A Léger-Journal de Montréal
March 24 said the Philippe Couillard Liberals are in position to form a
majority government. The main Parti Québécois (PQ)
immediately rang the alarm to warn sovereignists intending to vote for
Québec solidaire or Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) to
beware the consequence -- this
will bring the Liberals to power.
Are we witnessing an attempted electoral coup? Pollsters
regularly intervene in the political debate in Quebec to disinform
public opinion in one direction or the other. Léger-Journal de Montréal, which
belongs to the Peladeau family,
as well as CROP and other pollsters are masters at disinforming the
They ensure that there is no coherent and unifying response that serves
the interests of the people. One has only to recall the atmosphere
created around "reasonable accommodations," which led to the creation
of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission in February 2007. It was preceded in
the spring of 2006 by surveys
and articles in the Journal de
Montréal on Quebeckers' "concerns" about
One thing is certain, this serves as an electoral
counter-coup. For the past few weeks the Canadian monopoly-owned media
have been creating hysteria about "separatism" to try to rescue
Philippe Couillard and the Liberals. Then we learn, in a so-called leak
of information on internal Liberal strategy, that the
Liberal candidates are attempting to influence the sovereigntist vote
favour of the CAQ or Québec solidaire. To direct them to the CAQ
they repeat that "the PQ is in bed with the unions" and in the case of
Québec solidaire they say that the PQ government has not met
expectations regarding social policies. (As if the
Liberals are the great defenders of social programs!)
The Parti Quebecois responded by trying to direct the
debate toward the issue of integrity. They referred to the relationship
between Philippe Couillard and Arthur Porter, the public administrator
now in jail for corruption, and reminded everyone that Couillard went
to work for companies linked to the privatization
of health care just months after leaving his post as Minister of
Health. In response to this, the Liberal Party demanded that all party
leaders disclose information about their business ties and those of
their spouses, obviously targeting Pauline Marois' husband, who is a
businessman. And so on, ad nauseam.
So what conclusion can be drawn? These electoral media
manoeuvres all have in common that they usurp the power of the
electorate to decide. None of the issues is raised with the aim of
providing solutions to the problems the polity would like to see taken
up. This week the parties
and the media are speaking about integrity and
corruption, but what is causing this corruption? How can it be stopped?
Isn't the current media electioneering, in which large private
conglomerates intervene in favour of one party or another, corruption?
It's the same on the issue of sovereignty. Can the
offensive to deprive the people of Quebec the right to decide their
future really be defeated by using media manoeuvres and diversionary
tactics, which have the effect of further marginalizing the people?
In this election, we must ensure that none of the major
parties can claim to have the mandate to do whatever they want. We must
find ways to end their their dogma that there is no alternative but to
pay the rich and destroy social programs. It is also necessary to put
the national question on the agenda, as well as the question of the
direction of the economy and the question of the need to renew the
democratic institutions by keeping the initiative on these matters in
the hands of the working people.
(PMLQ Candidate, l'Acadie)
Quebec Sovereignty and the "Anglo" Vote
- Diane Johnston -
Why is it a given that
English speaking Quebeckers will never
support Quebec sovereignty? What sovereignty are we referring to? Our
sovereignty is not based on linguistic lines. The Quebec nation was
first comprised of the First Nations, the Métis, settlers
France, Ireland, Scotland and England, followed by Americans who left
during the war of independence in the United States, and more recently
immigrants from all over the world, who have
made Quebec their home and contribute to its enrichment both culturally
and economically. In fact, many who refer to themselves as
"Anglophones" are our national minorities
who settled in Quebec particularly during the 20th century and continue
to use and promote their own mother tongues.
Quebec sovereignty is crucial to the renewal both of
Quebec and of
Canada and our national minorities are an integral part of our modern
Quebec. Canada and Quebec are being integrated into the United States
of North American Monopolies at an ever-increasing speed, whether
through its borders, economy,
defence, international policy, including war preparations on the side
of the U.S., etc. The national question concerns everyone, whether they
like it or not.
It would be a thousand times better if the people
engaged in the issue, not on the basis of old controversies about
divisions between Anglophones and Francophones, but to guarantee that
integration into the United States
of North American Monopolies doesn't destroy us. We must create a
nation that defends the rights of all,
all individuals and collectives, by ensuring that the human factor
takes precedence on questions that affect the society and the natural
must humanize both the human and natural environment.
