IQuebec or go out? After a few brief episodes, the issue has dominated French-speaking Canadian politics for more than half a century. A separatist government has been elected repeatedly, only to have the population shy away from independence when asked to vote in a referendum. With François Legault overwhelmingly re-elected as prime minister on October 3, the answer seems clear. Quebecers want a strongly nationalist provincial government within a united Canada.
Mr. Legault’s alliance Avenir Québec (Quality issues) tightened its grip on Quebec’s legislature, winning 90 of 125 seats, up from 74 when the party first took power in 2018. Both parties that have dominated the province’s politics since the 1970s have been hit hard. The Federal Liberals won just 14.4% of the vote, the lowest in its 155-year history. But because its votes are concentrated in relatively few constituencies (constituencies), it remains the official opposition party with 21 seats. Meanwhile, the separatist Party of the Quebec won slightly more votes (14.6 percent), but only three seats.
Mr. Legault, an accountant who founded a low-cost airline that made millions, was a Quebec cabinet minister before losing faith in the separatist cause.he founded Quality issues year 2011. The party appeals to Quebecers’ comfort zone by not asking them to make tough decisions, said Jean-François Lisée, a Quebec political strategist who recruited Mr. Legault. “It says to them, ‘You don’t have to love Canada, but you don’t have to leave it either.'”
Mr. Legault grew up in one of Montreal’s English-speaking enclaves, but winning the city over was not his top priority. His government has passed legislation limiting access to services and education in English and other non-French languages, while reducing the number of immigrants allowed into the province. During his recent campaign, he mocked Montrealers for “looking down” on people elsewhere in Quebec.
So while it consolidates support elsewhere, the Quality issues Still excluded from the metropolis, it holds just two of the 26 seats. “He was basically talking to Joe Pickup,” said former Liberal cabinet minister David Heurtel. “Montreal is isolated; it really is an island.”■