(Closed) Separatists won the election

posted 6 years ago in Legal
Post # 4
Member
5011 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

We’re in a similar situation in Scotland. A separatist party has now been in power for five years and they’re pushing for a separation referendum in two years time.

Honestly, I don’t think it’ll end up with separation as there is so much bureaucracy in the dissolution of a union that by the time they get through that they won’t be in power any more and it’ll all go by the wayside.

Post # 6
Member
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Most people specifically wanted Jean Charest (the previous premier) out – he and his government have had serious allegations of corruption (which, in Montreal, is not exactly unusual but there’s a big commission investigating currently) and a lot of Quebecois were very upset about his government’s reaction to the student protest movement and Bill 78 which limited rights of protest.

It wasn’t so much that people in general wanted a separatist government – in fact, public opinion on sovereignty is really low (relatively speaking) at less than 30%. People voted for change. Charest has had three mandates and was premier for about 9 years and it was time to get him out. The PQ got a minority government and only 4 seats more than the Liberals, so it’s not a particularly strong statement for separatism. It’s very unlikely she will call for a referendum, and it’s equally unlikely it would pass. A lot of people actually became very jaded against the PQ due to some really unfortunate policies Marois and party members have pushed through the campaign. A lot of the younger generation has moved away from sovereignty as the end goal, but it’s about recognition of a distinct culture.

The Quebecois are fickle when it comes to politics – we voted overwhelmingly for the NDP in the last election when they went in the election with just one seat, and knocked the Bloc out almost completely.

With the shooting, an Anglophone who apparently has some kind of mental disorder according to the news went to where they were celebrating with a couple of guns, shot two people (one of whom who died) and his gun jammed, so they were able to shut the door to the building and lock him out, which is when he threw a molotov cocktail to set a fire. He was screaming about ‘les Anglais se reveillent’ (the Anglos are waking up/rising up). I watched live on TV, it was insane.

And as for the tuition protests, they were raising tuition 82% over 7 years. Unfortunately, despite the government’s promises, there was not increasing access to loans and bursaries to follow the tuition increase.

Post # 8
Member
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Oh my gosh, I didn’t realise I wrote you a novel… embarassing. Clearly I’m pretty passionate about politics here 😉

After students started protesting the proposed change last fall, the Liberal government offered that they would increase the bursaries and loans program to help with the increased cost, but unfortunately they never actually did that – students who applied for loans and bursaries weren’t getting the additional funds when their offers came in. It’s also the case that for students from the rest of Canada, their loans and bursaries wouldn’t be increasing. Anyway, in theory this hike is supposed to be removed and tuition is meant to be indexed with the cost of living but I have my doubts that this will follow through.

Essentially, the Liberals are the only QC party who don’t advocate sovereignty as the ultimate goal for QC. The PQ are most vocal about it (and in fact, most recently, it’s been because a lot of hardliners left the party because they felt Marois wasn’t going to push strongly enough for separation), but it’s a goal for each of the major parties even when their economic and social platforms differ immensely. Quebec sees itself as a distinct nation within Canada and wants recognition of that fact, but for most people now it’s not so much about achieving sovereignty but about keeping Quebec as its own culture and nation. It goes on the platforms because it’s traditionally been what Quebecois wanted, but for most people it’s symbolic. I know plenty of people who believe strongly in an independent Quebec but don’t necessarily think separation at this time is the right move.

ETA – Clearly, I ramble. Sorry!

Post # 9
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Interesting and informative, thanks! I’m also from AB – just curious, in Quebec do you hear about equalization payments?  It seems to be a huge issue for ppl here – I hear friends say they want Quebec to separate, and our friends from Montreal weren’t aware of the billions of dollars transferred from the “have” to “have not” provinces, especially Quebec.

Post # 12
Member
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@bella128:  I’m going to answer this as nicely as possible but this is a really frustrating issue because most people do not understand at all how equalization payments work.

So equalization payments. All of us are taxed the same federally – so if you and I make the same salary, our salaries are taxed identically, and part of this money goes into funding equalization payments. All that money goes into the same pot along with all the other general government revenues (GST revenue, taxes from business, etc), and *part* of this money is redistributed to the provinces through equalization. We contribute just the same as everyone else does. It’s not the province itself who pays into government general revenues but every individual taxpayer so even if you got rid of us, you’d be paying the exact same thing. Provinces with healthier incomes (Alberta, for example) do contribute more to the general tax revenue (which funds tons of things, not just equalization) because incomes are higher and therefore tax revenue is higher; obviously provinces with larger populations also pay more in taxes than do provinces with small pops because there are a greater number of workers whose income you can tax. Once a province falls below a certain per-capita income (sorry, I forget the $$) based on tax revenue in-province, they qualify to receive payments from the equalization portion of the general revenue. While QC receives a lot of money from equalization, we actually receive less per capita than most other provinces receiving equalization payments.

Incidentally, if you and I make the same income, I have *more* removed in taxes, because my provincial taxes in QC are higher than those in Alberta. Most of us here know all about equalization – we spend a painful amount of time explaining it to those who don’t know how it works. This is probably way longer than you wanted to hear, but I’m well-accustomed to defending this issue :p

ETA – I just wanted to clarify I definitely don’t mean to imply at all that you, personally, don’t know how it works – just in general a lot of people don’t understand the system and its ins and outs very clearly 🙂

Post # 13
Member
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@AB Bride:  I’m glad I’m a little bit helpful in all my long-windedness. We used to basically be a two-party system (PQ and Liberals). A new group called Coalition Avenir Quebec emerged a little less than a year ago and actually did quite well this election, and there’s now a minor fourth party, Quebec Solidaire, who now has two seats in the National Assembly. Most people outside of QC just refer to the PQ when they’re talking about nationalists and separatists because they’ve always been the major player in this.

Post # 15
Member
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@AB Bride:  Not at all. They’re very much for social justice and promote a much more inclusive Quebec than a lot of other parties. I’m probably slightly biased as I did vote for them myself, but they really are not very out there when it comes to progressive parties. It’s probably not terribly interesting to anyone outside of Quebec, but they do have their platform in English. I really liked that they made a point to focus on gender equality, they recognize the rights of First Nations, they support immigrant integration with devolving into ethnocentrism (which has been a big problem here) and they don’t hate Anglos 😉

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