The federal government has never recognized the Quebec
right to self-determination and has always refused to negotiate with it
on an equal nation-to-nation basis. The same goes for the First
Nations. What's more, Quebec, like Canada, has inherited a 19th century
British parliamentary system which
is anachronistic and in need of renewal. The so-called democratic
institutions, including the party system of government, are in crisis.
The electoral system brings parties to power whose candidates have been
chosen by the parties and not the people. The electoral process no
longer expresses the public will so as to transform it into the legal
Fighting for sovereignty here in Quebec will contribute
to the same for our fellow Canadians.
In this election and after, let's work to build
Commissions on the Future of Quebec.
The Quebec Liberal Party Remains an Obstacle to the
Expression of the Popular Will
- Pierre Soublière -
Listening to Quebec Liberal
Party Leader Philippe Couillard, it
would seem that in the best of worlds, if any notion of a referendum on
the future of Quebec could be brushed aside, all would be well. This
view that we must abandon the constitutional question and move on to
"real issues" -- the economy -- dates
from the time of Jean Chrétien, in the post-referendum period.
having interfered in the decisions of the Quebec people and having
mired himself in the sponsorship scandal, Chrétien wanted to
attention from his own illegal activities by continuing to attack the
right of Quebeckers to affirm their nationhood.
If the Liberal Party rants against a "referendum" as if
this form of
plebiscite was the work of the devil himself, it is because it opposes,
body and soul, any expression of the popular will, period. Did it not
sufficiently demonstrate this in its response to the student struggle?
The 1995 referendum was a democratic
exercise in proper and due form, with a much higher turnout, in fact,
than either the federal or the Quebec elections. This morbid
preoccupation with opposing a referendum is indicative of how the
Liberal Party jealously guards the power it especially does not want to
share with the "masses." It reflects a fierce opposition
to the right of the Quebec people to assert themselves as a nation and
decide on any issue whatsoever.
Since the Leaders' debate, Couillard has said that
Quebec does not
have the financial means to form a country. These statements are
contrary to those held by Jean Charest in 2006 when he declared,
"Quebec has the means to become independent. The question today isn't
whether we have the means -- Yes, we
do. Nobody questions that."
So we see that anything goes. The Liberal Party under
the guise of
talking about "real issues" is, on the contrary, rehashing old issues
to hide that they themselves have nothing to offer as solutions to the
political, economic and social problems of Quebec. They are the biggest
fraudsters around. If they are not
stirring up hysteria about investors who will no longer want to invest
in the Outaouais, they are claiming that there will be an exodus of
Anglophones from Quebec in the event of a PQ majority. However, even on
this, anything goes. For example, statistics show that the trend
in recent years in the Outaouais
is that Anglophones are increasingly settling in Quebec, housing prices
being an important factor. But the Liberal MP for Hull, who as a good
Liberal likes to maintain this kind of hysteria, said regarding these
statistics that in fact it is the Francophones she has met who thought
of leaving the Outaouais in the event
of a PQ majority!!
The real concern of the "good doctor" and his gang,
to continue to decide everything for us. It must not pass! Wherever we
can inflict a defeat, we must not hesitate to do so.
(PMLQ candidate, Chapleau)
Youth Participation in This Election
- Linda Sullivan -
According to a survey
conducted from February 28 to
March 3 by Leger Marketing on behalf of TVA Nouvelles, 30 per cent of
youth vote (18 to 24 years) is leaning toward the Liberal Party of
Quebec (PLQ), 29 per cent toward the Parti Québécois
(PQ), 18 per cent toward
Québec solidaire (QS) and 15 per cent toward the Coalition
The polls predict a drop in youth participation in this
election compared to 2012, when the student movement for the right to
education was in full swing. (They forget to mention that it was the
youth who forced an election which led to the defeat of the Liberals
and Jean Charest.)
These figures make no sense presented in this way. It
seems to be the same old story that youth are apolitical or they
consider the issue of the future of Quebec as passé. In fact,
often the surveys commissioned by the mainstream media and political
parties give different percentages for the voting intentions
of Francophones and Anglophones. Immediately one can see how they
divide the people on the question of the future of Quebec, as if it is
not an issue that belongs to the whole body politic without regard to
language, national origin, religious beliefs, political associations or
If the participation rate of youth is declining in this
election (as it probably is for all voters because it has been the
trend over the last twenty years with the exception of the 2012
election), it is because the youth don't know who to vote for, they
don't see their collective interests represented by choosing amongst
the major parties.
