With all the talk of the current NDP interim leader being a Bloc and Quebec Solidaire member, and other former Bloc members switching to federal parties, I've been trying to understand Quebec politics for years. This past federal election seemed to uncover some truths about voters there.
- They will turn their back on you in an instant (goodbye Bloc, hello NDP)
- They are quietly organized
So who is behind this quiet organization? How did so many former Bloc voters switch over to the NDP and why?
Is it Quebec Solidaire? And who the heck are they anyway? Let's have a look...
Québec solidaire (QS) is a democratic socialist and sovereigntist political party in Quebec, Canada, that was created on 4 February 2006 in Montreal. It was formed by the merger of the left-wing party Union des forces progressistes (UFP) and the alter-globalization political movement Option Citoyenne, led by Françoise David. The party uses the name "Québec solidaire" in both French and English, as does the mainstream media, but the party's name is sometimes translated as "Solidarity Quebec" or "Quebec Solidarity" in English.
Declaration of principles
At the party's founding, the congress unanimously adopted a document called the Déclaration de principes which laid out the principles and values that led the two organizations to merge. They are:
- "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
- "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the Left")
- "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
- "Nous sommes féministes" ("We are feminists")
- "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec souverain et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and united Quebec")
- "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("Another party, for another Quebec!")
Well there you go.
So here's what I think happened. QS members dropped their Bloc support and established informal ties with the NDP because it more closely aligned with the socialist labour union movement or vise versa and saw an opportunity to become official opposition or perhaps involved in a coalition government with the Liberals.
It had nothing to do with Jack Layton's charisma. And now, because of his unfortunate illness, the Quebec Solidaire has one of their own leading the official opposition.
new tag: Quebec Solidaire