With all the hoopla over the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, the United Conservative Party leadership race and the laying to rest of Queen Elizabeth II, it is easy to forget that it is election season in Canada’s second-largest province, Quebec.
On Oct. 3, voters there go to the polls in a race that at first blush might seem to be a sleeper. That’s because no one doubts it will be won by the governing party, Premier François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ). But the rest of Canada should pay attention, because the outcome in Quebec will matter on a number of fronts, including the outcome of the next federal election.
Quebec’s election is most notable for the collapse of the old world order. From 1976 to 2011, the fight in Quebec was between sovereigntists, represented by the Parti Québécois (PQ), and federalists, represented by the provincial Liberal party.
Today, the support of both those parties has collapsed. The latest Leger poll has the Liberals at 16 per cent, and the PQ at 13 per cent. The CAQ in is the catbird seat with 38 per cent, with two other parties, the Conservatives and Québec solidaire (QS), which represent the most right- and left-wing positions in the race, respectively, rounding out the field with 16 per cent each.