Québec solidaire

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Québec solidaire
Leader Pierre-Paul St-Onge (de jure)[1]; collective leadership (de facto)
President Andrés Fontecilla
Spokesperson Françoise David and Andrés Fontecilla
Founded February 4, 2006 (2006-02-04)
Merger of Union des forces progressistes (UFP),
Option Citoyenne
Headquarters 7105, St-Hubert, bureau 304, Montreal QC, H2S 2N1
Ideology Democratic socialism
Social democracy
Quebec sovereigntism
Internal Factions:
Anti-capitalism[2]:279
Communism (Marxism-Leninism)
Communism (Trotskyism)
Political position Left-wing to Far-Left[2]:39
Official colours Orange
Seats in the National Assembly
3 / 125
Website
www.quebecsolidaire.net
Politics of Quebec
Political parties
Elections

Québec solidaire (QS; pronounced: [ke.bɛk sɔ.li.dɛʁ]) is a left-wing social democratic[3][4] and sovereigntist political party in Quebec, Canada.[5] 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.[6][7][8]

Principles and aims[edit]

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.[9][10] 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.[11] The party favours aboriginal rights, immigration, and human dignity, and opposes discrimination including racism and homophobia.[11] QS describes itself as a sovereigntist, green, alter-globalizationist, and feminist party.[12]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Québec Solidaire Logo, (2006-2009)

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.[5] 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.[13]

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.[14][15][16] The document declared:[11]

  • "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).[citation needed] However, such an arrangement will not be renewed since the Green Party has taken a new direction.[vague][citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Election results[edit]

Québec solidaire's first political venture was to field a candidate, Manon Massé, in an April 10, 2006, by-election in Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques. She received 22% of the vote.

On 14 August 2006, there were two by-elections (Pointe-aux-Trembles and Taillon) in which QS received 8% and 7% of the vote.

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.[17]

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.[18] 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
2003* 73 0 40,422 1.06%
2007 123 0 144.418 3.64%
2008 122 1 122,618 3.78%
2012 124 2 263,111 6.03%
2014 124 3 323,367 7.63%

(* as Union des Forces Progressistes)

Members of the National Assembly[edit]

MNA District Region Years of Service
Within Caucus
Background
Françoise David Gouin Montreal 2012-present Community organizer
Women's rights activist
Option citoyenne founder and activist
Amir Khadir Mercier Montreal 2008-present Physician
Bloc Québécois candidate in 2000
UFP activist and 2003 candidate
Alter-globalization activist
Manon Massé Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques Montreal 2014-present Community centre worker
LGBT and women's rights activist

Structure[edit]

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.[19] They are sometimes referred to in the media as the de facto co-leaders of the party.[20] Régent Séguin, the secretary-general, is the de jure party leader recognized by the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec.[1] 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.[19] André Frappier served as interim co-spokesperson[21] until Andrés Fontecilla was chosen on May 5, 2013 to permanently fill the role.[22] Alexa Conradi was president from the foundation of the party until June 2009 after which Françoise David was named president-spokeswoman.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[23] Current collectives include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Québec solidaire". Directeur général des élections du Québec (in French). Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  2. ^ a b Evans, Bryan; Schmidt, Ingo (2012). Social Democracy After the Cold War. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press. pp. 39, 279. ISBN 9781926836874. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ John A. Dickinson; Brian Young (19 September 2008). A Short History of Quebec. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 367–. ISBN 978-0-7735-3439-1. 
  4. ^ Miriam Smith (13 March 2014). Group Politics and Social Movements in Canada: Second Edition. University of Toronto Press. pp. 262–. ISBN 978-1-4426-0695-1. 
  5. ^ a b "Historique" (in French). Québec Solidaire. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  6. ^ "Québec solidaire: Quebec's "left" party in the orbit of the big business PQ". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2009-06-15. ­
  7. ^ "A Day of Protest and Teargas at Prosperity and Security Summit". Translation from Le Devoir. Watching America. 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  8. ^ "Northern Lights: Socialism 2007 a Big Success". Labor Standard. Socialist Action. June 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  9. ^ Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini (2009). The Handbook of Business Discourse. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 58–. ISBN 978-0-7486-2801-8. 
  10. ^ Daniel Robichaud; Francois Cooren (2 May 2013). Organization and Organizing: Materiality, Agency and Discourse. Routledge. pp. 179–. ISBN 978-1-136-20733-4. 
  11. ^ a b c "Qui sommes-nous?" (in French). Québec Solidaire. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  12. ^ Linda Trimble; Jane Arscott; Manon Tremblay (31 May 2013). Stalled: The Representation of Women in Canadian Governments. UBC Press. pp. 208–. ISBN 978-0-7748-2522-1. 
  13. ^ "Analysis from the 2007 Quebec general election mentioning the role of the manifesto". Thetyee.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  14. ^ "Parti Communiste du Québec" (in French). 29 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  15. ^ "Manifeste de la Gauche Socialiste" (in French). Gauche socialiste. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  16. ^ "Notre Programme". La Riposte (in French). June 2009. 
  17. ^ Richard Fidler (27 March 2007). "Some Notes on the Results of the Quebec Election". Canadian Dimension magazine. 
  18. ^ "QS's Amir Khadir prevails over PQ in Montreal's Mercier riding". CBC News. 2008-12-08. 
  19. ^ a b Simard, Mathieu (2012-11-04). "Khadir steps down as Québec solidaire co-leader". The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  20. ^ Robert Dutrisac (18 December 2008). "Khadir prête serment d'allégeance aux " mal pris "". Le Devoir (in French). Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  21. ^ Simard, Mathieu (2012-12-02). "Québec Solidaire elects interim co-spokesman". CBC News. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  22. ^ "Québec solidaire choisit Andrés Fontecilla comme porte-parole". La Presse. May 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Statuts provisoires" (PDF) (in French). Magog: Québec Solidaire. p. 12. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. 
  24. ^ "Alternative Socialiste. "Qui sommes nous?"" (in French). Mpsquebec.org. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  25. ^ "Gauche socialiste" (in French). Gauche socialiste. 
  26. ^ "RÉSISTANCE. Des luttes anticapitalistes à la révolution". Socialisme International/International Socialists (in French). 
  27. ^ "La TMI s’affilie à Québec solidaire". La Riposte (in French). September 2009. 

External links[edit]