By Richard Fidler, published on the author’s blog ‘Life on the Left’, May 12, 2014
The election of a Liberal majority government has been widely interpreted, especially in English Canada, as a major victory for the federal regime and quite possibly the death knell of the fifty-year-old mass movement for Quebec independence.
It was certainly a crushing setback for the PQ. The party’s percentage of the popular vote was the lowest since its first election campaign in 1970. Seven of its 26 ministers lost their seats, including Premier Pauline Marois. Among the PQ’s defeated candidates were two leaders of the student upsurge of 2012, Léo Bureau-Blouin (elected in 2012) and Martine Desjardins.
But other pro-sovereignty parties were unable to capitalize on the PQ’s decline in support. Québec Solidaire made only modest gains, increasing its overall vote by about 60,000 and barely managing to elect a third member to the National Assembly. Option Nationale (ON), a right-wing split from the PQ in 2011, got less than 1 percent of the popular vote and again failed to elect any of its candidates.
The PQ defeat cannot in itself be attributed to its formal support for Quebec sovereignty…
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