No doubt the youth mistrust the PQ. Not only has it
pursued the anti-social offensive during its 18 months in government,
but they don't want to be associated with the obscurantist outlook that
filtered through during the debate on values and secularism. The
youth's perspective is oriented toward how we can
build a society where the development of the human being can flourish,
that is to say a society where the people have the ability to exercise
control over their social and natural environment.
For the youth, an alternative is very important. What is
the alternative? Certainly not the Liberals. They are the champions of
the anti-social offensive and nation-wrecking. Furthermore their
to even discuss constitutional renewal and their self-serving notions
of "individual rights" merely maintain the division
of the body politic. Their definition of individual rights does not
include you and me, it only includes the rights of monopolies legally
constituted as individuals.
It's not the debate on the future of Quebec that is
turning the youth off in this election. It's not true that they believe
that it's an "old" debate that "belongs in the 1960s." What they reject
is the division of the body politic between "separatist" and
"federalists," between "French" and "English," between "native
Quebeckers" and "newcomers." The discussion on the future of Quebec
belongs to all Quebeckers. In this election, the PMLQ is calling on the
youth and students to organize themselves to block any majority of the
parties representing the anti-social offensive in order to stay their
wrecking ball. We must also undertake
the work to create the Commissions on the Future of Quebec in
neighbourhoods, work places, schools and elsewhere to wrest the debate
on the future of Quebec from the hands of the cartel party system.
The Struggle to Guarantee the Right to Education in
Quebec Has Only Just Begun
- Gabriel Girard-Bernier -
Many people are of the
opinion that the monopoly media and parties
have voluntarily hidden a large part of their electoral agenda:
education. Probably still in shock from the student strike of 2012, all
concerns with the education system have been swept under the rug.
However, the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ),
the Parti Québécois (PQ) and the Coalition Avenir
Québec (CAQ) all
agree on raising tuition fees and refuse to talk about the future of
the education system.
The focus of the education issue in Quebec is to
guarantee the right
to education for all. This means, among other things, an end to hidden
fees as well as so-called ancilliary fees, which vary from one
to another, making major investments to provide free education from
kindergarten to the PhD level and building
dynamic institutions at all levels of education.
The notion of the rich and their parties that the cost
is a student issue is a total fraud. The Liberals have pushed their
attacks against students to such an extent that, in 2012, their
government did everything possible to criminalize the struggle to
guarantee the right to education, including militarizing
CEGEPs and universities. Refusing to revisit the student strike, the
Liberals have simply struck the theme of education from their election
campaign. The PQ still wants to increase tuition and the CAQ harps on
about its obsession with eradicating school boards, as if that would
solve the problems in education.
The Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec proposes a new
Quebec with the program demanding that the state stop paying the rich
and invest in social programs. Education is a right and the education
system should be based on this principle. That is why we propose the
1. Make major investments in education;
2. Impose an immediate freeze on tuition fees for Fall
2014 and gradually abolish it altogether;
3. Gradually transform the system of loans and grants to
bursaries program to ensure that each student has the right to a
4. Abolish ancilliary fees;
5. Cap tuition fees for international students,
facilitate their access to work and reduce their fees.
Public Sector Workers' Working and Living Conditions
- Pierre Chénier -
The collective agreements of
more than 400,000 public and broader
public sector workers in health care, social services, education,
post-secondary education and other public services will expire on March
31, 2015. The unions are committed to working as a common front to
present their demands by the end
of 2014. The working and living conditions of public sector workers
must be in the forefront of this election campaign. These workers must
have the necessary living and working conditions that permit them to
provide Quebeckers with the services on which they depend. We must
ensure that the living and working
conditions of these workers are commensurate with the work they carry
out for society.
It has become customary for the ruling circles and their
denigrate the public and broader public sector services and the workers
in these sectors as a "cost" and their pensions as a "burden" to
society. They say this cost must be reduced for the well-being of
society. The cuts to these sectors lead to the
deterioration of services. The crisis which they themselves create in
these sectors is then used to call for the complete privatization of
public services as the solution.
According to the perverse logic of the parties of the
rich, we must
"first create wealth" before we can invest in social programs and
services. In fact, what they call "creating wealth" consists of nothing
more than transferring ever greater portions of the social wealth to
private monopoly interests. The impression
they create is that there is no alternative to the destruction of
social programs and services.
For the working class, social programs and public
services are part
of the wealth the workers create. The more these services are able to
meet the needs of workers and the general population, the stronger the
economy will be. The opposite also applies: the more services and
social programs are underfunded or
cut, the weaker and more unable to create wealth the economy becomes.
Social programs and public services are a necessity for the
humanization of society.
(PMLQ Leader and Candidate, Marie-Victorin)
Security in Retirement --
An Election and Post-Election Issue
- Claude Moreau -
No! is the answer from
workers and retirees to the demands that they
be stripped of their retirement savings or have their pensions cut. We
will not accept paying more and working longer only to find ourselves
without security in retirement. Nor do we accept having billions stolen
from our pensions! We demand
that the well-being of seniors and dignity and security in retirement
In 2012, of the 121,122 retirees aged 65 and over in the
broader public sectors, the majority were women (86,440) who receive an
average of $9,990 per year. Even with the Quebec
benefits added in they still earned so little that those without other
income also qualified for the Federal
Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Where are the Cadillac pension funds, the "wall-to-wall"
funds decried by neo-liberal loudmouths?
Federally, a single person receiving Old Age Security
annual income is $16,728 or less, is entitled to the Guaranteed Income
Supplement. As noted in the Quebec government's April 2013 report on
pensions (the Amours report), the annual adjustment to federal pensions
does not follow that of
wages, thus widening the gap between retirement income and wages.
Irrational propaganda about "deficits" is used to
justify attacks on
workers' retirement savings as well as public pensions in the form of
reduced benefits and contribution increases when tens of billions of
dollars disappeared in 2008.
The federal government will incrementally increase the
from 65 to 67 years of age starting May 2023 (those born in 1958 and
Contributions to the Quebec Pension Plan have gradually
increased but the annuity for those who retire at age 60 will be
between 30 per cent and 36 per cent lower than the amount they would
receive if they had waited until age 65 to apply and the reduction
applies for as long as the pension is paid.
Forestry retirees from White Birch and others in Quebec
have seen their pensions cut in half.
A provincial bill fixed payment of municipal pension
50-50, obliging workers to participate in paying down the deficit and
even opening the door to implicate retirees too. Meanwhile, high
returns on investments in the 1990s created surpluses used to justify
employers taking contribution holidays.
Municipal governments instead handed over their share of the pension
contributions to speculators and financial fraudsters who, with the
2008 crisis and the negative returns in 2011, increased deficits of
The workers' pension funds are also under attack. The
government will gradually cancel the tax benefits these funds provide.
Meanwhile a campaign is being waged to deprive unions of their funds.
For example, there is the Quebec Labour Federation (FTQ) Solidarity
Fund, over which FTQ should have
It should also be asked who is running the banks that
funds? Do we really want to put in charge of the workers' retirement
funds the same kind of people who lost tens of billions in retirement
savings at the Caisse de dépôt et placement de
Québec? The Caisse de
dépôt et placement du Québec had
assets of $200.1 billion on December 31, 2013. The public and broader
public sector pension funds alone, (2012) Government and Public
Employees Retirement Plan (RREGOP), make up 48.7 percent of deposits
($85,863 billion) and the Quebec Pension Plan 22 percent ($ 39,070
billion). RREGOP contributions
have just been increased as well.
Should the role of government not be to ensure security
retirement and protect retirement savings, not to deliver billions of
dollars contributed by workers to speculators and financial fraudsters?
Retirement security is an issue in this election and one
that will remain after the elections.
1. Commission administrative des régimes de
retraite et d'assurances (CARRA), actuarial analysis as of December 31,
(PMLQ candidate, Jean-Lesage)
Fund the Process Not the Parties
- Christine Dandenault -
One of the most frequent
comments we hear from people we
meet while doing election work is how uninformed they feel despite
massive spending by the parties and the government on all kinds of
The Chief Electoral Officer of Québec (DGEQ) has
announced that the current election will cost about $88 million. The
expenses include: preparatory activities, election materials, computer
equipment, staff salaries for the DGEQ and election personnel,
transportation and communications, administrative services,
rents, materials and supplies and reimbursement of electoral expenses
(the DGEQ reimburses 50 per cent of the election expenses of any
elected candidate who wins 15 per cent of the vote).
