No mandate! PQ must govern for all Quebecers - now let's all get more involved in this society

By Beryl Wajsman on September 6, 2012

One thing is clear from the narrow election result - it gave the PQ no mandate for any of its radical agenda. It is to be hoped that we can take Pauline Marois at her word and that she not only respects, but uderstands the will of the people.

Two-thirds of Quebecers - anglophones, allophones and francophones - voted for the federalist, free-market alternatives. Mme. Marois must take that into account and we all must hold her accountable.

Quebecers gave her no mandate to hold a referendum.

No mandate for the Identity Act creating two classes of citizens

No mandate for any extension of Bill 101.

No mandate for her increase in personal and corporate tax rate.

The Parti Québecois was returned to power with a minority government . The results, in seats and percentage of popular vote, were almost a mirror of 2007. The PQ has 54 seats, just seven seats more than it had in the last assembly. The Liberals dropped to 50 seats and the CAQ captured 19 with Québec Solidaire at two. The PQ's 32% of the popular vote was only 1 per cent more than the Liberals, and very much where the party has been at for the better part of the year.

The Liberal showing was remarkably better than almost all pundits predicted. Most commentators credit the strong performance to a passionate Jean Charest who in the last ten days of the campaign showed the same "feu sacré" as he did when he led the referendum forces in 1995.

The CAQ came in considerably below expectations. But it was clear that it sapped some Liberal votes. The CAQ took 27% of the popular vote compared to the ADQ's 17% in 2008. That made the difference. The irresponsible "change for the sake of change" vote.

Some important names went down to defeat most notably Jean Charest who lost his seat of Sherbrooke. It is sad that he has chosen to leave politics. He is a leader of natural eloquence and ability.

But this result should not be about breathing a sigh of relief. It is about wading into the fight. It is about becoming more engaged as Quebecers. That is the challenge to our communities.

It is about no longer accepting the palaver of the talking heads who constantly apologize for Pauline Marois and her cohorts. Who constantly say, "They don't mean that." We say, let her prove it!

Quebecers showed they reject the politics of division and discord. The showed they reject the messages of nullification and the metaphors of segregation. Now we, anglophones and allophones, must show that we are confident of our place to engage fully in Quebec. To prevent another resurgence it is necessary to do that. It is also right. And we will have a lot of allies.

 

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Beryl P. Wajsman

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