Why is Quebec not independent

The Québec separatists, Canada's real election winners

The Greens can also gain in the Canadian parliamentary elections, but it is the Bloc Québécois that, thanks to a change of course in the French part of the country, has become a viable alternative for many.

The election winner in the traditional sense is Andrew Scheer. Its Canadian Conservatives received the most votes. Majority suffrage makes Justin Trudeau and the Liberals winners when it comes to mandates. The previous prime minister is therefore very likely to remain in office. But the big, laughing election winner of the evening is the Bloc Québécois, a regional party from the French province of the same name (32 seats according to forecasts, 10 so far).

The fact that so many people voted for the block's candidates is likely to have something to do with a change of course in recent years. And with the weakness of the big parties, because the liberals actually hoped for gains in Québec, the opposite was the case, the absolute majority is gone. The Conservatives were also not the first choice of the French-speaking population. Many voted for the regional party, which was more moderate in the end.

Away from the radical image

One of the success factors of the Québec party is its new party leader. Yves-François Blanchet tripled the seats in the Canadian parliament. "We have come so far, but we will go further," he cheered on election night. He could now become a kingmaker and support a minority government he trusts. But right now it is more like a government of the Liberals with the support of the Social Democrats. But in some issues the Québec Party could play to its new mandate strength.

Blanchet massively weakened the demand for a real secession of the province of Québec from Canada after he took over the party leadership. In 1995 a referendum only narrowly failed. But recent surveys show that a majority of the population of the province in the east of the huge country is satisfied with the way relations with Canada are currently regulated.

Blanchet positioned the block to represent the interests of Québecans and the French-speaking population. Although he is in close contact with the nationalist provincial government, he is not looking for a break with Canada. “The strength that Blanchet brings is that he draws a picture that is not as violent ('hardcore') as that of his predecessors. That allows him to address a lot more voters ”, analyzed Pierre Martin, professor at the University of Montréal, for the news agency Reuters.

Stability for the good of Québec

The 54-year-old party leader and former minister in his home province is a media personality. He says he wants to help make Canada's parliament work and support laws that are good for Québec. "I don't think Quebecers and Canadians elected a minority government with the goal of going back to the polls in 18 months," he said. He repeated his demands of the last few weeks on election night: Québec could one day get “all the attributes of sovereignty”, but that would not happen as long as the federal system worked. “It's not our job to keep Canadian federalism going. It is also our job not to cause problems. "

At the election ceremony in Montréal, however, there were loud shouts: “We want a country”, which Blanchet routinely calmed: “I want that too, but this time we will not have the mandate to gain independence to reach."

Election behavior in Québec has always been more difficult for political scientists to predict than in the rest of the country. The independence component makes it difficult to assess political affiliation, as classic party preferences have been weakened.

(Reuters / klepa)

(Reuters / klepa)