In addition to this are the allowable expenses of
political parties during elections beyond those reimbursed by the
government. In the September 4, 2012 elections, the parties were
allowed to spend $81,232,106.
This does not include the resources and salaries of
journalists and technical staff that the monopoly media and polling
agencies employ, who are primarily used to cover the activities of the
political parties arbitrarily considered able to win the election.
These gigantic media conglomerates spend a considerable
amount of their resources during a campaign. It is a form of free
advertising not covered by the law governing electoral spending that
provides these parties with interviews, special programs (for example
CBC's Vote Compass), polls and daily reports.
Parties themselves employ expensive marketing firms and
spend the tens of millions of dollars they are permitted to spend under
the electoral law on extensive advertising campaigns, billboards,
telephone solicitations and other sophisticated marketing mechanisms.
The cost of an election is not limited to these
expenses. In addition, the state pays annual allowances, reimburses
auditing expenses and makes contributions to the political parties.
The state pays an annual allowance to
political parties based on the number of votes cast in an election. In
2010 the state paid an allowance of $0.50 per vote to political
parties. The allowance increased that same year to $0.82, to $0.83 in
2011 and $0.85 in 2012. A political contribution
tax credit system also existed for donors at that time.
At the end of 2012, the law was amended and state
allowances increased to $1.50 per vote. The law eliminated tax credits
and limits contributions to a political party to $100 per voter.
Instead, the DGEQ pays contributions directly to parties in proportion
to the contributions they receive.
In 2012, the state paid a total of $4,986,118 in
allowances to nine authorized political parties. Of this total, the
Parti Québécois (PQ), Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) and
Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) received $4,806,922, or 96 per
total allowances. This amount represents 57 per cent of the income of
the political parties.
In 2013, the state paid $10,640,246 to 18 authorized
political parties (who participated in the 2012 elections). Of these,
90 per cent or $9,576,222 was paid to the PQ, the PLQ and CAQ.
auditing expenses: The Electoral
provides that the Chief Electoral Officer shall reimburse the
authorized parties half the expense of auditing their annual financial
report up to $15,000. In 2012, the state reimbursed political parties
$74,561 for these fees.
Contribution payment: Since January 2013, in addition to
annual allowances, the Chief Electoral Officer makes contributions to
political parties. Contributions of $2.50 are paid for every dollar in
contributions received by the authorized parties from their supporters
up to $20,000 per party per year, then $1.00
for each dollar received in excess of this limit, up to an annual
amount of $200,000 per party.
In 2013, according to available data, the DGEQ paid at
least $250,000 to each of the PQ, the PLQ and the CAQ for a total of
People are right to say that these massive expenditures
are a waste if all the publicity, or at least a major part of the
publicity boils down to propaganda for the parties of the rich and at
the end of the day voters are no more knowledgeable about the solutions
to society's problems. It is a sign that the electoral
process and campaign financing are not centred on the voter, the human
factor, as a decision-maker who must be informed about the issues
impartially and must have information on all candidates and all parties
to make an informed choice.
Elections to public office are a public project. Why not
use that money to inform voters about all the candidates and their
programs as well as other matters of public interest related to an
election? Those who work hard every day to make the society function
deserve to be at the heart of the election, not on the
sidelines. For the PMLQ, a central element of any reform of the
electoral process that will truly vest the people with
decision-making power is that all spending at election time should be
used to finance the process, not the parties.
1. The allowance is calculated by
dividing between the
parties, in proportion to the percentage of valid votes obtained by
them in the previous general election, an amount equal to the product
obtained by multiplying the fixed amount ($0.82, $0.83 $1.50) by the
number of voters on the electoral lists used in that
Statistiques sur les rapports financiers des
partis politiques provinciaux, direction du financement politique,
Septembre 2013; DGEQ website)
Interview with Leader of the
Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec
How to Intervene in This Election
- Pierre Chénier -
Election day is Monday, April 7. What is the Marxist-Leninist Party of
Quebec (PMLQ) predicting?
Pierre Chénier: Predictions today
are not reliable
because of the phenomenon that has become known as electoral coups. The
so-called major political parties and the monopoly media are using
marketing tools to peddle scare tactics and other nonsense to disinform
the polity. The PMLQ thinks
that the best outcome would be for the Quebec people once again to
bring in a minority government so that nobody has the unfettered
possibility to push destructive programs on the people. To achieve this
requires the concerted recognition that how people vote can make a
CP: With four days to go, the polls are
predicting a Liberal majority. What do you think?
