We all know that minority governments can be chaotic and unproductive, but we also know that majority governments can be abused and treated like benign dictatorships. Take for example, Charest’s mandate. The only time he has ever listened to Quebecors was when he was about to lose and when he was forced to cooperate with a minority government. Once his third mandate came around, Charest went back to his arrogant ways and made decisions that weren’t in the best interest of Quebecors. He has raised taxes across the board, introduced a healthcare tax that is more punitive to the poorest in society than the richest and has punished students with tuition hikes and unconstitutional Law 78. Giving Charest another majority unlocks more abusive behavior and unfortunately, the same can be said about his opponents.
Cynicism is on the rise in Quebec and that is because we have a large government whose only accomplishments entail dictating to Quebecors how their lives should be lived. From law 101, a piece of legislation that discriminates against minorities for the greater good of French culture, to tuition fee hikes, that are seen as unjust and unfair, to the brutal police order used to detain peaceful protestors who don't believe that the mistakes of the past should be passed down to future generations.
Regardless who wins on September 4, it is safe to say that it is in our best interests to keep them to their word and the only way to do so is to ensure the governing party has minimal power and can’t use their coveted majorities as a battering ram. Let’s face it: who can we trust? Each of these parties have pros and cons and in many cases the cons outweigh the pros.
The Parti Quebecois promised to undo the tuition hikes, Bill 78, and healthcare tax, but their promise to force Quebecors to get French language tests, expand the language police further, restrict access to English CEGEPs and make law 101 more strict is a troublesome and backward move for a government and society that should be moving past its discriminatory and outrageous past. Quebecors are Quebecors are Quebecors Mme. Marois, not those that you designate a label to.
The Liberal party promises to create jobs and economic prosperity (even though they had 9 years to do that and haven’t). They also want to continue with tuition hikes and feel their tax hikes are justified. All the while, they claim to defend social programs as they deteriorate. They claim to be the only choice for stability, but they created the student crisis and pushed it off the ledge. Their misguided priorities and their loose spending habits got this province into the mess it’s in and saying that a future surplus based on outrageous tax rates is a sign of good economic leadership then you have another thing coming! A liberal mandate would also mean an acceptance to what could be a government that is based on corruption and collusion. Wasn’t it convenient that the election was called before the Charbonneau commission had a chance to release its findings?
The Coalition D’Avenir du Quebec is an interesting third option, but suffers from the chronic case of contradictions. They are promising to lower the tuition hike and are now against law 78 after voting for both of those measures in the National Assembly. A doctor per family is a nice promise that every Quebecor has heard before but it is as realistic as a day without taxes. If Francois Legault is given a majority mandate, who says that he will follow is 100 page platform?
Isn’t Quebec politics a joy? Quebecors I’ve spoken to are notably fed up. Look at the rise of the ADQ in 2007 and it’s complete annihilation in 2008. They didn’t form the official opposition in a minority government because they were liked, they formed it because Quebecors were fed up of Charest’s arrogance and didn’t like the separatist flavor of the day. In 2008, voter turnout plummeted as Quebecors saw no alternatives.
We know that we will elect a government whose principles stray from those of ordinary Quebecors and we know that we will be choosing which communities get rewarded and which get punished by our choice of government – but we know that regardless who wins, the struggles of the day aren’t going to be solved.
All we can hope for is a minority government because that is when political parties try to win brownie points and that is the only time when real issues are solved – even if the National Assembly may get dysfunctional to the point of another election. What do you think: Is it time to elect a minority government? Let us know: Facebook, Twitter, Google +.