February 21, 2014

Party's charter flight to majority

Based in a city that once bid for the Olympics — and perhaps will again someday when a mountain high enough for a downhill race can be found — it’s not surprising the political maneuvering in recent weeks in Quebec City has been dubbed the “winter games.”

Premier Pauline Marois is hoping to lead her Parti Quebecois to top spot on the podium and the political equivalent of a gold medal: a majority government.

As of this writing, all signs point to an election call as early as next week, with possible dates of the vote being March 31 or April 14. 

A poll out this week may have provided the incentive Marois has been waiting for to put an end to her slim 18-month-old minority and roll the electoral dice. That poll by the CROP firm for Le Soleil and La Presse shows Parti Quebecois with a nearly 20-point lead over the Opposition Liberals for the support of the critical francophone vote. 

If these numbers hold — and there is precedent that they won’t necessarily — it means the Parti Quebecois would pick up seats in areas outside Montreal, in some rural areas and in the Quebec City region. 

It is certainly not out of the ordinary for a minority government anywhere in the democratic world to seek a way to gain a majority, indeed it is expected. It’s a special case in Quebec, though, where the party seeking that mandate is dedicated to the removal of the province from the Canadian federation.

When Marois, now 64, returned to active politics nearly seven years ago, after many years as a minister in previous Parti Quebecois governments and two failed bids for the leadership, it was not to be a mere administrator. The girl who grew up in a big family in working-class Levis but who lives in wealth grown by her businessman husband, made the comeback to pursue her life-long dream of an independent Quebec.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg The friendly Commonwealth Games

    The 20th Commonwealth Games are now underway in Glasgow, Scotland, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Quebec's proliferation of festivals

    Woodstock en Beauce celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Quebec City's English paper a survivor

    In a city stocked with beautiful, interesting and historic buildings, the five-story gem located at perhaps the busiest corner in Old Quebec doesn't attract much attention, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadian hockey Kings

    As of this writing, the Los Angeles Kings have either already quaffed from their second Stanley Cup or are on the verge of closing out the New York Rangers, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Remembering the forgotten Empress

    The Titanic gets the most attention, what with the epic drama of the 1912 sinking of an incomparable luxury liner, stocked with celebrities, on its maiden voyage.

    May 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadians among TV conspirators

    Call me weird, paranoid, a child of Watergate and Contragate or just a connoisseur of tense political drama, but my current three favorite TV programs are about conspiracies in America, each in a different era of U.S. history, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Hurons gamble on Quebec

    When we were kids, our parents took us to visit Sainte Marie among the Hurons, the restoration of the settlement French missionaries built in 1639 in what is now central Ontario, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    May 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Trench warfare in Quebec elections

    I've seen many a Quebec election in my day (I'll skip the "by cracky"), writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo