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quebec elections

Interesting outcome in the Quebec election. The woeful centre/right liberals get a minority government, and the big news: the fresh-faced righties ADQ get official opposition, while the PQ gets a lickin. Patrick asks: who’s afraid of the ADQ (and why?).

We’ll see what happens. I don’t know what to think. I’ll have lots to complain about, but maybe this will shake Quebec up in some good (and certainly some bad) ways.

It seems to me that quebec politics has stagnated badly in the past … well … I don’t know how long. part of the “problem” is that politics & parties have been dominated by one central issue federalist/seperatism, which means that other important issues take a back seat. (probably less true in franco world).

but surely no one can be happy with the state of the province’s politics now, whether you are left/right or sep/fed. we have BOTH a crumbling health system AND the highest taxes anywhere in North America (I’d take 2 if 1 was a shining example of success, but it isn’t). Our eductaion system is a disaster, with 50%+ highschool drop out rate. universities choking with tuition freezes. we have the highest unemployment rates in Canada. the GDP is 54 out of 60 states/provinces in north america (wtf?)! smaller than arkansas.

we also have – in montreal at least, a thriving art scene, and a fantastic standard of living. partly due to a sluggish economy, that keeps rents low, which for my money is the best way to have a thriving art scene.

anyway: I’m as hard core lefty as you can get, usually, but I just cannot believe having 30% (? – not sure the number, but its twice ontario) of the population working for the government is a good thing.

I mostly hate the Harper conservatives, but i like our current federal minority set-up. the Conservatives are forced to do deals with lefties (NDP and bloq) to get things done, which is great. You get the hard-nosed approach of the right, kept in check by the left. good. (For instance, the Harper govt was pretty ballsy on the Income Trust issue, something the federal liberals were woeful on).

Here in que, though, the PQ was the big loser, so you’ve now got a centre-right Lib minority, with a right-wing ADQ opposition, so there will be a big shake up in quebec, one way or another. A big shift to the right in political power.

I’m not right-wing by any stretch, but I’m happy to see something that might shake up the political mud we’ve been in for the past decade or so. We’ll see where it goes. as usual, I’m cautiously unpessimistic.

SOME OTHER THOUGHTS FROM THE B’SPHERE (to be updated as they come in):


  1. zura zura 2007-03-27

    I’d have to agree. I think that all change is good change, or at least I really want to believe this. Things *do* need to change.

  2. Hugh Hugh 2007-03-27

    well i definitely don’t think all change is good change. but something needs to happen.

  3. Patrick Patrick 2007-03-29

    Interesting post but you’re kind of still doing what I was asking about. “The right, the right, righties, big shift to the right”. What happens with that, what does it affect? What’s cut, what’s kept, which policies change? How is it different because of right wing ideals vs simply answering to economic imperatives and things crumbling more and requiring attention?

    Frankly “the right” and “the left” don’t seem to mean that much, they are all close to center and their policies change way more according to the debt and what people are yelling about, change to get elected, than any right or left credo does.

    Also, I’d like to see where the 50% dropout rate and 64th GDP ranking numbers come from.

  4. Hugh Hugh 2007-03-29

    sure … everyone has been shifting to the right. so the choice is right or more right. some expected results (mostly the original platform of the liberals):

    1. 2 tier healthcare legislation
    2. lifting provincial tuition freezes
    3. cuts to the provincial beurocracy
    4. cuts to social services in general
    5. tax cuts

    those are my predictions, we’ll see.

  5. Michael Boyle Michael Boyle 2007-04-03

    Hugh. your perspective on the art-scene/low-rent thing is hilarious! I mean, in North American terms it’s true – but you shoulda seen it in the mid-90s. Montreal now is VERY expensive compared to then. Most people I knew moved every single year because you could always get a bigger, sunnier apartment or share for your $250-300/mo – and I’m talking in the heart of the Plateau. I don’t remember how many people shared apartments in which both or all three roommates had two closed rooms apiece – one bedroom, one office/studio.

    But the underlying point is valid – Montreal has always been an interesting place because it’s cheaper to live there than in NY or TO. I would not attribute that to a sluggish economy, however. Montreal’s economy now is better than it ever has been – at least in 30 or 40 years.

    That it has managed to stay a little less expensive that other cities in the past 5 years as prices have rapidly climbed is a bit of a mystery, but it probably comes out of a combo of: the incredible pace of condo development; the relative scarcity of apartments; the strong economy over a sustained period of time… have led to a lot of lifelong renters joining the ranks of the propertied classes.

    There is a total glut in condos right now, even though so many people have bought lately that the housing crisis we used to hear so much about is all but over.

    Anyhow thanks for noticing my post and I hope to see you soon.

  6. Hugh Hugh 2007-04-04

    hi michael, actually I am old grizzly enough to remember the old days (just)… i got back to montreal in 1997 (after uni), as rents were creeping up. but there were still – and still are – old leases to be had at a song, so when I moved back from NYC in 2001 my yearly rent in Montreal was equiv to ONE MONTH of my NYC rent (tho I did have a roommate here). So I was able to take a year off and try to write a novel, and had a wonderful life, all on a saved chunk of money that put me below the poverty line, but i felt like I was living a king’s life.

    but I’m not sure that montreal’s economy is strong compared with elsewhere – even if it is far stronger than it was in the early-mid nineties (when I left to uni in 1992, it was understood that there never would be a job here in mtl for me). parts of it are strong, but in general I am not so sure. but I have not seen the data, so i don’t really know.

    anyway, montreal rents are still a far cry from Toronto & Vancouver, forget Calgary, and NYC is a whole different ballgame. That means artists can have comfortable lives, while doing some kind of occasional work, which is what drives our indie art scene. food & restos are cheap. SAQ overcharges for wine tho, but you gotta take your lumps i guess.

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