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article imageQuebec elects minority Parti Quebecois government

By Ken Hanly     Sep 4, 2012 in Politics
Quebec - Although at times the lead changed between Liberals and the PQ, as of this posting, the PQ is predicted to have won a minority government in the Canadian province of Quebec.
The CBC(Canadian Broadcasting System) has just predicted that the province of Quebec will have a PQ(Parti Quebecois) minority government with the first female premier of the province, Pauline Marois. The National Post also predicted a PQ minority government.
A number of ridings are still too close to call but as of this posting the results were as follows: the Parti Quebecois was leading in 56 ridings, the Quebec Liberals 47, and CAQ 20, and Quebec Solidaire 2. The Parti Quebecois is a separatist party. 63 seats would be required for a majority government.
Polls show that only 28% of Quebec residents presently support Quebec independence. This means that there is unlikely to be a referendum on the question in the near future as some separatist hardliners might wish.
However Marois is likely to ask for more powers from the federal government in certain areas. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper is very unpopular in Quebec. If Marois is unsuccessful in negotiating with Harper she may use this as an argument in favor of separation.
The Liberals did better than the last polls indicated and the CAQ did not do as well. Many voters were undecided as the appended video shows and must have opted to vote Liberal to try to keep the PQ from forming a government even though the Liberal government is not at all popular. As I post this, the Liberal leader Jean Charest was losing in his own riding. However the race was too close to call.
The PQ hoped to get a majority so that it could pass its program but now it will have to shelve anything that is controversial. The CAQ (Coalition Avenir Quebec) describes itself as center-right on economic issues but left of center on social issues. It is not committed to Quebec sovereignty nor to federalism according to its leader. The whole idea of holding a referendum in the near future will no doubt be shelved.
The CAQ did not get as many seats as it had hoped. With voters disliking both Liberals and PQ and the corruption in Quebec politics, they had dreamed of forming their own minority government. However for a party that is less than a year old they did quite well.
Quebec Solidaire is a left leaning separatist party. It managed to double its seats from one to two, so they were happy enough with their performance. No doubt many anglophones will be upset with the PQ winning. However, with a minority the PQ will not be able to do much to disturb the status quo in Quebec and any separatist moves will be on the back burner for now.
UPDATE: ( Sept 5 AM) The most recent results are: Liberals 50 seats, PQ 54, CAQ 19, QS 2.
After I posted there was a shooting at the PQ victory party and speech by Marois. Two people were hit and one died from their wounds. The leader of the PQ Pauline Marois was not hurt and there was no panic as the lone gunman was quickly apprehended.
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