A Realignment Election?
14 février 2019
Par Eric Montigny
The 2018 Quebec election is an important moment in Quebec’s Grand éclatement. In 2016, Marie Grégoire, Youri Rivest and I wrote about this great splintering in a book titled Le cœur des Québécois. It did not take place overnight. Underlying this change – which has now taken the form of a fragmentation and realignment of political forces, with the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) replacing the Parti Québécois (PQ) – is a profound political transformation.
For the first time since 1976, a new party forms the government. For the first time in almost 40 years, Quebec independence was not a central issue in an election campaign. The PQ chose to postpone the independence debate to 2022, leaving only Québec Solidaire (QS) to bring up the question while stressing environmental and socioeconomic transformation. The election thus accelerated the great splintering of the party system by turning the page on a cleavage that for two generations cemented the electorate behind the Quebec Liberal Party on one side and the PQ on the other. But even if Quebec society has become more diverse and more fragmented, the election also showed that most Quebeckers remains deeply attached to their common identity and culture.