Normally, elections in other provinces are of little interest to B.C. residents. But the Parti Quebecois mused about separatism and campaigned openly on a Charter of Quebec Values that was one of the most discriminatory documents in recent Canadian history.
Pauline Marois borrowed a page from Adrian Dix’s unsuccessful campaign in B.C. a year ago. She went off script part way through the campaign, bringing up separatism after her star candidate Pierre-Karl Peladeau proclaimed the need for independence. It was her “Kinder Morgan” moment, damage she could not repair. Even though some of those who voted against her support separatism, very few want a referendum any time soon.
Her lack of focus on jobs and the economy was also a crucial error. Quebec has one of the weakest economies in the country and a poor job creation record. Any talk of separatism causes investors to give it the cold shoulder. Marois seemed unperturbed by all this.
The charter would not pass muster when challenged in court, so in the last week of the campaign, Marois stated she would use the notwithstanding clause to ensure it took effect. While some undoubtedly cheered, that was another reminder to many voters just how off course the PQ was.
New premier Philippe Couillard has stated Canada is a great country to be part of. At the same time, he plans to vigorously defend the French language. However, he extended an olive branch to other Quebecers in his victory speech, which is a good omen.
Couillard has promised to tackle some of the province’s economic issues
Meanwhile, the PQ is now leaderless, with Marois having resigned on Monday night. Perhaps its days are numbered.
— Langley Times