PC: A new poll, released on April 1 by
Forum Research, ordered by The Gazette,
gives the Liberals a majority government with 41 per cent of the votes;
Parti Québécois (PQ) second, with 29 per cent of the
Avenir Québec (CAQ) third; with 19 per cent; and
Quebec Solidaire (QS) fourth, with 7 per cent.
This confirms a previous poll released on March 25 by
Leger Marketing, ordered by the Journal de Montréal,
which also gives a majority government to the Liberals -- the Liberals
get 40 per cent of the votes, the PQ 33 per cent, CAQ 15 per cent and
Quebec Solidaire 9 per cent.
Are these polls reliable? We don't think so. Recent
elections in Alberta and British Columbia have confirmed that polls are
manipulated by vested interests in the most extraordinary ways. In some
cases, a party itself will spread the news that the opposition is going
to win in order to scare their own
forces into stopping that from taking place by voting for the party
which is allegedly not going to make it. The rank and file of the PQ
will have to think very carefully about how they vote because a Liberal
victory lies in wait at their door and no matter what legitimate beefs
they have against the PQ, a Liberal
victory will not be good for Quebec either.
CP: Please elaborate further how you
think the diversions are taking place.
PC: The monopoly media are pushing hard
that the CAQ
and François Legault have risen in the polls since the second
debate. Generally they say that the turning point in the campaign came
when Péladeau (owner of the news consortium Quebecor/Sun Media)
a PQ candidate
and, raising his fist, said that his aim in joining the PQ is to build
a country. The media are pushing that the central issue in the election
is the PQ plan to hold or prepare a referendum if it is elected and
that nobody wants that. The Liberals are running on a platform that
electing the Liberals is the only way to make
sure that there will not be a referendum and that the Liberals are
going to deal with the economy ("the real issues").
All of this is very diversionary because as far as the
Quebec sovereignty goes, it is not a matter of dividing the polity
between English and French speaking, federalists and separatists or
stability versus instability. Both Canada and Quebec are being
integrated into a new state under private monopoly
control. Everyone must take up nation-building, otherwise the things
which Quebec is facing will no longer be under the people's control. It
is urgent the people take up this question on their own terms, not the
terms set by the media, or anyone else.
The second diversion is to suggest that the Liberals
will deal with
"the real issues." Whose "real issues" would those be? Those of the
people? Of course not.
Since the media started this
refrain, the PQ has gone on the
defensive. Instead of arguing why Quebec sovereignty would defend
Quebec's interests and those of the Quebec people, it has been saying
that it would not hold a referendum until the Quebec people are ready
for it. They then tried to present themselves
as the Party of Quebec identity. This raises the issue of their Charter
of Quebec values which is highly controversial. They called the
elections without hearing all the parties who wanted to speak on the
Charter and they made it clear that if they get a majority, they will
impose it, no matter what people say or think.
In the opinion of the PMLQ, this is very inept because the PQ does not
have a progressive view on the Charter.
In any case, the PQ tried to build a campaign on the
basis of saying
that it defends Quebec's interests and good government with a good
economic record. The media then said that this attempt to make the
election about integrity and the need to oppose corruption means that
both the Liberals and the PQ have
to deal with the issue of illegal fund raising. According to the media,
the PQ has failed to focus the election on the theme of Quebec identity
and so on.
CP: An aspect of the situation is that a
people who traditionally would vote PQ do not want to vote for them at
this time because of the anti-social offensive, because of
because of Marois who is seen as arrogant and upper class, because they
broke their promises on the Health
Tax and so on. What is your opinion?
PC: Yes, we meet quite a few PQ
supporters who do
not support the Charter on values and think it is detrimental to the
cause of sovereignty. Péladeau is also hard to swallow because
he is so
virulently anti-union. Of course, the national question exists
independent of whether one is for
capitalism or socialism and it is urgent the working class takes the
lead on this issue, which is why the PMLQ is calling on the working
people, the youth and students and seniors to create the Commission on
the Future of Quebec -- to make sure they influence the outcome.
To decide how to vote based on a rejection of the PQ
give rise to a Liberal majority and this will not be good for Quebec.
The Quebec people have to cast their vote in this election in a manner
that gives rise to the best outcome within the situation. None of the
political parties vying for election
in fact champion the interests of the people. That is why they should
be kept in minority status, so that no party has free rein to do as it
pleases. The worker's opposition must keep them in check.
