No to the Use of Force and Positions of Privilege to Resolve Political Problems!

– Pierre Chénier –

Even before the Quebec National Assembly begins its first session on November 29, it faces serious problems which are a matter of concern for the Quebec polity. The President of the former Assembly issued an order to the Sergeant-at-Arms to use force to expel the three PQ Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) should they try to take their seats on the basis that it is their right to do so because they were elected by the people to represent them, not by Charles III, King of England to whom they refused to swear allegiance.[1]

The Parti marxiste-léniniste du Québec (PMLQ) reiterates that it is opposed to the use of force to solve political problems as well as the use of privileges to achieve self-serving results.

The PMLQ also opposes the opportunism of Québec solidaire (QS) which took the oath to the King in secret, behind the backs of the people and the media. By the looks of it, it did so in exchange for more time during Question Period and more money than it was given in the previous Legislature where it received more votes and a higher percentage of the votes cast. Whatever deal was reached with the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) which forms the government and the Liberal Party which forms the Loyal Opposition, it highlights how the system of King's democracy which dominates what are called the democratic institutions functions to keep the people out of power by conferring privileges to those who compromise their conscience in the name of high ideals. 

The use of prerogative powers to engage in making deals while threatening the use of force to deprive elected officials of their seats are matters of concern for the people of Quebec. Prerogative powers are police powers and problems which affect the polity cannot be settled on an unprincipled basis. Today, their use is purely in the service of narrow private interests and no collaboration in the name of high ideals will be seen to stand up for the claims of the people on the economy or to uphold their rights in any sphere of activity.

We urge all members of the National Assembly, regardless of their political affiliation, to oppose any attempt to prevent the members of the Parti Québécois from taking their seats. No to the use of force and privilege to deprive elected MNA's from taking their seats or to declare them to be "observers" in the National Assembly.

Current Sitting

Between now and February 1, Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) will only sit for eight days, with business ceasing on December 9 to make way for five days of constituency work following which the legislature will resume on January 31.


The composition of the National Assembly following the October 3 election is as follows:

Coalition Avenir Québec(CAQ): 90 MNAs

Quebec Liberal Party(PLQ): 20 MNAs

Québec Solidaire(QS): 11 MNAs

Parti Québécois(PQ): 3 MNAs

Independent: 1 MNA

The leader of the King's Loyal Opposition is interim leader of the PLQ Marc Tanguay who took over from Dominique Anglade who resigned following the October 3 election and will step down as MNA on December 1. A by-election will have to be held in the riding of Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne where she was elected.[2]

The independent MNA is Marie-Claude Nichols, MNA for Vaudreuil, who was expelled from the PLQ caucus by then leader Dominique Anglade and refused to rejoin the caucus despite the request of interim PLQ leader Marc Tanguay.

Agreement on Parties' Status and Budget in the National Assembly

Prior to the new session of the National Assembly, secret negotiations were held to assign privileges and the Assembly's budget.

On the issue of status, the rules of the National Assembly specify that to be recognized as a parliamentary group, a political party must either have elected at least 12 members or received at least 20 per cent of the vote in the most recent general election. Only the CAQ and PLQ qualified.

Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) House Leader Simon Jolin-Barrette said an agreement was reached which grants Québec solidaire (QS) and the Parti Québécois (PQ) parliamentary group status, even though they did not meet the criteria. The agreement is supposed to be made public at the time of its submission to the National Assembly and be adopted through a vote at the beginning of the session.

The media dealt with the issue of differential party treatment as the result of democratic distortion through the current voting system, whereby a party with the same or an even higher number of votes than another can end up with far fewer MNAs.[3]

It is said that the rule of 20 per cent of the vote or 12 members of the National Assembly (MNAs) determining which will be a parliamentary group originates from a time when the National Assembly tended to be bipartite (an allusion to the QLP versus the PQ), when the division of the vote was different, and that therefore the rule should be changed so that it is less strict.

According to an article in Le Devoir, in the party politics of the National Assembly, there's a tendency towards bipartisanship. For instance, the CAQ would like to be dealing with QS, and to have each other as Quebec's two main political parties. Within that scenario, the PQ was already considered to have been dying, which is what the CAQ wanted, as the Liberal Party was in crisis and had become the party of anglophones. The CAQ and Québec solidaire may have been working to stop a PQ comeback.

In other words, it is possible that the CAQ and the QS are working towards the disappearance of the PQ. Others are talking about the need to find some form of unity in action between the QS and the PQ to give a renewed sense of purpose to the independence movement, which is now clearly not happening because QS hung the PQ out to dry. Meanwhile, the divisions between these two parties are used to push people towards the nationalism of the CAQ by saying that it is the party that should remain in power to represent the Quebec nation.

It is clear that in this historical turning point, the Quebec people need political forces that put forward a clear nation-building project which has social content which serves the interests of the people and political content which vests the decision-making power in the people, not the rich.


1. This former President did not even present himself as a candidate in the last election and therefore tenders his resignation when the session begins.

2. Since she has decided not to keep her seat, the PLQ should be deprived of all the money which will be paid by the state for the number of eligible voters in her riding.

3. In the October 3 election, the Conservative Party of Quebec had nearly the same number of votes as the PLQ, QS and PQ but got no seats. For seat distribution and number of votes received, see TMLD October 4, 2022.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 50 - November 29, 2022

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