The holiday season is behind us, and Quebec’s elected officials have enjoyed a well-deserved rest after a year 2023 full of twists and turns. Apart from the usual wishes for health and happiness, here are a few that we could offer to each of the parties in the National Assembly for 2024.
CAQ: Recharged batteries
Premier François Legault agrees that the past year has been the most difficult since the Coalition avenir Québec came to power in 2018. Just over a year after its re-election, the party has taken a nosedive in the polls and now finds itself in second place in voting intentions. However, this hasn’t stopped the Legault government from proposing ambitious projects such as the battery industry and the construction of new hydroelectric dams to successfully make the transition to a green economy. The coming months will tell whether these projects can inject a dose of energy into Mr. Legault’s party, whether to power Quebec-made batteries with clean electricity, or simply to give the CAQ troops a boost. In his end-of-session review, Mr. Legault quipped that he would like a compass for Christmas… With the many challenges ahead, we can also wish that he had taken advantage of the holiday break to recharge his own batteries.
QLP: A good headhunter
Although it forms the official opposition in the National Assembly, the Quebec Liberal Party is also going through a troubled period. Despite the best efforts of interim leader Marc Tanguay and several new MNAs, the latest polls give the Liberals just 5% of voting intentions among Francophones. If this deadlock persists, the QLP will have to forget about the possibility of winning seats outside Montreal. In 2024, Liberal strategists must hope for the services of an excellent headhunter, as high-quality candidates will have to be recruited to generate interest in the leadership race and rekindle the flame among Liberal troops… and voters.
QS: Serenity and resilience
As for Québec solidaire, the party ended 2023 on a mixed note. The party now has a new female spokesperson, Émilise Lessard-Therrien. Her atypical profile – residing in a rural area, owning a gun and driving an F-150 truck – brings a new face to predominantly urban left-wing political formation. The party had high hopes for the 2022 elections but only managed to elect one additional MNA. Its male spokesman, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, admitted to undergoing a period of introspection and contemplating leaving politics after the last election. Since Ms. Lessard-Therrien is not a member of the National Assembly, she will have the freedom to travel across Quebec over the coming months. With the long and winding road ahead of them, we can only wish the two spokespersons serenity and resilience.
PQ: A time machine
Although his party has only four MNAs, Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is in the opposite situation: everything is going well. While the separatist party was written off given as dead at the dawn of the October 2022 general election, it has now scored won a resounding victory in the Jean-Talon riding and is leading in the polls. One might think that of the PQ leader is enviable, but there’s a hitch: the next election isn’t until the fall of 2026! By then, François Legault’s party may well have recharged its batteries or (re)found its compass… There’s no doubt that Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon wishes time to pass as quickly as possible until the next election! A time machine, perhaps?