On Monday night, Quebec voters have rewarded the Liberal Party with a majority government. The Liberals have been elected or are leading in 70 out of 125 seats. Phillipe Couillard will become the new Premier of Quebec.
This comes only 19 months after Quebec voters tossed out the Liberals in favor of a minority government led by Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois. The PQ lost 24 seats including that of Marois who promptly resigned as PQ leader.
The PQ alienated voters over the Quebec Charter of Values which banned public servants from wearing “overt religious symbols” and the cloud of a third referendum hanging over the public’s head if they were rewarded with a majority government. At this point, the people of Quebec do not want to separate from Canada much less have yet another referendum on that question.
When the Liberals previously held power under Jean Charest they were plagued with various corruption scandals. However, the Liberals benefited from the fall of the PQ rather than the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) which had a breakthrough performance in 2012. Although the CAQ has gained three seats in Monday’s election, Quebec voters opted to place their faith with the devil they know. The corruption will come back, but there will be no referendum looming over their heads. However, it remains to be seen what Couillard and the Liberals will do with the Quebec Charter of Values.
Canadian politics is interesting as always.