régent Séguin, the secretary-general, is the de jure party leader recognized by the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec. Françoise David and Amir Khadir were the two spokespersons at the party's founding. After the 2012 election where Françoise David won a seat for the first time and Amir Khadir was re-elected, Khadir stepped down as co-spokesperson so a new one could be chosen from outside the legislature. André Frappier served as interim co-spokesperson until Andrés Fontecilla was chosen on May 5, 2013 to permanently fill the role. Alexa Conradi was president from the foundation of the party until June 2009 after which Françoise David was named president-spokeswoman. As with its predecessors, Option Citoyenne and the Union des forces progressistes, the party has no "party leader". Instead, the duties generally entrusted to the leader are instead divided among the president, secretary general and male and female spokespeople. The party leadership is assumed by the National Coordinating Committee, composed of 16 persons elected by the founding congress. A person from the team of volunteers will always have a seat.
The national spokespersons of Québec solidaire have greater visibility than the secretary general and are best known. Françoise David has been named Personality of the Year by Le Point and Amir Khadir is known for becoming the first elected member of the party in the elections in Mercier in 2008.
The basic unit of the party is the local association. There is a local association for each of the 125 ridings in Quebec. These local associations are grouped into 19 regional associations, whose primary mandate to support the establishment of local associations. In March 2007, Québec solidaire has 61 local associations organized. Students and staff at institutions of higher education are grouped in campus associations that also participate in the democratic life of the party. Two national commissions are also part of the structure of Québec solidaire: the Political Committee and the National Commission for Women. The first is composed of 14 thematic committees and is responsible for proposing a program to members. It was responsible for drafting the electoral platform of the party in general elections of 2007. The National Commission for Women is composed of delegates from each region and is responsible for ensuring that feminism is a value which transverses the party.
Québec solidaire also includes a number of collectives, made up of members in good standing who may, in compliance with requirements, promote their respective political views within Québec solidaire. Unlike the UFP, these groups do not have formal representation in the Congress, the National Council or other bodies of the party. Current collectives include:
- Socialist Alternative, the Quebec section of the Committee for a Workers' International.
- Décroissance conviviale, a collective which promotes degrowth.
- Gauche Socialiste, the Quebec section of the reunified Fourth International.
- Laïcité, a collective which promotes the separation of church and state.
- Mass critique, an anti-capitalist collective.
- The Parti Communiste du Québec (PCQ), a communist collective.
- The Parti Communiste du Québec - Parti Communiste du Canada (PCQ-PCC), the Quebec membership of the Communist Party of Canada.
- Socialisme Internationale, the Quebec membership of the International Socialists.
- Tendance Marxiste Internationale, the Quebec section of the International Marxist Tendency.
- Parti de la démocratie socialiste
- Parti communiste du Québec
- Politics of Quebec
- National Assembly of Quebec
- Political parties in Quebec
- Gauche Socialiste
- International Socialists
- Communist Party of Canada
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- Official website
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- New Party fills gap on the left
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- After A Highly Successful Year Québec Solidaire Starts Debate On Program by Roger Rashi, The Bullet #406, August 24, 2010.