If the Marois Government wanted to nip in the bud any further attempt of union forces sovereigntist and progressive for the next election campaign, he couldn’t find better than the budget presented Tuesday by Nicolas Marceau, that Québec solidaire (QS) immediately called ‘hopes budget ‘.
By an unfortunate coincidence, the Minister of Finance has chosen to coax the business community and financial markets at the same time where the new movement for Québec (NMQ) launches a new call for unity. “We are convinced that there is still an opportunity of convergence”, says the NMQ in a letter to pro-independence activists.
The NMQ invites all sovereignist parties to participate in a “policy forum” together to lay the groundwork for an electoral Pact would be sealed during a Quebec national Congress next spring. It is not too early. Once the PLQ is will be given a new head, Quebec will be de facto in pre-campaign.
In June, a first ‘call for United front”had remained dead letter as well the PQ as QS being unable to agree on the terms of an agreement which, in the light of the results of the September 4, could allow Pauline Marois to form a majority government. In addition to the ideological differences, the duel between Françoise David and Nicolas Marceau in Gouin merciless constituted an insurmountable obstacle.
In recent weeks, the NMQ is used to reactivate the project, but it is clear that budget Marceau had the effect of an ice shower. The national Council of QS must be entered within ten days to decide if the next spring Congress should reconsider the decision taken two years ago, while delegates behind closed doors had rejected the principle of an alliance.
You have to be very convincing to digest that Ms. David has interpreted as a response “at the controls of the agencies” rating as Moody’s and the incantations of the Chambers of commerce As national Option, its leader, Jean-Marc Aussant, was excluded from the lock-up of the budget by the cabinet of the Minister of finance. This augurs rather badly, it’s the least we can say.
Mr. Marceau felt probably under pressure, but the “sense of responsibility” that it does not explain everything. Even if the voice lost to QS and to 20 seats have cost the PQ, Government strategists seem convinced it is rather by retrieving a part of the caquiste vote that it will be able to ensure a majority in the National Assembly.
It is still far from certain. If many of those who voted for the QCA did not recognize in the programme adopted by the PQ in the Congress of April 2001, that Ms. Marois had originally announced a refocusing, the PQ allergies also has other reasons.
Unlike the ADQ’s early days, where federalist and sovereigntist right came to cohabit, the caquistes are largely the federalists or the people who don’t want to know anything about another referendum. Even if Government Marois will focus, they will be not unwilling so far to provide him with a majority that would allow it to hand over sovereignty to the order of the day. As for liberal voters, do not even think.
Most former PQ who chose to move to QS will fall probably not home even if the PQ returned to more progressive positions, but this is not a reason to encourage others to go.
After Jim Flaherty had indicated that Ottawa postponed the deficit zero of another year, two leaders of the free SPQ, Pierre Dubuc and Marc Laviolette, claimed that Quebec is as much. While the economic downturn is more pronounced in Quebec than in the rest of Canada, the Government of Ms. Marois was going to be more conservative than Stephen Harper?
Rather than comply with a “neo-liberal dogma”, i.e. the achievement of balanced budgets, “sovereigntist governance” should have to encourage them to turn to Ottawa to claim a new tax deal, they thought.
In all fairness, it must be acknowledged that Mr. Marceau had denounced the “unilateral decisions” by Ottawa over the past years, calling for the lifting of the ceiling on Equalization and federal participation in the financing of health services. By his own admission, these positions are in continuity with those of his predecessors, as well as sovereignists federalists. It is very far from the big maneuvers that once led to the creation of the Séguin commission.