CP: What about Quebec Solidaire?
PC: The tactics of Quebec Solidaire in
are to criticize the PQ to the maximum in the hope of picking up the
disgruntled PQ vote. It is saying that QS is the true party of
sovereignty and it is actually asking for a referendum to be held
during the next mandate. At the same time
QS picks up on the broken promises of the PQ, saying that it has turned
to the right, and so on. In the opinion of the PMLQ the real problem is
the electoral process where all the political parties must divide the
polity to advance their own electoral chances. These politics do not
solve any problem. They are a gamble
even as concerns whether they will increase the QS vote and, in fact,
it can help the Liberals get elected. But of course the QS is entitled
to push itself just as is any other party. Our politics are to consider
the outcome for the people of Quebec and alert them to the necessity to
occupy the space for change themselves,
not think that anyone else is going to defend their interests on their
CP: So you
think the prospect is real that the Liberals might become the next
PC: It certainly looks that way but as
nothing is predictable. The Quebec people are a political people. They
have a sense which is very profound. A lot depends on how far the CAQ
votes in the CAQ ridings shift to the Liberals and on voter
For Quebec, it is not good politically to have the
Liberals back in
power. It will not only fuel feelings of pessimism, meaning that the
workers, students and youth would feel that the movement was not able
to push forward with the advances it had made prior to the 2012
election to present demands that are for
a Quebec that defends the rights of all. A Liberal victory would be
used as an endorsement for the status quo of the brutal neo-liberal
anti-social offensive. The privatization of health care, the plunder of
Quebec's resources, the Plan Nord, the constant pressure on the
workers' standard of living and their pensions
and so on, will be given a green light. The Liberals have created
conflicts everywhere they could -- by criminalizing the struggle of the
youth, public sector workers, construction workers -- to prevent
political discussion on the problems raised. This must not pass. The
PMLQ calls on workers all over Quebec to do
whatever they can not to give this a green light.
A Liberal victory will of course also be used to declare
federally the Liberals have a base in Quebec. It is worth mentioning
that the Liberals represent those forces who supported the Meech Lake
and Charlottetown Accords which were defeated by the people in Quebec
and Canada. They have still not accepted
that the people rejected their position on the constitution. People
must be encouraged to reject them again in this election.
All of this shows that the workers must put their own
options on the
table because the choices they are given do not represent their
interests. Nothing will change in the interests of the people unless
the workers put forward their own independent politics and on that
basis become influential enough to prevent
the monopoly interests from destroying the society and the public
CP: What then is your call on the eve
of the vote?
PC: Our call remains to block the
getting back into power and that workers must take the lead in building
a sovereign Quebec which defends the rights of all. In the current
situation in which they are between a rock and a hard place, the best
outcome would be to vote for a PQ
minority government and then demand pro-social legislation, an end to
secret deals, an end to the privatization of health care and education,
defence of workers' pensions and standard of living, and so on. An
important demand so as to not have an absurd repeat of this election
call would be to hold the government
to its obligation under the legislation for fixed date elections.
The PMLQ calls for the Liberals to be prevented from
power. Their program of no referendum on sovereignty no matter what and
that they will deal with the "real issues" is a call to block the path
to progress on all fronts. The Liberals will use their victory as a
mandate to step up the anti-social
offensive with a vengeance and to block the path of deciding the future
of Quebec and engaging in nation-building, even though it is the need
of the times against the brutal nation-wrecking of the ruling circles
under the jackboots of the U.S. imperialists. The aspirations and needs
of the Quebec and Canadian people
must prevail at this time and this election could open a path to make
that possible. This would be the most favourable outcome.
CP:Anything you would like to add?
PC: As far as the PQ forming the next
the fact that the Liberals are not far behind and sense that power may
be in their grasp, the issue for workers remains
the same -- they must take the lead in defining and fighting for a
sovereign Quebec that defends the rights of all so that there is no
space for governments to unleash
the anti-social offensive and impose neo-liberal policies and a very
narrow outlook on Quebec identity and so on.
As well, the PMLQ is running in ridings that are not hot
where the Liberals can be defeated. We call on voters to vote PMLQ in
those ridings in order to recognize the need for the Commissions on the
Future of Quebec.
(Translations from the original French
by the PMLQ, posted on the PMLQ website, www.pmlq.qc.ca)
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