An account of the Quebec Provincial Election of 2014
|Quebec Provincial Election of 2012
Before the provincial election of 2012 Mme Marois and her caucus battered away at the Liberal government over allegations of corruption, collusion and illegal political financing related to provincial and municipal contracts; at one point her caucus donned white scarves to demand an inquiry. In the fall of 2011the government set up a public inquiry, the Charbonneau Commission that uncovered illegal payments involving all political parties. How fitting that Pauline Marois now finds herself under the scrutiny of this same committee.
On September 4, 2012, Pauline Marois, leader of the Parti Québécois, became the 30th Premier of Quebec, the first female premier in Quebec’s history.
That election night in 2012 she came close to losing her life. While giving her victory speech in Quebec City Richard Henry Bain tried to enter the side door of the building with a semi automatic rifle. Shots were fired resulting in the death of a technician, Denis Blanchette and injuring another.
Two Quebec Security Guards rushed Mme Marois off stage, but a few minutes later she returned to calm the crowd and ask them to leave quietly. Although not a fan of Mme Marois, I thought she handled the situation very well.
Not the Party I voted for and certainly not the party I wanted to see in power I had to give Mme Marois my grudging admiration because that night Pauline Marois achieved something she could be proud of.
What happened to that seemingly well educated, strong, well dressed woman that led to such a humiliating defeat last night?
As Premier, Marois closed down Quebec’s only nuclear reactor, and ended asbestos production in Quebec. She was applauded by many for these two acts.
Then came the controversial Quebec Charter of Values. The separation of church and state did not go over very well with many religious communities. Other party leaders in the National Assembly were willing to work with her to come up with a charter that might work for everyone, but she was determined to use this, among other things to force an election. In her mind, she was certain she would win a majority government.
Mme Marois created a division between French and English that we hadn’t seen in many years by the time she called an election many Anglophones were so fed up they were threatening to leave the province to find a place where they could speak their language and live out their lives in peace.
As time went on she seemed to get more radical, her behavior more bizarre turning everyone against her. There were almost daily comics on Facebook starting out with
the famous “Laughing Cow” It seemed like every time she opened her mouth she made a fool of herself.
During her campaign Mme Marois made error after error. It was decided to bring in a superstar candidate, so media baron Pierre Karl Peladeau entered the scene pumping his fist in the air and shouting that Quebec would finally become a country. Mme Marois was smiling happily at his side applauding with great enthusiasm. Later when she saw the PQ had dropped down in the polls she was quick to push him away from the mic.
During the debates Marois repeatedly attacked, liberal candidate, Couillard over scandals under his predecessor Jean Charest
When asked about the possibility of a referendum she hemmed and hawed and refused to give any real answer. At the same time she refused to rule out holding a referendum in her next mandate. Speaking with journalists she put forward a theory of how it would be when Quebec finally separated from Canada, painting a rosy picture of open borders and using the Canadian dollar.
Things were going from bad to worse, the PQ now accusing students from outside Quebec of trying to steal the election, even though they fulfilled all the requirements needed to vote.
By then it was clear the election was about one thing and one thing only. It was about a referendum and the hope of becoming a sovereign nation. An election that was forced on us under false pretenses and at the low, low cost of about 88 million dollars!
But wait, eyes are beginning to open now... A referendum? Where were the plans to create jobs, improve the economy etc? There had been no mention of a referendum. That was the pivotal moment, the moment when even her supporters lost their trust in Pauline Marois turned away and cast their vote somewhere else.
There are so many things that I can’t understand about this need to be a sovereign nation. I don’t understand why the PQ feels threatened by Canada. To me Quebec is much stronger staying in Canada.
In her speech last night Marois said the French language, despite growing from a few hundred French speakers to nearly 8 million today, was still in dire straits."I am worried about our language. Regardless of our political allegiances we have a duty to brandish the torch of the French language," said Marois. "We have to continue to defend and promote our French language for all time."
Why would she be worried about her language? As she said herself it has grown from a few hundred to nearly 8 million.
It was perhaps fitting that the PQ team was dressed in black last night; the atmosphere at PQ headquarters was much like a funeral. They took their defeat very hard. They keep putting this idea of separation out there and the answer that comes back time after time is, “No” Yet as we sit here they licking their wounds and planning what they can do to convince Quebecers to decide next time will be “Yes.”