Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard dissolved the province’s National Assembly on August 23. Now, the summer hiatus is coming to an and Quebec’s next general election is scheduled to happen on October 1. Making headlines in the ethnic media are the province's political system, parties and leaders on key issues, and polls among the ethnic media.
Looking at the political system, MIREMS has monitored some 18 multilingual and multicultural media outlets who been reporting on the election in the first week of the campaign, from August 23 to30.
On election day, Quebec voters will elect 125 new members of the National Assembly. When Couillard called the election, the Quebec Liberal party held 68 seats, the Parti Québécois had 28, the Coalition avenir Québec, 21, and Québec solidaire, three. Five MNAs were sitting as independents.
Pagini Romanesti (Romanian) highlighted that the four parties represented in the National Assembly are not the only ones on the ballot. There are 21 parties registered for this election, from pro-pot to pro-USA. The Parti culinaire du Québec (Quebec Culinary Party), a self-styled “gastronocratic” party; Parti Nul (Dummy Party), a pro-abstention party; Parti 51, which wants Quebec to become the 51st US state; Québec en marche, a copy of France’s France en marche; the pro-marijuana Bloc Pot; and the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec.
The Arab-French Atlas-Montréal took a more serious look at Quebec’s party system, wondering whether this election could be a turning point in the province’s history. It noted the many defections in favour of the CAQ, especially from the PQ. Citing political scientist Éric Montigny from Laval University who believes that Quebec might be on the cusp of a major political shift, from the existing plurality of parties to a more traditional two-party system. If this should happen, the main change will be the replacement of the PQ by the CAQ as the province’s second main party. History is known to repeat itself and this has happened twice before: in 1935 with the rise of the Union nationale (which replaced the Conservative Party) and in 1968 when the PQ replaced the Union nationale.
MIREMS will be keeping a close eye on this election as it is covered in the ethnic media. Following later this week, MIREMS will discuss parties and leaders in the ethnic media, as well as polling and the multilingual and multicultural vote.
Tapping into these multilingual and multicultural voices can be a vital resource to voters, candidates and observers alike.
Written by Pierre Rossi